Gift ideas for second (or more) time moms

It is usually difficult to discern the protocol on gift giving to pregnant moms who already have children. Should you even bother? Doesn’t she have everything she needs already?

There has been a recent trend I have noticed of throwing a “sprinkle” instead of a shower for moms who have children already. I think it is a wonderful idea. There are a lot of things that an expecting mama needs even if she has had a baby or two (or seven) already. So if you find yourself invited to one of these sprinkles or would just like to do something kind for a loved one who is expecting, here are some gift ideas:

1) A meal. I list this one first because this is probably the most helpful thing you can do for a mother who has older children in addition to the newborn. She is healing and too exhausted to even move and she has little mouths to feed that don’t have much sympathy for her current plight. Something ready to go, or that she can just throw in the oven is preferable. Bonus points for a full meal (sides, drinks, dessert, etc.) that will have plenty of leftovers.

2) Diapers. This one is also important. A newborn goes through an amazing amount of diapers, and it is practically impossible to go to a grocery store with a newborn and other little ones those first few months weeks. If you are not sure if the mother in question is cloth diapering or not, make sure to ask. Those of my dear readers who cloth diaper can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe a lot of cloth diapering mamas use disposables those first few weeks. As for sizing, I would either ask the mom for the baby’s current weight or err on the size of caution and get size 1. Some babies are too big for the newborn size fresh out of the womb. You can never go wrong with wipes either. Again, err on the side of caution and get ones that don’t have perfume in them. Perfume irritates some newborns’ little bums.

3) Crib sheets. Ask if the mom is cosleeping first, but if the baby sleeps in a crib, you can never have too many crib sheets. Newborns can blow out their diapers or go all “Exorcist” on you several times a night. And if you run out of clean crib sheets, you are faced with a conundrum. Should I put the baby on the bare mattress and really be SOL when he vomits on that, or just let him marinate in all that junk for the rest of the night? (Yeah, we’ve all been there). Help a mama out and make sure she has a inexhaustible amount of crib sheets.

4) Clothing. Hand me downs are great in theory, but they don’t usually work out so well in practice. Particularly if you have been buying cheap baby clothing. Let me tell you, those clothes don’t last. Not to mention the fact that rarely do the seasons from the last baby match up. Also, I can personally attest to the fact that your children can vary drastically in sizing and growth at certain ages. My oldest is always too long and skinny, and my second is extremely rotund but not quite long enough. If you are unsure about seasons, pajamas are always useful in any size and don’t really depend on the season.

5) Bibs. You can never have too many bibs. I’m about to go add to my stash myself. Cute little bibs to catch the drool that adorns an infant’s shirtfront are always useful, or plain cloth or plastic food bibs are invaluable as well. I used to be grossed out by the bibs with the pocket food catchers at the bottom, but turns out that is infinitely less gross than trying to hose down a toddler’s lap. Who knew?

6) Baby bath towels. Now this might just be a weird quirk of mine, but all of my baby towels got ratty after my first baby. It probably has something to do with the fact that I wash them after every use. Some moms just use normal towels, but I like to keep the newborn laundry separate so that I can wash it in the special detergent, which leads me to my next gift.

7) Baby laundry detergent. Newborns go through more wardrobe changes in a day than Beyoncé, (interesting fact: my auto correct added that accent for me. Apparently even auto correct is a Beyonce fan) and that leads to a ton of extra laundry. Special baby laundry detergent is preferable because it is easier on sensitive newborn skin.

8) Swaddle blankets. For the same reasons listed under my crib bedding gift idea, you can never have too many swaddle blankets. Plain blankets are all well and good for first time moms who have nothing better to do, but second or more time moms will probably either want a Velcro swaddle or a Miracle Blanket or something similar. No one wants to be waking up several times a night to re-swaddle deliriously.

9) Baby soaps and toiletries. For obvious reasons, these usually don’t last past the first baby. And things like baby brushes and nail clippers are notoriously easy to misplace.

10) Baby books. You can never have too many books! And babies are really hard on books, so don’t fret about buying a book they already have. Particularly if it is a favorite of the older children, it is probably barely distinguishable by now.

11) Things that tend to replicate at an alarming rate with children: stuffed animals, teething toys, pacifiers, toys in general, baby cutlery, and baby blankets (unless it is handmade, bring those on).

That would be my list for great gift ideas for subsequent babies. What would be on yours?


