New moms don't need flowers and chocolate. Here's what they really want. (2024)

Inside: If you want to make a new mom feel special, skip the flowers and give her one of these meaningful new mom gifts that will stand the test of time. Bonus: These gifts for new moms are actually for her – NOT for the baby.

Newborns need a lot of stuff. Onesies, diapers and wipes, a car seat, a diaper bag, a snot-sucking device, and on and on.

But in the rush to get all the newborn must haves on the baby’s registry, it’s easy to forget something important: The mom-to-be is in for the ride of her life.

Not only is the new mom about to go through one of the most physically painful experiences of her life, but after the baby comes, she’ll be stuck on what feels like a neverending emotional roller coaster. And it doesn’t help matters that she’ll be lucky to get two hours straight of sleep in the weeks ahead.

But if you want to support a new mom in your life by surprising her with the perfect gift, what do you get someone who’s super emotional, sleep-deprived, and has absolutely zero free time?

How to Make a New Mom Feel Absolutely Loved And Supported

I’ve had four babies, so friends and family often ask me for advice on what’s the best gift to get for a new mom: flowers, a card, or…?

Because even though an industrial-sized pack of disposable nursing pads would be useful, most people want to know the best new mom gifts that will actually make the new mom feel special and loved. Not a gift for the baby or sad leftovers from the registry, but a thoughtful gift just for the new mother.

After each of my babies were born, I was lucky to receive a few thoughtful gifts that made my life as a mom easier during those early newborn days.

Those gifts weren’t the typical gifts for new mothers you hear about, but they made such an impact on me that I wanted to pay it forward and share them here.

Related: 9 Baby Must Haves That Make the Perfect Gifts for New Dads

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36 Most Meaningful New Mom Gifts

In this list, you’ll find the new mom gift ideas that are my personal favorites as a mom who’s been through the newborn stage four times. But I also scoured list after list after list to find even more meaningful gifts for new moms, then I surveyed hundreds of moms to find out their favorite new mom gifts, too.

If you want to make a new mom feel special, skip the flowers and give her one of these meaningful new mom gifts that will stand the test of time. Whether you need ideas for new mom gifts after birth or adoption or for first Mother’s Day gifts for a new mom, you can’t go wrong with these thoughtful essentials.

Gifts of Nourishment

Not only do these make the perfect gifts for first-time moms, but they’re also very much appreciated by second-time moms too – and third-time and beyond!

  1. Keep her awake. With a new baby who wakes up every two hours all night long (or more), the mom will need all the help she can get to function during the day. Surprise her with this fun coffee subscription box† where she can sample new roasts and find a new favorite. Kind of like a wine tasting – but with coffee and delivered straight to her door. If the new mom prefers tea, they also have a tea-of-the-month club that I can personally recommend. To round out this gift, you can add a spill-proof insulated coffee mug like this gorgeous tumbler. That way, the new mom won’t have to reheat her coffee 27 times a day! Or if she’s a cold-brew kind of gal, this 12-pack of lightly sweetened cold-brew double espresso is delicious. (Side note: Many breastfeeding experts agree that nursing moms can have caffeine in moderation.)

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  1. Share your yummiest dinner. Just about every mom I surveyed said they loved this new mom gift: Make your best dinner or soup you can freeze, and give it to the mom to use on a night when the family is too exhausted to make dinner. Even better, any leftovers will work well as lunch for the family the next day. A few things to consider for this gift idea:
    • Lasagna is usually the number one gifted meal, so if you have another great dish you can gift, the new mom will probably appreciate some variety!
    • Bonus if it’s a meal she can eat one-handed while holding the baby, and double bonus if you drop it off in a new baking dish and tell her, “Don’t worry about returning the dish…it’s yours!”
    • To be on the safe side, you may want to check ahead of time to find out if there are any food allergies or aversions. You can also ask if the mom has any particular cravings. As one mom told me, “I craved cheeseburgers for several weeks postpartum!”
    • As another option, gift cards to Grubhub or Uber Eats make great new mom gifts because the family can pick out exactly what they want.
    • A few moms told me they really appreciated when friends offered to bring a meal after the first month or two because offers of help tend to dry up by then, but it’s still a challenging time for the new parents.
    • Another fun alternative: Bake a batch of healthy breakfast muffins she can freeze and warm up when she needs a quick one-handed breakfast after a night of way too little sleep.
    • You can team up with the mom’s other loved ones and organize a meal calendar where you all take turns dropping off meals.

