Disclaimer: I don't need one. None of these are affiliate links. These are legitimately my favorite things that I have used or appreciated as gifts.
When considering the stuff new moms have to deal with, I just don't think the dollar-store bottles are going to cut it.
1. Nipple cream. All hopes and prayers go to Mom never having issues with her nipples, ever. Unfortunately, we live in a society that has shunned nursing for so long that almost no one can teach you how to do it properly, resulting in some honest discomfort. When it comes to chapped nipples, I prefer to offer relief using this recipe. Everything is safe for baby's consumption if it hasn't absorbed before the next feeding, and the ingredients help soothe cracked nipples.
2. Cloth nursing pads. Some leak, some don't. I'm a leaker. Don't get Mom disposable nursing pads. The plastic doesn't allow the nipple to breathe, and it's more than likely going to lead to further discomfort and discouragement from nursing altogether. Invest in a couple pairs of reusable nursing pads. Etsy and Amazon have a whole slew of cute patterns but if you're just doing a Target run, Medela sells some perfectly acceptable ones.
3. Snot sucker. This damn thing. Where was it when I had my older kids? Look, babes adjust to the outside world in different ways. My kids were snot machines, all three of them. I used the common bulb aspirator with the first two, and then this magical creature appeared on the market. Best shower gift EVER. My tiny girl is 15 months old as I write this, and I still use it when she's got a cliff hanger. (Don't act like you don't find some sort of weird satisfaction when you successfully retrieve a baby booger). Throw in some saline solution while you're at it.... can we say lifesaver?
4. Lotion. I honestly used raw shea butter for my newbies. Coconut oil just didn't maintain the moisture that shea did. If you must buy commercially, I highly suggest Shea Moisture baby products. The fragranced options smell a bit heavy for a newborn, but still smell really nice and don't contain toxic ingredients.
5. Amber jewelry. A necklace or bracelet for baby, and one for mom, too. Teething, growing pains, preventing Mommy Thumb (ow!!!). Here's the company I tend to turn to time and time again.
6. Lavender essential oil - soothing, calming, all around amazing for mom and baby. She can make her own concoctions or just diffuse it.
7. Soap. My favorite soap company is New Mexico Soap. I used unscented goat milk soap on my newbies. As they got older, I love "Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey" (that's also the scent I chose to bring with me to the hospital when I delivered). If you choose commercial, I'd definitely suggest Dr. Bronner's.
8. Swaddle blankets. Huge ones. Burrito babies seem to sleep better than non-burrito babies. These are my absolute FAVE. Zero affiliation with Target, haha. Target changes the designs every so often, so if you see a print you like, get it as soon as you see it!
9. Humidifier. Think about the level of moisture that sweet little baby has been removed from. Their poor little skin can get way too dry for personal comfort, and imagine their little nasal passages! These are also a great, chemical-free way to help with congestion, that winter babies tend to experience.
10. Diapers. Ask first, of course, as cloth and environment-friendly interest is definitely on the rise, but I think this is the biggest expense any parent endures in the first years... except maybe furniture? I use Green Mountain Diapers and Nicki's Diapers for all of my cloth diapering needs.
11. Food. A good old fashioned casserole they can store in the freezer for after the baby is born is always the best. Who even likes having to move when you're exhausted, much less cook! Help a sister out! My best friend made us the most amazing soup when my tiny girl was born, and we call it "Sarah Soup" to this day... and it will be my favorite for ever.
12. Friendship. Try to remember that we need to support each other. That doesn't mean shove your ideas on her, that means how can you help her achieve what she has decided is best? Remember to visit and call, remind her that you're there for her. We're in this motherhood thing together and it can get isolating (and seemingly worse than it is when you're that exhausted!). Shoot... bring her a unnecessarily expensive cup coffee! Breastfeeding moms can get away with up to 22 oz in a day without it affecting the babe... nothing wrong with a tall flat white! <3
Love and crunch,