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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.
That’s why we polled moms and dads in the Healthline office to 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.
1. Money toward a postpartum doula
A visit from a postpartum doula is a gift that can benefit the whole family.
Like a modern Mary Poppins, doulas arrive ready to offer parents of newborns the chance to sleep. They can also offer answers to parenting questions, a listening ear, referrals, and help with cooking and baby laundry.
An added bonus: Some doulas have special training in massage and belly binding, so parents can get these services from the comfort of their own homes.
If you need help locating a postpartum doula, you can check out the DONA International webpage or ask local medical professionals and friends for recommendations.
2. A water bottle (with reminders to drink!)
Newborn parents are frequently more concerned with their baby’s needs than their own. That makes reminders to stay hydrated more important than ever.
Plus, having a water bottle or two nearby means they won’t have to worry about getting up from the couch for a cup right after their baby finally falls asleep on them.
Depending on your budget and the new parents’ style, there are several options.
There are bottles with markings that indicate how much water you should have drunk by that point in the day (we like this Salú one), and options with color-changing properties (check out the Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle, which has a free app to help track water consumption).
3. A subscription to a wine delivery service
New parents may not be hitting up bars frequently, but many look forward to a glass of wine or cocktail at home once their little one falls asleep (especially because they’ve likely taken time off from drinking during the pregnancy). Consider gifting a monthly wine subscription like Winc.
Know some new parents who don’t drink alcohol? Consider gifting them some coffee from Generous, a company giving back to children and families around the world, or a coffee machine like this upgraded Keurig that will take their morning beverage to the next level. If mom is off caffeine while breastfeeding, consider a subscription box like Mother Snacker or Mama Bird.
4. A new scarf
A new accessory can go a long way in bringing back glamorous feelings after months of wearing maternity clothing (and maybe not feeling the best about one’s appearance).
Scarves are a particularly useful accessory since they can hide spit up on the collar of an outfit, cover up oily hair, and even be used as a cover during breastfeeding sessions.
We love the Bebe au Lait Muslin Nursing Scarf for summertime use. The muslin makes it breathable and cooler.
For something that offers a little more coverage of a postpartum body, the Bamboobies Nursing Shawl is worth checking out.
5. A tracking device for those easily lost little things
Sleepless nights and a space filled to the brim with baby gear means that it’s easy for new parents to misplace their car keys, wallet, and phone.
With a gift like Tile, they won’t have to spend precious time frantically searching for these essentials when they’re ready to get out the door. Trust us when we say, this is a gift sure to save the day more than once.
6. Comfy loungewear
Whether your friend is on maternity (or paternity) leave, a stay-at-home parent, 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 athleisure 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 need to leave the house to shop, with so many loungewear options available online. We like the Everyday Lounge Joggers by Kindred Bravely (which also pair great with many of their nursing tops!) and Vuori’s Sunday Performance Jogger.
7. Food delivery, dine in, or takeout gift certificate
Although this may only come to mind in the immediate weeks after delivery, we promise it’s a welcome gift throughout the 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 little ones are still adjusting to a new normal. So, 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 takeout for the first 6 weeks,” shares one Healthline parent.
The options here are practically endless. Some of our favorites include:
You could also gift them a handful of meal delivery kits that don’t require cooking and come ready to heat and eat. Some to consider:
8. Noise-canceling headphones
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.
Of course, both parents shouldn’t be wearing them at the same time, but they can take turns getting some quiet time when they need it.
9. Hand lotion
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 handwashing.”
10. A cute wallet to throw in the diaper bag
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 one stashed 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.
11. Hair care
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.
Consider the cell therapy line from Ovation, which supports growth while also keeping locks hydrated and strong. There are even options specifically for men. For something more personalized, you can give the gift of some customized hair care products from Prose.
Looking to give a more full-service experience? Try a gift card to Dry Bar or another 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.
12. Robotic vacuum
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.
13. Sterilizer and dryer
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.
14. Modern photo gifts
Photo gifts may seem so 2006, but there are some updates to this classic that we think are worth considering.
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.
This way they can remember the precious first-year moments even in the midst of the challenges. You know, when 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 coffee table magazine? Get your new parent friends a subscription to Recently, an app that does just that. 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.
15. Postpartum care kit
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.
If you’re running short on the time and energy to pick out every item for a postpartum kit yourself, some brands have pre-curated options.
Honest Co.’s Beyond the Bump Kit and Frida mom’s Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit are two popular options. You can even customize your gift to your friend’s particular birth experience with a specific C-section recovery kit!
And speaking of postpartum wellness, did you know that dads can get postpartum depression, too? Show them they’re not forgotten during this challenging time.
Fill a kit with shaving products, facial masks, and loungewear. 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.
16. A new outfit
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… 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 and garment-dyed Henleys.
17. A helping hand
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
18. Guided journals
The days can feel long, but the years go by so fast — and especially in the early months of new parenthood, parents 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.”
19. Essentials, delivered
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 Healthline mom who received this as a gift.
To do this, choose the Subscribe & Save option when adding an item to your cart (like these diapers options) and select how often you want them delivered.
20. App subscriptions
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 yearlong 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.
21. Trip to the spa
This was a popular gift among Healthline parents. No one should need permission to indulge in a good massage and other self-care goodness, but the truth is, we all suck at pampering ourselves.
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 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.