What do I get my pregnant wife for her birthday?
December 23, 2013 2:59 PM   Subscribe

My wife is 36 weeks pregnant, and her birthday is next week. What should I get her? I'd like to get something for her rather than something baby-related. But at the same time, she has already taken advantage of many of the luxuries that pregnant women seem to appreciate -- like spa treatments, massages, and prenatal yoga. I'm a little stuck. Any good ideas?

I'm pretty open as far as cost goes but nothing exceptionally outrageous. I'm also open to jewelery but pretty clueless as for picking things out. Rings and bracelets are non-starters, so that limits my choices, too.
posted by scottso17 to Shopping (32 answers total)
My friend is very fond of her lighted ereader (convenient for nursing at night, she got it when 4 or 5 months pregnant).
posted by jeather at 3:04 PM on December 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Does she already have an e-reader? A kindle with some books she likes to read for relaxation is not only a nice, appreciated present, but being able to turn pages one-handed while holding/feeding a baby is invaluable. Especially the new kindle paperwhites with the light built in so you can read in the dark with a nighttime fusser.

Jewelry is a great idea if she likes jewelry but you'd have to give us -- or your friendly neighborhood jeweler -- some idea of what she likes! If you know she likes traditional pieces at least some of the time, classics like pearl strands, diamond earring students, gold hoops, etc., are always nice.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:04 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm current hugely pregnant and I would love if someone would get me a cleaning service for 6 weeks post partum, or a bunch of gift certificates to FreshDirect / food delivery or a post partum doula. All of these things are way out of our price range but ymmv.
posted by blue_bicycle at 3:09 PM on December 23, 2013 [19 favorites]

A luxurious, expensive silk kimono or wrap-type robe. This will be comfortable now, and make her feel glam instead of sticky and dowdy in the can't-get-dressed newborn days.
posted by third rail at 3:11 PM on December 23, 2013 [7 favorites]

My grandma-in-law has paid for a night nurse for a few weeks for each of her grand daughters. I didn't even know what night nurse was until my sister-in-law had a baby. It's not very romantic right now but I can imagine sleep will be the most precious thing in the world to her very soon.
posted by PairofDucks at 3:35 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Nthing cleaning service.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:59 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Food delivery is great, I tend to give Munchery (Bay Area only, though) for the new parents. I'm sure she would love it for herself as well.
posted by kcm at 4:05 PM on December 23, 2013

I'll go the opposite direction... your lives are about to be all about the baby. Get her something totally frivolous and 100% unrelated to pregnancy/childcare.
posted by telegraph at 4:12 PM on December 23, 2013 [10 favorites]

Buy her a gift card for a store she likes to buy clothes after she has the baby.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:25 PM on December 23, 2013

A membership to care.com and a $50 movie theater gift card. In about 13 weeks you're gonna need/want some mommy/daddy time.
posted by chasles at 4:29 PM on December 23, 2013

Buy her whatever you would buy her if she weren't pregnant, with the caveat that you shouldn't get anything that you can't or won't do as new parents. I.e., if she likes bird-watching, get her nice binoculars, but if she likes Las Vegas, a weekend getaway might not be appropriate for a while.

As a parent of a two-year-old, you know what I would want for my birthday (which was also true as a parent of 9-month-old and a 21-month-old)? The same stuff I'd want for my birthday regardless. As a parent you have different priorities and some different things you can and can't do, but you're still *you*.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 4:31 PM on December 23, 2013 [8 favorites]

I would get her something NOT baby or pregnancy related. She's in the process of being tranformed from her own person into someone's mom. It feels hard at times to lose your identity that way. Give her something that is about her and her pre-pregnancy interests.
posted by latkes at 4:44 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

A few "certificates" good for one night of baby care solely by you so she can get a good nights sleep. For more immediate gratification, some really comfy maternity pants. Those last few weeks are all about the comfort.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 4:48 PM on December 23, 2013

My husband gave me a small cross-body purse that can hold just wallet/keys/phone/pacifier. It's awesome because it's exactly the right size to toss into the huge diaper bag, or I can carry it separately even if baby is in his carrier. It's a nice bag that I'd want even if I weren't a new mom, but it's enormously practical, too, so it's sort of the best of both worlds: tangentially baby-related but mostly just about her.
posted by gatorae at 4:49 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Agreed that you should get her whatever you would get her if she weren't preggers.

Also agreeing that an e-reader with a newborn is a GODSEND. I went out and demanded a Kindle when my son was a week old so that I could read one-handed while nursing him. Being able to buy a new book from bed at 3AM with a baby on my boob was the greatest thing for preventing brain atrophy.

If she already has one, get her a gift certificate to fill it up with some light fluff when babby arrives.
posted by sonika at 5:00 PM on December 23, 2013

Nthing an e-reader. My friend got a Nook right after having baby #2 and she says it's been great to use while nursing.
posted by jabes at 5:11 PM on December 23, 2013

Get her a calender year of gift cards, one for every month. This month, a card to her favorite coffee shop. For the next 3 months, gift cards to her favorite restaurants and websites. For the summer months, a gift card for pedicures. Basically, let her know that, even though this year will be full of her being a mom, you still see her as a person who you want to take care of. She will love the effort. Also, carrying a baby and being a mom, you give up freedom and control. Gift cards can give you back a little of that.
posted by myselfasme at 5:29 PM on December 23, 2013

