gifts they might actually want

The Best Gifts for New Moms, According to New Moms

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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When you’re a new mom, everything can feel overwhelming — from late-night feedings to the seemingly never-ending dirty diapers and your own physical recovery. I should know: I have two small kids, and while it definitely gets easier, those first few weeks with a newborn are still pretty rough. A thoughtful gift for the new parent — like truly comfortable postpartum pajamas — can help make the transition into motherhood a little smoother. To help you shop for the new mom in your life this Mother’s Day, I surveyed new and seasoned mothers (with inclusions from yours truly) about the stuff they actually want. Babies get their own registry, so I’ve focused on gifts for Mom, but also included a few things for baby that, in turn, will make Mom’s life easier. Below, you’ll find my picks for the 48 best Mother’s Day gifts for new moms, according to new moms, including lots of things for her and a few things for baby, from beauty products to breastfeeding support.

Gifts $25 and under

Level up their jade-rolling game with this face de-puffer that involves ice. Sonya Li Casino, a senior vice-president in public relations and mom of two, first eyed it on the Instagram of Geri Hirsch: “I bought one for myself and like three other people I know. It’s very, very addicting and makes me feel so refreshed.”

A traditional receiving blanket like this supersoft muslin one from Loulou Lollipop — which also makes my favorite bibs and towels — can be used a million ways in addition to as a swaddle, including as a nursing shawl, car-seat cover, and burp cloth. The New York–themed print is especially sweet.

These soothing nursing pillows can be warmed up or frozen and act like a hot or cold compress for sensitive, engorged breasts. Doree Shafrir, author of Thanks for Waiting: The Joy (and Weirdness) of Being a Late Bloomer, swears by them: “I got clogged my entire seven-month breastfeeding journey and was always sore,” she says. These gave her breasts sweet relief.

This manual silicone breast pump passively collects milk using the power of suction and is a great alternative to an electric pump. It’s at the top of the list for Bethany Barnes, a mom of two in Pensacola, who says, “It was so helpful, especially in the beginning, as it’s hands-free and easy to clean. I’ve collected a freezer full of milk without really trying.”

I switched to this glass bottle with my second, because he was slow to take to the bottle and I wanted something that mimicked the natural rhythm of breastfeeding. The lifelike nipple has a no-drip design, which means no milk comes out unless the baby is actively sucking, just like a human nipple.

From $10

A new mom could always use a little help breastfeeding and pumping, which is why a gift certificate from Legendairy Milk can be welcome. Hilary Swank swears by its Liquid Gold lactation supplements, while Strategist senior editor Winnie Yang and I both used Pump Princess (for milk flow), Milkapalooza (for milk enrichment), and Sunflower Lecithin (for clogged ducts) with our kids.

Gifts $50 and under

Swaddling your baby is a must for those early days, but it can be tricky to get it right, especially at 3 a.m. The Halo SleepSack, a wearable blanket with Velcro “wings,” was the favorite swaddle among the seven parents on the Strategist staff for how adjustable and easy it is to put on the baby — and also how “un-get-out-able” it is for your squirmy little one.

This prompted journal takes the pressure off of tracking all of your child’s milestones, from pregnancy to when they’re 18 years old. It’s another favorite of Barnes, who says, “This was a great way to keep it all in one place, and I can’t wait to share it with my daughters one day.”

Grace Lim Premvaree, owner of children’s clothing line SM. Dossier, used Artifact Uprising for her baby photos because she loves the “great quality and minimalist and sleek aesthetic” and the fact that it’s “very user friendly, with impeccable customer service.” Dana Rudolph, a mom and the founder of LGBTQ+ parenting site Mombian, told us Artifact Uprising’s Baby Book is a great gift for new mothers in two-mom households because the fill-in-the-blank book uses gender-neutral language to fit different family structures.

A lot of content aimed at moms is cheesy and frankly patronizing, which is why I love Mother Tongue, a biannual print magazine that explores modern motherhood without making “being a mom” your entire identity. Through incisive, often hilarious writing and gorgeous art, the stories, interviews, and musings here make you feel connected to the larger enterprise of being a person — who also happens to be a mom — in the world.

Here’s an all-in-one sound machine, nightlight, and sleep trainer that’s also very cute. Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo loves that it’s rechargeable (making it great for travel), comes with lullabies, and has an adjustable light that can be programmed with a rainbow array of glowing colors and brightness. “Surprisingly, it has become a major part of every nap and every bedtime,” she says.

