New Father Gifts

Father kissing his newborn baby“What are the best new father gifts?,” I asked my husband. Without hesitation, he said, “A sling.” With a little encouragement, he came up with two more gifts that would also help a new father in his new role as part of an attachment family.


Baby Carrier

Maya Wrap baby slingsMy husband is so convinced that a baby carrier is the most essential baby gear for a new father that he said he would take the sling and leave absolutely everything else, including the cloth diapers. “Really?” I asked. “Yes, I could practice elimination communication.” So, in a poll of one husband, a baby carrier wins 100% support from fathers.

Maya Wrap

I’m sure that my husband would like other baby carriers and other styles if he tried them, but he also insisted that I should list Maya Wrap for a specific reason. When our babies would fall asleep in the sling, he could very easily loosen the sling and ease the sleeping baby onto the bed. Then, the tail of the unthreaded sling can be used as a light blanket.


Blender

My husband’s second most used tool for early parenthood was a juicer. During my pregnancies and when I was breastfeeding full-time, I got a lot of dense nutrition from beautiful, dark vegetables. One problem, though, was cleaning our juicer. It took 30 minutes every time we used it. Cleaning out every little piece of the juicer became a disincentive. Once we got a Vita-Mix, those days were gone.

Vita-Mix

Smoothie ToolsA breastfeeding mother needs great nutrition and a lot of fluids. Juiced vegetables and a variety of smoothies help her keep up with the demands of a hungry newborn baby. Who ends up juicing and making the smoothies? Daddy does it. In my house, while the mother sits down to nurse, the father heads to the kitchen to make a snack for her. A great blender will make his job much easier.

I’ve written about and photographed my Vita-Mix for smoothie posts and even for our surprise pumpkin soup. We didn’t have this when we were new parents, but we would have used it every day—several times a day. The best part about a VitaMix over a juicer is that the pulp is blended in rather than separated.

Pillow

Figuring out the family bed isn’t difficult, but it sometimes helps to have a couple of tools to make it easier. The last gift my husband suggests for a new father is a bolster pillow that keeps the baby safe in the family bed. Having the whole family sleep in one bed is the best way to ensure that everyone gets as much sleep as they need. Sleep is a big issue for new parents, so anything that helps here is a great gift for a new father.


TresTria bolster pillow

TresTria co-sleeping pillowWe did not have TresTria when my babies were little, but I loved learning more about TresTria, natural rubber, and the company that makes it when I wrote a profile of Better for Babies last year. This pillow was invented by a father to help co-sleeping families.

Last week I wrote about new mother gifts to support babywearing, cloth diapering, and breastfeeding. The best gifts are those have been helpful or meaningful to the giver. When you tell a new parent “I found this helpful when my first baby was born” or “I wish I had this when I was starting out,” the gift is far more than a consumer product to go on a shelf. A much-loved item offered to a new parent is a loving embrace in support of their new parenthood.

Image © Alis Gheorghe Leonte | Dreamstime.com

New Mother Gifts: Breastfeeding Support

Nursing Bra Tank TopFor a new mother, I find the best gifts are those have been helpful or meaningful to the giver. When you tell a new parent “I found this helpful when my first baby was born” or “I wish I had this when I was starting out,” the gift is far more than a consumer product to go on a shelf. A much-loved item offered to a new parent is a loving embrace in support of their new parenthood.

To breastfeed, a new mother needs nothing more than what she already has, though some guidance can be helpful. Still, a few tools can make breastfeeding easier.


Keeping It Mobile

For many of the same reasons that a baby carrier helps a first-time mother to maintain her active lifestyle, nursing clothing can help a new mother feel confident about breastfeeding in public so that she won’t hesitate to go out and about.

Nursing Bra Tank Top

Our Glamourmom Nursing Bra Tank (shown above) makes it easy for a mother to unhook, fold down and feed the baby without exposing herself to anyone but the one who counts. The tank top comes in a range of colours and sizes. It goes great under other shirts and blouses, but it is also stylist enough to be worn on its own. This is a great basic shirt for a new mother.


Keeping It Flowing

Ideally, breastfeeding will go well for every mother. I don’t know of anyone who had an ideal situation at all times, though. Most mothers need support at some time. Natural support is the best support.

