'Tis the season to start turning your thoughts to all the possibly unprepared new mothers in your life. Okay, so any season is technically birth-giving season, but no matter whether you are headed to the baby shower of your best friend, or thinking of a Christmas gift for your sister-in-law who is ready to give birth, there is one present that can never go wrong for the expecting new mom - a breastfeeding basket.
If you experienced never receiving one, a breastfeeding basket is filled with all those goodies that you wish you did have when nursing.
During those precious first few weeks of life, a mom's life is pretty much only about changing diapers and breastfeeding all-the-time. When a baby is attached to you almost 24/7, having all those little conveniences within reach is more useful than all the onesies in the world that new mothers usually get at a baby shower.
A new mom will get plenty of diapers and common baby shower gifts so we're doing this our way...essentials but with lots of fun mixed in!
What to Include in a Breastfeeding Basket
It starts with the Basket
When you choose the basket try for one that she can continue to use like a cute weaved storage basket, maybe one she can store some of the baby's toys in and then the basket will be around for a very long time. A picnic basket is also sweet and creative for future times when taking her baby to the park. This way she doesn't have to throw away that easter egg hunt looking basket you might have chosen at first.
Instead of tissue paper to stuff the basket, try some recycled kraft paper or if you can do it, use turkish hand towels, burp towels, or Aden & Anais muslin swaddle cloths to cushion the bottom of the basket (she'll use all that stuff).
No plastic cellophane is necessary if you are gifting this in a smaller setting. You can easy place everything in there neatly, tape the items down if necessary, and a cute burlap bow is the perfect last touch. Use a vintage hang tag as your card with a little handwritten note.
While steps should be taken to give a breastfeeding basket a little personalized flair, every breastfeeding basket should have at least a few of the following:
A Water Bottle
Nursing is thirsty work. It is like that newborn is sucking all the liquid out of your body or something. One of the more useful gifts you can include is a big water bottle that she can keep right by her nursing spot.
It should also be a water bottle that is easy to open with one hand, or try some of our favorites like the ones by Swell and YETI. These keep drinks really cold and the ice doesn't melt. They are high quality to last for a long time, have nice designs, are sure to last and she can always throw them in her diaper bag for when she leaves the house.
New mothers leak. Many of them leak a lot. Throw in a few nursing pads so that they won't have to change shirts every hour.
Nursing pads come in reusable and disposable, as to which to include, that is completely up to preference. Disposable are pretty great because she needs them and also you may not know what kind of reusable ones she will like.
This might be one of those more awkward items, but as lovely as it is to think of your friend's newly chapped nipples, a hidden tube of breast cream in their breastfeeding basket will be sure to provide them some wonderful relief later down the line.
Give a small jar of coconut oil as an idea! Coconut oil works wonders for everything so this may be a perfect add on. Also an organic natural option is Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter! Go for Lansinoh as a basic option.
A Nursing Hoodie
You know what is infinitely more useful and never included in the literal mountain of baby clothes you get at a baby shower? Quality clothes for breastfeeding mom. Especially because she may not be thinking of this or better yet, she hasn't discovered the awesomeness of it.
Being able to unsnap some buttons with one hand, and be ready to nurse or pump is so much easier than having to take half your shirt off. If she is going to be babywearing and breastfeeding she will also really need good nursing tops that can access the breasts easily while the baby is in the wrap.
Bun Maternity's selection is not only fashionable, but functional with classic styles that are perfect for everyday use. Yummy soft tee shirts, stretchy tanks, and uber comfy hoodies...this is basically thee ultimate mom uniform. Your mom to be will be swooning over the softness and the styles that don't scream nursing top. In fact all the pieces transition from bump, breastfeeding, to well beyond for long lasting uses in her closet.
While basic colors are very much needed, adding a splash of color is always fun like blue for a boy or pink for a girl. Grab a gift certificate if you're not sure what to choose.
Who doesn't appreciate the gift of snacks? No one, that's who! Throw in some healthy snacks as a basket filler. This can be granola bars, nuts, cookies, or anything that is both tasty and portable. Having individually sealed packages never hurt either, open containers are how you get ants.
We love those farm/local/fresh stores like Trader Joes where they have a great selection of chia nut bars (milk booster!), individually packaged almond snacks, and dried coconut and fruit snacks. All great quality, natural, and again...milk boosting magical.
Another trendy and neat gift option is an Instacart or grocery delivery service gift card. Mom won't have to move a finger except to answer the door and she can order all her groceries online. How cool. How seriously convenient.
Nursing is occasionally really tedious, so it is helpful for new moms to have something they can do during it. While it might be tempting to include a baby book, mom probably has about a dozen coming to her from other sources. Also, no Frozen books please because you know we all know every song to that movie hahaha.
A book with big print is probably best as it can occasionally be really awkward to nurse and read at the same time.
If you know they love the beach try a coffee table book with gorgeous beach photos. If they love fitness try a few copies of Oxygen, Self, and Women's Health. Maybe they love food so something based on great restaurants in their city may be nice.
There are also lots of hilarious "mom books" out there like Can I Sit on Your Lap While you're Pooping? Yep. Gotta just love that one.
A few more optional Add ons:
Wipes aka pronounced (WHY-PEEZ)
Cocoa or Shea Butter Stick
Amazon gift card so she can download some music or an ebook
Milk Boosting Tea
Lactation cookies or a written recipe
A Tip on what not to Include:
Save your money on the Nursing Pillow - Nursing pillows are a pretty popular gift for baby showers, so you might want to leave the nursing pillow out of your breastfeeding basket lest your new mother friend ends up with half a dozen of them.
She really only needs one or two, and needs a high quality one instead of lots of lesser quality choices. However, if you have talked it over with the ladies and no one is getting her one, it is a pretty useful thing to have one of but most likely she'll receive one. The best nursing pillows are up there in price so leave this optional piece out unless you want to add in a high quality one which she will surely love.
Ultimately, a breastfeeding basket can be customized to the new mother's needs, making it the perfect gift. It peels away just one layer of stress, making nursing the peaceful bonding experience between mother and child that it should be. Use this list for your inspiration to choose items to go in your gift that fit your budget. She won't forget your sweet and generous gesture and will be thanking you for it every time she needs to nurse, which is every second of the day practically.
Are you the mom to be? Share this article with your significant other.