First-time mums ooh and aah over everything: stuffed animals, cute onesies, diaper pails, baby socks, receiving blankets, and yes, even wipe warmers. It takes a certain amount of creativity to find the perfect gift for second- (or third or fourth) time mums who already have all of the essentials. If you think a mum with multiple kids has everything she needs, try giving her one of these thoughtful gifts that she is sure to appreciate.
Diapers and wipes
While these necessities might seem boring, a mum who has more than one child appreciates not having to go to the store in those early postpartum weeks. If she has more than one child in diapers, her wallet will enjoy the break too. When friends threw a diaper shower for Dodi Hance, mother of six, she didn’t have to buy diapers and wipes for nine months afterwards. “It was so nice to go to my diaper closet and be able to pull out whatever size I needed,” she says.
Any mum with a newborn deserves a break from planning and preparing a well-balanced meal. Give the whole family a gift by bringing a warm meal. Before deciding on chicken casserole or the fixings for tacos, make sure they don’t have any food allergies and package their meal in disposable containers, so they don’t have to worry about returning them.
Tools for two
Now that your mum friend has more than one child, she needs some new gadgets to keep up with her crew. Sara Keeth, a mother of two, says, “I never used a sling with my first child, but with my second, it was suddenly necessary since I needed my hands free to help out my older kid.” Similarly, a double stroller can come in handy when mum takes multiple kids on outings to the mall.
Anything personalised or homemade
When a baby’s closet is full of hand-me-downs, your friend will cherish gifts that were made specifically for her littlest one. Knit or crochet a blanket just for them or embroider the baby’s name on a burp cloth. Have their name engraved on a Christmas ornament. A personalised gift can become a keepsake for her family.
Playdates for her older kids
When you have multiple kids, it’s hard to find that one-on-one bonding time with a newborn that mums crave. Melissa Bates, a mum of three, didn’t realise how much she would appreciate concentrated time with her second baby until another friend offered to take her older daughter for the day. “Being able to spend uninterrupted time with just my baby for us to get to know each other was a blessing. Not only that, but I could actually sleep when he slept like everyone says you should do.” Even if it’s just for a couple of hours, offer to pick up your friend’s older children to take them to a park or back to your house to play. Your sleep-deprived friend will be able to enjoy the break guilt-free knowing that her older child is having fun with friends.
Gifts for the older siblings
Becoming a big brother or sister can be a hard transition, especially when a new baby is getting all the presents. Win mum’s heart by buying something small for her older child, whether it’s a book, a dollar store toy or a new stuffed animal. Bring a “busy box” full of things like colouring books, crayons and stickers to give the child something to do while mummy feeds the baby or changes a diaper.
Want to make a friend for life? Pool your money with a group of friends to buy a month or two of professional housecleaning if the family doesn’t already have a helper or only uses part-time help. That way, mum can focus on her children in the first few postpartum weeks instead of looking around the house feeling guilty about all that needs to be done. If she’s a close friend, you might consider grabbing some cleaning supplies and doing some light housework yourself.
Self-care gifts for mum
Give your friend a little something just for her. Think about lotion, a Starbucks gift card, a book for nighttime feedings or a coupon for free babysitting so she and her husband can go out on a date. Becca Ross, a mum of three, received a gift certificate for a much-needed massage when she had her second baby. “Besides helping my aching back from nursing and carrying a baby and a toddler all day, the short alone time for me to relax and re-energise was helpful to everyone in my family,” she says.
The next time you’re scratching your head trying to decide what to get for your second-time mum friend, give her one of these creative and practical gifts. Whether she’s breathing in the smell of a freshly cleaned house, wrapping her baby in their own crocheted blanket or watching her older child play with a new toy, she will know how much you care.
SANDI HAUSTEIN IS A MOM OF FOUR KIDS AND BLOGS AT THEWELCOMINGTABLE.COM. SHE’S NEVER TURNED DOWN A HOT MEAL AFTER HAVING A BABY.