“A former co-worker organized like 20 days of dinners that were dropped off…It was almost every night for two weeks or so, and it was incredible! Some brought hot meals right at dinner, some brought things early that I could freeze or pop in the oven, one ordered pizza for us, one asked for our Panera order and dropped it off – ALL of it was amazing!” – Sarah

  1. Do the hard work for her. Nothing beats a fresh, home-cooked meal, but the new mom may not have time to look for healthy recipes and do the grocery shopping to pick up all the ingredients. I’m a big fan of Blue Apron because they do all the hard work for you. They send you a proven, simple recipe and all the ingredients, and you just have to throw everything together. If you want to try it out, here’s a coupon code to get $60 off your first three boxes from Blue Apron.
  1. Prepare her for the first 40 days. At first glance, I thought The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother was a book of postpartum recipes. But this book is so much more, and it’s one of the loveliest new mom gifts I’ve come across. The book shares postpartum traditions from around the world that nourish the mother, talks about common postpartum feelings that might be scary or confusing, and helps you prepare for this challenging phase of motherhood. The recipes are great too!
  2. Make cookies with a purpose. When I had my first child, lactation cookies weren’t a “thing” yet, so I’ve made it my mission to catch up on lactation cookie consumption ever since. Basically, they’re cookies made with ingredients that are supposed to support a nursing or pumping mother’s milk production, like oatmeal and almond butter. Whip up a batch of lactation cookies as a gift to the new mom, then drop them off. She’ll get to snack on a treat while feeling good about it! We’ve used this delicious recipe for ourselves and as a gift to others, and the cookies turned out great. If you’d rather not get a bunch of extra ingredients you won’t use again, you can get a ready-made lactation cookie mix like this, make the first batch to give the new mom, then gift her the freshly baked cookies and any leftover mix.
  3. Fill a basket. Nursing moms need even more calories than pregnant moms, so she’ll appreciate having quick snacks on hand – especially snacks she can eat one-handed. Get a basket and fill it up with snacks like nuts, fruit, healthy snack bars like chocolate sea salt RXBars or cherry pie Larabars, and so on. To go the extra mile, you can add extra goodies like a reusable water bottle and fun paper straws to help her stay hydrated, lactation tea, lip gloss, nail polish, a couple magazines, and any other little new mom gift ideas from this list. The ultimate care package for new moms!

  1. Make it fresh. It’s nearly impossible to cut up fresh fruit and veggies one-handed while holding a baby, so give the gift of healthy snacks and drop off a fruit or veggie tray. Or for a fun alternative, you can order an Edible Arrangements fresh fruit bouquet.

“Fruit…made me feel somewhat healthy when my body felt like a hot mess.” – Sarah

  1. Take an errand off her list. Most metropolitan areas now offer grocery delivery services, which are an amazing timesaver for new parents. You can ask her what she needs at the store, then have it delivered – or you can give her a gift certificate for grocery delivery and let her order exactly what she needs. Many families said they use and love the Instacart grocery delivery service (my family included!). Instacart offers cute gift cards here.
  2. Bring her lunch. In many families after the initial settling-in period with a new baby, the dad will go back to work on weekdays while the mom is home alone with her little one. The lack of adult interaction all day can get super lonely, so surprise her by bringing over take-out for lunch, then just hang out with her and chat. She’ll be thankful for the visit to break up the long day! Bonus points if you can hold the baby for a few minutes to give her a break – if you have extra time, ask if she’d like to take a shower or a nap while you watch the baby.

“Visit the new mom, but don’t make her do the work; she doesn’t need additional work. And don’t just assume she wants someone else to look after the baby. Maybe all she wants is to be able to look after the baby and not worry about other things.” – Cynthia

Related: 12 Magical Newborn Must Haves You Need on Your Registry

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New Mom Gifts of Self-Care

When you’re looking for new mother gifts, you can’t go wrong with these gifts of self-care. These are the best gifts for a new mom for herself.

  1. Give her time. In a survey of hundreds of mothers, nearly everyone suggested the gift of time as one of the best gifts for new moms after birth or adoption:
    • Offer to hold her baby while the new mom does what she needs to take care of herself. She may want a shower, a leisurely bath, a nap, a walk by herself, or just to run to Target alone – or something else entirely. For example, you might text your friend and say something like, “I’d love to give you two hours! I can come over and hold the baby while you do whatever you need to like a shower or a nap. And if you just want to sit and visit for a couple hours, that sounds lovely too.”
    • For moms with older siblings, you can offer to take the big kid to the park or somewhere else fun so the mom can focus on her bundle of joy for a bit.
    • If you really want to go above and beyond for a close friend or family member, you can offer to spend the night and be on “baby duty” so she can sleep.

