Baby showers are always fun. Looking at tiny little booties and diaper cakes can make any woman's uterus shutter with excitement. I do, however, think that moms who attend baby showers for first-time mothers should include at least one of the following items with their gift. Most first-time moms read a few books but have no idea what to expect after they birth that baby.
- Maxi Pads: This may not seem like a very exciting gift, but first-time moms may not realize that they will bleed for weeks after the baby arrives. Since you can't use tampons, give a few boxes of heavy-duty Maxi Pads and a comforting hug.
- Hemorrhoid wipes: This will definitely not be the cutest gift in the pile, but hemorrhoid wipes will come in handy. After a vaginal delivery, that new mom will have an undercarriage that resembles ground beef. Hemorrhoid wipes will help soothe that and bring down the swelling.
- Nipple shield: If the new mom wants to try and breastfeed, it will most likely be difficult. Breastfeeding is not easy, and it is even harder on the nipples. Nipple shields help the mom and baby with latching and irritation. They are a real lifesaver.
- Ready-made formula bottles: Whether Mom wants to breast or bottle feed, the first few days are tough. If the milk hasn't come in yet, the baby will become increasingly hungry and irritable. Having ready-made formula on hand will give her the option of giving the baby a bottle while her milk comes in. My milk didn't come in for three days, and my son wasn't urinating. I felt much better after giving him a bottle and having him pee on me with his tiny fire hose.
- Muumuu: The first few weeks after having a baby are rough. I didn't shower for at least a week. I lived in my muumuu. It was cotton, was comfortable, and had easy access to my milk jugs. Give the gift of easy access.
- Stool softener: There will be lots of first for the new mommy. That also includes her first bowel movement after baby. I had no idea that going to the bathroom was going to be like giving birth a second time. Give her a bottle of stool softener and a bottle of prune juice. Nothing says "I love you" like giving the gift of a quick and painless poo.
- Dry shampoo: Showering may not happen for the first few days . . . or week. Dry shampoo will let her get the grease and baby spit-up out of her hair in under 30 seconds.
- Wine: I do not promote drinking and breastfeeding, but one glass of wine will not hurt the baby. Tell that new mommy to relax and have a glass of wine while someone else holds the baby. Get her something she loves and perhaps a wine glass with the baby's name engraved on it. She will never forget the reason she drinks.
- Food: First-time moms are bound to be overwhelmed. Check to see if your area offers any type of meal service or send takeout. Everyone loves it when someone else cooks dinner.
- Free pass: Write a note in the card that explains you will be there for her. Let her know that you can offer babysitting, trips to Target, a shoulder to cry on, or whatever you think she may need. Her world is about to turn upside down. Give the gift of time and understand it is way better than a rattle.
Think back to the first time you became a mom. I wish someone had warned me about my first poop postbaby. They may not be the most glamorous gifts, but they will be the ones she remembers.