A friend of mine gave birth to her second son recently, so I was at the shops looking for a gift for the her and the little one when it suddenly occurred to me: "Does she really need another blanket? Or toy? Or cute little jumpsuit that bub will in all likelihood only wear once or twice?" I realised, through my own experience as a mum, that the answer is no.
As I think back on those fuzzy, sleepless days and nights, I remember so clearly now what it was that I truly appreciated and needed and I'm telling you, it isn't a teddy bear. Here are some practical gift ideas any new mum will appreciate.
Cleaning service - New mums are told to sleep when the baby sleeps, but new mums also have to cook, eat, shower and clean. One of the best gift a new mum or any mum, in fact can have is hiring a cleaner, so the house is clean, tidy and sparkly (even when mum is covered in drool herself). A cleaning service like Helpling can help any mum find a professional cleaner to meet her housekeeping needs.
Overnight babysitting - With the constant feeding, soothing and nappy changing 24/7, new mums are inevitably sleep deprived. I remember when Alex was a newborn, I used to fantasize about having a solid 8 hours sleep. If you're good with little babies, offer to babysit overnight, if not, you can engage a professional overnight nanny. My soon-to-be-launched nanny agency will provide such a service to new mums.
Streaming TV and movie service - There's actually not much to do while breastfeeding, apart from staring at your sweet little bundle of joy. Which I did, a lot. I also spent so many of my breastfeeding hours watching catch up TV (like The Bachelor, for example) on my iphone. And there are so many movies I'd have missed out on if not for TV and movie streaming services.
Nappies and wipes - Fact: babies poo A LOT. And they pee A LOT. And they make A LOT of mess. So naturally new mums go through boxes and boxes of nappies very very quickly, which makes nappies and wipes a very welcome gift. While not the most exciting of gifts, this one is certainly the most practical.
Do you have any other practical gift ideas for new mums?