Very few people have more on their plate than a new mom. Between middle-of-the-night feedings, playtime, and never-ending diaper changes, the first year of motherhood is pure exhaustion. I know this all too well—I became a new mama when my daughter Anaïs was born. It’s been the most magical experience in my life to date, but it was also incredibly difficult to carve out personal time for myself, especially for cooking.
Prior to motherhood, I cooked often, as did my partner, who is a professional chef and restaurant owner. Cooking is a joy and a pleasure in our home; however, with a little one, figuring out your next meal can be a chore, especially when your energy is completely depleted. As someone who has experienced this exhaustion firsthand, one of the best gifts for new mothers (and new parents in general) is the gift of food, kitchen products, and/or wellness care packages to help make the transition to parenthood a little easier. Once the excitement dies down and family is no longer around to help set up the bassinet and nursery, put together the new stroller, fold all the onesies, and figure out that baby carrier, it can feel like you’re on your own, adjusting to a new role in which nourishment is key and time is precious. So for Mother’s Day, I’ve created a list of the best gifts for new moms or future moms-to-be that made my transition into parenthood easier—and more delicious. (And head over here for the best Mother’s Day gifts for moms of all kinds.)
For moms who want to cook…
Oh, how I took having two hands for granted. If there’s one thing the baby books don’t fully prepare you for, it’s that having both hands readily available rarely happens when you have an infant. The Zyliss 5-way Can Opener makes it possible to open pull-tab cans, bottles, and jars with one hand. (For non-pull-tab cans, check out the Kitchen Mama, one of the best can openers according to BA.) It cuts down on clutter in the kitchen and is also ideal for people who have lost hand strength.
Use it to open a jar of Basbaas sauce, perfect for the mom who wants bold flavor fast. Basbaas is a really great gift for the new mom who wants to cook something delicious for the family while minimizing ingredients. I add the sauces to my veggies and roast them in the oven, no additional spices needed. Just apply, cook, and serve.
Throw the two together in a new diaper bag to create a delicious DIY gift box.
…and moms who don’t
When you’re just too damn sleep deprived from all-night feedings and in need of a delicious breakfast, Russ & Daughters’ New York Brunch to the rescue. I personally received this from a friend during that first postpartum week when everything is hazy, you’ve been wearing the same T-shirt for days, and all you’re craving is a lox bagel. It was the most thoughtful gift imaginable. I was able to enjoy an everything bagel with Nova salmon and cream cheese at home with two of my close friends—a girls’ brunch on my couch, in pj’s. If bagels aren’t her thing, Goldbelly has options for everyone, from dim sum lovers to hard-core carnivores.
Chiyo’s postpartum meal delivery service is rooted in the first 40 days tradition practiced by many Asian cultures. Each day the lucky recipient will receive breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus a morning tonic, herbal broth, and snacks delivered straight to her doorstep. Expect dishes like buckwheat pancakes with goji berry maple syrup, fortifying tonics with astragalus and jujube, and squash pad Thai.
My mom also had groceries and prepared foods delivered to us from Whole Foods, which was a game changer as I didn’t have to worry about meals for the next five to seven days. Also appreciated? Restaurant gift cards from Seamless or GrubHub. I ordered from my favorite Japanese spot and finally satisfied the sushi craving I had all throughout my pregnancy.
The Mama Meal Kit from A Dozen Cousins features the brand’s signature ready-to-eat seasoned beans as well as gluten-free vegan cookies from Partake and mushroom-boosted hot cocoa and plant-based collagen from Golde.
For moms who need an energy boost
When I need a pick-me-up without the crash, I reach for this matcha from Golde. With a new baby, you are essentially sleepwalking 24/7, so the boost of calm energy is welcome. Matcha also can reduce anxiety and puts me in a better mood by raising serotonin and dopamine levels. After an especially restless night, FourSigmatic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Coffee gives me a needed jolt of energy without the jitters—plus the adaptogens are great for my health and mood.
For moms who need a drink (alcoholic or non)
Aplós is a hemp-infused, nonalcoholic spirit that calms and uplifts without the negative effects of alcohol. In those early days, after nine months of pregnancy and a brutal labor, I was desperately in need of a drink—but I didn’t want the hangover. My friend Alex gifted me this gem, and it’s been a staple in my home ever since. I mix it with an Agua Bonita pineapple cucumber agua fresca for a luxe, refreshing drink that instantly transports me back to the tropics—an ideal bit of pampering a new mom needs after a long day.
Although I opt for a nonalcoholic drink like Aplós most days, a Mysa wine subscription is a phenomenal gift for someone who enjoys a glass of natural wine or two. It’s a lovely way to treat a new mom, since she’s probably not getting out to her favorite wine bar too much. Corkcicle stemless wine tumbler so she doesn’t have to juggle an infant and her delicate stemware. It’s made of durable stainless steel and has a nonslip grip and a sliding spill-resistant lid for safe sipping.
And the most important drink new moms need? Water. I make sure to keep this best-selling Venture Pal water bottle handy. It’s the perfect vessel to help me stay on track with hydration, especially for breastfeeding moms like myself who need to keep milk supply up. In my experience, drinking anything less than a half gallon of water daily reduces my milk production, so I fill it up in the morning and sip throughout the day—no need to refill. It’s the small conveniences that make the biggest difference in my day.
The Béaba Babycook is a four-in-one (steamer, blender, defroster, and reheater) gadget that turns raw proteins, vegetables, and fruits into baby food in just 15 minutes. Celebs like Mindy Kaling and Blake Lively have raved about it, and I see why.
After my purées are prepped, I add them to these WeeSprout Double Zipper Reusable Food Pouches for on-the-go meals. These Capri Sun–style pouches are reusable, dishwasher- and freezer-safe, and 100% recyclable. Finally, if you know a meal prepping mama like myself who makes baby food in batches, the best hack of them all is these Chubbie baby food labels. Storing breast milk is one thing, but keeping tabs on when you made baby food and whether that orange purée is pumpkin or carrot is another. This set of 90 labels is freezer-safe and easy to peel off. When I say they’re a game changing new mom gift, I mean it.
This article was published in 2022 and updated in 2023 by Megan Wahn.