I have a love-hate relationship with baby registries. As someone who spent way too many hours researching products, reading reviews, and perfectly crafting a registry, I hated the idea of people going off registry! That said, there are several things I received that I absolutely loved but would’ve never known I needed — things I would love to give to a new mom! Next time you’re looking to shower a new mom, try one of these tried-and-true gift ideas!
My husband gets the MVP award for gifting a sampler set of shower steamers to me at Christmas when I was still newly postpartum. Making time each day for myself to shower felt so hard but SO crucial in those first few weeks. While at first it was simply a postpartum necessity (IYKYK), it became a ritual I looked forward to as my daily bit of “me time” away from the chaos. As someone who used to enjoy a long bath and a face mask, using a shower steamer made it feel like a luxury spa experience that required no extra time or effort.
I gave this gift to myself as I was prepping my hospital bag. I thought a new pair of PJs to look forward to after delivery might make me feel a little better, and boy was I right! I’m a big fan of the Stars Above brand from Target. They are soft and affordable, are nursing friendly, and they come in a variety of styles and colors. I now gift or recommend this to every pregnant mama I know!
3. Spa service gift card
Whether it’s a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, or some combination of services, I love the idea of giving a gift that is designed specifically for mom to have some relaxation and alone time. Bonus points if you coordinate with the other parent to just book it for her!
If you’re like me, the last thing you need is another cup, but I love this Simple Modern alternative to the viral Stanley — it’s significantly less expensive, it’s a solid brand, and they have so many different colors to choose from! While I am partial to my cup from the hospital, the Simple Modern cups keep your drinks cold much longer. They also fit in car and stroller cupholders, which is a great excuse to leave the house.
5. Food, food, food!
Truly, the best gifts involve food. My husband and I underestimated the fact that feeding our child around the clock would leave almost no time to feed ourselves. There are so many options to gift food to a friend, from UberEats to GrubHub gift cards, takeout from a local restaurant, at-home meal delivery services, or a meal train. All of them will be equally appreciated. If you go visit anyone with a new baby, please bring them food!
One of the best gifts I received at our shower was bottles of infant Tylenol and infant Motrin. While your pediatrician will ultimately give you guidance on which medications are best for your child, already having these on hand took so much pressure off (I would not have thought to buy them in advance!). Shortly after our son was born we were deep into flu season, and children’s medications were next to impossible to find. Knowing I had a bottle at home was a gift in itself.
7. Custom nursery art
This is a great gift for a couple you are close to and know their nursery theme and style preferences. We received a special commissioned art piece for our son’s room that was not only meaningful to us, but meaningful to our gifters who knew the artist and wanted to support her work. I love the idea of something that will commemorate a special time in your lives and can last a lifetime.
8. Family photos
Along the lines of custom art, a photo session as a gift for a new mom is a thoughtful and unique idea outside of the traditional registry. It’s a great opportunity for the family to get the perfect photo for their baby’s first holiday card or just some framed portraits they will treasure forever.
You do not have to be breastfeeding to use this hoodie — my favorite thing about it is that it’s designed to be worn over a baby carrier! This helps keep your little one cozy while you’re babywearing, but it’s also great for easy nursing or pumping access.
10. Amazon or Target gift cards
I know this feels boring and impersonal, but trust me when I say it will absolutely be appreciated. Having spent a small fortune overnight Prime-ing items to my house or scheduling Target Drive-Up pick-ups, I still remember everyone who gave us gift cards that we (instantly) used.
11. Gifts for older kids
When asking some of my mom friends what they most appreciated when newly postpartum, several veteran moms suggested guests bring something for their older kids when visiting. They mentioned that not only does this keep them entertained while guests are visiting the new baby, it also makes them feel special during this transition.
12. Laundry services
I will never forget my husband telling some of our first guests, “I know today is laundry day because I didn’t do laundry yesterday.” We were amazed how such a small human with the tiniest clothes managed to fill the basket every two days. Gifting new parents a laundry service is one of those things that helps lighten the load (get it?) and allows them to outsource one of the more daunting household tasks.
13. The “village”
I read something recently that said these proverbial “villages” still exist, but they are no longer free. There are so many services that fit into this category, and not all of them will be applicable to every new parent, but consider gifting a postpartum doula, night nurse, or mom support group. It will truly be the gift that keeps on giving when that new mom is set up for success beyond the newborn phase.