Wondering what to buy your friend or relative for her baby shower? It can be tricky to navigate the mountains of plastic tat and unnecessary gadgets that are marketed at new mothers, so we’ve come up with a list of 10 useful, beautiful eco-friendly gifts for a baby shower or newborn.
The first weeks of a baby’s life are magical and precious, yet they can also be tough on parents (especially if it’s their first baby). Working on the principle that a happy mama = a happy baby, here are some things you could buy or do. Some are for the baby, but some are aimed at making the mama’s life a bit easier, and also reminding her of who she is as a person, not just a mother.
1.Wool fleece romper overall from Ella’s Wool
Oh the cuteness! Made from super soft Merino wool, this will be the perfect thing to cover baby up on an outing. So snuggly, this romper was made by a company set up by a Norwegian mum who couldn’t understand why more kids weren’t out playing during winter. She realised that, unlike in Norway, where thermal underclothes are an essential basic, Americans hadn’t fully discovered the joys of soft, warm Merino wool. So she developed her own range of children’s clothing, all using this beautiful textile. This romper will keep baby cosy, but not overheated. Perfect for Spring.
2.Cloth nappy/ diaper service UK USA
Once the only option for parents, cloth diapers were replaced by seemingly more convenient disposable ones over the last 50 years. But once it became apparent that clogging up landfill with discarded diapers was not a brilliant idea, cloth diapers have made a comeback. Speaking from personal experience, I used both eco-friendly and cloth diapers with my children and found cloth to be more comfortable for my babies’ skin and not the huge hassle I thought they would be. There was something so satisfying about seeing a line of freshly washed white diapers hanging on the line, knowing that I was doing my bit towards a more sustainable way of living.
If you think your mama friend or relative might be interested, you could buy them a set of re-usable cotton diapers. It is an investment but will save them money in the long run. There are some excellent diaper laundry services which will take away used diapers and provide clean ones each week. All at the very reasonable cost of around £10/ $15 per week. The idea of a fairy godmother whisking away the dirty laundry and replacing it with fresh diapers might seem like heaven to a new mum.
A good friend of mine once told me that a girlfriend of hers had given her a red lipstick instead of a present for her new baby. I was surprised by this, but then began to think ‘Genius!’ It can be a huge adjustment having children, and sometimes women can lose sight of who they are now that they are responsible for this tiny human. A new, treaty red lipstick to swipe on when you go out will brighten up a sleep-deprived face and make a mama feel a bit more like themselves again.
If you are handy with the knitting needles a homemade hat for a newborn baby makes a perfect gift. This pattern from Purl Soho has adorable hats of all sizes and with different details. Great for knitters of all abilities. This will be one of those heirloom gifts that are treasured for a whole lifetime.
These gorgeous bath salts from Cowshed will help mamas relax and feel restored. Free from parabens and sulphates you can be sure they will be kind to her skin, and they are safe to use during pregnancy too. Why not offer to take the baby out for a walk for half an hour while she lies back and has a luxurious long soak?
For a newborn baby you need the softest towels, and linen is just the job. These linen towels are lightweight and easy to carry around if visiting with a new baby, super absorbent (great for a quick dry before baby starts wriggling!), and oh-so-soft. Get a small one for the baby and a matching one for mama. These towels will last for years – before you know it that baby will be grown and off to the pool with their friends and the same towel!
7.Coconut oil and a set of washcloths
Babies have sensitive skin so products need to be as simple and with as few additives as possible. A tub of coconut oil to smooth and soothe rashes and sore skin, along with a new washcloth for a quick ‘top and tailing’ would make a great gift. You can get these lovely waffle linen washcloths monogrammed if you want to be extra fancy.
A blanket or throw is such a versatile gift. You can lay baby on it on the floor while you nip to the loo, wrap it round your shoulders while breastfeeding on chilly days, cosy up with a sleepy baby, and sit beneath a tree enjoying watching your baby gaze at the reflections and patterns made by the leaves. Simple pleasures, but priceless. These pure, super soft baby Alpaca wool throws will fast become an everyday essential.
One of the best presents I was ever given after having a baby was when my great-aunt paid for a cleaner to come once a week for the first month of the baby’s life. It was bliss. While I had never felt comfortable paying someone to tidy up my mess before, during those crazy, exhausting weeks it was so good to know that the house was clean. If you have the budget, this is well worth considering for your new mama-friend. She will love you forever.
One of the most precious gifts you can give a new mama is your time. Whether that’s an hour of peaceful rest reading a magazine in bed while you play with baby, or a meal you have prepared that she doesn’t need to worry about, or just your company over a cup of tea to talk and be a person again.
Happy baby cuddling! We are very envious!