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Monday, May 26, 2014

gifts for a new mommy by Christine Coutu

My awesome co-worker and friend Christine Coutu has learned a few things in her short time being a new mama. We learn quickly as mothers, we figure out that those cute and frilly things people typically give us at our baby showers are yes, adorable, but sometimes not as practical as we'll need in those first few poopy, sleepless weeks! 

Christine came up with the best New Mom Survival gift here! Such great ideas! Check it out!

From Christine:
My friend is having a baby next month and I, just having a baby myself only a few months ago wanted to put together a "survival kit" for her of things that I didn't realize I could have used but did (aka sent my husband out for) within our first few weeks home with our baby girl.

I put everything together and added a little note explaining each gift.  

Normally, I would do something a bit more elaborate as far as tags and a card are concerned because I like to be crafty, but with limited time (due to my unpredictable napper) I had to get creative.  So, I took a gift bag I had received just recently and cut it up.  The tags are cut from the sides of the bags and the "card" was the design on the front of the bag.

In the bag I put the following:

A 32 ounce water jug with a straw and handle.  
After I had Olivia and I was wheeled into what would be my room for the remainder of my stay I immediately was drawn to a huge blue plastic jug that the nurses constantly filled with delish, cold water.  I LOVED my jug and was beyond excited to learn I could take it home with me.  I use it to this day and it REALLY helps me to keep up my daily intake of water, which as a nursing mom I know is key to a successful supply.  The jug I got for my friend looks like a huge mason jar with a handle.  I found it at Walmart and am totally going to get myself one!

Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy 
Basically these are booby shaped hot/cold packs and they are FABULOUS.  I loved these things.  I used them constantly as my body was adjusting to the whole idea of another being sucking the life out of my boobs.  Early on, I had a clogged duct which made nursing unbearable at some points.  Putting heat on my breast before either nursing or pumping with one of these was so helpful.  So was grabbing one out of the freezer after a feeding.  Highly recommended.

Coconut Oil 
I LOVE coconut oil.  You can use it for everything! It was great for those first meconium poops in the hospital and at home instead of petroleum jelly to combat the sticky consistency the poop tends to have.  

I also use it on my baby's dry skin spots especially on her scalp and face.  It has helped tremendously and I believed is what helped to get rid of Olivia's "baby acne" more quickly!  

Finally, I didn't really feel comfortable using that lanolin jelly stuff on my nipples considering my baby was going to be putting her mouth on them.  I did use it at first but then switched to coconut oil after doing a little research.  It worked pretty well.  I didn't have any major cracking or bleeding.  I felt like it "lubed up" my nipples and the area around them so that it didn't hurt so much when my baby latched.  It really helped and I will still use it if I start to get sore.  

My presentation of this in the gift is a little different.  Instead of buying my friend a container of her own, I just filled a small mason jar with it as I have a huge tub at home.

Trail Mix 
So.....nobody prepared me for the fact that I was going to be eating like a horse after having a baby.  I could NOT get enough of food.  I was eating all the time.  So at night I would grab a granola bar or trail mix and put it in my "feeding corner" of the living room where I fed my little one.  So when the hunger pains hit at 1 am, I had a snack right there (along with my giant water jug, of course!).

Hershey's Hugs 
Because every new mom needs a hug or two every once in a while.  

At the end of my note on this one I wrote "remember - you CAN do this!".  I recall especially in the first week or so of being home I thought "there's NO way I can do this!" There were points I felt SO discouraged and defeated as a mom.  

What got me through were words of encouragement from family and friends and LOTS of prayer.  As new moms we all struggling in those first few days and weeks and though I didn't believe it but yes, it DOES get easier!  

I wanted to put this in the gift if anything to serve as a reminder that I am here for my dear friend and to say "I get it and you will survive, even when you think you won't".  I know when the time comes, I might not be able to console her son when she's up with him at 3 am but I at least can say I've been there and if all else fails - eat a chocolate! ;-)


from moms like you in the Mommy Stories Facebook group:

  • comfy socks
  • nail polish
  • special shampoo
  • eye mask for those puffy eyes
  • amazingly dark sweet chocolate 
  • tea, or something to soothe them 
  • tylenol 
  • Parents magazine subscription
  • gift certificate for massage or nails
  • coupons for baby sitting or folding laundry while she naps
  • MEALS - but specifically thinking about what her older kids would eat or some snack foods for 3 a.m. feedings 
  • awesome breastfeeding tank top that you loved best
  • comfy, huge, stretchy black pants - we all love those after giving birth, right?!
  • new mom journal
Be creative, moms will appreciate you thinking of them amidst all of those baby clothes and diapers at the shower! Write a sweet note of advice even, wouldn't you have loved that?! 

Here is a New Mom Survival Kit I made last year for my sister-in-law:

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