“The best ‘gift’ I received was a solid night of sleep…My mother came over and let me sleep through the night a couple few times and it was the absolute best thing ever!” – Lanaye

  1. Remind her to take five. As a new mom, she may feel like she’s constantly on the go with no time to stop. Help her develop a habit of taking five-minute “mindful breaks” that will keep her happy and healthy with this book: Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms. This practical guide is a must-have gift for every mother – new and seasoned!

  1. Awaken her inner child. Coloring is a fun self-care activity that’s perfect for new moms because you can do it in short spurts of time, and it’s quiet enough that you won’t wake the baby you just spent an hour getting to sleep. The action of coloring calls on both logic (staying in the lines) and creativity (picking colors and color schemes), and that combo package is exactly what a mom’s brain needs to chill out. Give her one of these absolutely gorgeous coloring books designed just for adults, along with some pretty gel pens, coloring brush pens, or a set of fancy colored pencils. Or if you want a coloring book that’s a little on the sassy side, this #Momlife coloring book is hilarious.
  2. Get her out of the house. When I was a brand new mom, a friend gave me a gift card to a local yoga studio for their mommy and me classes. Those classes were a lifesaver. Not only did it get me out of the house, but I made new friends with other moms who had newborns and got some gentle exercise for my postpartum body too. Check with a local yoga studio and see if they offer mommy and me classes, and if so, get the new mom a gift card.
  3. Hire a postpartum doula. Picture a person who’s lived through the newborn phase hundreds of times, so they’ve seen it all. Breastfeeding problems, inconsolable crying (from the baby or the new mom), a house that looks like it got hit by a tornado. And not only has this angelic person seen it all, but she knows how to help you get through the toughest moments. Need help with your latch? Worried about the emotions you’re feeling? Need someone to take the baby for a couple hours so you can just sleep? A postpartum doula can do all that and more. Some doulas will even do light housekeeping, run errands, prep meals, and anything else you need during the newborn phase. To find a postpartum doula in the new mom’s area, use this doula search.

“We had one amazing daytime postpartum doula and one really good overnight postpartum doula after my daughter came home from the NICU, and it was a game changer.” – Dawn

  1. Take away the guilt. Some moms feel guilty setting up spa services for themselves, so give her a guilt-free experience she’ll appreciate with a gift certificate for a massage, mani/pedi, or anything else you know she’d enjoy. To go the extra mile, you can add a handwritten note along with the gift certificate: “Let me know when you book it, and I’ll come over to babysit!”
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  1. Bring the spa to her. Help the new mom feel pampered by putting together a few bath and body products in a gift box or basket, like shampoo, body wash, moisturizer, facial masks, body lotion, or dry shampoo for the days a shower just ain’t happening. Quick tip: You may want to opt for unscented or natural body products because strongly scented products on mama’s skin may irritate the baby’s skin. You’ll really surprise her if you find out from her partner ahead of time what her favorite products are – because odds are she hasn’t had a chance to run to the store to restock lately. As another option, you can get her a gift card for an in-home massage with the Zeel app. With Zeel, she can book an in-home massage with just an hour’s notice!

“When my second baby was born, I remember a friend bringing a set of shower gel and body lotion. She looked at me and said ‘something for you, not for the baby, because he’s got you.’ I felt so loved.” – Stefane

  1. Get her aligned. Many moms experience back pain after labor, but they may not prioritize setting up an appointment with a chiropractor when they’re focused on surviving the newborn days. Ask her partner or a close friend if the new mom sees a chiropractor, and call the office to prepay her next appointment or two.

Related: 7 Tips for Postpartum Clothes That Won’t Make You Look Pregnant

New Mom Gifts to Make Her Feel Beautiful

These gift ideas for new moms will remind her that she’s still beautiful, even after pregnancy and childbirth and sleep deprivation.

  1. Give a gift certificate for a haircut and/or color. When you’re a new mom, you’re so focused on the baby that you may not remember to shower, let alone set up your next hair appointment. When you do remember, it will be during a middle-of-the-night feeding when you can’t do anything about it. If you give the new mom a gift certificate, she can stick it on her fridge as a reminder to set up that appointment during the day. It’s common for new moms to feel self-conscious about their bodies in the postpartum stage, so give her the gift of fabulous hair.
  2. Snazz up her sleepwear. The new mom will want to wear something comfortable in the first few weeks postpartum, but she won’t be able to fit into her pre-pregnancy pajamas and lounge-around-the-house clothes quite yet. Before my fourth baby was born, my husband and kids got me several pairs of cute but comfortable pajamas that would fit postpartum, and I wore those 24-7 for weeks. Make sure to include a gift receipt in case she needs to exchange for a different size. These pajamas are my favorite and come in several colors – or you can get the short version here for summertime. If she’s all set on pajamas and lounge clothes, you can gift her a bathrobe made of cozy fabric and/or slippers.

