What to put in a new mom gift box
September 22, 2018 9:53 AM   Subscribe

A new mama in my life is about to head back to work after her maternity leave, and she's having a tough time, so I want to send her a little care box. What should I put in it?

The care box will already contain several of her favorite homemade baked goods, and a mixtape of baby songs that won't drive parents nuts as they drive the little guy to daycare etc. Plus obviously a card telling her how much she rules and that she and her partner are doing an amazing job.

What else?

I think they already have a meal planning service, so they don't need a Hello Fresh subscription or anything. I live several states away, so offers of babysitting, cooking -- gifts of time and service, basically -- aren't really practical, unfortunately.

Looking forward to all of you thoughtful peoples' creative ideas! The only restrictions are that it be legal and reasonable to ship through the US Mail. (Or orderable online, but I would kind of like for the box to travel all in one piece.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is she pumping at work? Then maybe a few things to make that easier. You've already got snacks covered, so maybe some lanolin and nursing pads?
posted by weathergal at 11:09 AM on September 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Going back to work is when you realize that your body has changed, that you have worn nothing but sweatpants for the last few months, and that none of your old work clothes fit. Gifts that help people feel presentable again could be things like jewelry, a scarf, or a nicer shirt or sweater (probably one with still some space in the waist). It could be birthstone jewelry so she could be metaphorically keeping the little one with her. A sweater or scarf are nice because they are cozy and offer comfort to help soothe the feeling of missing the baby.

A lower cost item could be a framed photo of baby, or her and baby, that she could keep on her desk.
posted by slidell at 11:10 AM on September 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


How about gift cards to lunch places near her office? I’m a new Mom back at work and I’m pumping three times a day. It takes up so much time and brain space that I find myself relying on takeout for lunch more than I’d care to admit. So that might help?
posted by elisebeth at 3:20 PM on September 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just went back to work last week after my maternity leave. I agree with slidell and elisabeth - things that would help me feel presentable, plus food stuff, would be nice. Also - pump accessories/bottles and breast pads (like those Bamboobies) would be helpful (I'm finding that I leak at work, and that washing pump parts and bottles at work is a pain in the ass - buying more pump accessories and bottles is on my to-do list). Some other ideas - a pumping bra to hold the flanges (I only have 1, and I'm realizing now I have to do laundry like every day since I drip milk on it, having more than 1 would be nice), and additional nursing shirts (I don't have many, and these make it much easier to access the boobs). Lastly, when in doubt, you could always give her stuff for the baby. I love receiving cute little outfits and toys for my son!
posted by FireFountain at 4:37 PM on September 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


A webcam or the crib at day care?
posted by theora55 at 6:17 PM on September 22, 2018


I 2nd the recommendation for stuff that helps with pumping and feeding, if she is doing that—but of course all that stuff is MASSIVELY personalized and personal (extra pump parts and bottles and bottle parts so you have to wash fewer things daily is SO helpful, but what pump does she have? What flange size does she need? What bottle brand is she using etc?).

That being the case i’d give her an amazon gift card and tell her it specifically for pumping/BFing/babyfeeding stuff. (Obviously she’ll be able to spend it on whatever she wants, but for some of us the guilt of spending money on extras to help make *our* lives “easier” instead of buying for the baby can be tough—and having funds directly allocated for that can help.) I know a GC isn’t as fun as actual stuff but it sure is useful. You can get extra parts of almost every pump brand on amazon.

If you do really want to get items, though, I’d recommend a hands-free pumping bra (this is what I had; not fancy but god*mn it was helpful) and a nipple cream (y’all are good friends, right?? 🙃) with a return gift receipt (amazon again) so that she can send back for something else if she has one already.

Anyway, I guess my overriding theme is that since you already have a nice emotional & supportive link in your care box w/r/t baked good etc, I’d focus on a practical element. After I got past the emotional minefield of the first few weeks of being back at work, I was amazed at how exhausting it was to just keep up with all the washing and feeding and stuff. So anything that helps alleviate that would have been incredibly helpful!

You’re a good friend!
posted by alleycat01 at 8:16 PM on September 23, 2018


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