At the start of July my best friend gave birth to a very cute little boy. She’s the first of my friends to have a baby, so I had no idea about suitable gift ideas for new mums.
In general my approach to gift giving is that I’m always determined to find gifts which will definitely be used. I’m also keen for them to have minimal environmental impact.
I first turned to Google for ideas. However, the majority of blog posts promoted expensive (and somewhat niche) gifts. So instead I scoured the Mumsnet forum for suggestions.
It turns out some of the most popular gifts cost next to nothing. So for anyone faced with a similar challenge, here is what I discovered about gift ideas for new mums!
Most People Forget About Mum
One of the resounding themes I found were people commenting on how they would have loved to have received gifts for themselves. It seems the majority of people buy gifts for the newborn and don’t think to reward mum herself for what she’s been through.
Given this is a time of extreme hormones (and therefore emotions!), a thoughtful gift for mum can make a big difference in those first few weeks.
My number one recommendation is therefore to give a gift which is for mum’s use alone. Ideally something entirely non baby related which can help her to feel more like herself.
A few of the top gift ideas for new mums are covered in more detail below.
Gift Ideas for New Mums
If you’re after a single answer for what to get, homemade food seems to be the most valued gift. From homemade apple cakes to lasagnes, it’s a thoughtful gift with minimal cost.
Many mums commented that having edible sweet treats available was perfect when entertaining guests keen to see the new baby. It also went down well during late night breastfeeding.
Not an avid baker? Cook up a meal and pop it round. Bonus points if it can go in the freezer. It’s one less thing to think about in those hectic first few weeks.
I chose to make personalised vegan cupcakes and I was really pleased with how they turned out!
Box of Chocolates
If you’re nervous about your baking skills another sweet treat which is widely appreciated is a fancy box of chocolates. One mum commented that she’d been given some with a note that they were for her alone and should be consumed during midnight breast feeds.
Many mums commented that their best gift was hand cream. With all of the cleaning, washing and changing it’s not long before mum’s hands get very dry. Get a good brand and it’s likely to be something mum reaches for multiple times a day.
Still on the toiletries theme another suggested item was shower gel. Bath salts and smellies appear to be a common gift, but for those who have given birth naturally this is something they need to steer clear of for a while. It’s also tricky to find the time for a relaxing bath while you have a crying newborn in need of attention.
Shower gel on the other hand is a practical necessity which you can guarantee will get used. It doesn’t need to be fancy. I bought a Palmolive Aroma Sensations ‘Feel Glamorous’ shower gel for under £2. It smelled gorgeous and should help mum to add a touch of glamour to her day.
Gift Voucher for Food
Back to the food theme, if you fancy giving mum a few nights off cooking then why not consider a gift voucher? This gives her the flexibility to choose what she fancies having.
One option is to pop in a £20 note and say to make sure to use it to buy a takeaway. Alternatively you can buy gift vouchers for COOK who make tasty meals you can pop in your freezer. They also give 10% off to new parents for the first six months.
COOK are a B-corporation which means they’re part of a movement of businesses that put society and the environment before profit. I’m always keen to be mindful about where my money goes, so it’s a company I’m happy to support.
I spent £40 on a COOK voucher for my friend so she’d be above the free delivery threshold.
Help Around the House
If you’re very close to mum another highly valued gift was help around the house. This can range from vacuuming and doing the washing up, to offering baby sitting duties so mum can have a night off.
It’s certainly more tricky at the moment due to Covid-19 restrictions, but see what’s possible in your area when the baby arrives.
You could even dress it up by creating your own homemade vouchers!
Prosecco or Champagne
Alcohol divided opinions, with some new mums enjoying the gift and others putting it to the side.
Many mums didn’t fancy opening a whole bottle for just themselves. While those breastfeeding raised concerns around the alcohol content of their breastmilk.
You’ll know mum best, but in general I’d suggest sticking to a mini bottle of prosecco or champagne. You could also consider non-alcoholic options.
Treat Basket of ‘Off-Limit’ Foods
In addition to alcohol, there are likely many other things that mum won’t have been able to eat over the previous nine months.
