Clearly, there’s nothing at all wrong with giving the gift of itty baby clothes or important gear or any of that other stuff. (The registry exists for a reason, no? And who doesn’t love getting those things?). But there’s also something to be said for giving the type of gift that nobody registers for — the type of gift that most of us don’t even know we want until we’ve gotten it. Here, a snapshot of our favorite super-thoughtful presents — small ones and big ones — for pregnant pals and for new moms.
1. Capomo (a.k.a. Yummy Coffee Substitute)
Because a lot of women like to lay off the caffeine when they’re pregnant and/or breastfeeding: The semi-rare (in the U.S.) Capomo seed, which comes from the fruit of the Capomo tree in Latin America, is nourishing, super high in folic acid, vitamins, potassium and a bunch of other good stuff — and it can be brewed like coffee. It tastes vaguely sweet, a little nutty, almost chocolatey, and it’s a kickass coffee substitite. A wonderful Ardmore-based company — Between Friends Roasting — roasts and sells it. You can read more about it here, and buy it here for $16 a bag.
2. Meals from Friends
Mealtrain.com is a free website with an interactive calendar that allows you to organize meals for mom and entire family after the baby is born. Invitations to other friends can be sent through email or Facebook; and people who’ve agreed to bring food get info that you enter about family allergies, preferences and so on. Because as every new mother knows, there is nothing more helpful than other people cooking for those first few weeks. Which brings us to …
3. Meals from a Delivery Service
If you don’t want to organize a meal train (or don’t want to cook for one), having meals delivered is another amazing, appreciated option. Home Appetit offers a series of 8 interchangeable fresh dinners (mains and sides that you can choose) that are $150 per couple.
4. Gift cards to Instacart, Fresh Direct, Amazon
Giving the gift of delivered groceries, diapers, and/or wine is never a bad idea.
5. A prenatal/postnatal massage
A prenatal massage is such a lovely treat, and sometimes it’s just really nice to give an expectant mom something that focuses on her and not the baby. Same goes, actually, for the months after the baby is born: A little alone time and some TLC are like manna from heaven. (And if it’s just too hard for her to get out of the house, you can always book an appointment with the awesome Nicki Dekunchak, whose company, Hands at Home is an spa service company that makes house calls.)
6. Really great hand lotion.
Because all that post-baby hand-washing really dries out the hands, I love the gentle, soothing hand salves from locally based Hand in Hand. I also lived and died by the Lolita hand cream after I had Luke. The lotions smell delicious, and they’re rich and smooth and non-greasy. And if you know things are really severe in the hand department, Aveda also makes a seriously great, simple and effective version called Hand Relief: It’s less fancy and luxe-feeling, but soothes super, super-dry, cracking skin as well as anything I’ve tried.
7. A cute bathrobe
A nice, non-schlumpy, tie-front robe keeps things cozy for middle-of-the-night feedings (or — let’s face it — during the morning and afternoon, too). One favorite: The Soma robes are super soft and the perfect weight, and they drape very prettily, so you don’t feel sloppy in it.
8. A housecleaning
After all the grandparents go home, after the meals stop coming and s*** gets real, the house is the first thing to show it. For a new mom who doesn’t have regular help cleaning, getting the whole place vacuumed and dusted, and having the bathroom and kitchen floors scrubbed (either by you or by a housecleaning service), well … that’s quite a gift. (For what it’s worth, I have really liked the all-natural cleaning service New Leaf.)