Motherhood + Life

A Gift Guide for New Moms

April 24, 2016

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This Mother’s Day will mark my nearly two incredible, challenging, exhilarating, exhausting, and beautiful years as a mom.

Jane made me a mom on July 15, 2014 and now we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of her little sister, officially due May 18… but my husband and I predict she’ll make her grand entrance a couple weeks early (just like Jane!).

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I’m still wrapping my head around having a newborn and experiencing those early stages all over again!

I feel a bit more prepared and relaxed this time around, though. There’s peace in accepting that no matter how much I read, research, shop and prepare, I’ll always be growing into Motherhood.

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Each new stage brings new territory and adventures.

I’m embarking on juggling two babes under two and I’m sure it’s going to be intense, messy and absolutely glorious.


In celebration of Mother’s Day, I’m excited to partner with some some of my favorite products and brands in babywearing, sleep, travel, luxury, style and health. This has been an especially fun media campaign for me where my mom, business + publicist worlds collide.

While this guide is especially perfect for new or expecting moms, most of them would make great gifts for any mom –or even grandma! (I like to share that I do work with many of these brands and receive product or compensation, however they are all brands and products that I truly use and love!)

I found so much inspiration in the women behind these brands, their start-up stories, entrepreneurial spirits, success, and how they are impacting their communities + the world with their values, purchasing power, job creation & sustainable practices. There is a lot to learn from these brilliant business ladies (+ one man… but we’ll get to that in a bit)!

 

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BABYWEARING: Sakura Bloom

I couldn’t do a gift guide for Mother’s Day without including one of my absolute favorite, go-to essentials in Motherhood.

I had a slower start to babywearing since Jane was born a few weeks early and any attempt at putting her tiny body in a carrier felt awkward. She would start squirming and crying and I’d start sweating and panicking… we were quite the pair!

But, a few months in, I discovered these beautiful slings by Sakura Bloom.

I watched a few youtube videos to get the hang of it and there was no looking back!

I loved how soft and cozy it was, compared to some of the bigger, bulky carriers. I could easily adjust it, discreetly nurse in public while wearing it and it always soothed even the crankiest Jane to sleep when all else failed. And let’s not forget- they are functional and fashionable… and that matters to me as a mom!

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Jane saw the ocean for the first time while in our sling and it kept her calm for the six solo flights we took that first year.

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When you find a gigantic mural of a breastfeeding mama in Miami and your little one is nursing, it calls for a pic. 🙂

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As you can see in the pic below, Jane is still as cozy in her sling now at almost 2-years-old as she was as a tiny babe.

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You can read all about their business philosophy and dedication to supporting local economies & maker artistry here.

The slings come in so many gorgeous colors and fabrics like linen, silk, cashmere and they just released a line of bamboo slings that I’m dying to get my hands on- perfection!


 

SLEEP: Snuggle Me

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Leave it to me to make ‘Sleep’ a gift category.

But, I truly think if  there was one perfect gift to give any new (or not-so-new) mom, it would be the gift of sleep.

I remember our first night at home with Jane when she slept for 4-6 hour stretches. A dream!

My husband and I laughed and thought “What’s the big deal… This baby stuff is easy!”

I realize now that the Universe was laughing right back in our naive, new parent faces… because Jane has never slept that well again!

We’re still getting up throughout the night… nursing, cuddling, making bottles, crying and co-sleeping with kicking feet in our faces.

I haven’t slept in almost two years and somehow have sustained on lots of caffeine and super human powers– plus, I know this stage won’t last forever, so I just cope.

But this second time around… I have a secret weapon: the Snuggle Me.

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It was created by another amazing mompreneur after she had twin boys + a toddler and wished for an extra set of arms to cuddle her babies and make sleep time easier.

It’s made from the highest quality materials (organic cotton or wool) and is the “only lounger proven to help baby sleep longer periods, helping mama and baby get the rest they need postpartum.”

Sign. Me. Up!

The organic sleep cushion has a hammock-like center sling that keeps baby on her back while providing a feeling of being cradled.

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Here is our Snuggle Me Organic, anxiously awaiting its new resident.

I love that it is machine washable and there are organic covers and puddle pads available too. Keep an eye out on my Instagram (@emilyrichett) for my own sweet pictures coming soon!


TRAVEL: Birdling Bags

Most women appreciate a beautiful bag- you really can’t go wrong there for a gift.

But becoming a mom means you are always packing for two and it’s not enough to just have a beautiful bag. It has to be functional too.

I discovered this when we made our first road trip up north when Jane was about five weeks old.

I had a hard time organizing and packing all of my clothes and toiletries, plus Jane’s clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, bottles… babies need so much stuff!

I ended up packing about 4-5 different bags for a short weekend.

Then I discovered the brilliance of Birdling Bags… and was sold.

I bought the navy weekender bag for our first international trip that next year when we went to Banff — such a good investment.

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It worked like a charm, fitting all of my hiking gear plus Jane’s cozy outfits.

They’re constructed with durable materials, beautiful colors and a classic design.

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The inside is the secret sauce: built-in compartments to keep your clothes and baby’s clothes organized and separated, with plenty of room for multiple pairs of shoes and large bags of gummy bears. You know, all the essentials.

Last fall when I traveled to NYC to shoot interviews for Entreprenuer.com, my Birdling was the only bag I packed! I couldn’t risk losing checked baggage so I neatly stuffed this puppy with all my gear, make-up and wardrobe and carried it on along with my laptop bag.