Coupon to a hair salon and a bunch of face creams. Something a little sexy or appearance enhancing to show you still think of her "that way."
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:36 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Certificates for cleaning services and... babysitting by the baby's dad? Honestly I would probably slap, or at least snap at, my husband for that at 36 weeks pregnant. It is your duty to take care of your (not her) baby, too, and also to support her while she's recovering from birth. That is a given, not something extra-super-nice. Of course, do those things if you can, but they are not appropriate birthday gifts. That would be like visiting your mom for her birthday and then telling her, 'Surprise mom, I've already eaten, you don't need to cook me dinner! Happy Birthday!' - Get an ereader, books, and chocolate.
posted by The Toad at 5:38 PM on December 23, 2013 [16 favorites]

34 weeks pregnant here. I agree with the suggestion to get her something for her that honors her identity and hobbies as an individual and not just a mom. That being said, you should also get her soft, comfy, stretchy yoga maternity pants because I am currently wearing the same damn yoga pants over and over again but it's hard to justify buying more for myself when I'll only wear them for a short time. Maybe some slippers, too, if she's had any swelling in her feet. Both are good things to have post-partum, too, I've been told.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:07 PM on December 23, 2013

Cleaning service. After the kid comes - both your energy will be on your child. Knowing that the mess is rectified every other week, she might not appreciate it fully, but when she comes home from the hospital to a spotless house, and two weeks later when your both insane from a lack of sleep, well... having someone show up and take a big thing off your plate will be highly appreciated.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:21 PM on December 23, 2013

Do you have a nice recent professional portrait photo of just yourselves? That's not focused on the pregnancy or a larger group? We went straight from wedding photos to family photos and it's seems if there are years where we don't exist as a couple by ourselves except in photos on the phone.
posted by beaning at 6:55 PM on December 23, 2013

30 weeks pregnant here, and I just got an iPad (holiday gift from work) and it is the best thing ever, specifically from a having-a-baby-soon perspective. The screen is larger and better than my kindle fire (good for typing on), I've got the kindle app, web browsing is faster than the kindle and I can skype with my parents once the baby (arrives they are 2000 miles away). Once the baby is a little older, I hear ipads are a godsend when traveling with a very young child.

I would have been pretty psyched with a regular ereader if I didn't have one already, though, and prices on the Fire right now are rock bottom. Cleaning services would also be hugely appreciated if we didn't already have that set up, because I am pretty clean and so is my husband, so mess stresses both of us out.

Also, this is a thoughtful thing you are doing.
posted by data hound at 7:30 PM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Send your wife someplace where she can sit and put her feet up. While she's gone, clean the whole house, top to bottom, by yourself. Clean the car, too. All those baby clothes and toys you've been piling up? Organize them. Beautifully. The way your wife would want you to. Do the laundry. All of it. Any niggling little household repairs that need to be done? Do them. Change dead lightbulbs. Clean up cobwebs. Reorganize the pantry.

Then when you've done all this, take your wife out to an expensive dinner at a place she LOVES and then take her to a movie or the theater show. Depending on how much family support you have and whether you have access to a great babysitter, it's quite possible you won't be able to do things like that together for MONTHS after the baby is born.
posted by BlueJae at 8:16 PM on December 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm going to second data hound, but suggest that you get her an ipad mini. In the 4.5 months since my son was born I have used my ipad mini every single day (and night), hours and hours of use. But I'm almost always using it one-handed (when he is nursing) and I think a regular ipad would be too heavy. But yes, it has been a lifesaver for me.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 12:06 AM on December 24, 2013

Oh, and I totally forgot to mention that for my birthday, when I was 32 weeks pregnant, my husband got me some really hard jigsaw puzzles since I was going to spend a lot of time relaxing indoors leading up to the birth. But I love puzzles, so YMMV.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 12:11 AM on December 24, 2013

iPad mini (retina) is amazing as a new mom!! Netflix if you don't already subscribe too.
posted by saradarlin at 12:29 AM on December 24, 2013

What works for my wife every time is a slow gentle back rub, done with the palm of the hand, with an occasional very soft scratch to wake the sensations up.

Whispers of pillow talk, "I love you so much" and "Hang in there babe," are also good.
posted by KRS at 7:38 AM on December 24, 2013

In the spirit of the pregnancy, how about doing a Belly cast? They make kits ... (but i found it way cheaper just to get the materials myself)... It will be a keep sake to last you both forever... & the two of you can paint it together.... display it, etc.

Just google Belly Cast kit.

Good luck!

(While you're at it, consider doing a baby raffle, and if she's okay with it & you're somewhat good with your hands... Henna tattoo on her belly!!!! It's all fun stuff we did...)
posted by foodybat at 8:00 AM on December 24, 2013

Only 16 weeks pregnant here, but BlueJae's suggestion brought tears to my eyes. If I went out to get a massage or a pedicure or something (thinking that was the birthday gift) and came home to an impeccably clean house AND a date night, I would be so, so touched.
posted by hungrybruno at 9:44 AM on December 24, 2013

Tickets to a play/concert/game - ie an event that she'll enjoy and be unlikely to get to do much of for the first while after the baby is born.
posted by Kololo at 12:26 PM on December 25, 2013

If you don't have Amazon Prime yet, you can gift that, and if she has a device for it, there is so much free stuff to watch with Amazon Prime. If she doesn't have a device for it, an iPad or iPad mini or Kindle would be good. It's the sort of thing that can be really fun/useful while you have a new baby in the house, but isn't specifically for a baby.
posted by freezer cake at 9:33 AM on December 27, 2013

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