Please suggest suitable presents for mothers to be
May 5, 2013 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Two sisters, one expecting her first, the other expecting her second. What can I buy them to celebrate the occasions?

A couple of years ago when the first was due we got them a bath support to place over a bathtub to hold baby while it was being washed, It proved to be surprisingly successful. I'm looking for present ideas which will make both mother's lives easier in the first few months. Ladies who have had babies: what would have been your ideal present?

In desperation, I'm tempted to repeat the baby support idea for the first time mum but have no clue about the second timer. Please help this clueless male.
posted by epo to Shopping (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A few things (many of which were on my registry, so please pay attention if they registered):
*Baby carrier (Ergo for going out, K-Tan for staying in)
*Zip-up footie onesie outfits
*Diapers (can't have too many) and wipes (ditto)
*Pacifier clips, to keep the pacifier from falling to the floor when baby spits it out (check Etsy, lots of cute ones)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:58 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can get onesie extenders on Etsy that I think would make a cute side gift and aren't on the typical registry, are a cool idea.

Do you know child #2's name-to-be? I got a big fluffy hooded towel monogrammed with my baby's name, and that seems like a nice thing where it would still be cool to get even though they probably already have a baby towel from #1.

I like ThePinkSuperhero's idea of the pacifier clips - useful and so cute! However, I wouldn't necessarily go for a baby carrier because I found that my baby was very picky about which ones she liked. I had 3 carriers given to me at my shower and she did not like any of them - I had to borrow another one (a Bjorn) after figuring this out and she loves it. Shame to spend much money on something that a baby might not use.

I also found the zip-up footie outfits to be the most difficult baby outfits to change, with a newborn you may have to change a diaper multiple times in an hour and the footie outfits take some wrangling to take off and on - whereas if you get kimono-style onesies (not the kind with strings to tie), the kimono snaps keep them on without having to snap anything in the crotch, so you can easily change diapers. Same goes for baby legs.

If she is interested in trying cloth diapers you could give the new mom a trial diaper service - here's a sample one from Jillian's Drawers where you pay about $100 for the diapers, get the trial of a variety of diapers, and then can return the ones you don't want for a refund after trialing them out. Just recommend not using cloth diapers in the immediate newborn period, when they don't fit as well because the baby is so small, and the new mom won't feel like doing frequent laundry.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:29 PM on May 5, 2013

Oh, and I looked at a past baby gifts AskMe that noted "you can never have enough burp cloths" - I have found that to be true, but then again I have a very refluxy baby.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:30 PM on May 5, 2013

Assuming they have partners or safe alternative child care, time away. A long term voucher of some kind that will give each a baby free weekend sometime in the first year or two at a spa, or retreat, or hotel with their friends, or whatever they found most enjoyable before their lives were totally taken over by caring for a child. Probably wise to ask first what they prefer.

(ps edit, not a mother, just well aware of what my friends with kids have all said they've wanted most.)
posted by Ahab at 1:31 PM on May 5, 2013

House cleaning.
posted by k8t at 1:35 PM on May 5, 2013

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:26 PM on May 5, 2013

Along the lines of house cleaning, perhaps a personal chef?
posted by medusa at 2:58 PM on May 5, 2013

I myself am pregnant for the first time, and as such my response would absolutely be "something from the registry", if your first-time-pregnant sister has one. That stuff is there because, whether or not they'll really use it in the end, the parents feel right now that they really may need it. So giving it to them is really a peace-of-mind thing.

The second-time-pregnant sister? No suggestions on that one...
posted by supercoollady at 3:22 PM on May 5, 2013

I love to give the gift of photography, so I would get a gift card for Shutterfly, or CVS or one of those companies. Get a great frame. People take tons of pictures, people love it.
posted by Jewel98 at 3:28 PM on May 5, 2013

Why not a mom and baby gift set?

You can include some things to sooth and treats for the new baby (Clothes, diapers, baby lotion, burp clothes, small blanket or toy, etc.)