I felt pretty proud of my efficiency.

Here she is looking lovely outside our hotel with my best friend Dan (and he looks a little grumpy because I surprised him with the news that I had just discovered I was pregnant and our fun weekend away was about to be a little less… well, fun. That or the sun was in his eyes!). 🙂

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Despite my first trimester exhaustion, we DID have an amazing time.

In part thanks to this luxurious owner’s suite complete with skyline views… even from the bath tub!
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12182547_963355443687959_2312356948521095098_oNow, I’m packing up my Birdling for our next adventure- a tad less glamorous although even more exciting.

It will soon hold all my delivery room necessities + baby H’s first, sweet outfits. I’ll share everything I pack for the hospital over on my insta soon!

It’s no surprise this company was started by two, smart BFF moms who decided to create a solution to this travel problem. Thank you, ladies!

And please, can you also make a laptop/work bag with this functionality + design? I’d be the first in line for it!

Enjoy 15% off your Birdling Bags purchase thru Mother’s Day with code: Emily15


LUXURY: Simply Curated 

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Here’s another great gift that any mom would enjoy and one of those things she probably doesn’t want to splurge on for herself.

These luxurious, modern candles from Simply Curated are hand-poured right here in my home of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I recently visited the studio and met the founder Sarah Cooley.

She was inspired to start the business because she couldn’t find a scented candle on the market that she actually liked– another great example of how creating a solution to a problem = a successful business!

She gave me a tour of her warehouse and showed me how every single candle is poured, labeled and packaged by hand. She has an inspiring start-up hustle that has resulted in impressive success in just a few short years.  And I admire her dedication to using sustainable materials and completely USA-made products.

The Simply Curated candles are made from 100% soy wax with incredible scents like Guava Fig (my favorite!), Grapefruit + Bergamot and Cucumber Sweetgrass. And check out the beauty that is the Cocktail Collection!

They have a 75-hour burn time and can be re-purposed afterwards as a cool cocktail glass.

I also like that the soy wax has a lower melting point so it won’t burn skin or stain if spilled— a must with littles ones around!

They also offer other luxury bath products and gifts that new moms would love- I look forward to enjoying a bath soak as a post-baby treat! You can piece together your own gift set for the special mom in your life (or yourself!) at their website.


STYLE: Fawn & Clover

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This one doubles as a gift for baby and for mom!

I love finding special outfits that you can’t find at the big shops.

Fawn & Clover makes the most gorgeous, modern outfits with organic materials.

They’re designed and created by a talented mom in West Michigan who dreamed of being able to stay home and raise her babies while also building a profitable business. She taught herself how to sew and 5 years later, Fawn & Clover was a reality, creating and shipping modern and organic pieces for little ones around the world!

I adore the newborn sets– her spring collection is going to be released next week so keep an eye out for the new designs and order fast- a lot of her pieces sell out quickly. These personalized designs are some of her best sellers. I just ordered a custom swaddle and can’t wait to introduce baby 2 (and her special name) in it very soon!

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HEALTH: Doorganics

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Another way to spoil a new mom and her family is to treat her to a gift of nutritious and delicious food, delivered right to her door.

Save her a trip or two to the grocery store and the good chance of having to change a blowout diaper in the back of her car! Ha, there’s one newborn stage I’m not looking forward to!

If you live in West Michigan, check out Doorganics. Started by an incredibly handsome dad (full disclosure- he’s my husband!), Doorganics offers weekly or every-other-week deliveries of organic produce, local pasture-raised meat, and more than 100 other grocery products including the newest addition, organic milk.

Sure, I am sharing the Doorganics love because it’s my husband’s business and it’s the only organic grocery delivery service in West Michigan– but I really think any type of grocery/meal-delivery service is such a sweet way to show love to a new mom.

Most big cities have some form of grocery delivery like this- my friends in Chicago use Fresh Picks and love it.

Or there are national meal delivery services like Plated and Blue Apron that are convenient and delicious.

It’s been a lifesaver to have organic food at our fingertips as life has gotten busier + the food we eat becomes more important with a special, growing little person to feed!

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Doorganics offers gift certificates and take $10 off the first delivery with code: MOMS 


There you have it! I’d love to know what gifts you especially loved to receive as a new mom or what special gifts you received/gave for a first Mother’s Day present. Share in the comments below or if you have any questions, post them here!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there!

  1. Sammy says:

    For some reason I am just whisked away by your writing it’s so readable and flowing. (I like to read and write) …..and I think just like that you’re my new favourite blog. Loved this post, I related and can feel my money burning a hole in my pocket.

    xx

    • Emily Richett says:

      Thank you so much, Sammy!
      That makes my day— and I had to pop on over to check out your business- looks really great!
      I think I’ll be doing this tandem nursing thing, so looking forward to checking out your blog. 🙂

  2. Lauren says:

    Thank you for detailing these items, they aren’t things you see on many lists.?Stumbled upon this blog and am happy I did. Would you offer your crib and car seat suggestions? Thanks

    • Emily Richett says:

      Hi Lauren-

      Glad you enjoyed it!
      For a crib, we use Babyletto (a modern white one)– although we co-sleep and will use the snuggle me in bed or in a co-sleeper next to the bed for at least the first few months. As for the infant carseat, we use Uppa Baby and it works with our CitySelect Stroller.
      There are so many options in carseats… we just went with the one that seemed like it offered the most protection. It’s pretty heavy… I have friends that found much lighter carseats if that is important to you! Best of luck 🙂

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