While there’s no shortage of people who claim to know the perfect gift for “start-up” moms, shower items for mothers working on baby number-two (or three, or four, or...) present more of a challenge. Do you need to need to do everything differently this time? If so, what?
There’s no master secret for what to give to the second-time-around parent, but there are a few guidelines. First of all, this go-around should veer a little more to the practical side. While the joy of expanding the family is back, the novelty of the first time is not. In other words, you might want to stick with a gift that make life easier, rather than more a symbolic or commemorative choice. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring the other children a little something at the same time. Call it a good-hearted bribe, but it’s a great way to prevent jealousy issues.
Image Courtesy of Dustin M. Ramsey © 2006/Wikimedia Commons
As far as specific suggestions go, don’t forget to check with the baby registry (if one exists). While it may be less exciting to just faithfully pick up items from a list, remember this is about them, not you! All that said, here are some dynamite candidates for any second-time mom:
Sweet sighs of relief
Again, while mom may be a seasoned veteran at this point, the truth is that she’s contending with more needs, more demands and simply more bodies. Without a doubt, your mom friend could use means of taking a load off, such as:
● Maid service. Needless to say, more kids make more of a mess (and give you less time to deal with it). A gift card for a trusted cleaning service (or an independent you know from word-of-mouth) will hit home.
● A “Babymoon” trip. There’s no shame in it: moms need to get away from it all too. Make reservations at her favorite hotel or nearby inn, set things up with a babysitter (or volunteer your own services).
● Spa/salon treatment: This one might also entail pinning down a baby sitter, but an afternoon of soaking, steaming and getting spoiled will benefit her whole clan. If she has trouble getting out of the house, consider making her a gift basket filled with essential spacare items (soaps, salts, bubble bath, etc).
Image Courtesy of Jamie Campbell/Wikimedia Commons
Specifically “Multi-kid” Upgrades
● Double stroller. This obviously depends on the age difference between the little ones. If the gap is greater than a year or so, you might just want to get a swankier single stroller.
● Diaper station annex. A duplicate changing pad and diaper pail will definitely help with the overflow, especially if the growing family lives in a home with space issues; a baby bathtub will be a backup blessing.
● New jumpers and bouncers. New kids means more little bodies with a lot of energy. Not only will these things keep the whole gang occupied, you’ll be creating another pressure valve to give mom some much-appreciated hands-free time.
There are some items that will always come in handy, no matter which kid uses them.
● Clothes and cloths; bibs and burpers. Babies are as messy as they are adorable and try as mom might, some things just receive too much wear and tear to last long.
● “Old school” alternatives. Mass-produced baby needs are convenient, but they aren’t always the best for the environment or children’s health. A supply of cloth diapers (or a coupon for an ongoing service) is a great green way to show you care, while glass bottles prevent the risks that come with reheating plastic.
● Blood registry. This one may seem odd to some readers, but it might end up being the greatest gift of all. By starting a fund that will pay for storage of the new baby’s cord blood stem cells, you’ll give the family peace of mind should any medical problems arise in the future. A gift not every mom may think of, this might be as practical as is meaningful.
Of course, knowing the mom, her family and her ever-changing hectic schedule is the best way of deciding on ideal presents. In the end, it’s all about making life go more smoothly, so keep it simple.