Finding the perfect holiday gift can be maddening — is this the color they’d want? Is it something they already have? Is it so last year? — but really, once you have a sense of a person’s taste, it’s not impossible. This season, we’ll be talking to members of various tribes (we’re calling them the Hard-to-Shop-Fors) to find out exactly what to get that serious home cook, skin-care Redditor, or gamer in your life. Think of it as a window into their brain trust — or at least a very helpful starting point.
Today, two new and expecting moms (plus author and Strategist writer Lauren Ro, who’s due in the spring) on the gifts they want for the holidays. (Check out the roundup of best new mom gifts we did for Mother’s Day, too.)
Best gifts for moms
Kelli Shepard, design director for women’s collection at Ralph Lauren and mom of a 2-year-old, wants to make the postpartum phase of her second birth a priority. “For the second time around, I vow to really luxuriate in the sweet lying-in time with so many newborn snuggles,” she says. On her holiday wish list is Hatch’s collection of luxury hospital essentials.
Here’s an everyday bathrobe that’s a little more practical. Recommended by senior account director in public relations Sonya Li Casino (and mother of a 7-month-old boy), it makes such good sense. “Pre-baby, I never used to spend that much time in my pajamas, but now I live in those suckers,” she says. “I wanted a robe that I would look forward to putting on, and this makes me feel like I’m heading to the spa every time I wear it.” [Editor’s note: While it’s currently sold out, the website says it’ll be back in stock on November 16.]
And something to wear underneath: “I get tired of milk-stained, stretched-out tanks and feel more put-together and classy in some swanky loungewear. Button-down shirts are my new best friend for breast-feeding,” says Joanna Muenz, photo editor, and mother of a 1-year-old.
Stylist Jasmine Snow has her eye on this silk pajama shirt. “I only wear either my husband’s oversize tees or old Christmas pajamas to bed,” she says. “I would love, love, love to have a luxurious pair of fancy pj’s to make me feel like I’m sleeping at the Beverly Hills Hotel every night.”
We also like this basics bundle from Storq, which is a lifesaver for any expecting mom suddenly overwhelmed with the task of clothing her changing body (and we mean ourselves). It includes leggings, a pencil skirt, a T-shirt dress, and a white tank that can also be worn postpartum.
For the perfect stocking stuffer, Shepard recommends these organic lip balms from Earth Mama. “I love the whole Earth Mama range and feel great knowing that these are 100 percent kiss-approved — safe for baby and mama both,” she says.
At the Strategist, we’re fans of jade rollers for de-puffing your face, and here’s a next-level one involving ice. Casino first eyed it on the Instagram of lifestyle blogger Geri Hirsch (of Because I’m Addicted): “I bought one for myself and like three other people I know. It’s VERY, VERY addicting and makes me feel so refreshed.”
“A full face of makeup is out of the question, but I can almost always manage the 30 seconds it takes to brush on foundation,” says Lindsey Unterberger, beauty director for Dailymail.com, and mother of a 1-year-old son. “I love the way the La Mer Soft Fluid Foundation SPF 20 covers all manner of dark circles and blemishes but still manages to feel soft, not cakey, and makes skin look luminous. My bottle is almost empty, and at $110, it’s not something I’ll buy myself.”
“I’ve been obsessed with this light but hydrating face oil since getting a sample of it this summer and realizing how divine it feels to rub my face with two of my favorite smells, ylang-ylang and jasmine,” says Elizabeth Antoon-Walsh, therapist, and mother of a 1-year-old. “It’s a luxury that is hard to justify buying for myself, as the price tag equals about 250 diapers, but it would be a perfect gift to find under the tree.”
Snow would also like this candle by Tom Dixon. “I love how an oversize fancy candle not only makes your apartment smell like a chic boutique hotel, but also serves as a decorative piece,” she says. “So no matter how chaotic or messy my apartment may get, lighting a beautiful candle still makes everything feel more luxe.”
“To be honest, I am so sick of carrying around a giant diaper bag and have been wistfully remembering the days when all I needed was a small cross-body!” says Casino. “I saw this pop up in my email the other day, and I want it — or the Clare Vivier version.”
For babies and kids
For Danish baby design, Shepard loves Danish company Konges Sløjd, which offers clothing, toys, décor, and more for both baby and parent: “There are so many sweet, organic products with that unbeatable Scandinavian cool aesthetic” — like this adorable sun hat.
For her second child, Shepard is looking to upgrade the high chair: “With our first, there was such a high volume of ‘gear’ to amass, but with the second baby, I would love to upgrade our high chair. This one is swoon-worthy! Can’t you imagine all the cute first-foods photos you can take in this?”
And to place under that high chair — Gathre mats, which come in an array of colors and patterns. “These PU leather high-chair mats would be a huge upgrade to the tablecloth eyesore I have under my daughter’s high chair,” Shepard says. “Spills and food wipe up in a cinch, and their color story offering is drool-worthy!”
And to go with the high chair and mat, Cristina Hochkeppel, director of editorial operations at StyleCaster, and mother of a 1-year-old son, recommends this baby-food maker. “I love to cook, and making and feeding my baby homemade purées is something I’ve looked forward to ever since I was pregnant,” she says. “This combination steamer-blender promises to prep things in 15 minutes tops and was designed for one-handed operation (key for assembling things while juggling a hungry baby). Plus, its understated design won’t be a total eyesore on my kitchen countertop.”
Brooklinen just launched its Brooklittles line, a gender-neutral collection for babies and toddlers that includes sheet sets, quilts, blankets, and swaddles, all made from chemical-free 100 percent cotton and printed with designs inspired by Memphis and ’90s nostalgia — and we want it all. But especially this quilt.
“I have a structured carrier that works well when the baby is past newborn stage, but since I will be mothering a toddler as well with this baby, I wanted to up my baby-carrying game, as I assume this will be an essential,” says Shepard. “These ring skin carriers by WildBird have a cult following, and I hear they have the most luxurious fabrics and are really easy to get the baby in and out quickly once you’ve got it mastered.”
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