Care package for a new mother in Japan?
August 11, 2010 2:35 PM   Subscribe

What can I put in a care package for a new mother in Japan? (I'm in the U.S.)

A good friend, who is also from the U.S., just had a baby in Japan, and I want to send her a care package of baby/new parent things. What can I send her from New York that she might need but (possibly) can't get over there, or can't get cheaply? Are there any specific books that might be helpful? Baby products? Clothes? I have no idea. I'm not a parent and I know very little about babies.

Things to keep in mind:

1) It's a boy.
2) Father is Japanese and my friend's Japanese is pretty good (I'm guessing she's at about Level 2 on the JLPT) so there's not that much of a language barrier. But it might be good to have books in English.
3) She's a vegetarian and tries to keep her home free of animal products.
4) I can spend about $200 not including shipping.
5) In case it matters, they live in the Kansai area.

Side question: Do you know of any services, etc. in the area that might be a better gift?
posted by zerbinetta to Shopping (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't know if she can already get a Boppy in Japan, but if she can't, it's worth considering. Every new mom I know gets a lot of use out of it.
posted by contessa at 2:41 PM on August 11, 2010

I'd suggest you include something for mum too. Whatever would float her boat - bath stuff, wickedly luscious hand lotion, candle in her favourite scent.

It's lovely to receive gifts of new baby gear, but I fondly remember the friends and family who gave me something to pamper myself as well.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:46 PM on August 11, 2010

I have an American friend in Tokyo. When she was pregnant, I sent her a box of crackers (Triscuits, Cheez-Its, things she misses from home and can't get in Japan) and cheese (Tillamook, the local dairy of her youth). She loved the comfort food, and said the crackers were great during morning sickness.

I'd say send her homey things she can't get over there. There are plenty of baby products she can get in Japan; send her things she misses!
posted by goblinbox at 2:55 PM on August 11, 2010

Best answer: This book (if you feel a book about parenting will be received positively).
posted by andreinla at 3:02 PM on August 11, 2010

Best answer: The problem with sending things to Japan (or anywhere) is that shipping costs can quickly eat through your budget. I tend to buy and ship small, easily packable objects such as baby books and also this most excellent gift: Taggies, the blanket that's almost all tags (because that's what babies like to chew on). It fits into a padded mailer, too!
posted by math at 6:05 PM on August 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! These are great so far. I definitely plan to send stuff just for her, but I wanted to know if there were any baby/new-parent-specific things that were harder to get there.

I used to live in Japan too, so I know what I would have liked in a care package (mainly peanut butter cups and deodorant), but I never paid attention to baby-related goods. Still don't, as a matter of fact. The Boppy and the Taggies blew my mind.

Please keep them coming!

Oh, and I'm OK with the shipping costs. The $200 is not inclusive of that.
posted by zerbinetta at 6:57 PM on August 11, 2010

Is she breastfeeding? If so, she absolutely needs one of these.
posted by Go Banana at 8:00 PM on August 11, 2010

Best answer: You can easily find pillows like the Boppy and even nursing cloaks.THe hard to find things are usually ring slings or wraps for baby wearing or cloth diapers (although she is possibly using disposables here as that is the done thing).

Another thing I found tricky to find were pajamas with feet in them - which were handy for winter.

Books in English are always a good idea too.
posted by gomichild at 10:10 PM on August 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, gomichild. That was the type of answer I was looking for. I guess not too many of the Japan Mefites have kids, eh?
posted by zerbinetta at 2:30 PM on August 12, 2010

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