What To Buy For New Moms According To The Coolest Mom In Paris

Gift smart and stylish with motherhood and fashion expert Elisabeth Teixeira.

If you have a friend who’s recently become a mommy, let’s get real: the Holiday season is upon us and, unless we also have children of our own, most of us are stumped when it comes to buying gifts for kids. We know that she’s already up to her knees in receiving blankets, cotton onesies and God knows what else (we didn’t dare invite ourselves over). What can we give to her that is both useful and beneficial to, say, her own comfort and sanity?

We wanted to know more about the experience of being a mom (and to stop giving crappy gifts), so we reached out to Parisian designer and street style maven, Elisabeth Teixeira. 

Elisabeth has a five-year-old son, Rodrigo, and splits her time between Porto (where she designed and created her own fashion label) and Paris, where she now works in sales and visual merchandising at Colette. Two years ago, she decided to start posting her looks to Instagram, and since then her style has featured in NY Mag’s THE CUT, Vogue and Elle Japan, as well as on the street style blog The Sartorialist.

We spoke to Elisabeth about motherhood, balancing work and family, stylish outfits for the on-the-go-mom and, of course, what she really wants for Christmas. 
Wheretoget: As a working mother, how do you balance work, family and time for yourself?
Elisabeth Teixeira: It’s very difficult to find a balance, but it’s all about being organized! My son spends one week with me and the other with his father, which allows me to spend both quality time with him and have time for myself. I’m also lucky to have parents who are very generous and never tire of helping out. I feel extremely grateful to have them in my life.
WTG: What advice would you give to new mothers who are going back to work for the first time? 
ET: Going back to work and leaving your baby for the first time is difficult. However, it’s good for us to transition back into our daily routine. It may sound selfish, but it’s important to think of yourself and your needs. After giving birth, I went through postpartum depression, the "baby blues," if you will. My fatigue was a huge factor in my stress levels. Going back to work and doing what I loved helped me overcome these difficulties.

It may sound selfish, but it’s important to think of yourself and your needs.
WTG: What is your favorite outfit to wear when you have a busy day ahead, but still want to look stylish and put-together?
ET: I’m very fashion-conscious, so I always take time to lay out my outfits in advance. I do the same for my son, who already has very specific tastes and knows what he likes! I like to change up my style: sometimes I go for a more sophisticated look, sometimes I prefer a more street style kind of vibe.
If I have a busy day ahead, I like to pair sneakers (or another type of flat shoe) with pants or jeans (RE/DONE makes my favorite). For my top, I’ll throw on a t-shirt or sweatshirt and add some accessories to give it that special touch. This could be a hat, a bandana tied around the neck, a pair of glasses or jewelry. When I’m out of outfit ideas, I’ll opt for the classic Parisian look: jeans, a striped shirt, a trench coat and a pair of Converse. It’s simple, comfortable, and always chic! One of my favorite accessories is red lipstick – it goes with everything and adds a touch of femininity.
WTG: What are the best presents to give to a new mom and what are some presents you wish people would stop giving you? 
ET: A great gift for both pregnant women and new moms is a nursing pillow! [The mother] can use it when sleeping during the pregnancy, and it's very useful for nursing once the baby arrives. Family and friends always tend to give the same stuffed animals, toys or clothes that the baby outgrows in a second. I prefer diapers, baby-wipes and formula: practical items for everyday use.
The best presents to give a new mom are also ones that contribute to her well-being: a mani-pedi, a massage, an appointment with a hair stylist, etc. Moments where she can relax and let her stress melt away. As for me, I’d love a little weekend getaway, or even a night at the Hôtel Le Pigalle in Paris. And like all fashionistas, I love receiving clothes, shoes and jewelry. I’m crazy about the new Vans x Opening Ceremony collaboration (Vans are a busy mom’s best friend) and Gucci t-shirts (love that vintage touch). A manicure from This is Venice in Paris would be amazing — their nail art is always fun and surprising. Or one of Jean André’s illustrations — I love his work so much that I got two tattoos drawn by him. An iPhone 7 for taking pretty pictures. And one of J.W. Anderson’s zipped neck bands. The list goes on!

The best presents to give a new mom are also ones that contribute to her well-being.

WTG: If we have a friend who is a new mom, what are some things we can do to support and encourage her? 
ET: Be there for her — it’s as simple as that. After the baby comes, it’s important to give parents some time to be with family and to let the mom rest. But afterwards, call her up to ask her how she’s doing. Offer to help with household chores and to babysit so that she can rest and spend time with her partner. It’s important for her to not just feel like a mom, but to maintain her sense of self as a woman, as a friend and as a lover. 
Having a baby changes everything; I experienced many doubts and fears and would often go to my mom-friends for advice and reassurance. The most important thing for new moms is to have is the love and support of family and friends.

It’s important for her to not just feel like a mom, but to maintain her sense of self as a woman, as a friend and as a lover. 

Shop Elisabeth's present picks for new (and seasoned) moms here:
Boppy Slipcovered Pillow - $40
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top - $55
Vans for Opening Ceremony VT OLD SKOOL LX SNEAKER - $110
Saint James GALATHEE Soft Cotton Nautical Stripe Shirt - $90
Zara Long Trench Coat - $169
RE/DONE Vintage High Rise Ankle Crop  - $240
Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick - $12.50
KISS by Jean Andre - $250
J.W. Anderson Scarlet Stripe Jacquard Neckband - $260
GUCCI Appliquéd Distressed Printed Cotton-Jersey T-shirt - $590
iPhone 7 - $649

All photos courtesy of Elisabeth Teixeira. You can follow her on Instagram @unemorueaparis.