The best gifts for new moms are useful, not frivolous (we’re looking at you, giant stuffed animal). From a Netflix account to a cleaning service, here are the gifts they really want.
Gifts for new moms have the power to be life-changing, if they’re on point. As a new mom, I was bombarded with piles of gifts—and while I appreciated them all, I definitely appreciated some more than others (um, that “My First Easter” ensemble didn’t really work for my baby in July). The baby is going to have enough cute outfits: If you really want to make her life easier, give her a gift that puts the focus where it should be—her.
A clean house (at least temporarily)
No matter how much of a neat freak your friend was before the baby arrived, postpartum exhaustion combined with a tsunami of baby gear inevitably means piles of dirty bottles and burp cloths everywhere—and when she has a few free minutes, snoozing will definitely take priority over vaccuming. Make your friend’s day by hiring a housekeeper to tidy up her space for the afternoon (check out a Merry Maids franchise in your town). We all know that with a baby, it won't be clean for long — but she can bask in the sparkle and shine for at least 5 minutes before the baby spits up again.
Six months of Netflix
If there's ever a time your friend will appreciate the ability to stream Friends at any hour of the day, it's on those crazy nights when the baby is up and ready to party at 3am, so get her a Netflix account, stat. If she already has Netflix, how about Hulu? There's nothing like catching up on Handmaid's Tale while you're nursing!
Cards Against Humanity
This card game will not only make the new mom feel like she's back in college, but it requires at least three people to play—a perfect excuse for her to invite friends over for some entertainment that doesn't require pumping or paying a sitter.
An hour or two of entertaining her pet
If your friend has a dog or cat at home, there’s a good chance that pet will be a little confused—and pissed off!— about why he’s no longer the center of attention. Offer to take the dog on a nice long walk, or bring a laser pointer over to distract her cat for a bit, so she won't feel guilty over having to cut her pup or kitty cuddle time short when the baby's crying.
An amateur glam-mom photo shoot.
New moms usually take a billion pictures of the baby, but aside from a few awkward selfies, don't get many great snaps with their newborn. Make her feel like a model for the day by offering to do her hair in something more elaborate than a messy ponytail, take a few great shots of her with her little cutie—then print and frame the best ones.
A gift certificate for a postnatal massage
After going through the marathon of giving birth, and then constantly hunching over to hold and feed the baby, your mom friend is probably feeling achier than ever. So give her an hour at your local spa, where she'll get all the kinks worked out while zoning out to Celtic harp music. You know it's what she really wants.
A real genie would be pretty sweet—you know that mom would use her wishes for one night of uninterrupted sleep, or maybe one day where she could stop compulsively crying. But if you can't find one hidden in a lamp at that dusty antique store up the street, go for a Diaper Genie instead. Even if your friend already has one in the baby's room, she could probably use another in her room or the den. After all, there's no gift greater than getting rid of the smell of stinky diapers.