So I've done some thinking. What do you get such a Mom, someone who is well-versed and well-stocked, who has developmental toys for every age, the parenting books she knows and likes, clothes in every size for both genders, and receiving blankets coming out her ears? There is still plenty, and you would be a very thoughtful friend to get her something she will actually need and use (read: not blankets. Or stuffed animals.) I nudged a few friends for ideas, and added them to my own. And here I give you a pretty darn good resource list.
DISPOSABLESI don't care how many kids she has; she will need diapers (unless she's gone cloth - doesn't hurt to find out.) You could get her any size from 1 to 4 and they will be much-appreciated and definitely used. One friend told me she had a baby shower for her second that was just diapers - she said they didn't have to buy diapers for almost a year! Amazing. What a gift.
Other disposable-type things a new Mom always needs:
- Baby wash (my favorite is California Baby calming)
- Diaper cream (fav - Weleda Calendula cream)
- Nursing pads (fav - Lansinoh)
- Diaper pail liners - just find out what kind she has and get some liner refills - not glamorous, but very thoughtful!
- Baby washcloths
- Board books (don't be afraid she'll already have the one you picked - if she does, it is probably all chewed up and falling apart and a new one is great; if she doesn't, bonus!)
- Pacifier clips
- Baby spoons
- Sippy cups
- White onesies
- Burp cloths
"LUXURY" ITEMS and NEW GADGETS
- A PBK chamois crib sheet - so soft!
- Wipes warmer (especially for winter babies)
- Teether jewelry
- Stroll-Away stroller hook
- Mommy Hook (I love mine)
- A subscription to Brain, Child: the magazine for thinking mothers
My feelings are: if she's having her first of a gender, clothes are a great way to go - of course she will need them!
If she's having a gender she already has clothes for, but you just must get clothes because they are so cute and fun (and I don't judge or blame you for that), elevate. Skip Carter's and Target. She will probably be shopping there herself. Get less for more and buy quality, somewhere she wouldn't normally shop, and get this kid something really nice. Almost every mom I asked responded how nice it is to have at least some new, clean things for the baby.
FYI American Apparel is one of my favorite brands for soft, unadorned baby separates, especially for boys. I love their karate pants and onesies.
And. One friend suggested getting a baby bathing suit, swim diapers, and sunscreen (hand me down swimsuits are always a little loose and pilly.)
HELP & SERVICESDude, you know what this mom needs most? Some help.
- Dinner - get her a gift card to a place that delivers (i.e., pizza, Thai), has easy pick-up (i.e. Panera, Chipotle, etc.), or a meal delivery service. Some examples are Grandma's Chicken Soup, Let's Dish, and Send-a-Meal. And of course you could always make them something yourself. One of the best gifts ever was a woman I didn't know well emailed me a month after Poppy was born, when all the meal-bringing had stopped and I was drowning. She told me she was bringing me dinner and gave me three dates to choose from. It was no-fuss, no-frills, and I will remember her thoughtfulness forever. Another best-ever gift was when a friend brought us dinner...and a huge shopping bag full of paper plates and plastic cups. We ate off those for months, and it was the only way I could stay on top of the dishes.
- Massage - I can't think of anything better than a prenatal massage. Unless it's a post-partum massage. You know some hospitals offer that service? What a gift that would be, if you found out where she's delivering and arranged to gift her a massage while she's in the hospital. That is a true friend.
- Mommy Relief - If I ever have another baby, please oh please, someone get me a g/c for these guys! I know they're local but I bet most areas have something similar.
- Mani/ Pedi - Just a simple treat almost any woman would love. But, get her a gift card to a salon. In reference to the home-pedi gift mentioned above, um, what 7-9 month pregnant mom can paint her toenails and also breathe? And what new mom has time or thoughts of painting her own nails? But a salon outing, that is a treat.
- Gift Cards - besides food, help, and nails, the experienced mom needs clothes. For herself. Post-partum is a dark time for a woman's wardrobe, as she mysteriously morphs into whatever surprise shape and size she's going to be this time around, but she still has to wear something! And you know her nursing bras are in a sad, sad state by the third or more child. My best suggestion here is a mall gift card, so she can buy whatever, wherever.
- a rockin' rad double stroller (she probably has her eye on one)
- a gift card (see above) to a:
- website (my fav - Diapers.com)
- local photographer (for an infant photo shoot - so thoughtful!)
- bookstore (especially Amazon, really)
OK, see? All is not lost. So what if she has a girl, two boys, and lots of baby gear? There are still A TON of really thoughtful gifts you can give her, in any price range! Hope this was helpful. And in case you still need more, here are my own Top 5 favorite things to give new and repeat Moms (but step off if you are going to the same shower as me because I get dibs on giving these!)
Itzbeen Baby Timer (you've heard me sing its praises before; I always include batteries)
2 - Patemm pad (one of the coolest baby things I own)
3 - Chew beads (my favorite "new" baby invention)
4 - Books (kid-approved favorite board and picture books are always the right gift, with the bonus aspect that siblings can enjoy them now, and baby, later)
5 - Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (this is usually a first-time Mom gift, but I lend mine to many "experienced" moms. Most helpful information I've ever gotten regarding babies' first three months.)
AND. If you STILL need ideas, I love perusing Cool Mom Picks baby shower gift guide, if nothing else, the ads are always so cute!