Last week our good friends Ashley and Kevin welcomed their baby girl, Scarlett Rose. I was fortunate enough to meet the gorgeous new bundle of joy and I must say she is absolutely adorable. I'm not going to post a ton of pictures of her on the blog, but if you follow me on Instagram you will see the below picture as well as one that the proud daddy posted on his Facebook page. (Follow me on Instagram under username 'jessicademaio' or click the camera link on the right for a peek at my photos) Since this was her first and Ashley is one of my absolute best friends whom I've known pretty much my entire life (since first grade), I wanted to do something special for her.
At least from my personal experience, all of the gifts you receive after labor are for the baby. Clothes, toys, books, bows for her hair, picture frames, anything you can think of. No one necessarily gives a gift to the mom. And let's face it, she did a lot of the hard work and she's in recovery mode, too. I wanted to give Ashley a few things to pamper her and let her know that she's appreciated, too.
To start you want to find a pretty bag to put all your goodies in. I chose the above reusable bag from Babies R Us. It's both adorable and practical - something you appreciate once you become a mom.
Basic mom necessities are always good. Ashley is a lover of hand sanitizer and I've been relying on these Johnson's wipes since Lucy was born. They work great for cleaning up messy faces or to give hands a quick clean before a snack on-the-go.
Like it says, every new mom needs a brag book. She'll be showing those pictures off until the day her baby gets married. Give her a cute place to keep them that fits right in her purse.
When you have a baby you receive tons of gifts. Tons of gifts mean tons of thank you notes. Pretty stationary helps make the chore of writing thank you notes a little more fun. Plus, at least for me, half the pain of doing thank you notes is remembering to pick some up when you're out running errands. You can at least save her that step. This stationary found at Target.
I never had a sweet tooth until I became pregnant with Lucy. Ever since I gave birth every once and a while I crave a little sugar. Pick up a few of mom's favorite candies or other treats to keep on hand with the cravings arise. Plus she needs the calories for nursing!
Sometimes you just don't want to lug around the big diaper bag, especially if you are going out to a nice restaurant. These great diaper cases are such a pretty way to conceal the diaper and wipe stash in your purse. They came two to a pack so I kept one for myself (shh!). Rikshaw Design.
If you're a mom yourself, sometimes it's a good idea to pass on something you found useful when you had a baby. These soothing gel pads were one thing I found helpful, for reasons I'm sure you can figure out on your own :) I had a few fellow mommies that I relied on heavily for advice and to fill me in on little tips that I didn't know about. Can be bought anywhere pump accessories are found - Babies R Us, Target, etc.
One thing I learned about nursing is that it dehydrates you! Since I had Lucy in the dead heat of the summer, it used to make me overheated, too. Jordan would grab me a cold bottle of water almost every time I nursed and I would chug it. Here's a great reusable water bottle that is perfect for nursing anywhere. Water bottle purchased from Target.
Some yummy things to help mom feel pretty and smell good. Let's be honest, there were days when I didn't shower - you just don't have time in the beginning. Give her some yummy smelling body wash and body butter so she can take the time to pamper herself while daddy is on baby duty. All purchased from Target.
Just because she's stuck at home doesn't mean a new mom can't feel pretty, too. Some cute and comfy loungewear that she can wear (and easily nurse in as a bonus). I also grabbed some pretty orange and gold hair clips. Little hands like to reach and grab for hair when you're nursing so here's a pretty way to dress up your basic topknot. Plus a yummy candle because, well... diapers stink. Loungewear and hair clips from Anthropologie. Candle from Urban Outfitters.
Not pictured, but I also purchased a gift certificate to Ash's favorite nail salon so she can treat herself to a manicure and pedicure once she's ready for her first quick errand without the baby. Also a gift card to Babies R Us for all those last minute things you don't realize you need until you get home from the hospital (Jordan went almost every day our first week home). Another great idea is a gift card for both mom and dad to go to dinner. They may not be ready for a few weeks, but Mommy and Daddy will need a date night. Jordan and I went out when Lucy was about 4 weeks old and it was something we needed to feel 'normal' again. It's easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of a new babe but you definitely need to have a little grown up time every once and a while.
My next step was grabbing some tissue paper, note paper and some pretty Washi tape. I wrote a little note on each wrapped gift to explain why I picked that particular gift for her. Doing this makes opening the gift a little more fun when there's a note attached to each one.
Finally I gathered all my items along with any cards and gift cards and put them in the pretty, but practical bag.
I dropped the gift bag off when we visited Ashley, Kevin and baby Scarlett at the hopsital last week. I told Ashley that it was a gift for her and that she could open it later. I received a text from Ashley yesterday morning thanking me for all of the goodies. She said she never had so much fun opening a gift and and gushed how sweet and thoughtful she felt it was.
Of course there can be many variations on the perfect new mom gifts. Have you given or received a great gift for a new mom?