So, I get invited to a lot of baby showers, and almost every one has a Target Baby Registry attached. This is full of items like Blankets, Clothes, Bouncers, etc. This list, that was put together by the first time mom, is missing some of the best gifts you can give to a new mom. Here is a list of what I think are 10 of the best alternative gifts to give mom, and believe me, she will thank you over and over again.
1- A Breastfeeding Class, or a Private Lactation Consultation: Yes, I am putting this as #1. Unless mom is not planning to breastfeed, she will most likely need some support with breastfeeding. But far too often, this may get lost in all the other baby preparation. Giving her this gift is priceless for her, and only about $30 for you.
2- A Doula. It can be either a birth doula, or a postpartum doula. A Birth doula is there to support the couple during the birth. Providing mom with physical comfort, emotional support, and knowledge. A postpartum doula is there to help with the transition into parenthood. She will often help with breastfeeding, grocery shopping, and giving mom the night off and taking care of the baby between feedings.
3- A Gift Certificate to The Healing Group. These ladies specialize in helping moms postpartum. Whether mom is 2 weeks or 2 years postpartum, this group is all about mom. They are our go to for the new mom trying to balance her role as mother, wife, and women!
4- Happiest Baby on the Block. Get mom, and dad, the class (there are several people who teach this in Utah) or get them the DVD. This saved me as a new mom. There is such a peace that comes with knowing how to calm your baby. This may end up being their favorite gift.
5- Newborn Photography. This may seem like a splurge, and maybe it is. But from what I have found over 75% of the moms I talk to are hiring someone to come and take professional pictures of their new baby. I am not talking Target or Kiddie Kandids (no offense, they are great businesses) I am referring to the photographers that come into your home, with a box of props and amazing talent to capture those moments they want to remember. I did my newborn pictures myself with my first, and thought I did pretty good. I hired someone to take pictures for my second, and it was a huge difference. Those are the pictures I more readily display.
Some of the photographers we really like are: (in no particular order)
Christy Rossi Photography
6- A Luna Lullaby or an Aden and Anis Swaddle Blanket. These blankets are made of muslin cotton, and they are huge. They will swaddle a newborn up til his first birthday and beyond. They are soft and cozy without over heating the baby. These are a MUST gift for all parents, and they come in so many cute designs.
7- Prenatal or Postpartum Massage. Massage can help to prep a mom's body for the birth process as well as help her body better heal afterwards. Select a massage therapist who specializes in pregnant and postpartum moms. Wise Massage Care will come to your home, and Salt Lake Prenatal Massage can arrange for someone to watch your baby at the office while you enjoy your relaxation. Both of these companies specialize in expectant moms, but you can get one for yourself too!
8- Babysitting! Old school, I know, but still one of the best things you can do. Allow Mom and her partner to reconnect and to remember the love they have for each other. The long nights, and the newborn challenges can take their toll. Having some one on one time, even for an hour, can make a huge difference in their relationship.
9- Cleaning. You can do this yourself or bring in the professionals. Nothing takes the load off a new mom like knowing her house is clean. You can take 15 minutes and tackle as many tasks as you can, or you can give mom and dad a gift certificate for a local service. Make sure you find one that is very reputable, and with good local reviews. And a few of the local companies said they can work out a deal if you let them know it is a gift for a new mom, or watch for them on LivingSocial or Groupon.
10- Go for a walk. Help mom to get out of the house. Getting some fresh air and exercise will help with the baby blues as well as postpartum healing. Mothers are far more likely to get out for a short walk, if it is with a friend or family member. Make sure that mom has the all clear from her doctor, and keep to to a simple stroll. (she should not be over working herself too soon) Spend this time talking to he about how she is doing, and how she is processing all the changes. Sometimes the best gift, is the gift of support.
(This article is written for a local Utah Audience, the companies we site are local, but you can find them in your area too)