Care Package for a New Mom

By Lauren Smith Ford

Just in the same way everyone told me I should be prepared for the gigantic life changes that come with becoming a mom, it seemed that I got even more knowing looks and words of advice about getting ready for what some say is an even bigger transition — having baby number two! We welcomed Greta Scott Ford in to our family just 11 weeks ago, and while things are definitely different and slightly more hectic, it hasn’t been as…well, scary as I thought. Part of that is because Greta is a good sleeper and eater, but also because I feel so much more relaxed this time around. And, I haven’t been afraid to ask for support — enter friends like Camille who show up on my doorstep with delicious dinners, an assortment of my favorite magazines and treats for Baby Greta. So, we teamed up with The Honest Company to share ideas for the ultimate care package to make the mom of a newborn in your life special. Come along as sweet Phoebe helps Camille pack up a gift basket of all her essentials for the new mom, including her recipe for the most delicious chicken tortilla soup.

photography by buff strickland

Phoebe helps Camille put the finishing touches on The Honest Baby Arrival Gift Set with a few additions of her own, like my favorite candle, chocolate bar and magazines that comes in handy for late night nursing sessions.

The ingredients for Camille’s favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe:

  • 2 split chicken breast halves, bone in, skin on
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, preferable homemade
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes in puree
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeds & ribs removed, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 white corn tortillas
  • toppings: sliced avocado, crispy tortilla strips, sour cream & shredded chedar

Camille delivers a fresh batch in her dutch oven and extra servings in mason jars to freeze for later.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 40 minutes until cooked through. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and cut the meat into small cubes. Cover and set aside; Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the cilantro. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, crispy tortilla strips, sour cream, and shredded cheddar. *adapted from barefoot contessa 

The Honest Baby Arrival Gift Set comes with seven essential items that are all made with non-toxic, safe and natural ingredients — wipes, diapers, hand sanitizer spray, shampoo + body wash, face + body lotion, healing balm & a baby teether.

Camille & Phoebe arrive to our house to deliver the basket.

Baby Greta Scott lounging in one of her favorite spots, our Oeuf changing table. My super crafty mom made this wreath for my door at the hospital. We loved it so much that it became permanent artwork in Greta’s room.

My two-and-a-half year old Ellie greets her dear friend Phoebe.

The convenience of getting these non-toxic, high performance products delivered every month takes something off my ever growing to-do list. Shop the essentials in bundle packages for great deals.

Use the CamilleStylesBundle20 coupon code to get 20% off your first bundle! Note: Coupon code applies to first-time orders only, one per customer. Code valid for U.S. and Canadian residents only. Expires 10/20/2014

Camille and I have been friends for over four years and were thrilled when we both got pregnant within just four months of each other with Phoebe and Ellie. While our toddlers play, we catch up over coffee and give Greta a chance to try out her new Honest Company teether.

The girls have their own mini coffee break. Since having the baby, I have tried to set up play stations for Ellie to keep her busy while I am nursing the baby. We often play “Ellie’s coffee shop” at the same wooden table where my mom had many a tea party with me growing up.

Unpacking the gift basket was a fun activity for the older girls.

As a bit of a germ-a-phobe, there is no such thing as too much hand sanitizer in my world! This comes in extra handy with a newborn, as we try to spray toddler hands before touching the baby.

Camille is the type of friend who despite her super busy schedule always remembers details about her friends lives, and she never forgets to take the time to support her friends. She sent many encouraging texts and emails in my first few weeks post-baby when I thought I would never sleep again!



Both our girls have sensitive skin, so The Honest Company wipes are our go-to. The softer medical grade cloth is more absorbent and the chamomile and cucumber is super soothing.

Phoebe is ready for the diaper changing assist!

You can always help a friend who has a toddler and a newborn by taking the toddler outside for play time so mom can get rest, quiet time with baby or what is probably the reality, giving her a moment to throw in a load of laundry in a spare moment.

And, any time friends or family visit to hold the baby, I always try and give Ellie extra hugs and one-on-one play time. Seeing my “big girl” on her first visit to the hospital after I had Greta took my breath away…she seemed so old compared to the newborn in my arms and it sunk in that she officially was not a baby anymore, and it all happened so fast. To all you new moms out there, right in the midst of those first few weeks of exhaustion, know that this too shall pass, and it will get easier…savor every moment!