Bringing home a new bundle of joy is amazing, but HARD! And we’ve all had the visitors who show up with a baby blanket, expecting to be entertained and fed. The reality is that new moms are just trying to survive–certainly not entertain. Want to actually make a new mom’s life EASIER? Bring her the new mom gifts she actually wants–a self-care care package, a useful gift basket, a thoughtful new mom survival kit.
First Published: August 12,2019… Last Updated: January 29, 2020
In this post, we’ll tell you the practical, helpful, and pampering essentials that every new mom needs, whether she knows she wants it or not!
These are the items mom did NOT receive at her shower because she didn’t know to register for them, and no one thought to give them.
They’re the things you only realize you need when you are in the throes of new parenthood and wish someone had told you!
Note: these are NOT baby gift baskets. Everything here is for busy moms to make life with a new baby easier.
How to Make a New Mom Gift Basket
When deciding what you want to give for new mom gifts, consider a few questions:
- How well do I know the new mom?
- What is her personality?
- What’s my budget?
Use this information to decide if you’ll get her a registry gift, buy multiple new mom gifts, or create a full-on new mom gift basket!
When to Give a New Mom Care Package
If you’re attending a baby shower for the new mom, that’s a great place to give your mommy survival kit. Otherwise, take it straight to her house so she doesn’t have to transport it.
Ask ahead of time if she wants visitors to meet the baby, or if she wants some space. She may not know for sure, but this will let you get the care package to her before the baby is born if she wants some space after.
If she says she’s okay with visitors after, clear a time to go before you just show up. Don’t stay too long; take your new mom care package with you; and offer to help while you’re there.
How can you help while there?
- Hold the baby only if she’s comfortable. If she says yes to letting you hold the baby, insist that she take a shower, go rest, do something she can’t do when you aren’t there. Don’t let her entertain you.
- Take out the diaper pail bag or trash
- Wash the dishes
- Do a quick load of laundry
Unique and Useful New Mom Gifts
These thoughtful gifts are out-of-the-box, but she’ll get so much use from them. Just don’t take them to the hospital–too much to carry home as it is!
Build a thoughtful new mom care package out of any combination of these gifts!
(1) Water bottle
Hydration is essential, especially if the new mom is nursing. But it’s SO hard to keep up with. A water bottle is a great gift, and if you choose a super cute one, it’ll give mom a little pick-me-up when she sees it too.
I’m totally obsessing over this adorable new mom water bottle. It’s absolutely adorable, and would remind me to hydrate, for sure!
You spend a LOT of time as a new mom just sitting around in the dark. The ability to listen to audiobooks is a serious lifesaver.
Because new moms need something to listen to the audiobooks with that won’t wake a (FINALLY!) sleeping baby. This hands-free option is a lifesaver for night feedings!
(4) Amazon Gift Card
I know it shows my privilege, but I seriously don’t get how people parent without Amazon. I made so many middle-of-the-night orders it was insane. I basically sent up cosmic thanks to all the beautiful people who gave me Amazon gift cards as a new mom gift.
Also, you can use the gift card for things like Amazon Home Services, which provides handyman services, housecleaning, and so much more that a new mom might need!
(5) Dry shampoo
And lots of it! Do you know how often new moms get to take showers? If you don’t know the answer to that, I promise you don’t want to.
This is my very favorite dry shampoo, and it made me feel SO much more pulled together during the new mom madness.
(6) Comfy pajamas
New moms practically live in pajamas, so having lots of comfortable ones is huge. Check out our list of best postpartum pajamas here, but these Kindred Bravely options are a definite reader favorite!
Edible New Mom Care Package Ideas
New moms need food!
I’ve surveyed tons of mom groups, and the answer is pretty much unanimous.
They all wish for more gifts of food, especially food that isn’t lasagna or casserole! (No offense to those of you who make lasagna and casserole. They do freeze well!)
Make the new family a meal, or provide grocery delivery, meal delivery, or give the new mom healthy snacks!
Here are my favorite ideas for food gifts!
A delivery service for meals is an AMAZING new mom gift! New moms are desperate for fresh food, so why not help them be healthy?
Freshly delivers readily prepared meals that are reheat only, which might be the only way she eats.
(2) Grocery Delivery
Whether it’s prepared meals or groceries, food delivery is always a good idea! Give grocery delivery as a new mom gift with a variety of services options.
Groceries delivery directly to the door, although groceries must be ordered in a specific quantity to meet the minimum.