Breastfeeding Support KitNatural Breastfeeding Support Kit

Earth Mama Angel Baby have put together a Breastfeeding Support Kit that can

  • increase milk production – Milkmaid Tea is 100% herbal tea
  • ease discomfort – Booby Tubes are long, cotton tubes filled with flax seeds that can be heated or frozen to provide relief
  • soothe dryness – Natural Nipple Butter is organic butters and herbs designed to soothe skin
  • relieve engorgement – Bosom Buddies can be filled with a blend of herbs to make a soothing poutice


Keeping Track

For the most part, a breastfeeding baby will tell her mother when she is ready to eat. Sometimes, though, you might want to track feeding or even how many glasses of water a mother drinks, since she’ll be drinking a lot more than she has been used to before breastfeeding.

Nursing Bracelet Nursing Bracelet

The Nursing Bracelet is a bangle bracelet with a glass bead representing every 15 minutes over a 12-hour period. The bracelet comes with one charm but an optional second charm can be added to track more than one purpose. The bracelet comes in several great colours. She’ll be happy to wear the bracelet as jewelry.

When you are looking for the best new mother gift, look at your own experience and offer the new mother your best advice through your gift. See our suggestions for cloth diaper packages or baby carriers as gifts for new mothers.

How to Fold a Prefold Cloth Diaper

Prefold cloth diapers are extremely popular and extremely versatile. When first faced with prefolds, though, some parents wonder what exactly they are meant to do. Drawings of cloth diaper folding help, but a video helps more.

In my recent video explorations in anticipation of the Why Cloth Diapers? video contest, I’ve seen some great cloth diaper videos. This how-to from Bummis is so simple and so clear. Why would anyone choose a more complicated solution when these organic cotton prefolds work so well and so easily? Prefold cloth diapers still offer the best value for cloth diapers.

New Mother Gifts: Baby Carriers

FreeHand Baby Carrier with infantFor a new mother, I find the best gifts are those have been helpful or meaningful to the giver. When you tell a new parent “I found this helpful when my first baby was born” or “I wish I had this when I was starting out,” the gift is far more than a consumer product to go on a shelf. A much-loved item offered to a new parent is a loving embrace in support of their new parenthood.

Some new mothers won’t have considered babywearing, so giving a baby carrier as a gift could help them to change their whole approach to parenting. Rather than looking down on the baby in a stroller, they will be face to face or chest to chest with their baby. Babywearing is a much more intimate way to move a child around. By giving a baby carrier, you are giving an opportunity.

That said, which baby carrier works best for a particular parent depends a lot on lifestyle. If you are going to make such a kind investment, be sure to consider how and where the parents will likely use the baby carrier most.


Is she a hiker?

A new mother can sometimes worry that having a baby will interrupt an active lifestyle, but babies can easily come along on many outdoor adventures. While the Ergo Sport Baby Carrier is often thought of as The Outdoor Baby Carrier, I’m going to suggest an even more versatile soft pack baby carrier because you want to be sure that a gift can be used in as many ways as possible.


FreeHand Baby Carrier

The FreeHand Baby Carrier (shown above) has a cross-over support system that can be adjusted for babies and toddlers to give each the support they most need. As a first baby carrier, this is easy to get on and off, easy to understand how it is meant to fit. It is padded and adjustable to give a parent a comfortable fit.


Will she be mostly around the house?

For simply working around the house, washing diapers, and cleaning up, I think the simplest slings work the best as baby carriers. An Upmama Hybrid Sling may work for many, but I am going to recommend an all-cotton ring sling for cool, breathable comfort.

Maya Wrap Ring Sling
Maya Wrap

The lightweight cotton of the Maya wrap ring sling is very soft and it hugs a baby without pressing too hard. I like how easily it can be adjusted by pulling on the front or back of the tail. Though a new mother may need a little practice to create a pouch with the sling, it won’t take very long before she is moving the sling from front to back to hip to accommodate whatever she needs to do with baby. The vivid colors are also refreshing in a world of pastels.

When you are looking for the best new mother gift, look at your own experience and offer the new mother your best advice through your gift. See our suggestions for cloth diaper packages as gifts for new mothers.

I’m a Multitaskin’ Mother

Raising Arrows profile

Motherhood means changing a diaper while on the phone.

Motherhood means breastfeeding and sleeping at the same time.

Motherhood means cooking dinner with a baby strapped to you.

Motherhood means sweeping the floor with a toddler attached to your leg.

Motherhood means answering 50 questions while driving in rush hour traffic.

Motherhood means loving them while cleaning up their messes.

Motherhood means Multitasking.

Amy of Raising Arrows received the greatest number of your votes for The Most Inspiring Blogger in our Blog to Inspire contest.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily those of Eco Baby Steps or Parenting By Nature.