“Basically, [give her] any new clothes that might not make her feel like a total frump! If I knew she were breastfeeding, a basic breastfeeding t-shirt/vest/camisole. Or just a gift voucher for a lingerie shop that I knew sold maternity underwear as well as other underwear.” – Alison

  1. Honor her mama bear status. The new mom will need something easy to throw on when she’s too sleep-deprived to think straight, and the baby will be spitting up on herself every half hour, so get them both a gift that will help – these matching Mama Bear and Baby Bear shirts. Gray goes with everything, so she can get dressed without using any brain power. And baby will go through lots of onesies every day, so she can always use another one. If you think dad will feel left out, you can throw in the matching Papa Bear shirt here.
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  1. Give her something one-of-a-kind. One of the loveliest mom gifts I’ve ever received was a custom necklace with a birthstone for each of my little ones. A mom necklace also makes the perfect new mom gift because if she has any other kids later on, she can add more pendants to most of the mom necklaces you can find. Here are my favorite jewelry pieces that make great new mom gifts:

“My mom got me a necklace with my son’s first name initial on it. I wear it everyday.” – Maggie

Gifts for New Moms to Keep the Home in Order

Some of the best gifts for first-time moms take the pressure off the new family when it comes to housework and errands.

  1. Give her a clean house. This one could be a little touchy because you wouldn’t want to imply the new family is incapable of keeping their house clean. But most new parents have trouble fitting in house cleaning on top of everything else, so scheduling a house cleaning service would be a much-appreciated gesture. If you’re unsure with this one, first check with someone who can do a little reconnaissance work and make sure the mom will appreciate the gesture.
  2. Pitch in. If the new mom is a close friend, you can stop by to visit and then pitch in to help out around the house. You can fold a load of laundry, load or empty the dishwasher, wipe down the kitchen counters, and so on. As with the previous gift, this can be touchy so it’s best to offer this just to close friends. It tends to work well if you offer something specific, like “Can I fold that basket of clothes?” or “Can I load the dishwasher?” If you ask “What can I do?” the new mom may feel awkward asking for something specific. Also, keep in mind that having visitors in your home can be especially draining for new parents, so try to keep your visit on the shorter side. This was another favorite gift mentioned by most moms in our survey of hundreds of mothers!

“A friend, seeing how exhausted I was, made me tea and cleaned my bathroom and kitchen. It took her less than an hour but required more energy than I could muster in that first week or so. When she was done, she sat and had a cup of tea with me, shared stories of her own first time mama experiences, held my son, laughed with me, and cried with me. It was the most meaningful gift I had received as a first time mama. It’s one I like to pay forward to other new mama friends.” – Suzette

  1. Get her a robot. After my second child was born, we used a gift card on one of those fancy robot vacuums…and it was MAGICAL. We set it up to run every day, and we never had to think about sweeping or vacuuming. Such a lifesaver! This would be a pricey gift for a new mom but very much appreciated.
  2. Give her free shipping. One of my favorite new mom gifts to give and receive is an Amazon Prime membership. Because anytime you run out of something essential, like diapers, nursing pads, or sinful chocolate truffles, the last thing you feel like doing is schlepping your overtired self to the store with baby in tow. With Amazon Prime, she can order whatever she needs and have it shipped right to her front door with their two-day free shipping. As an added benefit, a gift of Amazon Prime will also give the new mom access to all their movies, which is great for passing the time while holding a baby for several hours a day.

Gifts of Precious Memories

These new mom gifts double as one-of-a-kind keepsakes that she’ll treasure forever.

  1. Help her reflect. This Q&A a Day book designed just for moms gives you one question a day for five years. The new mom can fill out the journal once a day in just a few minutes, then after a while she can look back on all her answers and have an amazing snapshot of this special time. As an alternative, you can get her Mom’s One Line a Day, which is similar but without the question prompts.

