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If you know a new parent, you likely know someone who hasn’t shopped for themselves in a while — they’re too busy pouring their heart, soul, formerly restful nights, and finances into their tiny little human.
It’s no joke: New moms and dads are some of the most selfless people we know. And chances are, the ones in your life need a little pampering and spoiling this holiday.
That’s why we polled moms and dads in the Healthline office to specifically ask them about their favorite “just for me” gifts when they became new parents — because when you ask your new-mom BFF for her wish list, she’s more likely to say diapers or onesies than the spa day she deserves.
Regardless of whether your friend is on maternity (or paternity) leave, a SAHM (or SAHD), or splitting their time between the new tiny human in their life and the office, they’re probably going out a lot less these days. In the words of one new mom who works at Healthline, “If you aren’t leaving the house, you might as well be happy about what you’re wearing!”
Enter loungewear. Cute enough to answer the door and receive casual guests in, but comfy enough for snuggles in bed or on the couch while feeding the newest addition.
You don’t even leave the house to shop, with so many loungewear options available online. We have a preference for the super soft options from Splendid for women and the Hanes micro fleece set for men.
Although this may only come to mind in the immediate weeks after delivery, we promise it’s a welcome gift throughout baby’s entire first year.
In fact, in many cases, parents of babies in the 6 to 12 month range find themselves with even more demands on their time. And those with littler ones are still adjusting to a new normal. So really, providing a meal (or 2, or 20) is always a cherished gift.
“A coworker gave me an Uber eats gift card and I’m pretty sure we lived off take out for the first 6 weeks,” shares one Healthline parent.
The options here are practically endless. Some of our favorites include:
One Healthline editor (and mom) shares, “Something indulgent for my husband was noise canceling headphones. So he could still chill out to TV even though I was breast pumping and our baby was crying in our loft.”
Feeling extra generous toward a special couple in your life? Buy a pair of Bluetooth noise canceling headphones for when one of the new parents needs some silence for a minute… or 5… or 20.
Looking for that perfect gift for a new parent co-worker or neighbor? A luxurious hand lotion is a welcome addition to any diapering station, and one that may not occur to new parents as being a necessity.
A Healthline mom shares that one of her most appreciated gifts was a “mildly scented but hydrating hand lotion that was a lifesaver with continuous diaper changing and hand washing.”
Behind every parent is a hidden diaper bag struggle that no one sees: Did we remember to put in baby wipes? Check. Extra formula? Check. Cash for lunch? Whoops.
For times when the wallet is left by the door or in a purse forgotten at home, it’s absolutely vital to have an extra stash in the diaper bag. Look for a cute, colorful option that’s easily spotted among the diaper cream and burp cloths — and if you’re feeling particularly generous, add some cash while you’re at it.
Sometimes, shower time is the only “me time” new parents get. Couple that with postpartum hair struggles, and a hair care kit makes for a welcome gift.
Looking to give a more full-service experience? Try a gift card to Dry Bar or other similar salon. “This gift was great to use when I got around to it 12 months later — after the postpartum hair loss — as a #treatyoself day,” one Healthliner shares.
Pushing around a vacuum cleaner while hip-carrying your 6-month-old is hard, y’all. Plus — no matter how much your 1-month-old might love the white noise of the vacuum — it’s a chore no new parent wants to do during cherished baby nap time. (We’ve always wondered: How do you “nap when they nap” if you have things to do?!)
Enter the Roomba (the OG) and related devices. Sure, it’s a splurge, but your mom or dad friend is worth it — and will be eternally grateful. With lower-end models costing less than $300 and still getting the job done, this start-it-and-forget-it cleaning device is just what the postpartum doctor ordered.
Sure, this may seem suspiciously like an item more for baby than for mom or dad, but in our book, anything that gives the adults of the household more of their time back is a win.
Faster and more convenient than washing everything by hand, this fabulous multitasker can take on sterilizing, drying, and storing of almost anything baby related: bottles, pacifiers, baby utensils and plates — even breast pump parts.
Consider this model from trusted brand Wabi Baby.
Photo gifts may seem so 2006, but there are some updates to this classic that we think are worth a consider.
It might surprise you to know that not all parents have the time to print their favorite photos, let alone put together a photo album — and that’s where you come in.
Don’t get lost amongst all the social media love — stand out by giving a keepsake that keeps on giving long after the posted baby photos disappear beyond the scroll.