About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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17 Responses to Gift ideas for second (or more) time moms

  1. Great gift: Time off… make up a little card for date night babysitting or time during the day to go to the gym. Also gift certificate for a spa day. My second and third babies didn’t need more clothes… 3 girls, and I never had any baby showers. We were far from family and my mom had passed away, so didn’t have free babysitting. I’d have died for time off or prepared meals as you said.


  2. love the list, as nearly all of my besties are on baby 2, 3, or 4. And we’ll be working on baby 2 soon, so good things to keep in mind.
    Also, LOVE the Freshly Picked Mocs 🙂


  3. Holly says:

    Great ideas. Can be hard to know what to get next time round


  4. morgan says:

    I’d stronlgy suggest to check in with the soon-to-be mama first (or someone very very close to her). None of my kids took a pacifier or liked to be swaddled…

    What has been very welcome to my family were gift cards from the drugstore (this is where diapers are sold in Germany). Yes you need TONS of diapers, but different brands vary in size and fit – with every kid I ran to several packages of diapers until I finally found the brand/size combination that he/she didn’t blow up every time (we had this episode where I thought that recycable diapers would be a great idea. yeah. son peed right out of the diaper every f***ing time, so I had to change his clothes about every hour). That’s why I loved getting gift cards – you can get the brand / size you need.

    Baby clothing: yes, great idea! But I’d suggest NOT to get newborn clothes, because
    1) they only can wear them for a couple of weeks until they grew out of them, so hand-me-down newborn clothes usually aren’t that bad in shape.
    2) some babies (like mine) just DON’T fit in newborn clothes. They came with a healthy birth weight of 4.0 and 4.5kg (8.8lb and 9.9lb) and well… no chance. So I still got this huge pile of almost brand-new newborn clothes (most of them were gifts, and I crammed my kids at least once in them just to notice that they don’t fit :D)
    3) It is really nice to have something show off once they are a little more mobile – and not just hidden in the carrier or the stroller all the time.
    My favorite are T-Shirts. They are great for all seasons.

    I’d add baby hats (preferably self made ones ;-)). I tend to loose them all over the house every day. Especially when you have older kids, they want to wear them too and try them on… and stash them just somewhere. So: matching hats for the new baby and the older siblings are (in my eyes) always a great idea! Not too matching, though – or you always end up cramming a way too small baby hat on a toddlers head 😉

    Best gift idea ever: Taking the older kids our for an adventure. They LOVE the extra attention and you get time to recover or take care of your newborn without that constant bad conscience!


    • sylcell says:

      Excellent points. You should have a post of your own! My newborns were all small (6 lbs 12 oz, 6 lbs 14 oz, 7 lbs, 9 oz), so they used the NB clothing for a while. The only brand of diapers I didn’t like we’re Target. We were given Luvs, Huggies, and Pampers and they all worked equally well. Now I’m an Honest Company devotee. And I never really used baby hats, but I’m down here in the hot and humid South. I got more 3-6 month stuff than I could ever use, so bigger sizes are always helpful. It is just tricky with the seasons.

      Taking the toddler out of the house is brilliant!


  5. katylady says:

    You are spot on with we CD mummies using disposables for the first few weeks…skinny newborns tend to swim in even the smallest cloth diapers. And amen to the rest of the list, especially bibs! I would add nursing supplies (storage bags, steam clean bags, Medela breast milk soap, nipple balm), and bottle nipples and pacifiers, for mums who use them. But when in doubt, bring food! Big fan of Larabars, mixed nuts, and flavored or fizzy water for Mum. Oh, and please, offer to hold the baby and keep the kids from destroying the house while she showers, or better yet, naps!


  6. Great ideas! I CD but am hoping to dive right in when my youngest is born this fall, but it’s my first newborn to use cloth- so I’ll get back to you 😉 my list is all clothes and other girlie items since I had 2 boys first! But with my second it was definitely nice to get those few helpful things that I didn’t have with my first (bassinet for downstairs, ditto on a changing table). Another idea is gift cards- especially to places mom can shop online.. And I am thinking about trying out Amazon Mom so if they offer gift cards- score!


    • sylcell says:

      Yeah, not having to schlep up and down the stairs all day is always a win. And gift cards is a great idea! Wish I had thought of that;) I use Amazon mom for diapers and wipes and I love it! Cheapest prices and they deliver!


  7. Rachel O says:

    I would add diapers, wipes, baby wash and baby lotion. these are my faves for subsequent baby gifts.


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