Being a new mom is hard – you need to heal if you gave birth physically, and your baby needs you constantly, which means you don’t have much time to rest and heal yourself. If you know a new mom, how could you help? Besides showing up, you could put together a new mom survival kit! Addressing the physical, mental, and emotional needs of a new mom is important. She’s adapting to a completely different lifestyle than she had before, as someone else is dependent on her for literally everything. A new mom survival kit is quite a bit different than a pregnancy survival kit, as the things that were useful during pregnancy do not always overlap with the things that are most useful to a new mom.
Self-care personal necessities
Depending on just how personal you’re willing to go, disposable/mesh period underwear (or reusable if it fits your budget), long overnight pads, heating patches, cooling ice packs, stool softener, vitamins, a perineal cleansing bottle and spray, lavender sitz salt, and feminine wipes add wash could be a kit in and of itself. Some things the new mom may get at the hospital, but consider if she would get enough of these supplies to last her through the entire postpartum need for such items.
A nursing stash
Especially if the new mom is nursing, putting together some bottled waters or a reusable water bottle, healthy yet shelf-stable snacks, tissues, chapstick, and maybe even some body lotion to keep near a main nursing spot could be a great little package! If your new mom is going to be on the go a lot, due to other children, anticipated doctor appointments, or just her personality – perhaps make this a pouch that can be put inside the diaper bag. You might also include a few little activities for any siblings to keep them occupied while mom feeds their sibling.
The little things
From dry shampoo to nursing pads, there are a lot of little things that might make a new mom’s life a little easier and better. Consider lanolin for dry, cracked, sensitive breast tissue, as well as body lotions, oils, bath soaps and salts, facial masks, lip balm, and hair ties. You might even want to add a gift card or two for a coffee or meal on the way to those early weeks’ doctor appointments and adventures out. Think about the things you were constantly needing to do for yourself but putting off, if you’ve been in her shoes before, or imagine what you’d like if you had little time and energy for yourself for weeks on end.
Perhaps include a candle with a soothing scent. Other fun things you might add are tea, coffee, a travel mug or even a regular mug (must be microwavable in case it’s forgotten sitting around sometimes), a reusable water bottle (probably look for dishwasher safe), some gum or mints, a portable phone charger, or even a fun baby calendar or journal if that sounds like something your friend would enjoy filling out for memories’ sake. Some moms love to take pictures with those little month signs – a few things that are kind of more for baby, but that mom will cherish, are great to include, as well. While she may or may not have time to read physical books, consider gifting her a couple of months of an audio subscription service to feed her mind, or at least suggest a list of fun podcasts concerning motherhood and her other interests, and type them up for her. You could also consider a subscription service – they have them for everything from clothing, which many women realize they may need to re-think postpartum, to snacks, bath supplies, and makeup – although subscription boxes are a little more expensive to include in your kit.
Being a new mom comes with challenges as new rhythms and routines are established, and new moms appreciate all of the help they can get. A new mom survival kit is your opportunity to provide some comfort, share some new ideas, and make the new mom feel loved and appreciated. Thoughtfully selected items can help her meet some basic needs while she heals and finds her new normal.