Onesies, blankies, diapers, cribs (oh my!)… and the list goes on and on!
Expecting a baby? One of the first questions people ask? Do you know the gender yet? Question number two: Where are you registered?
It’s amazing to experience the generosity of people when one is expecting. Even strangers seem to have an empathy and compassion for a pregnant woman and baby that is unparalleled.
Have you been to the baby aisle before? Or better yet a store just for babies?! WOW! It can be overwhelming!! Add marketing schemes and the next thing you know you have to have the diaper cream spreader with the special yellow tube holder, that’s shaped with an oval angle vs a round angle. See – Overwhelming!
Don’t get me wrong: a lot of products make the whole having a baby easier and less stressful for a new family. Plus, how adorable are baby clothes/ products now-a-days? Baby registries are a way of getting exactly what you want- or think you want. So what happens when it’s time for your next baby and you already have the booger sucker 3000?
For fun I asked a few of my experienced friends on a very official social media post- what they would want or recommend to new mothers. What had they been given in the past that might not have made sense initially but turned out to be useful?
Overwhelming a large response suggested items that really weren’t geared for the baby at all, or at least not directly. Number one suggestion: premade meals, gift cards for food, or items such as paper plates/ paper towels that make food preparation easier for the adjusting and tired new family. Meal delivery kits or a gift card for popular grocery delivery services (such as Shipt) are lifesavers.
Second suggestion: a maid or cleaning service. Think about it: new moms (especially American new moms) are so bad about resting. The first few weeks should be all about self-care and care of a newborn. Paternity leave (although now more popular) is few and far between, and most moms are left to fend for themselves. No one likes to have a dirty house, especially when you have all the visitors that want to come see the new baby. This may be one of the most useful gifts that one can accept.
Metal health is so important! The postpartum period is a time of great changes, lack of sleep, and tremendous maternal (and paternal) hormonal shifts. Postpartum blues and postpartum depression is very real. These are also taboo subjects. For some women, it is very hard to admit that life is not how it used to be and the task of adding a new baby human to the mix is harder than anticipated. Some experienced moms suggest asking for a postpartum doula. They are amazing! They are superheroes in plain clothing. New moms: consider adding this to your list of needs. They can do just about anything from holding baby so one can shower to being a confidant and a listening ear.
Other suggestions? Post-natal massage, essential oils (with tutorials) geared for mom and baby, and items for older siblings.
Last surprising item to appear the list: Depends! Woman rave about how much more comfortable they are than regular sanitary products.
So new moms: when thinking about all the items you HAVE to have for your new one(s)- consider the above suggestions. Remember, although it is nice to have some of the latest and greatest gadgets and baby outfits; take time to consider mental health and resources to make life easier for you and your growing family.