And you can include some things for mom (bubble bath, candles, pretty soaps, linen spray is great and relaxing, etc.)

That way you are treating the new mom for upcoming mother's day and the baby. Moms need some papering too, especially new ones (or with a newborn) as they will be sleep deprived and needing to unwind sometimes.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:42 PM on May 5, 2013

Intuition razors. I know it sounds silly but they are quite expensive compared to other razors and that was the biggest treat that I got for myself during every pregnancy. You can't cut yourself with them and because the shaving soap is around the razor, it is even faster to shave your legs. New moms have very little time and exhaustion can make coordination complicated. I would also suggest gift cards to their favorite restaurants and the offer to pick up and deliver what ever they order. If you can throw in maid service for while they are delivering and/or a night nanny for every third night, then that would be lovely as well.

To sum up, it's super fun buying for baby. Mom usually gets forgotten. Take care of your sisters. They will love you for it.
posted by myselfasme at 5:37 PM on May 5, 2013

If you want to buy something specifically for the mom herself, make sure you know something about her tastes. I wouldn't go for scented body products or lotions, personally; maybe it's just my social group but every woman I know has particular likes/dislikes with regard to scents, and also has more than enough bath products. I know personally I'd have preferred wine or a six-pack. Oh, and one friend paid for pizza delivery. That was a well-received gift!

I was really happy to receive gifts for the baby, though, and never felt I (the mom) was neglected or anything in the onslaught of baby gifts.

Here are some gift ideas:
-Cloud B Plush Giraffe Sound Machine (has different soothing noises, including white noise): we brought it with us places so the baby could nap with some white noise drowning out whatever else was going on; now my baby is nine months old and he has taken to dragging the thing around and loves to hear the different sounds.
-Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddle blankets: we never really swaddled with these specifically but they are super useful breathable blankets for a light layer or to cover the carseat while the baby sleeps, etc. Plus, they come in really cute patterns.
-Cute outfits and onesies for all ages: we got a lot of clothes; I hadn't registered for any so it was fun to see what people picked out. I exchanged a few things where I had too many in one size or whatever, but overall I pretty much used everything.
-Soft, warm cotton blanket, maybe like this from Pottery Barn Kids. Many of the warm blankets we were given were fleece, which can be irritating to sensitive newborn skin.

I would avoid diapers unless you know what they are using; some people are cloth only, some won't use anything perfumed, etc. Also, whatever you buy, get a gift receipt and buy from something local to the recipients if possible. The items I listed above are pretty popular and they might get multiples of some things.
posted by JenMarie at 10:31 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I researched all the restaurants near my friend that deliver food and bought gift cards for a bunch of them. I put the cards in a cheap but cute wallet type thingy I got at Target.

If they use Amazon but don't have a Prime membership, this is also something I imagine would be helpful for parents. You get free 2 day shipping on many things. When I was stuck at home due to an injury, it was super useful to get things without having to leave the house.

It is $79 a year and I think there's a mom oriented program that gives 20% of some diapers.
posted by dottiechang at 1:03 AM on May 6, 2013

Some lovely ideas here, keep 'em coming. I'll read fully when I get some of this work out of the way. Couple of clarifying points, I'm in the UK, neither mum wants to know the sex of their upcoming baby and there wil be hordes of family to get the usual baby presents. Ideally, I want to get things to help out the mums, who can sometimes get a bit overlooked at these times. Thanks for the "previously"s corpse, I had tried looking, obviously not hard enough.
posted by epo at 1:28 AM on May 6, 2013

My mother's go-to present is a Target (or other equivalent store) gift card, with strict instructions to either spend it on herself (if she's already got a mountain of diapers or is going the cloth-diaper route) or on diapers. And then carefully not inquiring what the mom-to-be actually bought with it, if she doesn't volunteer the info.
posted by telophase at 10:27 AM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

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