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We can all agree: New moms need help. A lot.
Often times amazing friends and family want to help…but don’t know how. So in the end….gift cards, generic onesies and impersonal registry gifts make the most sense. Disclaimer: If you like to purchase the “cutest” gifts…this isn’t for you. If you want to elicit the “ohhhhs” and “ahhhhhhs” at baby showers? Stick to cute clothes.
Please don’t get me wrong. These gifts ARE helpful and amazing. But I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas…new moms would LOVE but they 1) would never register for because it’s tacky and 2) they don’t know they need.
I’m a huge fan of tangible gifts vs. physical gifts. Coming over so a mom can take a shower is golden. Dropping off a meal is always helpful. But sometimes friends and family are hundreds of miles away and want to send something physical in their absence. Sometimes, loved ones work long hours and can’t help the way their heart desires. And sometimes…. you’re looking for truly unique ideas. And this list is for you.
5 Unique Gifts for New Moms
1. A good quality bluetooth headset. Her hands are about to be constantly filled. And simultaneously – her phone will be constantly ringing. Doctor appointments. Neighbors asking when they can visit. Have you tried talking on the phone while nursing, holding or changing a wiggly baby? It’s an olympic sport and hard work. A quality headset will literally give her the gift of mobility. And when she’s changing a dirty diaper ….she will bless your name for making that task easier. I particularly love the Voyager 5200. I can press one button, ask Siri for help, mute a call so I can scold a child, send a text or answer / ignore a phone call. (Side note: Please don’t call me at 5:45pm. E V E R.)
2. A Portable Vacuum Cleaner: Children are inherently messy. But time is suddenly evasive and cleaning up spills can be overwhelming. I have this powerful Black + Decker portable vacuum cleaner that’s been crazy helpful. When….let’s just say ….a box of rice cereal (which is really just useless puffy air) spills or your toddler pours out black pepper. I also take this along when traveling (especially to the beach). It’s compact, powerful and the battery lasts a long time. It can tackle fishy crackers, sand and random french fries. In another words, a rechargeable “Mommy Assistant”. Seriously.
3. Laundry Service: WARNING: This gift is literally life-changing. I recently found a laundry service for our Single Mom Ministry and …. there just aren’t enough words to describe it’s pure magical wonder. Laundry is literally the worst thing in the world. It’s never ending and with a new baby in the house…everything compounds. I found a local laundromat who will pickup clothes in the morning and have them delivered, folded in a few hours. And it’s shockingly affordable. A large trash bag (with no towels or jeans) cost me about $25. The ability to get caught up with laundry…might be literally the best gift you could ever provide a mom. If I had to pick? I’d pick this service over a delivered casserole ANY day. Find a few friends and pitch in to offer her weekly laundry service. If you’re local in the Santa Clarita Valley, please check out The Lost Sock Laundromat. It’s a family owned business and the owners are pretty fantastic. Please tell them I sent you.
4. Car Detailing: Ok. So you might be seeing a pattern. I really like clean things. Find a reputable mobile car detailing service and pay to have her car cleaned once a month for a while. This would be particularly helpful if she already has children. No one LIKES their car dirty. But some moms (read: most moms) are hanging on by a thread. And taking the car (and children) to a carwash is seriously never going to happen.
5. House Cleaning: After a new baby is born, some people will volunteer to come over and “help”. And some sincerely do intend to help. But let’s be real. They want to hold the baby. They want to talk about the baby’s smell, skin and chunky thighs. And rightly so. They may fold some clothes and bring a meal…but there are few people who will deep clean an entire house for you. And let’s be even more real….do you WANT someone over for hours to clean with you there? I don’t. Regardless of what they say, I feel obligated to offer them coffee and conversation. New moms want to sleep, feed their baby and go back to sleep. Why not gather a few friends and pay for a deep house cleaning once a month for a few months? In my market area that ranges from $75-100 per service depending on the house. A clean house allows a new mom to relax in ways she can’t articulate. It’s the gift of a calm mind.
**Bonus 6 Idea **
6. Motion Sensor Lights: Whether she’s breastfeeding, using formula, co-sleeping, or sleep-training….a new mom will be up all night. These motion sensor lights are super helpful in hallways or bathrooms. She will be stumbling around, barely conscious and trust me….she might be too tired to find a switch. I’ve almost fallen over toys, piles of clothes in the dark while holding a baby. It’s dangerous. These offer just enough light to safely maneuver a room but won’t wake other sleeping children or spouses. I also like this version which can be mounted on the inside of closets. Super helpful when you’re grabbing extra bedding, bottles, clothes and you don’t want to fully wake up the baby. You want them to associate darkness with sleeping…so turning on bright lights can signal “wake time” and sabotage sleepy time!
**UPDATE: August 2018** I’m adding another gift idea. It’s amazing!
7. Pressure Washer: I’m adding another weird item to this list. I really think every household needs a pressure washer. I can’t explain how much I use this machine now that I have small kids. I personally use the Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe. I use this sucker ALL the time. For cleaning outdoor toys. Blasting away food on high chairs. Removing hardened crayons that melted on the sidewalk.
Have you ever received a truly unique and practical gift as a new mom? Anything else I should add to this list? I’d appreciate your comments and feedback!