Listen to the podcast, “Gift Giving Guide for the Breastfeeding Mama”
Shop Marie’s Holiday Gift Guide.
It’s the holidays! A time for celebration, for family, for gift-giving. Whether it’s the addition of a baby to the family that makes this year feel extra special or just that you’re feeling out of fresh ideas, you’re looking for tips that will help you choose the perfect gift for the mom who gives so much. Here are six questions that will help you identify her wants and needs. While these tips can be used when gift-shopping for anyone—moms, dads, grandmas, you get the picture—I’ll give examples related to my core audience—breastfeeding moms.
1. What would help her in everyday life?
My family jokes about how many times I’ve opened a gift and asked, “But what does it do?” and my diva sister has replied, “It doesn’t do anything. It’s just for pretty.” My slant here is what the gift will do for the recipient, but I’ll include some other ideas, too.
Nearly every new mother is strapped for time, sleep-deprived, and feeling isolated from simple outings. (Even going to the grocery store can be a major chore). It takes time to lose the pregnancy weight, so some moms end up wearing their baggy maternity clothes–even if they hate the idea. For nursing moms, “regular” tops or dresses don’t always leave the breasts accessible for the baby. There are some great clothes out there that are perfect for this.
Any gift that helps comfort and calm the baby, saves time, or helps the nursing woman feel she looks good would be helpful and welcome. A more elaborate or expensive gift might be a rocking chair. A simple and fairly inexpensive gift might be a NuRoo pocket.
A breastfeeding mother who works outside her home or frequently travels for work has all of those needs, and much more. She might love a Sara Wells bag for her breast pump, an inflatable nursing pillow for a plane trip, or a hands-free device to hold the pump flanges in place so she can simultaneously pump and read email.
2. What nuisance factors does she put up with—but wishes she could avoid?
Every mother has times when she feels two hands are not enough—even moreso when the baby wants to be held, or needs to be carried. A new mom might like a gift such as a baby carrier or sling to enable her to carry her baby but have her hands free for other tasks. An added benefit—this helps to calm and comfort her baby, and who doesn’t love that?
Because her baby is literally attached to her breast, the nursing mother may find herself being criticized for breastfeeding in public or she might be tired of having her distracted baby keep drawing away from the breast to look around. In this case, one of the many stylish clothing designs or special cover-ups that help her to nurse discreetly may be appreciated. Or an inexpensive, attractive set of “nursing beads” that double as a stylish necklace and a safe means of holding baby’s attention while he is nursing might be a welcome gift!
3. What does she love to do?
The nursing mother who loves to read might find that juggling a baby and a book is difficult. But perhaps she could use one hand to read from a Kindle or an iPad. Maybe she would love to read to her baby or older child. There are several excellent books for children, including some on breasts and breastfeeding!
Maybe she likes to listen to music. There are tons of CDs out there, and even some that she can use to keep her other kids semi-quiet while she nurses the baby! My favorite kids’ musician to recommend? The Laurie Berkner Band.
4. What does she hate to do?
The same woman who hated to cook or clean before she became pregnant and had her baby will probably hate those tasks even more now. Every mother we know would appreciate a gift certificate to a local restaurant—and choosing an establishment that has take-out service adds flexibility for using the gift certificate that is sure to be appreciated.
Or, maybe she’s like me: I don’t mind cooking, but I hate grocery shopping. A gift for a service like Blue Apron would be a thriller. Similarly, a gift certificate for a cleaning service is a fabulous gift for anyone who craves a clean house, but doesn’t like to clean or doesn’t have time to clean.
5. What would create a memory for her?
How about a gift certificate for a family photo session with a local photographer? It could be anything that creates a memory, but let’s face it, family photos are priceless.
Although tangible gifts are great, the nursing mother of an older infant might be eager to get out of the house. Tickets to a concert or a membership to a gym or a yoga class might be “memorable” for some mothers. Couple it with a “free babysitting” coupon for double the delight!
6. What does she enjoy that costs more than she would be willing to spend on herself?
Parenting is an all-the-time job; the mom you know is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, putting someone else’s needs—the baby, other children—ahead of her own. She is likely to appreciate a gift that costs more money that she feels she can spend on herself. I suggest anything that makes her feel pampered. Is there any woman on the planet who wouldn’t love a manicure, a pedicure, or a massage? Shucks, an entire day at the spa would be on my wish list!
Need more specific ideas? Listen now. Then share this episode with sisters, parents, and in-laws. And be sure to comment below and let me know:
What gift would make your holiday merry and bright?