I’m hosting a baby shower for the first time this weekend, and I quickly realized I didn’t know where to start. Are we supposed to play games? I texted one friend. But she doesn’t have a registry…I mused to another. A few women shared “must-have” brands and items and a very fancy crib that autonomously rocks your baby to sleep, but more often than not, the conversation led to what these moms really wanted—items not found on a registry.
What the new mom in your life probably wants is simply time; with her friends, with her baby, her family, herself. And since we can’t add hours to the day, perhaps our best bet is helping her make the most of that time: bringing her family dinner so she can cuddle her infant instead of cooking, sitting on a chair in her bedroom so you can catch up without her needing to leave the baby or get showered and ready, watching her kids for a couple of hours so she can spend quality time with her partner. For more ideas on the best non-gifts for new moms, I asked some of the mothers in my life for their thoughts.
6 Moms on The Best Non-Gifts They Received
“One of the best non gifts I received was from an artist neighbor who would occasionally take my two toddlers to her house for art lessons/projects so that I could spend some time alone with my newborn.” – Gaye, mother to “kids” ages 30, 27, and 26 (but in the early ‘90s, a mother to three kids under the age of 4!)
“When I was in the early days postpartum in my mum showed up at my house at 6am and took the baby for two hours while I slept. She then brought him to me to breastfeed him, then whisked him away for another two hours and I slept until 10am!! For me personally, there is something magical about recouping 4 hours of sleep in the early AM hours. She did it for me 3 or 4 times and it was a game changer for my sanity and energy.” –Kayti, mamma to Axel, 11 months
“The best non-gift I received was when people continued to come around. Right after giving birth you have an influx of excited visitors coming to meet the baby (and hopefully checking in on you too), but that dies down after a few weeks. It’s nice to have friends and family continue to check in and offer support weeks or even months after your kiddo arrives. Also…food! So many people were kind enough to come over with meals after our son was born. There is so much going on that my husband and I barely had time to eat, let alone cook. A healthy meal or gift cards to food delivery services were greatly appreciated.” – Puja, mom to a 3-month-old love bug
“As a social person, having a newborn can often be isolating as everyone is off continuing to live their lives while yours has drastically changed. The best non-gift I received from my loved ones was simply time. Chatting on the couch, going on a walk, bringing a little treat to enjoy in my home while ogling the baby. These are my favorite memories during my early days of motherhood.” – Alysse, mom to Pierce, 15 months, with #2 on the way
“Food delivery; a non-interrupted, longer than 10 minute, phone call or meet-up with best friends; a house-cleaner or someone to just pick-up or change the sheets.” — Abbie, mom of 6 year old and 3 year old
“When I was pregnant with my second child there was a complication with my pregnancy and I had to go in for a two hour doctor’s appointment, last minute. My friend heard the news and came over 10 minutes before I was leaving and told me she was watching my toddler so I could go alone, and not worry about keeping a two year old entertained during the appointment. It was the sweetest, most thoughtful gesture during a stressful time.” – Jocelyn, mom to a 2.5-year-old and 6-week-old
Non-gifts were resoundingly appreciated by moms brand new and experienced, but there’s also a certain joy in bringing a gift that will make any new mom smile. If you still want something you can tie up with ribbon, we’re excited to share Cora’s new motherhood bundle, which includes period + bladder pads, organic nipple balm, belly butter, and body cloths.