Usually, people give you gifts when you just had a baby here in Malaysia; or some during the “full moon” celebration of baby when they are a month old. Those who come and visit you will bring you something for the baby and often, they are things which you really don’t need. I am not writing this because I am ungrateful or anything. I just wanted to share my experience and give some ideas on things that baby and mama will surely appreciate.
Again, these gifts are what people will bring when they visit you at the hospital or at home. I am not referring to large items (cot, bouncer, pillow, thermometer, etc) that are requested/given during baby showers. These are small things that friends/family want to bless you with when they come see baby for the first time.
The most common gifts people will give are newborn hampers. Consisting of a set of clothes, mittens, booties, and maybe some baby bath/feeding related items. I personally find these really expensive and have not much use for them – except the bath items. Reason is because baby may have already outgrow newborn size clothes and maybe the baby has certain skin sensitivity to certain brands of bath items or feeding bottles. Not to mention, if the mother is breastfeeding, it will be a while before those bottles are put to good use.
When QB was born, I am thankful that I have friends/family and other mama friends that asked what I needed as a gift. I was happy to tell them what we need. Of course, cash gifts are always great. Because there are hospital fees/bills to clear. Baby’s medical follow ups. And whatever the parents need to use it for. If you aren’t sure what they need, ask the Mama what she needs and I can guarantee a 100% she will tell you 😉
Here’s my list of items for baby that I personally find very useful and will definitely be put to use.
1. Disposable Diapers
Baby goes through so many diapers a day for the next 2-3 years! Diapers are always a necessity. I am a cloth diapering mama, but having some disposables will always come in handy. I would recommend getting larger sized diapers too as baby outgrows them quickly.
2. Baby Wipes
I remember when a friend asked me what I needed when QB was born and I said wipes – LOTS AND LOTS OF WIPES! She was shocked at my request but proceeded anyway. She got me about 10-20 packs of wipes and boy, did that last me a long time! Wipes are great for diaper changes, cleaning spit ups, wiping the counters, wiping baby’s mouth when they’re on solids, cleaning cutlery – you name it! I even use wipes for myself sometimes.
3. Receiving blankets/swaddles/muslin blankets/burp cloths/hankies/cloth wipes
Whatever you call it, I am referring to cloth items that will soak baby spit ups, spilled milk, and crazy breastfeeding letdowns. New babies up to about 3 months will spit up a lot and you will be using a few pieces each day. At least for me, I did. The blankets can be used to lay on the bed too, just to protect it from pee/poop explosions. Or what my hubs would say – “SPRAY POOP”. Swaddling blankets are not just used for swaddles but also to keep baby warm as a blanket, nursing cover, laying it on the changing mat, or wherever you need to lay baby down. I find many uses for them and could never have enough!
4. Bath items (good ones)
I know some may be particular on brands or types of bath items used for baby. This also depends on baby’s condition like skin sensitivity or if baby has eczema. Its always good to ask first before purchasing.
For baby, I really think those are the only necessary essentials. Here’s my list of items for Mama that may be helpful. Especially breastfeeding mamas! But these items are not needed in huge amounts like diapers and wipes. Just a couple will be sufficient for Mama.
1. Nipple cream
During the first month or first few months, breastfeeding is a challenge. Especially for first time moms. You will have sore nipples and even bleeding ones if your baby is not latching correctly. Of course with help, it will be fixed. But having a nipple cream is very helpful to ease the soreness not just from a bad latch, but from feeding your baby every 30 mins, around the clock! If there is no need for Mama to use it, these creams can also be applied to baby’s bum to prevent rashes.
2. Breast pads
Again, you will leak milk during the first few months of breastfeeding. Having a good quality breast pad to soak up all the milk is very important. Not only does it prevent itch and rash, it keeps the area clean and dry.
Be it a home cooked meal, herbs from the store, or anything to help out in supplying meals for the family will help a ton. I am a mom that cooks for the family at least 4 times a week and do not have a maid/confinement lady. So not having to worry about cooking will take the stress out of me. Or at least preparing/bringing some groceries will ease the burden of restocking the pantry. Again, this is subjective – unless there is a hired confinement lady or maid at home, this may not be essential after all.
Basically, items for mama really depends on her situation. It is always better to ask her what she needs. These are the items that I personally would use and would be grateful for them. Items for baby is pretty much straight forward. Diapers and wipes are awesome.
What are your gift ideas for new baby and mama?