Year in, year out, Christmas seems to sneak up on this Little Mumma.
I hit up the toy sales in July and buy other bits and pieces sporadically throughout the year and still, I find myself elbowing shoppers out of my way in the dying retail hours of pre-Christmas. Of course, I only have a few things to get and it's never as stressful as if I was trying to shop for everyone all at once but still, my utopian dream is the year when I don't step foot inside a retail space for the entire month of December. I believe I can do it.
You are no doubt bombarded from every angle with CHRISTMAS MUST HAVES! BEST LAST MINUTE GIFTS! TOYS FOR BOYS! TOYS FOR GIRLS! SPOIL THAT SOMEONE SPECIAL THIS YEAR! BUY THIS OR THE REINDEER GETS IT! spam right now. I don't wish to add to the confusion and certainly not at this late stage. I think a beautifully curated list of gift ideas can be awesome but it's the 21st of December and if you don't know what you're doing yet then I'm afraid no list I could make will help. Sorry….and good luck out there!
But I have been meaning to put together a little list of gift ideas for the newly birthed mum. I know when someone has a baby, shopping for teensy weensy clothes is the most fun but I think it's a lovely idea to give something a little special to the mumma, too. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant and might be as simple as something from your own kitchen. The opportunity to spoil or nurture a new mum is especially important because as anyone who has had a baby will know, it's rare that we spoil or nurture ourselves as we muddle through that newborn fog.
So here are a few little ideas – and they double as great Christmas presents if you have a friend to buy for who also recently gave birth. Perfect!
1. Hand cream
Before Luca was born, my hands had the porcelain fine skin of a geisha. Never a hard days work had they seen. Changing nappies ten times a day very quickly took its toll as I washed them into a dry, wrinkly hell. Ergo: hand cream. A tube for your handbag, a tube for the change table, a tube by the sink. Because if you're like me, you always forget to use it. I never liked something too heavily fragranced or greasy – especially important when you're handling a tiny person.
Try; Natio Wellness Hand Cream (has SPF 15 which is ace and the fragrance is mild), the super-rich Hand Hemp Protector from The Body Shop or for something extra-special, Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm (lavender oil is known to be relaxing for mum and babe).
If she's a breastfeeding mum, a voucher to buy some gorgeous maternity lingerie is a great idea. I always feel better about myself when I'm wearing my Hot Milk underwear – it's crazy pretty. And the last thing a new mum wants to do is leave the house and be properly fitted by a stranger so the Hot Milk Fitting Room is brilliant. You just enter your measurements and it calculates your bra size then and there.
I just hopped on the website to find some current designs to share with you and noticed they have a 30% off sale happening until 25th December. They also have stockists around the world and I have bought all of my Hot Milk underwear on sale this way.
Lingerie is a great gift for the non-nursing mum, too, and something to make her feel special even when she smells like baby vom. Bendon Lingerie have a gorgeous range and they do giftcards. Oh jeebers, to wear a bra with an underwire once again……
3. Washable Breast Pads
Breastfeeding mums will also need breast pads. Lots of breast pads. Of course, some women only need them for a few months but if you're like me with my gangbuster milk supply, then expect to wear them for a lot longer than that.
I am onto my third child and I can't believe I have only just discovered reusable breast pads. Well, I knew they existed but I think I just figured they would be a pain in the arse to wash so have always relied on disposables. This is an insanity not least of all because they are stupidly expensive and non-loving of the environment. The thing about disposables is that they're uncomfortable and bunch up in your bra which makes for an excellent boob silhouette – if you're into misshapen and lumpy. Yeah….no.
From a longtime disposable breast pad user, I say this to you: reusable is king.
But I know what you're thinking. "I can't give breastpads as a gift! It's not special enough." But comfy boobs are ALWAYS special. And this is especially true with Bambooby Buddies, washable breastpads made of bamboo fleece and velour. I'm so, so very in love with them and how soft and comfortable they are. I just pop them in a delicates bag to wash and they are so wonderful that sometimes I yell at them for not being in my life when Luca was born.
The Starter Pack is $39.95 and trust me, the breastfeeding mum will love the shit out of it. Five pairs of breastpads (with day and night absorbency) with a choice of colours and fabrics. Win.
Most women will know that feeling of getting to the end of a day with zero inspiration for cooking the evening meal. In motherhood and especially the fuzz of the early days, it's magnified by a thousand. But so is the need for mum to eat well and regularly.
I have written before about receiving food, post-birth. It's a simple gesture with extraordinary impact. Because nothing says "I love you" quite like a tray of lasagne.
A friend of mine received the coolest present at her baby shower: in an envelope were 10 vouchers for home-cooked meals along with a menu of selections. To redeem a voucher, the new mum simply needed to give her friend 48 hours notice to prepare the food. It was such an incredibly cool idea that I was a bit jealous I didn't think of it myself. As I recall, I gave the mum-to-be a book called Birth Stories which I found beautiful and inspiring but which terrified her.
Next time; food.
Loving someone from your kitchen is ace. But if you're anything like me, your best intentions to cook for a friend fall by the wayside as you serve your own family a take-away BBQ chicken and salad for the second (third?) time that week. I went searching for a home delivery meal service and found eat @ home who make everything to order. I can't recommend them highly enough. The food is seriously delicious and so fresh. This ain't no pre-packaged caper. My favourite is the beef enchiladas with green salad. There are also vego alternatives and Bren is a fan of the Veg Korma with steamed rice.
The New Baby gift card comes with five dinners of the recipient's choice and there are three serving sizes – Double for the new parents, Family for the breeders (*puts hand up*) or I like the idea of Single ($55) because the meal I think most mums miss is lunch.
Obviously, eat @ home is for Melbourne peeps (and also delivers to Geelong and Mornington Peninsula) but if you can recommend something similar where you are, I'd love you to mention it in the comments.
6. Post-natal massage
Do I really need to sell this one? A body that just carried and then birthed another human being? Could use a bit of a rub down!
I am well overdue for my post-natal massage. When I finally book it in, I will be doing so with Qi Rhythm. Specialising in pregnancy and post-pregnancy, the practitioner comes to your home which is ace because often it's hard for new mums to get out of the house and also, you get to choose your own music instead of that horrible panpipe shit that massage therapists seem to think is relaxing. It's not relaxing. And neither is Enya.
Don't ever play Enya again.
But yes, massages for mums. Best present ever. Not all massage therapists are equal though so do your research before you buy that gift voucher. And by that, I absolutely mean go and get a massage yourself just to be really, completely sure that they're any good….it's the selfless thing to do!
Other gifts I've received include a magazine subscription (perfect for the exhausted woman who can't read more than one article about Kim Kardashian's butt before passing out), a new fragrance, and jewellery – and it's extraordinary how something for you, the mum, when all the focus is on the baby, can make you feel great.
Did you receive a post-birth gift that was actually for you? Is there anything you wish you'd received?
While I'm on the subject of good shit for Mum's, I wanted to give you the head's up on Gravy Bags Christmas sale. I reviewed The Fullmoon Baby Change Station here and I am still loving it sick. You have until Dec 24th to grab one on sale and with free shipping in Oz.
Two clicks – a most excellent gift for a little mumma….