It’s pretty easy to pick out a gift for a first time mom. I would never think of veering away from the all-encompassing baby registry which I know the expecting mom spent so many hours pondering on the BuyBuyBaby website. Since a first-time mom most likely has no baby items, there are tons of options for what to get her. However, what do you get the second time mom? While some moms choose to do the whole registry/baby shower thing again for the second baby, I haven’t found this to be the norm.
Since I recently had my second baby a few months ago, I thought it would be helpful to summarize some of my favorite gifts (or gifts that I would have found to be very helpful).
Because let’s be honest, who wants to cook when you are healing from childbirth and trying to figure out the whole breastfeeding thing? Bringing over a meal for the family (bonus points if it’s enough food for leftovers!) is a guaranteed, appreciated present to give to someone … no matter what baby number they just had.
Many options exist if you want to bring food to the mom of a new baby. You can go the traditional route of bringing over a homemade meal or you can have a meal delivered from a local restaurant. If the new mama has many friends that you think would like to bless her with a meal, you can set-up a website such as Food Tidings where friends can sign up to bring her meals on various days. Another option is stocking up her freezer with either frozen dinners such as the ones from Freshly (who, by the way, deliver) or just meals you have prepared that can be frozen and reheated when ready to eat.
Just a reminder to check with the new mama before cooking/ordering food to make sure she doesn’t have any food aversions remaining from her pregnancy and to be sure there aren’t any foods she is avoiding for nursing reasons.
When a mom is in transition of adding another baby to the family, any extra set of hands is always helpful. There are many ways with many price points that you can give the gift of help to a mom. Of course, the most affordable option is going over to your friend’s house and helping with her other kids/cooking/cleaning. However, if you are like me, when you go over to your girlfriend’s house, you would much rather be kissing on that new baby and chatting with your friend than cleaning her house!
I would recommend a gift card to a babysitting service such as Busy Bees or even a house cleaning service (after all what mom doesn’t want her house cleaned, new baby or not!). Another route would be to hire a postpartum doula to come help for a few hours one day. Postpartum doulas can help with a range of needs from cooking and cleaning, to running errands and taking care of siblings. They are also pretty affordable, typically ranging from $25-$35/hour.
Let’s face it, the second child gets the short-end of the stick when it comes to cute, personalized gifts. Without a baby shower and with the parents busy with the other children, who has the extra time or money to get that personalized blanket or lovey for that second, third, fourth child? (I’m hoping I’m not alone on this one!) A friend of mine got my daughter the sweetest personalized blanket, which I know will get so much use in years to come. My sister also got me a personalized pillow for the rocker which has all of my daughter’s birth stats on it. Other personalized ideas are baby books, piggy banks, bath robes and loveys.
4. Gift for the Sibling
This is probably my favorite gift of all. I underestimated the difficulty of the transition period that my son would go through when my daughter was born. Every time someone would bring a gift for the new baby, I would let my older son open it so he would at least feel included, yet a little flash of disappointment would cross his face when he realized the gift was for his baby sister and not him.
The few people that brought him a gift when coming to visit my newborn daughter just made his day! It doesn’t have to be anything big, a simple puzzle or hat would do, heck even a bag of gummy bears would have made his day! It’s such a joyous time for the new mom, dad and visiting guests that it’s easy to forget that not all the family members may be enjoying the newest addition.
5. Gift for Mom
This one is also up there in my favorite gifts for obvious reasons – a gift for the mom. Now I don’t mean a gift “kind of” for the mom as a result of having a baby (like nipple cream or a nursing bra). I mean a true gift for mom, like a mani/pedi gift card or a scarf. It’s easy for mom to be forgotten when baby arrives because the babies are way cuter and more interesting than the mom (let’s be honest here). It’s just a nice surprise to open a gift expecting diapers, baby clothes or burp rags and actually get something for yourself, since it will probably be awhile before you’re wondering the aisles of Target in search of something for yourself.