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Are you still shopping for that new mom in your life? Or, are you a new mom who deserves a break from Christmas shopping & holiday prep? This week, I'm sharing my best ideas for useful gifts for moms with itty-bitty babes.
For me, the first three months of motherhood were BRUTAL.
I developed a new appreciation for what it feels like to be a 'hot mess.' And, I'm no stranger to a challenge; having survived med school and residency, I'm used to sleep deprivation, delayed gratification, and not having the time to prioritize my own well-being.
But, nothing prepared me for the so-called 'fourth trimester': that first three months during which your completely helpless baby struggles to adapt to the cold, loud, bright world ex utero. That time during which he's perpetually unhappy unless held or nursed (at least, that was the case with my little guy)!
I distinctly remember how horrible (wonderful, but still horrible!) those days were.
During this time, I discovered certain creature comforts that I would place somewhere on the spectrum between made-my-life-a-little-easier to instrumental-to-maintaining-my-sanity.
Some of these I figured out on my own and others were suggestions from wiser, weathered moms, who'd been through it before and come out the other side.
Whether you're a new mom or shopping for one, this is my list of new mom must-haves for the 'fourth trimester.' Please share this with anyone you think could use a hint this season!
As a new mom, you spend a lot of time breast (or bottle) feeding. While your new babe's little face is a treasure to behold, you're probably going to crave some auxiliary entertainment.
This is the perfect time for binge watching! Some of my BFFs (breastfeeding favorites) were Girls, Suits, and This Is Us.
Netflix Gift Cards range from $25-$150 on Amazon.com.
A Netflix gift card is the perfect gift for a new mom (or anyone who doesn't already have Netflix!). With the app, you can even watch shows on your phone, which, when coupled with my next recommendation, takes your binging potential to a whole other level.
2. Wireless Earbuds
Every new mom has her hands full, literally and figuratively. The last thing she needs are pesky wires dangling from her ears, tantalizingly in front of her baby's face. That's a recipe for missing out on that witty banter between Lorelai and Rory, when those tiny little hands grab hold of the wires, unceremoniously yanking the buds out of her ears. The solution: wireless earbuds!
My Apple Airpods were a gift from my husband, last Christmas. Here they are blending in on the coffee table: they look as good as they sound!
You can get these look-a-likes on Amazon for a quarter of the price:
Wireless earphones are multi-tasking must-haves. I've devoured an enormous amount of music, podcasts and audiobooks, all while doing the laundry, unloading the dishwasher and walking the dog. (If you want to read more on just how much I love these, check out this post on the best gadgets for decluttering your home).
If the new mom on your list is a fan of audiobooks, an audible membership pairs really well with wireless earphones. You can use this link for free trial of Audible and two free audiobooks.
3. Baby-Proof Phone Accessories
i) A Heavy Duty Phone Case
Holding your baby + holding your cell phone = your phone hitting the ground more times than you can count. New moms need heavy duty protection for their phones. This is a lesson learned situation for me; I've had (more than) my share of shattered screens until switching to the Otterbox Defender case ($39.99, Amazon.com).
When researching phone cases (after my second screen shattered), I saw a video of someone drop testing various cases by throwing phones off the roof of an apartment building. The Otterbox-clad phone was one of the only survivors and that's what sold me!
In this case, my phone remains unscathed despite having tumbled all the way down the stairs and multiple face plants on the concrete basement floor.
The Otterbox Defender: the ultimate in mom klutz gear ($39.99, Amazon.com).
ii) A Popsocket
This self-adhesive pop-up grip for your phone aids in one-handed texting and photo-taking: an essential for the new mom!
It nestles ergonomically between your index and middle fingers, providing a comfortable, secure grip. I rock mine on top of my Otterbox case.
Popsockets ($12.99, Amazon.com) add a nice bit of flare to your phone and can be used with or without a phone case. These make for great stocking stuffers!
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4. A High-Tech Baby Bouncer
If you're looking for a more substantial gift for that new mom on your list, consider a Mamaroo. This goes on the list of things I didn't have but wish I'd had. For the first few months, my son couldn't be put down for more than a couple of minutes without crying, and wouldn't nap for long unless he was held.
4moms Mamaroo Infant Seat ($188.28, Amazon.com).
This sophisticated, motorized baby bouncer is equipped with five different movements (including 'car ride'). Friends with colicky babies have sworn that this is the only way their babies sit happily or nap without being held. It also has a modern, minimalist design, which is hard to come by in baby gear.
5. Dry Shampoo
New motherhood will cause you to miss a shower (or two) every now and then. There's no better quick fix for flat, greasy hair than dry shampoo. My go-to: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo ($19, Amazon.com).
I've taken to washing my hair every other day, and find that using this on the in-between days keeps it looking, feeling and smelling great; it has the best light, clean fragrance of any dry shampoo I've ever tried!
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo ($19, Amazon.com). Another great stocking stuffer idea!
6. A Capsule Coffee Maker
If you're anything like me, coffee becomes its own food group during those first, foggy, sleep-deprived months. It definitely helps to have a quick and easy supply at arm's reach. We used to have a Keurig machine, which worked well enough. But, since upgrading to our Nespresso machine, we've never looked back. It makes a delicious espresso (or latte) and you can make it a double or triple! And, it fits inside an average-sized cabinet.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini by De'Longhi ($104.28, Amazon.com) ready for action in our appliance garage. For more on our appliance garage and other drawer organization tips, see this post.
7. A Self-Heating Mug
That cliche about a mom's coffee getting cold before she ever gets the chance to drink it----completely true! The solution: an Ember Temperature Control Mug ($79.99, Amazon.com) that keeps your beverage warm and even allows you to control and adjust the temperature remotely, via an app on your phone! This wasn't available during my mat leave, and I don't know if I would have splurged on this for myself. But, I think it makes a thoughtful gift for any new or expecting mom.
Part of the allure of this high tech mug ($79.99, Amazon.com) is its sleek look and ability to blend in with even the most sophisticated, modern decor.
8. A Grocery Delivery Service
Because it can be such an ordeal to leave the house with a baby in tow, ordering in can definitely become a crutch while on mat leave. But, that's neither wallet- nor waistline-friendly. A happy medium: having groceries delivered right to your front door! Amazon Fresh is offering a free trial (in major US cities) for their grocery delivery service. After the trial period, it costs $10.99/month for Prime members ($14.99/month otherwise).
You can sign up for a free trial with this link:
9. An Instant Pot
As a self-proclaimed TERRIBLE cook, I can't say enough about how much easier the Instant Pot ($65.01, Amazon.com) has made my life. Many recipes involve plunking all of the ingredients into the pot, locking the lid and letting it work its magic. See this post for more on how the instant pot has even helped to declutter our kitchen.
With the larger (6 and 8 quart) pots, you can even batch and freeze several meals worth of food in one shot. A definite boon for new moms!
We started out with the Instant Pot 3 Qt. Duo Mini ($65.01, Amazon.com), but have since upgraded to the 6 Qt size ($99.95, Amazon.com).
There you have it: some practical gift ideas to make new mom life a little easier this holiday season!
If you're looking for some luxury suggestions to indulge her, check out this post on high-end holiday gift ideas by houseofhighlow.com.
Have I missed anything? What were your fourth trimester must-haves? Let me know in the comments below!
Keep an eye out next week for my tips on keeping your home clutter-free over the holidays!
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