Gift For A New Mother Who Happens to be My Wife
May 12, 2008 12:35 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are expecting our first baby at the beginning of June. I want to get her an awesome "thanks for doing the labor" gift, but am not getting any flashes of inspirado. Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated. I'm not really looking to get her anything for the baby, as that wouldn't really be a gift for her, however something that relates to her new role as a mother could be great. If it helps, she's not really into tech or gadgets (the horror!). Thanks!
posted by joelhunt to Shopping (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Google "push present" (what a horrendous term) if you want general ideas on what sort of things people go for.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

A day of pampering at a spa. She'll need it and appreciate it.
posted by rocket88 at 12:44 PM on May 12, 2008

Spa treatments?
Comfy nursing clothes?
A really awesome glider chair?
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:45 PM on May 12, 2008

I went the jewelry route. Necklace and matching bracelet. Worked out well.
posted by trbrts at 12:51 PM on May 12, 2008

How about a nanny to help around the house while you are at work, if not just for the first couple of months.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 1:00 PM on May 12, 2008

Chocolate. It's what I would've wanted. No, wait, ice cream. Nursing mothers need ice cream. A freezer full of ice cream? Gift certificates swearing that you'll run out and get her ice cream?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:06 PM on May 12, 2008

Best answer: What about a piece of jewelry with the baby's birthstone in it? June is Pearl. (May is emerald if she is early!)
Simple pearl earrings might be nice.
(June's flower is the rose, if you want to go all out with the birth month thing)
posted by rmless at 1:14 PM on May 12, 2008

How about a sincere effort on your part to pick up the slack on housework, laundry, grocery shopping, 3 AM feedings, etc. It be far more useful, and far more meaningful, than any jewelry you buy. The whole push present trend is sort of creepy, IMHO.
posted by COD at 1:16 PM on May 12, 2008 [5 favorites]

Perhaps a sterling silver or gold charm bracelet? Along with it you can give her a "baby" charm or a "baby and mother" charm (there are hundreds to choose from here.) Plus, as new milestones occur in your marriage, whether it be more children or anniversaries, etc... you can get her the appropriate charms to go with it.

My sister suggested this as a gift to give my girlfriend (I haven't had reason to give her a baby charm yet, thankfully) after her husband did the same for her after the birth of their first child. Both women in question loved it. Yeah, it's jewelry, but it's jewelry that requires some thought put into it which seems to go a long way.
posted by Rewind at 1:16 PM on May 12, 2008

trbrts has it!

We didn't have much money when we had our first & I certainly wasn't expecting a special thank you from my husband. The gorgeous gold chain he gave me had me in total floods (in a good way!).

(And for years it was "the necklace Daddy gave you when I was born, right?" - which was also lovely).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:20 PM on May 12, 2008

a necklace with the child's birthstone would be nice--something simple, a solitaire pendant, on a princess-length (that's 18") chain in the same color metal as her wedding band.

but i would go for a less expensive piece and put the money toward a housekeeping service twice a month for the first year.
posted by thinkingwoman at 1:29 PM on May 12, 2008

My first baby was a June bug and my husband gave me a beautiful pearl bracelet. We didn't have much money and he didn't need to go to that expense but it absolutely floored me that he knew the birthstone (my best friend helped! he didn't have ask mefi at the time) and that he surprised me with something so beautiful. I whole heartedly second the pearl earrings or charm idea. And I plan to give the bracelet to my daughter when she is old enough. Instant family heirloom!! Best of luck to your new family!!
posted by pearlybob at 1:30 PM on May 12, 2008

For 3 months after our son was born, the twice-a-month cleaning service we decided to splurge on was an absolute sanity-saver.

Not that my husband or I would have been doing the work the cleaning crew did - we just would have lived in a pigsty - but it was very nice to have a tidy home for a few days every two weeks.
posted by peep at 1:31 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm voting for the spa treatment. I was given a gift certificate for a massage, foot bath, & facial - at the end, I felt like the most important person in the entire world. It was great.

She'll also need your help to start feeling like herself again... make sure she gets enough time to do that - relax, unwind, read (reading is a great privilege after you have a baby). Just letting her know that you're there, and you want her to have time for herself, when you'll take care of the baby... that would be an awesome gift. If I had gotten something like that, written in a card, maybe?
posted by eleyna at 1:37 PM on May 12, 2008

Yep. I've done this 4 times. COD has it.
posted by grateful at 1:38 PM on May 12, 2008

How about a sincere effort on your part to pick up the slack on housework, laundry, grocery shopping, 3 AM feedings, etc.

