If you or a friend is expecting baby number 2,3,4, or 8 they likely don't need all the things. I might argue that new parents never need all the things but that might be another post. For a mama that already has the essentials or if you are looking to surprise her with something a little off the beaten track here are a few thoughtful ideas for a woman going through a very important life transition.
1. A BEAUTIFUL BLANKET
Yes, there are many cute baby blankets out there, but what happens to them as baby grows? They are generally passed down to friends and family (always encouraged) or stored away in the closet. A beautiful, well made "grown up" blanket is something a mother can snuggle up with her baby in but feel like it's a statement piece in her home and not something to tuck away. It can transition to their child's bed as they grow, go with them someday when they move out, or stay with mama as a sweet reminder of all the precious moments shared nursing and resting together.
Suggestion: Coyuchi Organic Matelasse Throw
2. A STYLISH AND FUNCTIONAL BAG
Having a nice bag for a mother to haul all her kids crap... excuse me... essentials around in, along with her own can really make her feel a little better about life. Finding something that doesn't scream diaper bag but is well designed is important.
Suggestion: Little Unicorn Backpack
3. A BOOK
Okay. Not any old book. I mean, books are ALWAYS great gifts if I do say so myself. I mean, as long as they will be of interest to the person you are gifting it to. But the book I am talking about is far more personal and requires some effort on your part. When a couple of my best friends were expecting their first babies I contacted their friends and family that were already mamas and asked them to send me some advice about motherhood. Then I put together a little book of everyones advice to gift to them. Grandmas advice was there along with high school best friends and friends from work. If you have a little time to send out some emails and then any ability to navigate creating a book - this is something special.
Suggestion: Keep it as simple as writing out some text in an app and loading them into Chatbooks or try a website like Blurb.
4. A CUTE AND COMFY OUTFIT
Buying a friend clothing can be difficult. BUT if you know the mama well then getting her something she can feel good in while lounging around with baby and heading out on walks around the neighborhood can really make a difference in how she feels about herself during that postpartum period.
Suggestion: Sonnet James makes "play" clothes for mamas that want to move and play with their kids. The playsuit is comfy and cute while loose enough so it won't hug postpartum lumps a mother may want to camouflage. You could also try Dwell & Slumber for house dresses.
5. MEAL TRAIN
Nothing is better than friends and family bringing you meals after your baby is born. There is really nothing else to say about it.
6. A ROBE
This could have gone with number four, but really, having a few comfy things that a mother can lounge around in while still feeling pretty is important. A nice new robe that is easy to nurse in is a very thoughtful gift.
7. SOMETHING FOR BABY
If you really want to get your cute baby item fix. Get something simple and essential. Organic cotton onesies and sleepers are always needed and when you buy them in quality fabrics it isn't as difficult to get stains out - making them much more long-lasting and something a mother can then save for another future baby or re-sell.
Suggestion: Loved Baby
8. A BOOK...AGAIN
It's hard to read when you have littles running around but listening can sometimes be done. Get mama a few audible credits so she can download some books she would like to listen to while doing all the baby things.
9. A SPECIAL MUG - BIG AND SMALL
A nice new mug for all the coffee and tea drinking is great. Getting a matching one for the little ones that already call this special lady "mama" is even better. Cheers to new baby and having durable, essential, well made keepsakes.
Suggestion: East Fork
*And as for a few simpler ideas, a mother always needs a Nose Frida, diapers (and wipes), and a stash of her favorite drinks and snacks.