Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Gift Ideas - Pregnancy Survival Box

I’m one of those people that love coming up with cute, fun and different gift ideas. Whether it’s for a birthday, an anniversary, Christmas, Easter, a new baby or just because – you will often find me jotting down ideas I’ve come up with late at night and browsing through Pinterest for inspiration! So I thought it might be nice if I started sharing on here some of the gifts I put together, so that if you’re also looking for ideas, you might find some inspiration here.

In today’s post, as I’ve just become an auntie for the second time, I thought I would show you one of the Pregnancy Survival Boxes I have put together for someone. We did do one of these for both of my sister-in-laws with very similar products in them, but these pictures are actually from one I put together for a friend of mine. When someone is first pregnant, they may experience a whole range of feelings, emotions and symptoms, so I thought it might be nice to receive a box of goodies from a loved one to help them through the next nine months. People will often start buying things for the baby and conversation often centres on the baby, so it’s nice for the Mum to feel like she’s being taken care of too.

To start with, you will need to find a nice box to put everything in. This can either be done right at the beginning, or it might be better to wait until you’ve bought everything so you know roughly how big a box you need. If you know the gender of the baby, you could get something to tie in with that, but it’s just as nice to get something neutral, or something that you think the Mum will like. We found this particular box in Homesense, where they have a brilliant range of all sorts of different gift boxes, but any nice box will work fine. The Mum-to-be that I gave this to now uses it as a memory box for her little boy, so it’s nice to know it’s been put to good use. 

Now, moving on to what I decided to put in the Pregnancy Survival Box. I actually started by asking around a few friends who already had babies, about what types of things they really wanted while they were pregnant. Obviously everyone is different, but it gave me some good general ideas for what a mum-to-be might appreciate. The first thing I wanted to get was some sort of pregnancy journal, as a lot of Mums I spoke to said they liked being able to look back at what they’d written once their baby had arrived, or when they went on to have subsequent children. I chose this Bump to Birthday Pregnancy and First Year Journal, which is beautifully presented and has room for so much information. It’s nice because it has a lot of prompts throughout the book, allowing the parents to write about things they may not have thought about. For each week, there is also some information about how the baby is growing, as well as spaces for scan pictures. The great thing about this journal is that it goes right up until the baby turns one, so the Mum-to-be will have details about the pregnancy and her child’s first year all in one book.

As well as the pregnancy journal, I wanted to put some sort of book in the box for the Mum-to-be to read before the baby arrived. There are so many factual books available that try to prepare someone for pregnancy (and they’re great in their own right), but I wanted something a little more fun, that would make my friend laugh. I had heard great things about The Unmumsy Mum and about how real it is (it includes everything about motherhood from the mess to the hilarious moments and how it’s totally fine to not know what you’re doing!) so after lots of research I picked that book to include. Other good motherhood books that you could look at putting in include Why Mummy Drinks, Happy Mum Happy Baby and How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out.

Once I’d sorted out which book to include, I knew I also wanted to find a good DVD for my friend to watch when she just needed to put her feet up for a bit. I wanted to try and find something related to having a baby, and a friend of mine recommended ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, so I thought that sounded pretty apt! I still haven’t had a chance to watch it, but have given it to a few people now and they’ve all told me how brilliantly funny it is, so I definitely made the right choice!

Something else that I thought a Mum-to-be might like was a pregnancy/baby magazine to flick through. Sometimes trying to read through a huge book on pregnancy/having a baby/childhood just isn’t possible, and it’s much easier to spend a few minutes, while you drink a cup of tea, flicking through the pages of a magazine. So I went to my local shop and picked up Gurgle and Mother and Baby magazines to add to my box. 

One thing that most pregnant ladies will have to deal with at some point is morning sickness. And when I was doing my research for what to put in the box, so many people said that they would always have been grateful for things to try and help the nausea. This is obviously quite a personal thing, as some women can’t stand the sight or smell of certain foods, whilst others will find they have cravings for things that help with the sickness. So if you know the Mum-to-be well, it can help to do a bit of digging to try and find out what foods they are going for and which foods they are trying to avoid. The friend I made this box for had a real craving for Hula Hoops, so I bought a big multipack bag to include in the box. She also found that sucking mints helped with the nausea, so again, I found some mints to put in too. 

Alongside some food items, I also thought it would be nice to add some teas that are known for helping with nausea and sickness. Again, this will depend on the person you are making the box for. One of my sister-in-laws couldn’t stand hot drinks when she was pregnant, so there was obviously no point in putting tea in for her. But for this friend, I included some peppermint tea to help with nausea, and some camomile and honey to help her relax.

I know from speaking to friends and family that, when you’re pregnant, it can sometimes be hard to feel nice about your body. Everything is changing, your clothes don’t fit any more and you might be feeling uncomfortable. So I thought it was also really important to include some self-care items to help the mum-to-be treat herself and feel a bit pampered. I started with some pregnancy specific products from Cussons. I’m not sure if the individual products I bought for this box are still available now, but you can get a Mum and Me Bump Gift Pack from Amazon that includes Body Lotion, Bath Soak, Shower Cream and Stretch Mark Cream, which would make a nice little gift for someone. We actually gave my sister-in-law one of these, and she commented how much she loved the Stretch Mark cream, so it’s a nice way for someone to try the products before they decide if they want to buy bigger ones themselves.

I also thought it would be nice to put a selection of face masks in, so the mum-to-be could perhaps enjoy relaxing with a cup of tea whilst pampering her skin. Places like Superdrug and Boots usually sell individual sachets of face masks for all different skin types and reasons, so I picked up a few different ones to give my friend a few to choose from. 

Next up, I thought I would include a can of Batiste Oriental Dry Shampoo, mainly for those days when they’re not feeling brilliant and don’t feel up to doing a full hair wash. Obviously you could go for whatever fragrance or brand you fancy – I just chose this one because it smelt nice! 

I also thought, as part of the pampering side of things, I should include a candle, as I know how relaxing it can be to light some candles of an evening. And, of course, as it was for a pregnancy survival box, I chose the Baby Powder Yankee Candle, which smells incredible whether you’re having a baby or not!

Finally, for the mum-to-be, I decided you can’t have a pamper without painting your nails. As we didn’t know the gender of her baby, I picked one pink nail varnish and one blue, just to have both eventualities covered! I also found a cute card to include in the box, which said ‘And so, the adventure begins…’ on the front. At the time, it was very difficult to find a card that said ‘Mum-to-be’ on it, but more recently I’ve seen more of them cropping up. However, as the card I chose shows, you don’t need to get a specific pregnancy card for it to fit with the theme, and it will be the words that are inside that matter most. 

Although I didn’t want to make this box particularly centred on the baby (it was more for the Mum after all!) I did decide to put a little hat and booties in it that I’d found in John Lewis, just because they were cute! 

And that was everything I put in the Pregnancy Survival Box for my friend. She seemed to really love it when I gave it to her, as did both my sister-in-laws, and I like to think it helped to make them feel a bit special at a time when everything was changing. I hope this has given you some ideas for making your own box for someone you know that may have just announced a pregnancy. I had so much fun putting it all together and it was nice to spoil my friend with a few treats.

Have you given anyone a box like this before, or have you received one yourself? If you’ve been pregnant, what would you need in your Pregnancy Survival Box?! 

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