If you want to provide actual groceries, Instacart is a great way to go!
The new parents can order through an app and use the gift card to pay for both the groceries and having them brought straight to the door!
(3) A Basket of Healthy Snacks
Snacks are the easiest way to eat with a new little one, and you can build a new mom care package out of them. Here are some of my favorites:
- A 30-day Free Trial AND $25 off her first order at Thrive Market
- Clif Bars
- Kind Bars
- Epic Lemon Bars
- Skinny Pop (individual bags, so she can use them to make snack stations wherever she sits)
- Dried fruit (individual bags)
- Annie’s Variety Snack Pack
- Lactation-friendly muffins and cookies. Download my recipes here!
DIY New Mom Care Packages for Wellness and Self Care
Sometimes, new moms just want to feel good. It’s a hard time, and a little pick-me-up from pampering is worth a lot. These gift ideas can help you pamper the new mama in your life!
Oil diffusers are a great way to help a new mom relax, and I love this one because of it’s soft, beautiful look. I actually asked for it as a Christmas gift (And GOT IT!)
Sleeping is so hard when you’re a new mom. Even if baby is giving you a few moments of rest, your mind is spinning with all that needs to be accomplished.
This sleep mask will physically close out the site of all those worries and help mom relax while baby sleeps.
Bath time is SUPER RARE for a new mom, so when she finds time for that indulgence (possibly while you’re there watching her baby), she needs to enjoy it to the fullest.
I love this full gift basket from Etsy.
Personal care gets super neglected with a new baby. Help a mama out here!
Ready-to-Go New Mom Gift Boxes
Don’t have time to make your own care package? We’ve got you covered!
There are tons of premade new mom care packages out there and you know what? Most of them are crap!
So we’ve looked through all the options to help you know which ones actually have things a new mom really needs. Here are our favorite premade new mom care packages!
This new mom care package has all the things a new mom needs for physical recovery–underwear, vaginal icepacks (padsicles), cooling pad liners, and healing foam. All these items promote relief and healing after birth.
This new mom gift box has many of the same necessities as the Frida kit, some items to make mom feel pampered. My favorite add-ons are the sleep mask and fussy baby roller.
Warning–it does contain “sexy time” oil, so be comfortable sending that to the new mom in your life.
Also, what a weird addition. What new mom is thinking about sex?
(3) Mom Time Delivered Subscription Box
A self-care subscription box made by moms, for moms. Each box contains unique, special items to help a new mom feel pampered and loved.
(4) Ecocentric Mom Subscription Box
Made just for expecting and new moms, the items in this box are curated based on her due date or child’s age. A mix of practical and pampering items for mom and baby. All products are organic, natural, and small batch!
Got Your New Mom Survival Kit Ready?
Always be sure to check with mama about a good time to come by. If your gift doesn’t need to be delivered before the baby’s birth, I always recommend showing up with a small new mom care package in the early weeks of baby’s life.
There will be tons of visitors who expect to be entertained. When you arrive prepared to make life easier or better, you’ll become the best new mom friend in the world!
What can I bring a new mom?
Bring a new mom help! Clean her house, do her laundry, take out her trash, cook her a meal. And if you want to bring a gift, bring something practical and that makes her feel pampered.
What is the best gift for a new mom?
Assistance. The ability to sleep, shower, or eat while you hold her child, OR the time to love on her child while you clean her house, do her laundry, empty her diaper pails, do her dishes, and take out her trash.
What should I put in my new mom survival kit?
Only include items she’ll really get use out of–snacks she can leave sitting around the house, water bottles to drink out of, a super comfy sweatshirt or pajamas.
Do you bring a gift when visiting a new baby?
Yes! Bring a practical gift for the parents or baby, and if you can swing it, show up with a meal that isn’t lasagne. Also, don’t expect to be entertained or fed while visiting.
What do new parents really want?
Practical, useful gifts that will feed them, relax them, or otherwise make their lives more comfortable.
What’s your most essential care package item for a new mom gift basket?
More Gifts for a New Mom
- Best postpartum pajamas
- The ultimate postpartum care package
- Gifts for new moms from husband
- Best books for babies
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Give Books as Gifts
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- Empowering books for girls
- Feminist books for boys
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, toddler mom, and owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society has historically placed too many expectations on women, defining womanhood and motherhood in a way that is restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Scary Mommy, Motherhood and Social Exclusion, and various other podcasts and websites.