By Eva Whalen
New moms always remember first holidays with their baby, so add to their pleasure with one or more of these stress-saving, soothing or simply fantastic items. Though it’s a blissful time, it’s far from easy, and many of these products will render those sleepless nights far more enjoyable.
The Offi Dachshund Pet Lamp doubles as décor and a delightfully original lightning source for nurseries or children’s rooms. Shaped like a dachshund, it’s perfect for dog-lovers and children alike, and available in a variety of colors. Made of non-toxic plastic, it casts a soft glow that lulls baby to sleep. Find it at http://www.csnstores.com.
Built has a gorgeous, chic diaper bag for new moms, so they can tote around their essentials in style. Durable, modern and practical, this bag melds Built’s fine construction with an eye-pleasing graphic. This is a gift that will keep giving, since moms live with their diaper bags for quite some time. View the baby selections at http://www.builtny.com.
Chivas Goat Milk Skin Care offers fragrance-free bath soaps that will soften and nourish sensitive skin for baby and mom — as well as a relaxing Salt Sachet ideal for tub respite. These super-rich soaps are handmade with French Alpine goat milk, fair trade shea butter, and essential oils; no chemicals, preservatives, mineral oil or colorants are added. Made in Ventura County, CA by a mother-daughter team, the soap types include spearmint, lemongrass, lavender oatmeal, wise sage, sweet nothings and original. http://www.green-and-greener.com.
L’Occitane’s product line for mom and baby includes a rich 7% Shea Butter Cream for face and body, a comforting Mom & Baby Balm and a delicate Animal Soaps Set trio, with 100% of the proceeds of the soap set earmarked for helping the visually impaired. Whimsically elegant packaging and high-quality ingredients render this line a perfect gift choice. http://www.loccitane.com.
For in the Built diaper bag: Natracare products are all-natural, free of chemicals and crafted with preserving the earth in mind. The line includes an array of pads including nursing pads, tampons and other new-mom necessities that will be appreciated. Visit http://www.natracare.com to view their much-needed offerings.
Little ones sporting eco-friendly Fierce Hug Baby Apparel are likely to endure many cheek kisses. This wearable, organic art line introduces a new character named Cryptia, inspired by Tim Burton’s endearing and slightly spooky illustrations. Dagmar Meindars is the artist, and one of many used from around the globe. Check out the eye-popping lineup at http://www.fiercehugs.com.
Hugg-A-Planet‘s Organic Foundlings are environment-conscious, so this line of eight soft, stuffed animals can be placed in a nursery or crib without worry. Created with 100% organic, pesticide-free, unbleached cotton, this line is produced fully in the United States. In addition, the eyes on the animals are embroidered to ensure the safety of young children. These gifts and more can be found at http://www.huggaplanet.com.
Jason Natural Products offer new moms a wide variety of gentle, all-natural products free of chemicals and harsh additives. And now there’s a new line just for kids that includes foaming hand soap, bath and shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, detangler and toothpaste. These are all items that moms and kids should use in their purest forms to protect themselves. Find them at Whole Foods stores and at http://www.jason-natural.com.
Hair loss is a fact of pregnancy, so moms looking to thicken their tresses can nourish them and promote growth with Viviscal, which contains no harmful ingredients and, by most accounts, works exactly as promised. Ingredients include vitamin C, a natural marine complex, acerola cherry extract, and horsetail extract. Find it at http://www.viviscalhair.com and http://www.hairboutique.com.
Books for parents that will clarify or amuse: Parent Smart From the Heart: Empowering the Parent Generation by Derek and Gail Randel is chock full of sage and no-holds-barred advice from two parents with M.A.s and, more important, parenting experience; http://www.authorhouse.com. For holiday levity, consider Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland, a Harper collection of hilarious photos of children on Santa’s lap who are clearly less than thrilled, from Chicago Tribune editors Denise Joyce and Nancy Watkins. Look for it at your favorite bookstore. How Your Child Thinks by Dr. Stephen Briers, available in March of 2009 from Pearson Education, offers insight as to how to strengthen parent-child bonds, bolster self esteem and empathy, banish anxiety and negative thoughts, and much more; http://www.pearson.com. Yes You Can!: Everything you need From A to Z To influence Others To Take Action by Stacey Hanke and Mary Steinberg not only helps with convincing children, but will be useful for parents who return to work after baby is born; http://www.authorhouse.com. And last but not least, consider the engaging and extremely funny book The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties by Jenna McCarthy. Metro moms will appreciate the wit and burning question, “Does this baby make my butt look big?” Find it at http://www.bellalunapress.com.
Stuff mom’s stocking full of Natural Dentist’s Healthy Teeth & Gums brand toothpaste with whitening agents and mouthwash. She’ll thank you for it all throughout the New Year with a big, healthy smile and super-gleaming white choppers. Find them at http://www.thenaturaldentist.com.
Rest assured that whatever you give a new mom will be most appreciated. Most of all, give her your love and support!