  1. Prepare a message in a bottle. This gift doubles as a keepsake that the child will treasure the rest of their lives. Give the new mom these Letters to My Baby prompted letters, and she can fill them out and share them with her child one day when they’re older. Such a sweet way to help the mom record her hopes and dreams for her little one!
  2. Record the firsts. Most baby memory books are long and involved, meaning they’re time-consuming for the new mom to fill out. But this short and sweet memory book is a perfect fit for new moms because it takes the pressure off. All she has to do is add a few photos and words, and she’ll have a beautiful record of baby’s first year. Then for saving baby’s physical keepsakes from the first ultrasound picture to baby’s first shoes and all the way up to that first lost tooth, I love this baby keepsake box that organizes it all. Then when her little one is older, she’ll be able to take this keepsake box off the shelf and share all the stories that go along with each physical artifact.

  1. Capture her stories. This special journal called Letters to You is a cloth-bound keepsake book where the new mom will find prompts, questions, and space to write a letter to her child every year of their childhood. She can read the pages together with her little one through the years, or she can wait and give the finished book as a graduation or wedding day present. For a slightly different (but still amazingly special) gift, The Book of Me is a do-it-yourself memoir book with prompts for the new mother to record her family history and to reflect on her past, present, and future. Then one day, she’ll be able to gift this one-of-a-kind autobiography to her child as a keepsake he can treasure for the rest of his life to remember his mother. To sweeten the gift, add a special journaling pen to go along with the keepsake book.
  2. Gear her up. If the new mother doesn’t have a decent camera and you’re looking for a more substantial new mom gift idea, a camera makes the perfect gift. She’ll be able to capture every little adorable thing her baby does and have those snapshots to look back on forever. We didn’t have a nice camera for our first child together, and because of that, we don’t have very many good photos of her as a baby – and we can never get that time back. This is why for our next child, we prioritized adding a camera to the budget before the baby arrived. Most recently, we were lucky to get a gift card we used towards the latest and greatest in digital cameras: a mirrorless digital camera. This style of camera is fast, more compact than a DSLR, and super quiet – so the new mom can snap pictures of that precious new baby sleeping!

  1. Give her props. The new mom can use this set of milestone cards to capture adorable photos of her baby that mark baby’s firsts and measure the weeks and months of growth. All she has to do is set up a card near her baby and snap the pictures. The milestones include “Today I smiled for the first time,” “Today I said Ma-Ma for the first time,” “Today I slept through the night for the first time,” and lots more.
  2. Capture this special time. Purchase a session with a family photographer. Or if you’re a skilled photographer yourself, offer to take an afternoon to snap a few shots of the new little family. We had a family session soon after our second child was born, and I’m so incredibly happy we have a record of that time together as a family! It wasn’t in the budget after our next child was born, so I can attest that this would be a much-appreciated gift.

Related: 21 Funny Baby Shower Gifts That Are Actually Useful for Baby and Mom

New Mom Gifts to Inspire and Entertain

New moms appreciate breaks from the monotony of 24-7 newborn care, which is why these gifts for new moms are the perfect fit.

  1. Write a letter. This gift doubles as a keepsake that the new mom will treasure forever. Write a special handwritten letter to her to share encouraging words, happy wishes, or any words of wisdom you want to pass along. If you’re not sure what to write, just let her know that she’s doing a great job. Or if you want writing prompts, you can get these Letters to the New Mom prompted letters and give her 12 special letters.
  2. Share wisdom. If you’re looking for empowering new mom gifts, check out The Postpartum Support Deck. During a daily or weekly routine, the new mother can select a card from the deck to find an empowering message to support her as a new mother, both emotionally and physically.

  1. Feed her mind. The new mom will spend a huge chunk of every day holding her baby. In the early days, I usually spend four to five hours nursing every day, and even by 3 months old that’s only down to three hours. And if she happens to get a baby who only sleeps when held, she may be holding that baby several more hours as well. You can only scroll Facebook so much, so gift her a lightweight Kindle that she can hold one-handed while holding the baby too. She’ll get caught up on all that reading she’s been meaning to do, and the time will fly! Plus, when you give the new mom that version of the Kindle, it’s waterproof so she can take it in the bath with her, too. Several moms I talked to suggested a few specific titles as the best books for new moms. You can load her new Kindle with these titles, or if she prefers paper get her the physical books:
  2. Give her unlimited entertainment. Because she’ll be holding a baby so much of her day (see above!), the new mom would appreciate a membership to any movie streaming service. If you gift her with Amazon Prime, in addition to the unlimited movie access she’ll also get free two-day shipping on any items she orders for a year, which is perfect for when you run out of diapers but you’re too exhausted to load baby up to run to the store.
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear

Want More?

For the new dad, check out 9 Baby Must Haves That Make the Perfect Gifts for New Dads.

Your Turn

What are your picks for the best gifts for new moms? Share in a comment below!

New moms don't need flowers and chocolate. Here's what they really want. (2024)
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