This giftable set of Earth Mama’s clean, cruelty-free skin-care items includes lip balm, belly oil, deodorant, and body wash in travel-size bottles, making them a great stocking stuffer for a new mom. Kelli Shepard, the design director for Ralph Lauren’s women’s collection, is partial to the brand’s lip balms but loves the whole range, saying, “I feel great knowing that these are 100 percent kiss-approved — safe for baby and mama both.”

Any new mom will quickly learn how important it is to stay hydrated. This Strategist- and TikTok-favorite water bottle from Owala makes it even easier to drink, thanks to two sipping options: a straw and a wide-mouthed opening with an angled border that guides a stream of water into your mouth without spilling.

No matter how compartmentalized a diaper bag may or may not be, this set of pouches — it comes with a diaper pouch, a wet bag for dirty clothes, and a bag for clean clothes — helps keep everything organized. Miriam Cohen, the mom of two behind the Very Best Baby Stuff, says she’s been recommending these pouches for years, as they’re “nearly weightless, flexible, machine washable, travel friendly, and easy to pack,” she says.

A bottle drying rack might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a great gift, but Cohen says the moms in her NYC Moms Facebook group rave about this one. It’s upright, so it’s space saving, making it “a must for NYC galley kitchens,” she says, and is a “space-efficient way to dry and store baby bottles, breast-pump parts, and pacifiers.”

From $50

Takeout-delivery gift cards are always great for new parents, but there’s something to be said for having a stash of wholesome, ready-to-go frozen meals on hand when they’re feeling peckish. Ipsa, which several Strategist staffers and I swear by, allows folks to order high-end, actually delicious dishes like lasagne ai funghi and green-chicken enchilada bake à la carte.

Instead of a meal gift card, you could send a ready-to-eat box of fruit from a place like Frog Hollow Farm, one of Yang’s favorite sources for fresh fruit. “One of the best gifts I’ve ever received after having a baby was a five-pound box of stone fruit from Frog Hollow Farm,” she says. “The California grower is most known for its apricots, peaches, plums, and pluots, but if you want to send something in the fall, they have pears that are better than any others I’ve tasted.”

A trip to the spa is a great way to pamper a new mom, and with a Spafinder gift card, they’ll be able to go to a place of their choosing whenever they’re ready for it. “I can’t overhype how good a massage feels when you’re uncomfortably pregnant, then later when you’re tense all over from breastfeeding, baby schlepping, and parenting in general,” says DiGiovanna.

New moms might be shocked to find that there isn’t too much time for hair-washing, so when they have the chance, they should use the Strategist’s best-in-class pick Olaplex’s hair mask, which has repairing and moisturizing properties. Gena Kaufman, who recently had her second baby, says that while postpartum hair loss is a “bummer,” her hair “feels softer and air-dries nicely after using these treatments.”

If they can’t wash their hair, they can at least style it with this compact, hand-carved comb from Crown Affair for instant detangling and a light scalp massage. Jenny Xie, content designer and author of shopping newsletter Ode, who owns this one as well as the larger size, says, “It’s just so pretty and luxurious-feeling. It makes me feel like the few minutes I could steal away to comb my hair is time well spent.”

Athleisure brand Girlfriend Collective (a Strategist favorite for sustainably made, comfortable, size-inclusive, and actually nice-looking activewear) happens to make a line of maternity wear that includes leggings, bike shorts, and bras — like this crossover nursing bra. It’s available in sizes XXS to 6XL, and as developer Caláh Jones puts it, it’s “easy to throw on” when little else fits correctly.

I buy this bra — the only bra I wore for the first few months postpartum — for all my pregnant and new-mom friends. It’s perfect for when your milk starts to come in and your breasts are extremely sensitive because it’s made from the softest, stretchiest modal-viscose blend that still provides enough support to make you feel secure.

We spotted these nipple shells on the Instagram of Rudy Jude’s Julie O’Rourke, who just had her third child. They’re a natural (and more beautiful) alternative to silver nursing cups, and they are meant to protect and soothe chafed, cracked, and sore nipples in the early days of breastfeeding.

Even if you’re not going far, schlepping diapers, bottles, and whatever else you need to prepare for the worst (a poop explosion) can get tedious, but a couple of moms told us that having the right diaper bag — that doesn’t actually look like a diaper bag — can make all the difference. Sadie Stein, a writer, Strategist contributor, swears by the long handles, zip top, and exterior pocket of L.L.Bean’s classic Boat Tote, which you can customize with the new baby’s (or mom’s) name.

