It feels like babies are popping up everywhere in my life lately. (Not here, mind you!) One dear friend who is about to have a baby lives on the east coast, so I wanted to send her a little something special.
I knew they probably had all of the basic necessities from her baby shower. And the things needed to be somewhat small, since I was mailing them. So I thought about all of the little things that were helpful or fun (or that I wished I had) during those first few weeks and I came up with this list.
I’m sharing it here in case there are some expecting friends in your life, and you’re trying to think of small but thoughtful gifts to send to for those early weeks…
I actually didn’t get a pair of these until Z was a little too big for them. I didn’t really know about them until he was about 6 months old. Basically, they eliminate the need for having to wrangle your newborn in and out of pants every time you change a diaper. Plus they are super cute. Win-win.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm
This is the greatest diaper cream ever made! I know, I sound way too excited about this. But I tried a few at the beginning and this one has the best ingredients, smells the best, and works like nobody’s business. Plus, it’s not just a diaper cream: it’s a gentle healing salve for little cuts and scrapes, and when it gets on my hands after a diaper change I can just rub it in and it feels/smells great. No zinc oxide or any gross sticky stuff like that. A little goes a long way–at 20 months we are just halfway through our second tin.
Baby Art Cards
In the beginning, baby can only focus on extreme contrasts of light and dark, so these cards are perfect and can potentially help with brain development (Really? I don’t know, but why not?)… I had a similar book when Z was little but it would have been nice to have something I could prop up near him. Plus they are just cute, and you could frame any that baby ends up liking particularly.
Let’s face it, for those first few months parents just looking for anything the baby will remotely be interested in (I called it the hello, anybody in there? phase)–a toy with lots of interesting shapes and textures hanging on the carseat handle does the trick. And is a bright spot when mama is lugging that thing in and out of the car. We still love our Freddie Firefly. And Skip Hop makes some super cute ones too.
I wish I had done these! But we sort of lost the plot due to Zane’s weight gain issues. This is another thoughtful thing to give a new mama that she might not buy herself. The idea is to take photos each month with the sticker on the baby’s tshirt. My sister did this and the resulting 12 pics are adorable and such a great way to see the progress during that first year (btw she received the stickers from a good friend as a shower gift.) For a couple who took this idea to a gorgeous extreme, check this out. These are great to make yourself if you’re DIY-inclined, or to get handmade from sellers on etsy. (The ones pictured here are from Stickerville on etsy.)
And finally, the best part of shopping for a new mama is getting to look at all sorts of little bitty outfits. I hate shopping and even I love this! I like to buy something in the 3-month size since depending on how big the baby is, the newborn size might get outgrown in two blinks, or skipped altogether. Get something one-piece and appropriate to the season when the baby will be born. FYI the term “layette” refers to these extra soft clothes for newborns, so try doing a search for that. I like the style of Petunia Pickle Bottom, Zutano and Baby Soy. (All of the outfits Z had from those brands were gifts, they were just slightly nicer than something I would go buy for him myself–the perfect gift in my opinion!)
What’s your favorite gift for a new mama? Mamas, what gifts did you get before baby arrived that you absolutely loved?
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