In our new advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and scour friends, call up experts, and draw from personal experience to answer them. As always, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with one of your own — we’re here to help.
Can you recommend some good gifts to give a new mum?
My go-to gift for friends who are new parents is to drop over a homemade lasagne, dal or shepherd’s pie. Crucially, I drop it over pre-portioned for the freezer – either in a foil tray, or leftover takeaway boxes. The last thing any new parent wants is to remember to give me back my Tupperware.
If it’s a friend that doesn’t live locally, I’ve also had a lot of success with sending these delicious brownies by South London–based Bad Brownies in the post. I’ve sent the gluten-free and vegan boxes, as well as the regular brownies — they’re just the right size to eat in one bite.
Meanwhile, my friend Kelly (who gave birth earlier this year) is an evangelist for All Plants. She says “all my favourite gifts were food-based ones, anything that requires no or minimal prep (obviously). A huge tin of fancy cakes and biscuits was especially good to keep me going while stuck under a constantly feeding baby. Something like an All Plants box would also have been great as there is zero time to make healthy meals but you do need to eat well for recovery. It’s also a good alternative to the classic gift of dropping round home-cooked meals, if you don’t live nearby.”
“These muslins and swaddles are so soft and so useful.”
Lastly, I wanted to consider a gifts for a new adoptive mum. While the above gifts are suitable for any kind of new parent, adoption threads on mumsnet and netmums both suggest gifting a photo frame, for a new family photo. I like this gold and green, eco-friendly frame.
For a little extra, this pewter frame is also lovely.
If your budget is higher still (perhaps you’re a godparent?), you could also gift a mini printer — so your new parents friend print out all the phone pictures of the new arrival. We’ve featured this one before — writer Karen Iorio Adelson says: “Other brands make similar printers, but I went with the HP because it’s among the smallest and slimmest of the bunch, can print full-bleed photos without a border (unlike the Fujifilm version), doesn’t have to be physically connected to your phone (like the cheap but bulky KiiPix), and doesn’t require ink-cartridge replacements (like this one from Kodak). It’s compact and easy to use and has worked seamlessly for me in the month I’ve had it.”
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.