In the past 6 months, I have had one sister have a baby, three friends have babies, and two more who are preggers.
It's baby season around here!
In light of that, I've thought about what some of my (personal) new mama must-haves are. The ones that are truly must-haves, not the $500 stroller or the 15 different baby carriers. These are the things that come to mind first when I need to buy/make a gift for new mama:
Seriously, I think this is the best. Make a nice healthy homemade meal (bonus points for a fresh meal AND a freezer meal for another day). New mamas (especially breast feeding mamas) are STARVING, all the time. With zero time to eat, let alone make a meal. A homemade meal will always be a welcome treat for a sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and exhausted mama (and daddy). Bonus points for a disposable pan so there's no dish washing and returning.
When I bring a meal over (if I know the person well enough), I always bring some Clorox bleach wipes in my purse. I tidy up the kitchen and bathroom, offer to vacuum or do some dishes or laundry. If that's not feasible, think about maybe going in with friends for a few weeks' maid service.
Also... sleep. If you just come over and offer to hold the baby so Mama can nap for an hour - well, let's just say you might be upgraded to Best Friend Ever.
3. Hand Sanitizer
I was never very freaky about germs or hand washing, but it's different with a days-old newborn. A pump of hand sanitizer in a prominent place encourages everyone to wash up before holding baby. And on that subject - most new mamas LOVE to hold their babies and some even get a little nervous about others holding him/her, so make sure you ask first and don't hold for too long. I always would have preferred someone come over to help with food/housework instead of holding the baby, because I just needed that bonding time so much. Make sure to be sensitive to the poor, hormonal new mom.
4. Burp cloths
Hundreds of burp cloths. Seriously, I don't think you can ever have too many of these. They are great in the living room, in the nursery, in the bedroom, in the diaper bag, in the stroller, in the car...seriously, EVERYWHERE. Great for spit up, wipes in an emergency, spit up, boogers, spit up, leaky milk...need I say more?
5. the Ergo and/or the Moby wrap
Babies love to be held. A lot. As a newborn, my Moby wrap was the only thing for the first three months that helped me get laundry/dishes/cooking/vacuuming/anything done. If I could have worn that thing in the shower, I would have. Cole and I both loved it and it's super easy to use.
Once Baby starts to get a wee bit bigger, however, the Moby doesn't quite cut it - and that's when we got our Ergo. And if Cole didn't weigh five thousand pounds we would STILL be using it because he is a clingy little monkey. I'm not going to lie, it takes a bit of practice to figure out the back wearing part of it, but it is amazing and very comfortable to wear. Downside: it's pricey. But could be a great gift to go in on with a group of people.
6. The Cloud B Sleep Sheep
Yup. STILL use ours. Hint: get the mini travel size one. Smaller, does the exact same thing, and cheaper too. I think white noise has saved our booties many times.
7. the Woombie
This is actually on my wishlist for when we finally have another baby. Cole loved being swaddled but always wriggled out - I'm pretty sure this will be an awesome solution to that problem!
8. Aidan and Anais blankets
Everyone I know absolutely RAVES about these blankets. Lightweight, large, and perfect for a million different uses - these are a must-have for sure!
So there you go. Some of my best ideas for new mamas - anything else you'd add to the list?