There are a lot of conflicting opinions out there about the best gifts to give a new mom—your first instinct might be to get the most adorable onesie or pair baby booties you can find, and while no one’s arguing with how cute those can be, they’re mayyyybe not the most useful presents if she’s already gotten a few dozen of them from similarly minded family and friends.
You, of course, want to be a creative gift-giver, and find her something she really, really wants (whether or not she know it). On top of the gift of time—so she can shower, get out of the house, or just take a damn nap—there are a few things that will always be winners. One is food, which should be ready-to-eat (microwaveable is fine) and manageable with one hand—knife-and-fork meals at the table are going to be a rare luxury right now. Another is thoughtful items for her rather than her baby, who’s already getting spoiled with baby-shower and congratulations gifts.
Especially if the mom you’re buying for this year is a friend, get her something that acknowledges her needs beyond feeding/comforting/bathing a tiny, wailing human—we promise she’ll appreciate it. In the slideshow, shop 19 gifts to buy a new mother—for the holidays or just because.
Diaper duty and constant hand-washing can wreak havoc on hands; spoil her with the good stuff.
L’Occitane Hand Cream, $28; at Sephora
An extra human in the house = more opportunity for messes and less time to clean them up. A cute basket is a quick and easy solution. Plus, this one helps support women’s economic independence in East Africa.
Badala Aqua Maisha Basket, $34; at Enrou
Self-doubt comes with the territory—and that’s before taking into account the opinions of her mom/her in-laws/random strangers on the internet. Sometimes she’ll probably be able to use a bit of reassurance that she’s doing a damn good job.
It’s OK Banner, $90; at Secret Holiday Co.
Secret Holiday Co.
Toast to the fact that she can FI-NA-LLY drink again with a good bottle of wine.
Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon, $25; at Hahn Family Wines
Hahn Family Wines
A delivery of fresh fruit can be a godsend to a busy new mom with no time to cook and only one hand free to eat—if you live nearby, you can hand-deliver it, or if not, opt for a grocery delivery service like Fresh Direct or Whole Foods’ online-ordering option.
Photo: The Two Bite Club
Odds are, she’s going to be spending a lot more time at home—and this set is the perfect combo of comfy, functional, and sexy (to remind her that she is indeed still an adult woman in addition to all that mom stuff). Oh, and did we mention it’s 100-percent machine-washable? Ain’t nobody got time to dry-clean their PJs.
Washable Silk Set, $168; at Lunya
Get her a few months of a subscription service like Netflix, Spotify, Tidal, or Hulu for more TV, music, and movie options to enjoy while she's hanging out at home.
On that note, if she doesn’t already have Amazon Prime, buy her a year for speedy-delivery diapers, groceries delivered to her door, and streaming seasons of “Transparent” (to remind her that even the most dysfunctional families are pretty damn great).
Amazon Prime Membership, $99 for one year; at Amazon
You can’t go wrong with a fancy candle, and this one smells like pure coziness.
D.S. & Durga Portable Fireplace Candle, $65; at The Dreslyn
Because decorating her kid's room is probably the last thing on her mind, but a cute poster is always a welcome addition (bonus points if you take care of the framing and hanging, too).
ABC Poster, $33; at Fine Little Day
Fine Little Day
Sleep is a very precious resource these days—make it count with a supersoft mask that'll block out the hecticness around her.
Merino Eye Mask, $49; at Parachute
After a baby’s birth comes a whole host of new hygienic issues to deal, from snotty noses to perineal healing (fun!)—this kit makes the messier aspects of motherhood a little bit cuter with fun packaging and innovative design.
Bitty Bundle of Joy Toolkit, $49.99; at Fridababy
These earrings are sold as single studs, so you can customize a pair with her first initial and her mini-me’s. Plus, they’re dainty enough that she can wear them every day.
14K Rose-Gold Letter Stud, $98; at Maya Brenner
Get her a pillow that can do both (act as a feeding cushion now and a reading/body pillow later, that is). This one’s certified organic and machine-washable.
Niche Feeding Pillow, $100; at Nook
Show that you know what’s up when it comes to diaper bags—i.e. that a regular roomy tote plus plenty of pouches will serve just as well—and get her Madewell’s best-selling Transport Tote in a rich cabernet (you know, to match that bottle of wine she’s now allowed to drink).
The Transport Tote, $168; at Madewell
Tea-drinking mamas will love this delish new blend (and you’ll feel good about buying it for them, since proceeds go towards helping refugee families get access to healthcare, employment, and education).
East Africa Chai Tea, $10.50; at Tib Tib
Absurdly cozy slippers are a must, and these ones are basically wearable clouds.
Scuffette II, $85; at Ugg
If she's not a first-time mom, pick up a toy for her older kid—she’s probably inundated with stuff for the baby and trying to make sure any siblings don’t feel left out.
Kid O Airplane, $19; at The Tot
Shopping for a new mom in NYC, LA, or Miami? Get them a Glamsquad gift certificate so they can get pampered with a mani/pedi or blowout without leaving the living room.
Gift Certificate, various amounts; at Glamsquad