DMT Beauty Transformation: 20 Gifts New Moms Actually Want (& It’s Not More Baby Stuff)
Emily Ruane featured

20 Gifts New Moms Actually Want (& It’s Not More Baby Stuff)

November 19, 2020BruceDayne

#DMTBeautySpot #beauty

I’m going to let you in on an open secret: most of the things a new mom wants for herself actually can’t be bought. For example, as a first-time mom to a nine-month-old, here’s what’s topping my wish list right now: sleep, positive encouragement, more hours in the day, help around the house, and a bigger apartment. While one can’t exactly add any of these things to cart, there are a few items that helped me (or just comforted me) immensely during my first few months postpartum. (I’m also including stuff that I don’t have but would be thrilled to receive as a gift. Hint, hint.)

Motherhood is a very personal experience and I don’t want to claim that all of these products are going to work for everyone. But, if there’s a new mom on your holiday list this year and you’re stumped about what’s going to make her happy, you might find a few helpful suggestions ahead. Whether it’s a self-care kit that’s going to help her get through those first few post-birth weeks, a delicate personalized necklace to mark her newly minted “mom” status, or a facial scrub that’s going to help a two-minute shower feel a little less rushed, there’s something for the new mom in your life ahead — and it isn’t more baby stuff.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

Disclaimer: I hesitate to put anything related to breast-feeding in this roundup — your child’s nourishment is a very personal choice, and there is no right way to do it. I did, however, choose to breastfeed; so you’ll see some stuff in the upcoming slides that helped me and might make a good gift for a new mom who’s made a similar choice. Anyway: I used the hell out of some nipple balm, especially in those first few weeks. I tried lots of them, but I liked this organic one from Earth Mama. When I no longer needed it for the girls, I used it as a regular moisturizer until it ran out.

Earth Mama Organic Natural Nipple Butter, $, available at Bed Bath and Beyond

Nadaam Cashmere Cropped Pant

Understandably, sweatpants are a big part of the postpartum wardrobe, but one might still be padding around the house in a tattered pair from college. Help the new mom in your life upgrade her cold-weather selection with a luxe cashmere pair, in a chic cropped silhouette that can even wear as she ventures outside.

Nadaam Cashmere Cropped Pant, $, available at Nadaam

Sunday Riley Good Genes

While the fantasy gift list includes a line item for “sleep”, we all know that’s not something that can be contained in a gift bag. Instead, I relied on products like Sunday Riley's miracle-working elixir to tone and brighten my skin, and give the illusion of a full eight hours. (I also gifted some to my sister, who has a two-year-old, she reported back that it made her skin “glowing and smooth.”)

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, $, available at DermStore

Knickey High-Rise Organic Cotton Brief

I pared down my underwear drawer significantly after giving birth. (Certain styles just don’t jive with the post-partum nether regions, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.) Instead, I bulk-bought these high-waisted, full-coverage granny panties from Knickey and never looked back — they’re 95% organic cotton, super-soft, and stay put. If you're on underwear-gifting terms with a new mom, I’d opt for these. They’re luxurious, but ideal for everyday wear.

Knickey High-Rise Brief, $, available at Knickey

Frida Mom Postpartum Essentials Recovery Kit

This arrived at my doorstep on my second day home from the hospital — courtesy of a friend who’s a mom of two — and I can only describe it as a godsend. If there’s a new-new mom on your list this year, this cache of supplies for down-there care will definitely go to good use. Most hospitals will load you up with everything that’s in this kit, but Frida’s take on the recovery essentials (paper undies, maxi pads, witch hazel liners, and a healing foam) are just a little bit more thoughtful than the industrial-grade goods that your local medical center has on offer. (It’s also great for anyone who delivered at home or at a birth center and didn’t receive the hospital swag bag.) While the supplies are tailored for a vaginal birth, a number of reviewers who delivered via c-section emphasized that the items still went to good use. 

Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit, $, available at Target

Simply Serasi Gold Initial Pendant

As much as the new mom in your life is still very much her own person, she is now her own person who is OBSESSED WITH HER BABY — so she’ll definitely appreciate a bauble that reminds her of her kiddo. I recently bought myself this cubic zirconia bubble letter charm that corresponds with my daughter’s initial, but if a gem-encrusted option is not to your recipient’s taste, I’d recommend hitting Etsy for something like this petite cursive initial pendant. Even if you invest in real gold, this gift doesn’t have to break the bank — each of these diminutive charms is under $30.

Simply Serasi 14K Gold Initial Pendant, $, available at Etsy

Hatch Rest+

Pre-baby, my sister convinced me that we needed a sound machine to help our newborn sleep, so I added a Hatch Rest to our registry. For the first few months, the baby slept in our room with us, and while I’d never used a sound machine, I got really accustomed to the soothing sounds of crashing waves or trickling water that it emitted all night long. I also liked leaving the night light on a low setting — it gave a soft and reassuring glow that didn't disrupt my sleep. Now my daughter sleeps in her own room... along with her sound machine. I obviously miss having her right next to me, but I also really miss the sound machine! If I was gifting a new mom, I’d cart up the Rest+, a new model from Hatch that displays the time in addition to all of the bells and whistles of the standard model.

HATCH Rest+, $, available at Bed Bath and Beyond

Mouth TLC Kit

Personal endorsement! I received one of these from a colleague while stuck at home during maternity leave this winter and it was a welcome treat. (Box of treats, rather.) Unlike the typical food gift baskets containing dusty chocolate and questionable fruit, Mouth curates a selection from small-scale artisan brands that you probably already shop. Trust me, we ate everything in this box — there was no weird flavored salt to be pushed to the back of the pantry.

Mouth TLC Kit, $, available at Mouth

Richer Poorer Robe Coat

Before I gave birth, I was all like, I don’t need a robe! I have oversized t-shirts! Well: I really could have used a freakin’ robe. It is just a different form of pajamas, but it makes you feel a little bit more “I’m lounging in my unmentionables by choice” rather than “I was dragged out of bed for the third time tonight by a baby’s unrelenting wails.” A new mom will appreciate a thoughtfully designed and sturdy option like Richer Poorer’s chic robe coat.

Richer Poorer Robe Coat, $, available at Richer Poorer

Maryann Organics Collagen Cream

Another skin savior was this collagen cream — an innocuous solution that has over 11,000 Amazon ratings and piles of reviews from women who found it to be nothing short of miraculous. “I am very happy that I was able to find this cream and get my youth back,” wrote one satisfied customer. I thought I'd take it for a spin, and wow. Believe the hype — I did see results almost immediately, and it became a much-used tool in my arsenal of “fake-sleep” products.

Maryann Organics Collagen Cream, $, available at Amazon

Loyal Hana Ginger Striped Top

Right now, I’m asking a lot of my clothes. If I can’t nurse or pump in it, sleep in it, gain or lose weight in it, and look cute while wearing it, I’m not interested! Luckily, there are brands like Loyal Hana creating maternity and postpartum wear that’s comfortable, convertible, and most importantly, chic. Any new mom would love a stylish, easy-wearing piece like the brand’s Ginger top, which comes complete with a hidden zipper for easy nursing.

Loyal Hana Ginger Stripe Top, $, available at Neiman Marcus

Olive & June Pedi System

Guess how long it took me to get a pedicure after giving birth? NINE MONTHS! That's right, people, I just had my first post-partum pedi. To be fair, this was partially due to a lack of prioritization on my part, but it can take a healthy amount of scheduling acrobatics to block out two hours of free time, even on a weekend. I would have really loved to have Olive & June’s at-home pedicure kit at my disposal — and I think the new mom on your list will probably feel the same way.