If she enjoys soft cheeses, pâtés and seafood you could put together a tasty hamper of the foods she’s missed out on!
Typical ‘off-limit’ foods during pregnancy include:
- Brie, camembert and soft blue cheeses
- Salami, pepperoni, chorizo and prosciutto
Gift Voucher for Mum’s Favourite Shop
One suggestion I saw was to buy a voucher for mum’s favourite shop. That way she can treat herself to some new clothes once her bump starts to disappear.
You could even offer to go along and watch the pram for her. Then she’ll have time to browse without worrying about the baby.
Gift Ideas to Avoid
Flowers – It seems flowers are the default gift idea for new mums. Unfortunately those new mums don’t want to have to spend time finding vases and working out where to fit them all! The flowers will also start to wilt and create extra mess as the weeks go by. I’d suggest gifting a living plant as opposed to cut stems.
Gifts Relating to Breastfeeding – Many mums commented that they’d received fancy breastfeeding gifts which went unused as they didn’t end up breastfeeding. These gifts also run the risk of making someone feel ashamed if they tried to breastfeed but found it too difficult. Ultimately breastfeeding gifts are probably best avoided.
Gift Ideas for New Babies
In case you’d like to get a gift for the baby too, here are some popular (and unpopular!) suggestions on gift ideas for new babies.
Personalised Wall Print or Card
A great way to support local businesses is to buy a personalised wall print or card. This is a lovely inexpensive gift which can be used as artwork for the nursery.
You can find a wide selection on Etsy, just make sure to filter for your specific country. I bought a card from Macie Dot Doodles who has some lovely designs.
Starsnug Baby Wraps
Although I wouldn’t generally advise on buying clothes for newborns, the one exception I came across was Starsnug baby wraps.
These are made by Tuppence and Crumble, a London-based company. The wraps are designed to be used in place of a coat, hat and gloves during cold weather. They involve minimal fuss and many mums have praised how time-saving they can be. I’d also be very tempted to buy an adult version!
I bought a Starsnug for my friend’s baby and I’m excited for him to try it out once Autumn arrives!
Depending on the time of year, you may wish to consider buying a size (or two) up. My friend’s baby was expected late in June, so I went for the four months and up sizing. That should help it to last the whole winter.
Tuppence and Crumble don’t offer personalisation as they recognise that it would lead to items being disposed off after the first child has grown out of them. Instead they want their products to be used by multiple children.
I think this is commendable and it was another reason that tempted me to buy.
Practical Gift Basket
Another popular item was homemade gift baskets with a selection of practical essentials when caring for a new baby. These can contain everything from nappies to nipple cream. A useful assortment of anything and everything mum may need!
Some suggestions include:
- Nipple cream
- Hand cream
- Nappy cream
- Baby wipes
- Scratch mitts
- Muslin squares
- Snacks for mum!
A lot of people appreciated being given books for their new baby. Both for the short term and ones they could eventually grow into. Rather than buying the standard ‘Dear Zoo’ and ‘Hungry Caterpillar’, why not give the books you loved best as a child?
If you have a particular talent why not make a gift for the baby? This could be anything from a knitted hat to a piece of wall art. I personally have a cross-stitch with my name, date of birth and birth weight on it.
My friend’s sister is a talented graphic artist and she designed a personalised children’s book for the new baby. I’m sure it will be treasured for a long time.
Gift Ideas to Avoid
I spotted a few recurring themes on gifts for new babies which were less useful.
Newborn Clothes – One of the less popular gifts people received were newborn outfits. Babies grow out of them super quickly, so if you’re going to buy clothes make sure to do it in a bigger size.
Soft Toys – Toys were also unpopular, again due to the sheer quantity received. If you’re going to buy a soft toy I’d suggest getting a Lamaze toy which can help the baby’s development. It’s also likely to keep them entertained for a long time.
So there you have it. A whole heap of gift ideas for new mums and a few gift ideas for new babies too.
As always, don’t feel under any pressure to buy a fancy gift. Homemade food and help around the house were two of the most valued suggestions and they cost hardly anything at all.
I hope this has provided you with a few gift ideas for the new mums in your life. Please let me know if you have any other recommendations!