Let us not confuse a gift with a responsibility.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:39 PM on May 12, 2008 [19 favorites]


I don't know, I'm not sure if your wife will really be into accepting gifts, unless it's baby clothes or something. It's just the way it is, and the only thing you can really do is be there for her and your new kid.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:41 PM on May 12, 2008

Seconding liketitanic: my friend gave birth to my godson last Thursday and I've ordered the superhero pendant to give her when I see her and him on Saturday. I'll let you know if she likes it!
posted by Lotto at 1:53 PM on May 12, 2008

I think jewelry is the accepted "safe" gift. Just remember that she will be in many ways swollen for weeks following the birth, so rings or anything else specifically sized are out.

How about asking her if there is some baby item that she's had her eye on, but hasn't been able to bring herself to buy because it seems like an indulgence? Or offer an IOU for such an item during the first year. My partner gave me a bracelet after each birth, which I loved and still love, and which prompts many discussions of my kids' births for them, which is also great. He also gave them to me right after each baby was born, after they were cleaned up and delivered in a cute little swaddled package, and it really sealed the birth and created a lovely, if somewhat tearful, family moment.

But I think at that time, with everyone throwing gifts at me that they'd chosen, I think I might have also appreciated the chance to pick out a guilt-free, indulgent, super-cool diaper bag or sling.
posted by iscatter at 1:58 PM on May 12, 2008

Add my vote for Superhero Jewelry. I chose "Joy" as a present to myself for my daughter's first birthday.

Jewelry, spa, clothing, housekeeping services, etc, are the usual favorites... but you know your wife best, so you'll have to decide what she would appreciate.
posted by ellenaim at 2:07 PM on May 12, 2008

Something indulgent.

My vote is for jewelry, a day at the spa (including limo transportation, and a great dinner afterwards), a posh diaper bag, etc.

Some people don't like housekeepers (they worry about theft, or w/e) but if that's not an issue, that can be great.

And maybe stop doing that thing you do that annoys the heck out of her. At least for a few days.
posted by Project F at 2:45 PM on May 12, 2008

She will be spending the next 3 months stuck in the house with a boring infant. My husband bought me a VCR (um, this was 23 years ago), the single most sensitive gift he ever came up with. How about NetFlix, or Tivo, or just a really nice DVD player.
posted by nax at 3:37 PM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm due in July and have specifically asked my husband not to get me jewelry. While I love the idea of a family heirloom - and may reconsider because of that, especially since we're having a girl that I can give jewelry to later - we're tight on money and I would feel guilty getting something that could have been spent on diapers.

I think the idea of a day at the spa - which could be arranged for less - sounds better.

I'm also leery of having a cleaning service; just because I wouldn't want anyone to see us at our dirtiest, and have a hangup about being "served" anyway.

What might be a good alternative to the cleaning service is a cooking/catering service, so dinner is taken care of for a while. I believe there are services that come right over and make it in your house as many times a week as you choose. (A friend of mine used to do this for a living).

No clothes, because they'll just highlight how much weight she has to lose. Accessories would be fine - is she into name-brand fashion? Has she been yearning for a Gucci purse?

NOT a gym membership. Just like you wouldn't give her a vacuum cleaner for Mother's day.
posted by GardenGal at 3:38 PM on May 12, 2008

As a new Mom, I would have loved something this Glider Rocker. Takes the pressure off your back and lets you soothe your baby while being comfy yourself. Of course, her taste may vary, but a nice comfy chair is a godsend for those late night and early morning feedings.
posted by misha at 5:08 PM on May 12, 2008

A nice lawn cotton robe.
posted by JujuB at 5:45 PM on May 12, 2008

Crowning Earrings?
posted by cwhitfcd at 6:36 PM on May 12, 2008

I agree with all that said jewelry....try "What's in your heart,what's in your soul..." at You can choose from a heart,circle,star,or a lock...then fill it with charms/birthstones of your choice. Also, bracelets by Biaggi or can buy charms that fit her personality,and when holidays,anniversaries,birthdays or just because comes (and your new baby) can help her build her bracelet. ; ) Hope this helps... best wishes to you,your honey and your new baby!
posted by babyluvschrome at 7:14 PM on May 12, 2008

Another vote for spa day. By the time my daughter was born, I couldn't remember the last time I could reach my feet - a pedicure (let alone a massage!) would have been utter bliss. Congratulations to both of you!
posted by Space Kitty at 10:00 PM on May 12, 2008

Maybe not just for her, but for the both of you... my brother said the handheld video game someone got him was a lifesaver. His kid would fall asleep on his chest and then he'd be stuck there for 45 minutes while he made sure she was asleep this time...
posted by small_ruminant at 11:05 PM on May 12, 2008

Response by poster: There's a whack of great ideas here, thanks to all! I think I'm going to go with a pearl bracelet, if only because doing so will certainly ensure that the little maniac arrives early enough to make it meaningless (i.e. in May). I think my wife would appreciate an early (but safe) delivery more than anything...

Oh, and if I told her my gift to her was that I was going to continue doing my fair share of the housework and cooking... I suspect uncontrollable giggling and/or a karate chop to the solar plexus might be the response.
posted by joelhunt at 4:44 AM on May 13, 2008

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