Preload a digital photo frame with pictures from mom or dad’s social media accounts so they can remember the precious first-year moments even in the midst of the challenges — you know, when the laptop’s closed and their hands are full with sleep regressions, baby-proofing, and infant-sized discontent. (You never know when a crib-side photo may encourage a tired parent through a nighttime soothing session.)
Or, what’s more fun than having your photos on display in a beautiful coffee table magazine? Get your new parent friends a subscription to Recently, an app that does just that, and they’ll have a gorgeous magazine (monthly, quarterly, or whenever they choose) that practically creates itself.
Bonus: Just like photo gifts of the early 2000s, these make great gifts for new grandparents, too.
One Healthliner shares that this is her go-to gift for new moms. Buy a cute basket or cloth bag and fill to the brim with witch hazel pads, nipple cream, good lotion, under eye gel pads, ear plugs, and a nice sitz bath solution. Pro tip: What’s a sitz bath solution, if mama doesn’t have a chance to enjoy it? Offer to watch baby for a few hours while mom pampers herself.
And speaking of postpartum wellness, did you know that dads can get postpartum depression, too? Show him he’s not forgotten during this challenging time — fill a kit with shaving products, facial masks, and lounge wear. We love the Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask from Kiehl’s and the Art of Shaving Midsize Kit. Looking for a steal? These Harry’s gift sets are real crowd pleasers.
Clothes can be one of the toughest gifts to buy for a person — but also one of the most personal and appreciated.
As one Healthline employee notes, “It was wonderful to get so many lovely gifts for the babies, but a dress was the one thing just for me. I think any personal gift is nice to receive, especially clothes, as by a certain point postpartum I think you’ve often been wearing the same things on repeat for months.”
If you find yourself struggling to make a choice at a big-box department store, try something from Pact Apparel, a clothing company committed to sustainable fashion and comfortable, organic cotton. We like their classic wrap dresses for her and garment-dyed Henleys for him.
Sometimes the most thoughtful gifts aren’t the tangible ones you can hold in your hand. “We had light bulbs out for months (and still do) because we have no time to think about it. A few months postpartum it seemed like our whole house was falling apart,” in the words of one Healthliner.
Consider offering a helping hand, especially around the holidays or special occasions when time may be particularly precious. Some ideas:
- offer to do laundry or wash dishes
- bring over tools for small repairs
- do a deep clean of the refrigerator, oven, or bathtub
- mow the lawn
The days can feel long, but the years go by so fast — and especially in the early months of new parenthood, mom and dad can be too overwhelmed by the day-to-day to think to jot down precious moments they want to remember.
Or, consider Letters to My Baby, a book full of blank notes and envelopes for parents to write messages to their baby for later reading. One Healthline dad who received this as a gift says, “The baby takes so much out of you that having something to remind you to take time out and write down the good things is huge — especially knowing they’ll read it when they’re older.”
Never underestimate the power of putting certain tasks on autopilot. Show us a new parent, and we’ll show you someone who’s probably made at least one middle-of-the-night store run for diapers, baby wipes, formula, or… caffeine.
Using Amazon’s Subscribe & Save feature, you can gift your friend with 6 months’ worth of diapers or other essentials. “I didn’t have to think about it once,” says one appreciative Healthline mom who received this as a gift.
To do this, simply choose the Subscribe & Save option when adding an item to your cart (like these diapers options) and select how often you want them delivered.
And speaking of subscriptions, what new parent wouldn’t love a sleep or meditation aid? (It’s a great time to be alive.) Apps like Calm and Aura offer sleep stories, guided meditation, daily inspo, and more.
Consider buying a year-long subscription for that new mom or dad in your life and give the gift of peaceful sleep. Because if you’re only getting a few hours at a time, it might as well be dreamy.
This was a super popular gift among Healthline parents. Although no one should need permission to indulge in a good massage and other self-care goodness, the truth is, we all suck at pampering ourselves at times.
Give a new mom (or dad — dad massages are totally a thing, and we’re here for it) the go-ahead by arranging for a babysitter and planning a glorious day of restoration and relaxation.
There are nationwide chains, like Massage Envy, or you can support your local independently owned spa by purchasing a day package for two.
The truth is, the new parents in your life will appreciate any acts of thoughtfulness — whether they come wrapped up with a pretty bow or just in the form of a phone call or visit.
As one Healthline mom points out, sometimes the best gift is a big ol’ pan of mac and cheese and an evening of adult conversation — trust us, this becomes a cherished commodity once the newest addition arrives.
We hope these ideas will get you started, but the best gift you can give is just being there — and reminding new moms and dads that they’ve got this.