What a new mom might want most of all is some help, which is why a gift card from Tot Squad, which offers a range of virtual services including lactation consulting, sleep coaching, expert car-seat installation, and nutrition, would go a long way.

Gifts $100 and under

It’s always a good idea to have formula on hand, especially one that you feel good about giving to your baby. Corsillo chose Bobbie after extensive research because it’s made with organic grass-fed cow’s milk, with no corn syrup or added palm oil. It also tastes like the real thing, according to Corsillo, and most importantly, her baby loved it. While the original formula is currently sold out, the gentle version for fussy feeders is available now.

Postpartum hair loss is real and can be pretty distressing. Strategist senior editors Yang and Simone Kitchens — plus fashion historian Ruby Redstone — all swear by these supplements for dealing with those pesky baby hairs around the crown of your head, breakage, and general growth. Kitchens wishes she had started taking them shortly after giving birth, to get a head start on the postpartum hair loss she noticed around four to six months.

To make pumping on the go a less stressful experience, consider this insulated bottle for breast milk that comes with glass storage bottles that you can attach to your pump. Corsillo loves that “you don’t have to mess with ice cubes to keep it cold and you can see how much milk you have in the glass bottles,” she says. “It makes the whole process of pumping at work, or at a wedding, or at your in-laws’ house so much less annoying and more discreet.”

For the new mom who wants to try baby-wearing, consider the Solly. Made of soft and stretchy Tencel Modal fabric, the Solly wraps around your body and keeps your baby close, snug, and secure. Lauren Snyder, owner of the Primary Essentials, said that her daughter loved being in it — “it calmed her” — and that it “just works really well and made it so easy when she was really little.”

I love this belly oil from Hatch, as it’s super-light, has only a hint of a natural scent, and feels so nice on the skin. It’s also nongreasy and quick-drying, unlike other oils I’ve tried, which means it’s not only great for your expanding belly but also for the rest of your body.

And here’s an oil for your face, which is on the wish list of therapist Elizabeth Antoon-Walsh. “I’ve been obsessed with this light but hydrating face oil since getting a sample; it feels divine to rub my face with two of my favorite smells, ylang-ylang and jasmine,” she says.

With my first kid, I had nothing comfortable to wear at home when I got back from the hospital and regretted it immediately. For the second baby, I made sure I was ready. These are the softest, most comfortable pajamas I’ve ever owned. Even though they’re considered maternity and postpartum PJs, I will never put them away because they feel so nice against my skin, have the perfect stretch to them, and don’t pill — unlike other modal sets I’ve tried.

Everything you’ve heard about these being the best supportive but not tight maternity leggings is true. I still wear mine from my first kid — from over five years ago — and while they’re definitely pill-y, they’re still as stretchy, supportive, and durable as they were on day one.

For lounging, a soft and stretchy ensemble like this sweet maternity robe-and-dress set that the recipient can wear while pregnant and postpartum also makes for a thoughtful gift. Xie started wearing the dress in her third trimester, and now that the baby is here, wears both the dress and robe, which she calls “so soft and the perfect weight and thickness.”

At the Strategist, we love everything Sandeep Salter creates for her eponymous store in Brooklyn — including her line of sweet nightgowns that several of our editors and writers personally own (including me). The nightdresses come in a range of flowy, ultracomfortable styles that are ideal for new moms — which is why they’ve become some of our go-to gifts for friends who’ve just had babies.

One of the most thoughtful gifts I received after my second was born was a package from Brodo, a “bone-broth bar” by the popular East Village restaurant Hearth. Broth has many noted restorative benefits as it’s rich in protein and gelatin (and flavor), all things a new mom craves. This sampler includes all six of Brodo’s broths, including chicken, Spicy Nonna, Hearth, and Deeply Rooted bone broths — all of which you can drink from a mug or use as a base for soups and noodles.

Diapers always make a welcome gift, but ones that are free of fragrance, lotion, latex, rubber, dye, alcohol, heavy metal, parabens, and phthalates are perhaps a little more special, like these from Coterie, which several Strategist staffers and I love. Barnes is also a fan: “They’re simple, secure, soft, very absorbent, and the safest and cleanest diaper I’ve found, which is exactly what I want to put my baby in,” she says.

