Gift Guide for Second Time Moms

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Several weeks ago, I was spoiled with a baby shower for baby #2. I wasn't expecting a second shower, but my mom and sister sweetly put one together for me since this baby is a different gender AND came 6 years after my first (many things have expired or have been pruned from the attic). To double up on the surprise, the ladies at work also threw me a surprise baby shower. I was thrilled! I didn't have a registry made at all since these were surprises, which got me to thinking about how to buy for a second-time mom who may not have a registry.

After the first baby, moms typically have all the big stuff they need and know exactly what is necessary and what is superfluous. I hung onto all my furniture like our baby swing, bassinet, pack and play, crib and other big ticket items. Toys are probably already an issue in every momma's house, so it may not be advisable to go that route either. So, this gift-buying business could be tricky in some cases. However, from what I've been gifted and brainstormed, I've come up with some great solutions in case you ever find yourself buying for a seasoned mommy.

Aside from cash (always a winner), here are some great gift ideas for the second or third+ time mom:

1. Updated car seat. Depending on how many years are between children and how safety standards have changed, it may be wise to get a new car seat. Make sure you know which kind mom wants by asking or checking her registry first. This is typically a pretty personal choice. My mom offered to purchase our car seat as her gift to us, she just had us pick it out and she paid for it. Score!

2. Baby book. By baby book, I mean some way to record all the baby news and milestones in a non-complex way. I did this for a friend the DIY way. I made her one book with the supplies to write her daughter a letter every year until she's 18. The other was a milestone capture book. There are great school year baby books too that record all the major details of each school grade, with a folder to stash the most memorable projects. These are amazing gifts and are needed for each individual child. And of course, a fresh new scrapbook is something many moms can really appreciate. Here's the one I was given (already stuffed with some memorabilia from the party):

I also really love this gift from my co-workers.
It has a slot for pictures for each month of baby's first year.

3. Updated extras. New bottle nipples, bibs, crib sheets and burp cloths are great gifts for any baby. Baby #1 may have "soiled" all of hers or these items may have just plain worn out between pregnancies. Fresh ones are sometimes necessary, and really, you can't have too many burp cloths.

4. Breastfeeding supplies. If you know what momma uses or has requested, this is a great option. Nursing pads, milk storage bags, and other similar supplies are always in demand.

5. Photo gift card. Popular sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish offer gift cards for prints and photo gifts. Pictures will still be a huge part of baby #2's life.

6. Similar to the above, paying for an infant photo session is an excellent choice. Every child will have her own set of baby pictures, so this gift is very practical.

7. Handmade gifts: sewn quilts, hand-knit baby blankets, cross-stitched artwork, painted pictures and other personal gifts are some of the most treasured gifts a woman could ever have. I think handmade gifts are the best, no matter what occasion. We still have a hand-knit blanket and sweater set that Hubster's aunt made for Peanut that we plan to reuse with Baby Girl and then keep forever. Peanut also has a beautiful quilt from his late great-grandma that will also be kept forever.

8. Etsy gift card: even if you don't have a creative bone in your body, someone on this website does! And chances are mom already has her eye on special baby items. I know I do! Photo props, headbands, clothes, blankets, nursery prints and everything you can think of is on Etsy, with a personal handmade touch. Even better, if you can get a hold of mom's Wishlist, you can buy right from there.

9. When in doubt, buy diapers and wipes. I would suggest buying size 2 and up. Babies are typically out of size 1 so quickly, it doesn't pay to have more than a handful. I would be one perfectly happy momma if everyone showed up at my shower with diapers!

10. Freezer meals. This is another winner! Bringing family dinners or stocking her freezer with quick crockpot meals will save her sanity once baby arrives. You may want to check about dietary restrictions and allergies beforehand though so nobody gets sick and the food doesn't go to waste.

11. Birthstone jewelry. Having family birthstones set into a bracelet, ring or necklace is beyond thoughtful. This may be tricky though with due dates that straddle the month mark. The birth month could change if baby decides to come earlier or later than anticipated. You could go with a family charm bracelet and offer to bring that last charm after baby arrives. Here's a birthstone bracelet from when Peanut was born. It was part of a necklace/earring/bracelet set. We'll have to come up with a clever way to add Baby Girl's own stone to the mix.

12. Mommy relaxation. Massages and spa kits for mom are amazing gifts no matter which number of child she's on, especially for the momma who has everything. Pamper her. You may even find her some luxurious slippers for the delivery room, a beautiful nursing scarf or a meditation CD (hypnobirthing anyone?). This type of gift will never go unwanted.

13. Free babysitting services. Sometimes the old "redeem this coupon..." trick is just what mom always wanted. Offering date night gift cards on top of that makes you a bona fide hero. It's tricky to leave the house when there's a new baby, so taking all the logistical details out of it for mom is very thoughtful.

14. New Clothes. If baby #2 is the same gender as baby #1, mom might already have a pile of clothes saved up. However, it's always nice for younger kids to have a few of their own clothes instead of only hand-me-downs. If I were buying, I would go with clothing in larger sizes, maybe 6-12 months and up since babies absolutely fly through the smaller clothes.

15. Hand/footprint kit: This is another item that is special to each child. Find a clay or ink kit so mom can record the teeniness of those precious little appendages before they're only memories.

16. Engraved treasures: We have an engraved Noah's Ark piggy bank for Peanut that I'm sure he'll keep forever. There are some really amazing baby gifts that you can pick out from places like Things Remembered. One memorable gift at a baby shower I went to was an engraved blue pin that the baby could wear for her baptism and later at her wedding (something old, something blue). Ah-mazing!

17. Write her a story: There are some amazing websites, such as Blurb, that if you have some artistic talent, would make crazy cool gifts. Writing and illustrating your very own story for the child, and then having it professionally printed, is such a neat idea. A lady at work wrote a story for each of her grandchildren one Christmas and had them printed, and I'm still so smitten with this idea.

18. Baby prayer book/cross: By far one of my favorite gifts was this beautiful prayer card set. The purpose is to pray over your child as they're sleeping. I just find this idea so touching. My mom also purchased Baby Girl her own cross for her bedroom. Peanut has one too, over his door. And Hubster and I were given a hand-carved cross from his pastor as a wedding gift. These are truly treasures and great reminders about what truly matters.

19. Savings Bonds: My mom has always done this for several of my cousins on their birthdays. One of these cousins in particular lives far away and the family is very financially secure (i.e. already has everything/hard to buy for), so this gift is both really practical and really beneficial down the road for the child. I love this idea and plan to steal the idea next time I need a gift like that.

I hope this list helps you the next time you're invited to a shower for moms that already have kids. It may also help you form a registry if you're a second-time mom being spoiled with a baby shower you weren't expecting. I love finding ways to give meaningfully to people that I love, so I'm always trying to keep these sort of ideas in the back of my head. Happy hunting!

I'll leave you with a few peeks from my baby shower. Perfect weather. Perfect company.

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