Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gifts for New Moms

When the topic of gift-giving comes up, they say it's the thought that counts. So when people give gifts like clearance throws or a gift card to a random place, it annoys me. If you can't bother taking five minutes to really think about what that person may enjoy, don't take the $10 out of your wallet. Truth hurts sometimes, sorry if that offends you.

I've got a bunch of pregnant girlfriends, so naturally, the next step is gift-giving. I can't even handle the standard "mommy's little angel" onesies and rattles. How are those things helpful? When you came home from the hospital and your boobs were leaking, you couldn't poop cuz it hurt your vag, and the baby wouldn't stop crying, did you just whip out a BABY RATTLE to fix these issues? Probably not.

Some things to consider when contemplating a gift for a brand-new or even seasoned mom (who may have a surprise bun in the oven, even and after having sold ALL of her baby stuff... it happens).

* post-baby vagina is angry,
* breastfeeding nipples get sore and bleed, and then leak at only the most socially convenient times,
* there are things *other than pumping* to help increase milk supply,
* newborns get snotty all the time,
* newborns get gassy all the time,
* newborns don't give a crap that mom is tired (shut up and feed me NOWWW!),
* breastfed newborn pee is pretty undetectable (especially in cloth diapers, unless you straight-up touch it) but certainly causes a vibrant rash,
* newborn skin is sensitive. Oh-mah-lawd, so sensitive,
* and that babies have growing pains right off the bat (as if they didn't have enough to cry about!).

When considering the stuff new moms have to deal with, I just don't think the dollar-store bottles are going to cut it. 

Here are some suggestions based on some gifts I've made for other moms, and things that I used or would have appreciated when I had my babies:

1. Lady part relief. I make a spray out of aloe vera gel, witch hazel, and geranium and lavender essential oils. It can double as a hemorrhoid soother as well. Recipe coming soon!

2. Nipple cream. You can buy all sorts of them at local stores and online, but I prefer to make them at home using this recipe. Everything is safe for baby's consumption if it hasn't absorbed before the next feeding, and the ingredients help soothe raging sensitive nipples.

3. Fenugreek tea to help increase milk production, (she'll get used to the taste). Mother's Milk tea from Traditional Medicinals is a popular one sold at many stores nationwide.

4. Lactation cookies. If they're not a tea person, these may help. There are tons of recipes online, check it out!

5. Lotion for mom and baby, usually with lavender or another very mild-smelling and gentle essential oil. I'd go ahead and recommend never using any citrus oils, they can add to the sensitivity of baby's already extremely delicate skin

6. Amber jewelry. A necklace or bracelet for baby, and one for mom, too. This is in leu of acetaminophen. Here's the company I tend to turn to time and time again.

7. Lavender essential oil - soothing, calming, all around amazing for mom and baby. She can make her own concoctions or just diffuse it.

8. Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Magic Soap.
So useful for all purposes, and so gentle on baby's delicate skin, and mom's healing delicate parts.

9. Swaddle blankets. Huge ones. Burrito babies seem to sleep better than non-burrito babies. I'm not even getting paid for this, but - these are my FAVE. They're a little pricey, but one is better than none.

10. A digestive essential oil blend. Whatever company you're loyal to, something to help gassy babies if the bicycle-legs trick doesn't work.

11. A humidifier. Think about the level of moisture that sweet little baby has been removed from. Their poor little skin is probably 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.

12. 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. Aside from furniture, maybe?

13. 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!

I could go on for days, but I think I'm gonna leave it at 13. Just try to remember that we need to support each other in the best way possible! And don't forget that once the newness of the baby wears off, your friend may be lonely. Send the person a text telling them you love them, and try to stop by to hang out for a bit.

Love and crunch,

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