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What to buy a mom-to-be who’s planning to breastfeed?
I LOVE buying baby gifts. They are so sweet. Now, as a mom to six littles, I really enjoy buying gifts for a breastfeeding mom that are as useful as they are cute. I love the hunt of finding that one item that will make life as new mom easier, whether this is their 1st or 10th baby.
I’ve selected a wide range of gifts for new mamas over the years including giving one friend 6 small packages. Each included a note of breastfeeding education and my personal suggestions of how and when to use the item. Here are my favorite tips for gifting to that special mama in your life.
1. First, please realize that you don’t need ALL THE THINGS.
Nor do you want all the things. The more things you have means more things to pick up, organize, find closet space for, and eventually to declutter and donate. YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED: YOUR BREASTS AND YOUR BABY.
2. Swaddle (and everything else) blanket
Most swaddle blankets are crazy cute but too small to actually swaddle with past the first two weeks. This can be very annoying so I am quite picky about the blankets I keep. I am a big fan of throwing one blanket in my diaper bag that can be used for many things: as a nursing cover, a play mat or diaper changing area, a burp cloth, a car seat cover, a car seat blanket, or a swaddle blanket.
The Little Rose Shop blankets are a great size (47″x47″) to accomplish these various tasks. They are beautiful and faith-inspiring, too. The medium weight Aden and Anais blankets work well, also. They’re not as slick as the thinner blankets which can be difficult to swaddle in because the swaddle comes undone easily. Another blanket that works really well is one made by a family member with the edges simply surged. It does not need to be fancy. It can be cute and useful. Ours were given to us by Great-Grandma. They are 41″ by 39″ which I have found to be a perfect size to do all the things I listed above. I love to go through my stash of these and if I have extra to gift these special blankets to mom friends.
3. Breastfeeding pillow
I have a basic Boppy pillow. This is another item that has so many uses! We use it for support while breastfeeding, while bottle feeding if I’m away, to help siblings hold the baby, for tummy time, for reflux, and to help prop the baby up during photo shoots.
4. Nipple cream
Now, it is not considered normal when breastfeeding hurts. It is, however, very common so nipple cream can be a great tool in the tool belt. It can help make breastfeeding feel better while you work to get rid of the pain but make sure you’re also getting lactation help to get rid of the pain!
Here is one nipple balm option and her explanation of it. For lanolin creams, I prefer Medela over Lansinoh. The reason is that I find Lansinoh hard to get out of the tube and harder to spread. The Medela glides easily out of the tube and spreads onto nipples with little effort so minimal rubbing of the nipples is needed. Consider printing this article for Mom to give her with the nipple cream gift. It will explain how she can express breast milk and use coconut oil in addition to the nipple cream to really help them heal fast!
5. List of local breastfeeding resources
Gifts for a breastfeeding mom? How about assistance with getting over any hurdles that arise in her breastfeeding journey? Make sure Mama knows who she can call if she has nipple pain… or questions… or wants to take a medication… etc. Just search “Breastfeeding” and your city and you should get options both hospital based and outside of the hospital to call when needed. Then you can make her a handy list to place on the fridge so she has phone numbers to lactation consultants.
I happen to love when babies will take pacifiers. My first two loved their pacifiers. We would offer it when it was time to sleep and no matter where we were, their eyes glazed over and they were quickly snoozing. I thought we were pretty good at this parenting thing. Then came babies 3, 4 & 5. They all had their own little story but overall didn’t want a pacifier.
Now, I definitely like to include a note like this one when I gift a pacifier to a first time mom. The great thing about Wubbanubs is that before baby is coordinated enough to get a pacifier back into their mouth, they can get the foot or some part of a Wubbanub back in their mouth. That means they can calm themselves while you’re driving and in all sorts of others scenarios where you can’t get to them right away. My favorite ones to gift are Mary Meyer Wubbanubs as they are extra cute. I mean, check out this dinosaur, duck, and super hero! We have a Leo, which means lion, so of course, he had the Lion Wubbanub. The cow and reindeer are darling, too.
Ah, books. My husband may tell you I have a book problem. I believe it started when we started homeschooling. Reading to your babies and kids has so many benefits! Reading to a baby can become a great part of their nap and bedtime routine. Close the door to decrease stimuli and snuggle with them while you read. Baby will start to learn this means it’s time to sleep.
Books are also a great way to include siblings while nursing a newborn. When you sit down to nurse, have a pile of books within reach. When brother or sister wanders over offer to read to them and they’ll feel like they’re getting your whole attention while you multi-task! It’s a very helpful trick to easing the transition for them to having a baby sibling. In general, I prefer books with a cadence (a rhythmic beat or flow) because I find them more fun to read. I also love beautiful pictures.
For book ideas, consider:
- Who Sang The First Song by Ellie Holcomb
- This book meets all my favorite criteria: great message with a cadence, beautiful pictures, sturdy for little hands
- Little Blue Truck
- All the books in this series are loved in our home but start with the original. If it’s for a baby gift, I recommend the board book!
- Family Favorites
- What books were loved by your family when you were a baby or were raising babies? My in-laws gifted all their children the same three books when they each had their first baby. The Giant Jam Sandwich, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Katy and the Big Snow. These are treasured books in our house! They’re great for reading over and over again. You don’t need these as board books because you’ll continue to read them as kids grow. It has happened where for some reason we ended up reciting these books out loud at a family gathering (New Years Eve?) because we all have them memorized.
8. Cross for their room
It’s wonderful to have a cross at the doorway of each of your kids’ bedrooms. That makes this a great baptism gift. Beautiful and fun ones can be found randomly at boutiques but when I’m in need of finding one in a short amount of time, going to Hobby Lobby is where I have the most success (by far).
Specifically, a throw on the ground, get dirty, use for anything quilt. We were gifted a scrap quilt from a good family friend. She made sure to tell me this wasn’t a “sit in the house and keep nice” quilt. She encouraged me to take it anywhere, lay it on the ground anywhere, and use it. This information is a very important part of this gift! Lay it on the grass (or a dirty gym floor) so the baby can lay down and stretch. Let it live in the car so you’ll have it when you need it. Use it for a picnic. Use it for a photo op. The opportunities are endless. It is very helpful and I always think of the gift giver when I use ours.
10. Try to avoid bottle feeding gifts for a breastfeeding mom
There are so many other options of gifts for a breastfeeding mom. They don’t need bottle feeding items right away. If and when mom goes back to work or they decide to give a bottle of breastmilk, they can get a bottle then. They don’t need gobs of bottle feeding paraphernalia at the beginning.
The World Health Organization wrote an International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes because
- baby stomachs are immature
- exclusively feeding breast milk offers more protection against illness
- introducing formula often leads to weaning breastfeeding before the mother wanted to.
In fact, in this International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes it says companies who make breast milk substitutes should not advertise or provide samples to pregnant mothers. Can you think of any who violate this? When I was pregnant, samples would just show up at my door! Yuck.
I hope these gifts for a breastfeeding mom inspire you to put together the most wonderfully useful and personalized baby gift for the special mom to be in your life! Share this with someone who needs ideas! What was your favorite gift to give or receive? Comment below!
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