Photo: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

In addition to comfy clothes, the new mom in your life might like a little bling to pair with her Lulus, like this gold-filled necklace that you can get customized for no additional cost. “It’s everything I was looking for — chic, subtle, and affordable,” DiGiovanna says. Pricing for this gold-filled necklace starts at $52 for the shortest chain, making it a solid option for a reasonable push present and one new moms can enjoy immediately.

Gifts $200 and under

Three of the moms we spoke to say that a robe is one of the best gifts they received postpartum. Casino says she loves this softly textured cotton robe from Parachute because it makes her feel like she’s “heading to the spa every time I wear it.”

For something a bit lighter, Stein recommends this cotton robe from Eberjey — one of our favorite brands for all things comfy — which she says was “terrific” for when “the baby is a newborn and you’re breastfeeding a lot, or even if you’re not!”

And something just as cozy for baby is this merino wool–lined sleep sack that several Strategist staffers and I all swear by. Sized for 2 to 24 months, the wool blanket’s temperature-regulating qualities mean it can be worn all year round. It’s got a great weight, Yang says, “like it’s heavy enough to feel like a real blanket, which is not how the fleece and many cotton ones feel.” It’s durable and washes well, too.

While this is only technically a gift for the baby, Mom will thank you much more. We’ve written a lot about the SNOO, a smart bassinet that uses motion and white noise to calm your baby back to sleep so you don’t have to. New moms say it’s priceless, but the $1,695 price tag indicates otherwise, which is why Kaufman, whose daughter started sleeping through the night when she was 2 months old using the SNOO, says gifting a one-month rental of the magic bassinet would be a dream. “I can’t imagine a gift a sleep-deprived new parent would appreciate more than anything that might get them an extra hour of sleep,” she says. I got one as a hand-me-down and used it for both babies and can attest that it’s a game-changer. The younger one basically sleep-trained himself, and we owe it all to the SNOO. If you commit to a six-month rental, the price goes from $159 a month for the first four months down to $49 a month for the fifth and sixth months.

This formula maker, which can automatically make one- to ten-ounce bottles of milk, can also save new parents a few more minutes of sleep. Style blogger Jennifer Jean-Pierre calls this little kitchen gadget “genius,” in that it eliminates having to worry about mixing the right amount.

Speaking of bottles, getting all of them ready for the next day can also be a drag, but this sterilizer and dryer can buy you a little time. Xie calls it a “classic not-strictly-necessary-but-so-nice-to-have” item that preps bottles (and pacifiers and pump parts) for use in 30 to 45 minutes.

From $160

New sustainable baby brand AU Baby recently sent me a beautiful hand-embroidered blanket made of the softest plant-dyed merino wool that would make a luxurious gift for a very stylish mom (and newborn). It’s available in five pastel colors and 12 embroidery-thread options, but I happen to think the combination I got — a sky-blue blanket with dark-chocolate stitching — is the best.

Gifts $500 and under

Shepard, who was expecting her second daughter when we spoke, told us that she wanted to make the postpartum phase a priority. “I vow to really luxuriate in the sweet lying-in time with so many newborn snuggles the second time around,” she said, adding that she would love this collection of luxury hospital essentials from Hatch that includes a pair of underwear, a robe, and nightgown — all made of organic bamboo — as well as a pair of cozy socks.

This portable, rechargeable baby-bottle warmer from Ember was the only new baby product that I was genuinely excited about with my second child. As I wrote in my registry redo, the beautifully designed product allows you to warm breast milk (or water for formula) on the go in about four minutes, no outlet required. Simply place the bottle (which includes a warming base that can go in the fridge, dishwasher, boiling water, and bottle sterilizers) on the rechargeable puck and press the button for perfectly warmed-to-body-temperature milk in an instant. It’s definitely pricey but great for a group-registry buy — or just a fancy new-mom gift.

The YOYO stroller is so small and compact that Catbird creative director Leigh Plessner says, “It’s like a doll stroller!” It’s ideal for city living and fantastic for travel. “I just wanted the lightest, smallest thing I could find, and this is the perfect stroller for New York vestibules and stairs,” she says. (It also happens to be our pick for best lightweight stroller.)

Additional reporting by Chloe Anello, Tembe Denton-Hurst, Kayla Levy, Kaitlin Menza, and Jenna Milliner-Waddell.

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The Best Gifts for New Moms, According to New Moms