It seems like friends like to have babies together, so one you get invited to one baby shower, you usually get invited for 2 or 3 more as well. Almost every mother will have a Baby Registry attached to her invite. This is full of items like Blankets, Clothes, Bouncers, etc. This is what everyone else will be getting this mom, if you really want to make an impression, consider getting her something from our list of Mommy Must-Haves. Here is a list of what we think are 10 of the best alternative gifts to give mom, and believe me, she will thank you over and over again.
1- 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. Many times mom will forgo the lactation consultant or rely on a nurse at the hospital for help. If breastfeeding presents any obstacles, your friend or sister will benefit immensely from the help of a lactation consultant.
2- A prenatal 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 prental and postpartum moms. This may be something she has not thought of, or views as a splurge. Be that friend, and make her feel like a million bucks.
3- Happiest Baby on the Block. Get mom, and dad, the class 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.
4- 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 I am referring to the photographers that come into your home, with a box of props and amazing talent to capture those moments that slip away too quickly.
5- 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.
6- A newborn care specialist, or baby doula: Most parents are sleep deprived when they bring home their newborn. A newborn care specialist or baby doula is specially trained to help a couple with the support they need. They can come for day support, or much needed night support. Giving a new mom the rest her body needs, will allow her faster healing and quicker recovery. She will bond better with her baby, and have an increased chance of successful breastfeeding.
7- Belly Binding: I am not talking corsets, I am talking about an time old tradition that is designed to help mom get her body back after birth. This is not about vanity, but about getting things back into the right place, as well as increasing healing and muscular strength. Yes, you can youtube a video on how to do it yourself, but there are many mistakes that are easily made. Plus, there is a pampering and confidence that comes from having a professional come into your home, and show you correct technique and mom and her partner how to wrap herself daily.
8- 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.
9- Baby Carrier: Think K’tan, Ergo, and Boba Babby. These types are carriers will grow with her baby, and allow her some hands free bonding with her baby. These are great group gifts if needed, but I promise, she will thank you for it, and it will probably be her #1 used gift.
10- Be there: Sometimes the greatest gift is the gift of time. Spend time listening to her, let her tell the tail of birth. Allow her the space to connect with other adults, since most of her day will be all about baby!