Welcome to the mother lode (no pun intended) of gift ideas for new moms, guaranteed to rank you as number one friend on your expectant friend’s roster. You’re welcome!
I won’t waste any time and just get right to it:
1. Baby memories
I came across these really nicely done milestone cards at Db Babies in Al Wahda mall (also spotted at Nest in Abu Dhabi mall). The cards contain every possible milestone you can think of! What new mom doesn’t like to track every single moment in baby’s life?
For the veteran moms who are having their second (or third or fourth) kid, these also make a great gift. All us non-firstborns deserve a chance to reminisce on our development too! These cards do all the work for you with almost every milestone covered, so all they have to do is jot down a quick date or one-liner memory and wala!
You can also peruse Amazon and buy those trendy monthly stickers for cute photos at home to document their baby’s growth.
2. Books (most of these can be found or special-ordered through Magrudy’s at Wahda and WTC mall)
- A great medical reference to have at home, and especially handy for those middle-of-the-night “is this an emergency or not” situations: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, 6th Edition: Birth to Age 5 by the American Academy of Pediatrics
- For a comprehensive, tried-and-tested A-Z book that has spanned decades, one of our moms deemed this, “The baby Bible”: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by Dr. William Sears
- The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting, by Gina Ford
- For moms who breastfeed, a classic is: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by La Leche League International
- An approach to the emotional and cognitive development of children: Touchpoints-Birth to Three
by T. Berry Brazelton
Generally speaking, you can never fail with baby clothes. But if you have a unique (ahem…picky) friend when it comes to style, gifting clothes can be a hit or miss. You definitely don’t want your gift to be used in a one-time only sympathy photo. To keep that from happening, I recommend keeping it simple and useful. No crazy frills or cute suspenders, leave those to the mother. Here are a few recommendations:
- Keep it basic and get lots of onsies. You can never have too many onsies!
- Soft swaddle blankets
- Skip clothing for the first six months, because parents and their direct family usually stock up on everything for the first few months post-birth.
- One outfit for each age group, beginning from 6 months to 2 years. For example, one outfit for 6-12 months, another for 12-18 months, and a third for 18-24 months. Three outfits that cover two years. Win!
- And my personal signature gift: baby kuffiyeh bibs – because while you’re living here, it’s nice to deck the baby out in some adorable Middle Eastern flare.
4. Themed gifts
I’m the type of person that doesn’t mind pre-packaged gift sets, but for those of you super friends that want to put your own unique touch, you can assemble your own personalized gift-set. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Do an “Everything you need for ______” gift. For example: Everything You Need for Feeding, or Everything You Need for Potty Training, or Everything You Need for Bed Time.
- For you seasoned mothers out there, gather an assortment of your top baby item picks, like “Sheikha Love’s Must Haves”, and toss in everything from that magical nipple cream that saved your life, to the one toy your baby wouldn’t put down.
- Make a “Welcome Home” gift basket, including things such as baby shampoos or lotions, a small plush toy, cute towel, creams for mommy, pacifiers, a pacifier holder, or basically whatever you think your friend would benefit from in her first month home with baby. Db Babies has super cute personalized pacifiers with common Arabic names, or Arabic phrases, on them. If you can’t find the name you want, don’t worry, they can custom make one!
Who doesn’t love a good home-cooked meal, especially after coming home from the hospital? Make your friend an assortment of easy to prepare meals to keep in the freezer that she can turn to when she is hungry, sleep deprived, and tired. And, hey, dad will be grateful too.
If your friend already has children, or if this is her first baby, offer to come take care of the kids or watch over the newborn while she takes some time for herself to take a long bath, or get some well needed rest.
As I mentioned in my previous post on gift ideas for expectant mothers, a photography package is a great idea for both expectant and new moms. Abu Dhabi based family photographer, Sarah Siblini, takes some stunning photos and her photo packages are definitely worth checking out!