Olive & June The Pedi System, $, available at Olive & June

Lesse Bioactive Face Mask

I was a big fan of this charcoal mask before becoming a mom, but boy did it take on a new significance post-partum. The act of applying it to my face at night after the baby was in bed, the dishes were done, and the apartment vaguely straightened up was heavenly — it was my way of winding down and washing off the day. It made my skin feel so smooth and hydrated, too. Yes, it’s a bit pricey — but that’s what makes it a great gift. Plus, I can vouch for the fact that a little goes a long way.

Lesse Bioactive Face Mask, $, available at Nordstrom

Lululemon Double Roller Mini

With motherhood comes back issues. And neck, and hip, and shoulder issues. Basically, if it’s a load-bearing joint, it's going to need a little extra TLC from the constant wear and tear of toting your little one around. (That 9-lb weight that you were carrying inside you doesn't go away after you give birth — you just now have the option of where and how to position it on your body.) While the new mom in your life likely doesn't have time to exercise, a foam roller can still help loosen muscles and tendons that are sore from a different kind of weight-lifting.

lululemon Double Roller Mini, $, available at lululemon

Theragun Mini

If you're looking to REALLY treat a new mom, a premium massage gun will also help with the aforementioned aches and pains.

Theragun Mini (RED), $, available at Verishop

Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste

I also really cherish this Aesop exfoliating scrub — it really makes those hurried two minute showers feel a lot more luxurious than they are. It’s also a timesaver — unlike other scrubs, it exfoliates and hydrates, so I can skip the post-shower facial moisturizer. (I'm telling you: EVERY SECOND COUNTS.)

Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste, $, available at Aesop

Hammacher Schlemmer Smartphone Photo Printer

If you thought you took a lot of photos before, just wait until you have a kid — your camera roll is about to explode with multiple takes documenting your child’s every move, and you may find yourself wanting some physical copies of your excessive snapshots. In addition, when your kid gets old enough, it’s nice to have tangible photos of family members that they may not get to see on a regular basis (which, in the era of quarantine, is most family members). I’d love to have this compact photo printer on hand to print off selects for easy sharing and framing.

Hammacher Schlemmer The Smartphone Photo Printer, $, available at Hammacher Schlemmer

Obe Fitness Quarterly Subscription

I'm still trying to figure out how one magically conjures the extra time in the day to exercise, but it’s on my list. (This is NOT to imply that a new mom has any kind of obligation to “get back in shape” — I, personally, just really miss physical activity.) I’m busier than ever and more sedentary than ever, thanks to working from home. If you think this description matches a new mom in your life, consider gifting a subscription to fitness streaming service Obé. The platform offers both live and on-demand apartment-friendly classes in a variety of modes, including cardio, barre, dance, and HIIT, all of which vary in length and intensity to suit your exact needs — plus, they offer pre- and post-natal classes.

obé fitness Quarterly Subscription, $, available at obé fitness

Skip Hop Playspot Chevron Geo Foam Tiles

OK, before you’re all like, “This is for a baby”; hear me out. Yes, these foam floor tiles are extremely handy for when your kid gets mobile, starts sitting up, and subsequently falling over. That’s why we initially purchased them — but I’ve discovered that they double as a surface for low-impact exercise! Per the previous slide, I’m trying to find time for a little movement — of late, one of my favorite things activities at the end of the day is to clear my daughter’s toys off the playmat, pull up a good stretching routine on my laptop, and stretch out before bed.

Skip Hop Playspot Geo Foam Floor Tiles, $, available at Skip Hop

Gro-To Little Squirts Gift Set

A fellow Shopping team-er tipped me off to this Australian brand’s kid-focused wares — and while I am definitely going to be bulk-carting Gro-To’s cheerfully-packaged baby bath products, I do hope someones sees fit to gift me with their new-mom focused gift set, which comes with a body wash, moisturizer, body oil, and a “serum-drenched” face mask for waking up tired skin.

Gro-To Little Squirts New Mom Gift Set, $, available at Gro-To

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