It is usually difficult to discern the protocol on gift giving to pregnant moms who already have children. Should you even bother? Doesn’t she have everything she needs already?
There has been a recent trend I have noticed of throwing a “sprinkle” instead of a shower for moms who have children already. I think it is a wonderful idea. There are a lot of things that an expecting mama needs even if she has had a baby or two (or seven) already. So if you find yourself invited to one of these sprinkles or would just like to do something kind for a loved one who is expecting, here are some gift ideas:
1) A meal. I list this one first because this is probably the most helpful thing you can do for a mother who has older children in addition to the newborn. She is healing and too exhausted to even move and she has little mouths to feed that don’t have much sympathy for her current plight. Something ready to go, or that she can just throw in the oven is preferable. Bonus points for a full meal (sides, drinks, dessert, etc.) that will have plenty of leftovers.
2) Diapers. This one is also important. A newborn goes through an amazing amount of diapers, and it is practically impossible to go to a grocery store with a newborn and other little ones those first few
months weeks. If you are not sure if the mother in question is cloth diapering or not, make sure to ask. Those of my dear readers who cloth diaper can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe a lot of cloth diapering mamas use disposables those first few weeks. As for sizing, I would either ask the mom for the baby’s current weight or err on the size of caution and get size 1. Some babies are too big for the newborn size fresh out of the womb. You can never go wrong with wipes either. Again, err on the side of caution and get ones that don’t have perfume in them. Perfume irritates some newborns’ little bums.
3) Crib sheets. Ask if the mom is cosleeping first, but if the baby sleeps in a crib, you can never have too many crib sheets. Newborns can blow out their diapers or go all “Exorcist” on you several times a night. And if you run out of clean crib sheets, you are faced with a conundrum. Should I put the baby on the bare mattress and really be SOL when he vomits on that, or just let him marinate in all that junk for the rest of the night? (Yeah, we’ve all been there). Help a mama out and make sure she has a inexhaustible amount of crib sheets.
4) Clothing. Hand me downs are great in theory, but they don’t usually work out so well in practice. Particularly if you have been buying cheap baby clothing. Let me tell you, those clothes don’t last. Not to mention the fact that rarely do the seasons from the last baby match up. Also, I can personally attest to the fact that your children can vary drastically in sizing and growth at certain ages. My oldest is always too long and skinny, and my second is extremely rotund but not quite long enough. If you are unsure about seasons, pajamas are always useful in any size and don’t really depend on the season.
5) Bibs. You can never have too many bibs. I’m about to go add to my stash myself. Cute little bibs to catch the drool that adorns an infant’s shirtfront are always useful, or plain cloth or plastic food bibs are invaluable as well. I used to be grossed out by the bibs with the pocket food catchers at the bottom, but turns out that is infinitely less gross than trying to hose down a toddler’s lap. Who knew?
6) Baby bath towels. Now this might just be a weird quirk of mine, but all of my baby towels got ratty after my first baby. It probably has something to do with the fact that I wash them after every use. Some moms just use normal towels, but I like to keep the newborn laundry separate so that I can wash it in the special detergent, which leads me to my next gift.
7) Baby laundry detergent. Newborns go through more wardrobe changes in a day than Beyoncé, (interesting fact: my auto correct added that accent for me. Apparently even auto correct is a Beyonce fan) and that leads to a ton of extra laundry. Special baby laundry detergent is preferable because it is easier on sensitive newborn skin.
8) Swaddle blankets. For the same reasons listed under my crib bedding gift idea, you can never have too many swaddle blankets. Plain blankets are all well and good for first time moms who have nothing better to do, but second or more time moms will probably either want a Velcro swaddle or a Miracle Blanket or something similar. No one wants to be waking up several times a night to re-swaddle deliriously.
9) Baby soaps and toiletries. For obvious reasons, these usually don’t last past the first baby. And things like baby brushes and nail clippers are notoriously easy to misplace.
10) Baby books. You can never have too many books! And babies are really hard on books, so don’t fret about buying a book they already have. Particularly if it is a favorite of the older children, it is probably barely distinguishable by now.
11) Things that tend to replicate at an alarming rate with children: stuffed animals, teething toys, pacifiers, toys in general, baby cutlery, and baby blankets (unless it is handmade, bring those on).