8. Mobile Mom
For on-the-go moms, consider getting them something they can use to easily transport baby, such as:
- An Ergobaby, MOBY, or Boba carriers and wraps, available in the UAE at BabySouk, or pre-loved ones through the UAE babywearing group.
- One of the Mamas & Papas new Armadillo strollers – one-handed folding and light enough for one-handed lifting! Bam!
9. Baby swing/chair
Baby chairs or swings are a great idea for soothing the newborn. One of our moms swears by the Mamaroo infant seat, praising it as one of the only chairs that has movements that mimic normal human movements. Among its many feature, the seat has five different motions and speed options to choose from.
10. Postpartum belt
A postpartum belt will help support a new mother’s lower back and weakened core muscles. The Belly Bandit is one of the most popular and are available at Smitten and WTC Mall, and Destination Maternity in Al Wahda or Yas Mall.
11. Breastfeeding essentials
- Bébé au Lait or Mamascarf nursing cover in an assortment of cute patterns.
- Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Double Electric Breastpump with accessories.
- Bamboobies nursing pads. They are reusable, super soft, and don’t show through bras.
- Boppy pillow.
- Pure lanolin ointment to reduce nipple pain.
- My Brest Friend – a nursing pillow that helps position the baby for latching and also support mom’s body, some of our moms have also used it for bottle feeding.
- Water bottle. It may sound random, but a water bottle for a breast feeding mom is a life saver. The Hydro flask temperature-controlled water bottle is a good option in this heat.
12. Random essentials for keeping baby happy
- Nose Frida nasal aspirator. This “snotsucker” works amazingly well and does not cause pain or discomfort to baby. (Available at DB babies and local online children’s stores).
- The Windi Gas and Colic Reliever. Brought to you by the same people who make the Nose Frida – it is a disposable catheter that you insert into a baby’s bottom to release the gas. It works instantly, but beware, it will start with a puff of gas, followed by a ton of poop.
13. iPhone app
Steal your friend’s phone and download the Total Baby app to track nursing, sleeping, diapers, baths, appointments, etc. Your friend will be grateful because it will help her find her baby’s routines and patterns, remember how long it’s been since feeding, which breast, etc.
These come in handy for later down the line, but you could consider gifting staple tools she will need for the first year. One of these items are specially designed utensils that won’t cause a mess, like no-spill cups, Munchkin Two-Snack Catchers, or the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder so baby can safely gnaw on solids (both available at BabyShop).
A new mom will definitely be grateful to stock up on diapers. You can also consider buying specialized diaper garbage pails and bags to help dispose of the dirty diapers (or a full set of cloth diapers if they aren’t going the disposable route).
There is also a fantastic product called sugarSNAPS. They are diaper bag organizers that you just pop into any big bag and you immediately have an organized diaper bag. This is a great gift for moms who don’t like to sport a traditional diaper bag.
Not the most personal option, but as one friend candidly told me, “because sometimes the last thing I need is another set of onsies that say Grandma’s Little Guy.”
17. Postpartum essentials
If you’re prepping a decidedly un-fun and non-sexy gift for those moms closest to you, I’d add a half-dozen cupcakes to soften the blow of sparkle wrapped Witch Hazel (Neil’s Yard), industrial sized maxi pads, medical perineal cold packs, and honestly, maybe a week’s worth of disposable undies so she never has to relive the experience.
I hope this comprehensive mom-approved list helps you out a little in your future mom/baby gift buying! One last thing, if your friend already has children, consider also getting the older children a small gift and let them know they are still just as special.
For these items in Abu Dhabi, you can check out:
- Abu Dhabi mall – Mothercare, Nest for Kids,
- Al Wahda mall – Mamas & Papas, Destination Maternity, Db Babies, Magrudys
- Dalma mall – Mothercare, Babies R Us
- Marina mall – Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, BabyShop
- WTC mall – Smitten, Magrudys
- Yas mall – Mothercare, Prenatal
And local online shopping: