So your friend, work pal, daughter in law or other relative or friend has had a baby. You’re sitting on your hands trying to not over indulge in an online shopping spree which will at best result in yet another cuddly toy for baby and if thoughts of mum are anywhere in the mix you might sling in a toiletry gift bag for her. She’s an afterthought of course. After all, she just wants you get something for the baby right. It’s all about that little pink bundle of joy isn’t it? Yep, she probably just wants some more toys and yet another play rug and another bit of tat baby pink or blue or whatever – WRONG!
Okay, I might be channelling some of my own experience here as I didn’t get a single gift for birthing my child. Nothing. To be fair to her my mother in law did come and do my ironing and several people bought me cakes, but I didn’t get a single present that was designed to say “you deserve this” or “here, I bought this as I thought it might help.” Not that I wanted recognition but I did wonder how useful endless teddy bears for little ones were compared to the “these saved my life” items – items which I was share with friends who had babies after me. We’ve all got them, those purchases which made the endless sleepless nights easier.
The truth is I wouldn’t have wanted fluffy slippers or bubble bath, as a new mum I wanted help, and this is where the perfect gift can be invaluable. Now if you are expecting a list of things which pamper and perfume you’re going to be royally disappointed. This is all about things (often cheap and cheerful) thinks which you can buy for a new mum which are immensely helpful.
1. Travel mug
Mum is going to be spending a lot of time not finishing hot drinks otherwise – get her a mug with a lid and when you turn up at the house with it, fill it!
2. Bag of treats and snacks
Whether Mum is breastfeeding or not, she’s going to need to reach for a snack and a drink at some peculiar hours, and even in the day she is likely to have a baby attached to her. Lunch bags or small tote with a bottle of water, dried fruit, healthy snacks, crisps or similar are invaluable. A cream cake might seem like a nice treat to you as you breezily swing by on the way home from work, but an oat flapjack will tide her through the night when she needs it most. I had a bag next to the cot and one next to the sofa. Amazing!
3. Subscription to a streaming service
When baby is first born you don’t have to worry about it registering what you’re watching, but you do have a lot of time trapped under a baby in front of the TV. Netflix or NOW TV is a great option as you can watch both on your smart TV, phone or tablet. Don’t have a smart TV, then throw in a NOW TV box or a ROKU stick and you just need to plug it into the back of the TV and away you go!
The best advice my lactation consultant gave me. Stick everything in one of these and by tea time you’re all ready to eat. I wish I’d known this day one as we ate a lot of pizza that first week.
5. A foot stool
So new excited parents may well have forked out for a nursing chair in the baby’s room, but trust me mum will need to put her feet up in the lounge too. My personal favourite is the stool from IKEA that goes with the Poang chair, but anything will do.Her feet may still be puffy and sore, she’ll be walking about a lot carrying baby and it can also double up as an occasional table for that thermos mug.