When visiting a friend who’s recently had a baby, you want to bring not only a lovely gift, but a gift that will be thankfully received. It can be hard choosing the most wanted gifts for new mums!
It’s tricky to know what will be the perfect present, but here are ten ideas for the next time you’re facing this dilemma. From practical to helpful, relaxing to indulgent here’s the big list of gifts for new mums to set you on a path of gifting success!
A hospital survival kit
My Mother’s Group put one of these together for me after the birth of my second child, and it was truly the most appreciated gift I received. Inside was a selection of healthy and not-so-healthy snacks (wonderful as the hospital food was awful and since I had a baby in the nursery to start with, I always seemed to miss the meal service), fizzy water and some trashy magazines (loved these during those quiet hours when baby slept – seriously newborns sleep lots… and there’s only so much blissful gazing one can manage).
Food (or a meal service)
Not too imaginative, but this should be only EVERY list for new mums. I try to avoid anything that needs two hands to eat (spiral pasta or ravioli is good, lasagne is destined to go cold while a new mum is busy feeding!) and bring a afternoon tea slice that will last a while so she can offer it to guests who drop in if she wants.
If you’re feeling extra indulgent a meal service, dinner box or delivery voucher like uber eats is another one to add to the great gifts for new mums list!
Want some meal ideas of something to cook? Here’s our favourite meals that freeze that are quick and easy family dinners.
On the same page as delivering some delicious dinners, a cleaning service, for a thorough clean during the first few weeks is a godsend for a new mum. Most of the national agency chains have gift voucher options. If you want a local cleaner your community area facebook pages are a great place to get reviews on cleaners in your area.
Alternatively, if money is tight, you could make a gift voucher and schedule a time to do the cleaning yourself.
Especially for the mum of a second or more child. Without that baby shower to stock the shelves with super-soft new baby towels, that baby is destined for hand-me-downs otherwise!
Something nicely scented and indulgent for the new mum will be warmly received, if everyone else is spoiling the new arrival and forgetting who did all the hard work. If you’re in hospital you’re endlessly blasted with aircon so this will be both practical and a little spoiling for the new mumma.
If you want to take your pampering next level you can schedule a massage at many private hospitals or a spa voucher for when mum gets home. Don’t forget to offer to baby sit so she can actually get to her appointment!
If you know the mum is planning to breastfeed, lactation cookies are a yummy way to show your support. Made with oats, flaxseed meal and brewer’s yeast, these can give milk supply a boost. The batter can also be frozen in a log so the mum can bake additional batches easily at home – and the great news is that they taste delicious too.
If you want to make lactation cookies yourself we find this is a great recipe. If you’d like to buy some there’s plenty of brands online – many will deliver!
If you’re looking for a practical gift that will definitely be used, how about baby products? Mums will always need nappies, wipes and barrier creams, and the friend who gives a new mum an infant thermometer and Baby Panadol will always be mentally thanked after the first middle-of-the-night fever.
New parents find themselves watching TV at very odd hours and an on-demand service is a sanity saver at 4am when there’s only infomercials and 1980s cop shows on free TV.
Even better you can buy vouchers for these now in your local supermarket so it’s as easy to organise as doing your grocery shop!
This one depends on how well you know the parents and how comfortable you are with newborns. Make up coupons for an afternoon or even an hour that you’ll be at their disposal. Suggest the mum can nap, run errands, do her housework or take a bath. Or even just go on a walk for a coffee and fresh air with her partner. There are great printables to be found on the net if you’re not the creative type.
If mum’s not ready to leave her baby you can always suggest nursing bubs on the couch for her while she has a sleep or washes her hair without the worry. When you have a new baby sometimes the little things are definitely the big things!
For a close friend or family member, a hand-stamped necklace or bracelet with baby’s name or initials will be treasured. Speak to a jeweller before the birth to order, especially if you know the name the parents have picked.
Whether you come bearing gifts or not, remember the golden rules of visiting a new mum – call first, offer to bring anything she needs , tell her she’s beautiful, cuddle the baby and keep your visit short. Remember that new mums need emotional and physical support over those first few months. Keep in touch and you’ll be remembered for your help and thoughtfulness.
Lynn Jackson is a mother of three, a wife of one and a teacher of many. Living in her hometown of Adelaide after many years travelling and teaching abroad, she attempts to find time for her passions of photography, reading, writing and skinny lattes with friends.