DIY Postpartum Survival Kit

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We just had about half a dozen women at our church have a new baby. It feels like baby season. If you’re attending a lot of baby showers (or someone extra special is pregnant), you may be looking for an original gift to bring that you’ll be sure the mama-to-be will use. For that purpose, I humbly suggest the DIY Post-Partum Survival Kit.

Step One: Get a large bag or box. I don’t recommend a basket, as some of the items can be a bit personal. Plus this gift is immensely useful, but not necessarily “pretty”.

Step Two: Fill it with as many of the items below as you can or want to provide. Some of them are rather…personal, so if you don’t know the mommy, you can skip those. You may also be limited by budget, but even with a small budget you can assemble a wonderful gift.

Step Three: write or type up a list of what is in it if your Mommy-to-be is a bit shy, so she doesn’t have to pull out a bag of ultra maxi pads in front of her grandma. I’d love to make a printable for you, but there are so many options it’s best to let you make your own.

That’s it! You’ll have a great gift and she will appreciate it.

What to put in your survival kit:


  • Maxi Pads. She’ll need about 2 weeks’ worth of the heaviest maxi pads you can find.
  • Hemorrhoid Cream. May as well spring for the big tube. Aloe helps, too.
  • Cooling Pads or Witch Hazel. She can make her own cooling pads by pouring a little witch hazel (which prevents infection) on a maxi pad and freezing it.
  • Tylenol. Tylenol is safe for nursing. Buy the big bottle.
  • Chocolate/Comfort Food. Find out her comfort food. The postpartum weeks are a bit like a period on steroids.
  • Hemorrhoid Pillow. I just used my nursing pillow, but some moms might like a pillow to sit on while nursing, so I can see how a separate pillow just for that purpose would be useful.
  • Notes. This is a classic baby shower game for a reason. If you happen to be throwing the shower, have everyone write an encouraging note. If not, stick a note in your care package. Motherhood can be hard on self-esteem & sanity, so a little pep talk on paper can really help.
  • Folder. This can be useful for hospital paperwork that she needs to bring and anything they send home with her.
  • Diapers & Diaper Rash Cream. This isn’t technically for Mom, but diapers & Desitin are always helpful!
  • Nipple cream. I found coconut oil to be the best for me, but lanolin is a popular choice also.


  • Dinner. The last thing you want to do when you can barely stand is cook dinner. Give freezer meals before the baby comes or set up a meal train or subscription service afterwards.
  • A Clean House. Write a “coupon” to come over & clean after the baby is born, or hire a maid service.
  • A Break. Offer to come over to babysit for an hour or two so Mama can take a nap or shower. Just be sure you aren’t sick!


  • Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year of Motherhood. This book is hilarious and will reassure mom that she’s not going crazy.
  • Magazines. These are good for lite entertainment that don’t take a lot of brain power. Plus it doesn’t matter if the baby drools on them. You can even earn free (no strings attached) magazine subscriptions at
  • Pampering items. think body lotion, robe, slippers, lip balm, makeup, essential oils (Eden’s Garden Stress Relief is awesome!), massage oils, candle, mints, fuzzy socks or slippers
  • Camera/Video Camera. If she doesn’t have a camera, this can be a great gift. Even a disposable camera is good.
  • Photography session. If you’re handy with a camera, you can offer to come take pictures of your own with the little family. Or if you’d like, you can pre-pay for a session with a pro.
  • Games. Once Man Cub came along, it was hard to find time for my husband and I to spend together, and when we did to snag some time while he napped, we were too tired for conversation. Quick, easy games that didn’t require a lot of brain power were awesome. Our favorite was Sushi Go, but games like Uno and Cribbage are good, too.

Unusual Items

  • Memberships. Amazon Prime, Sam’s Club, & Costco can all help Mama save money.
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block. This book is pure gold for a baby with colic, but it’s useful even for babies without colic. It will guide parents through the “fourth trimester” (0-3 months) of soothing and care.
  • Goodies for older kids. it can be simple (and very appreciated) to provide inexpensive goodies for an older sibling. They can help mom bond with baby or finally get a shower in, and help the older sibling feel that they are still special, too. Think of small items like books, coloring books & crayons, puzzles, and a doll or car.
  • Lubricant & condoms. If you’ve had a baby before, you know that things can get kind of… dry postpartum. Depending on your relationship with the new mom, some Astroglide and Lifestyles can be a good gift for once mommy feels up to some frisky fun with daddy.

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