For the expectant mom, I had a long, long list that I've managed to cut back to 10 things. These could also be excellent (by my standards) gift ideas for baby showers and "just because."
In no particular order, for the most part:
1. A decent body pillow. Some are better than others, and I am by no means giving my endorsement to any particular one. I just know that I prefer a body pillow with some substance that won't go completely flat within the first month of use. They come in all sorts of shapes these days, I don't think that matters so much. I just like the extra support for my belly and my hips.
2. Pregnancy massage and/or chiropractic adjustment. Obviously, this is something you want to see an experienced professional about. I just know I get a LOT of aches and pains during pregnancy. My hips may not lie, but they do not do anything that feels natural or good.
3. A nice water bottle. This may seem silly or odd to some of you. For me, it would be greatly appreciated. Dehydration causes a lot of issues during pregnancy from serious headaches to pre-term contractions. It's been my experience that having a nice water bottle (or two) handy makes me more likely to actually drink as much water as I should.
4. Pedicure. This is a no brainer for most anyone who's watched a movie with a full term pregnant woman. Reaching your own toes gets hard. I don't care as much about getting the polish (although it's a nice treat) as I do about actually getting my nails trimmed. Seriously. You don't even need to treat your loved one to an expensive spa - just offer to take care of her feet for her!
5. Cute maternity clothes. For some reason, some people just do this better than others. Unfortunately, I am not particularly blessed in this area. There is a reason I am not a beauty or fashion blogger. But if you happen to have a great sense of style, or know someone who does, you could really help a preggy out. I get big and swollen, and feel frumpy and fully unattractive. Get me some cute clothes, and I feel half way human again. Places like Motherhood, A Pea in the Pod, even Old Navy and the Gap have some great maternity options. I did a lot of shopping at Ross in my last pregnancy, but I wouldn't say I looked particularly stylish. The maternity section was also minescule. If you know of any great brick and mortar maternity shops, please leave a referral in the comments - you have no idea who you may be helping out! I know I had a terrible time finding a real shop to find and buy maternity clothes last time. Maybe it depends on where you live?
|via A Pea in the Pod|
6. Comfortable shoes. This will really vary from person to person. I have one cousin who managed to wear stiletto heels during her first pregnancy. "They're cute!" she said... For me, because I have such huge issues with swelling, etc., I generally moved to flip-flop sandals in the end. It's still important to make sure you have good shoes, though - you don't want to slip or roll your ankle, in general, but especially while pregnant. Quality shoes are always a good investment.
7. A warm-mist humidifier. I know so many people are recommending cool mist for various health reasons, but I (in my non-medical-professional opinion) always feel like the warm mist works better for me. If you (or your baby) become congested and you would rather opt for some more "natural" treatments, a humidifier works wonders. I remember G was almost 1-1/2 years old when we finally got one, and I SO, SO wish we'd gotten one when he was first born! Does anyone else remember having to sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running when they were little? Maybe the age difference between myself and my audience is becoming too noticeable... Anyway, it's a pain to keep clean (especially right now since we have hard well water), but it's been worth it for me.
8. A good soft-structured carrier. I love my wrap, and I get excited about trying out woven wraps and ring slings, but my heart really does belong to my Onya Baby Cruiser. It's not particular been geared toward newborns, but at the most recent ABC Kids Expo, Onya Baby revealed their new infant booster/insert - similar to what some other companies already offer. You can see a little bit about it on this video by Kim of Dirty Diaper Laundry.
9. Swaddling Blankets. Swaddling is the best thing that ever happened to our family... well, in relation to sleep and newborns. Even if you choose to not swaddle, these blankets are useful in so many ways - when you're out and about as a regular blanket, as a cover up (if you carry your baby in their carseat and want some privacy for them), as a nursing cover (if you choose to 1. breastfeed, and 2. cover up - both of which I generally do). If you're like the Leaky Boob, you might use them as a soft and stylish scarf. Blankets this size are completely versatile and useful, and when the time comes that your child has pooped through the last set of clothing you have packed in your bag, that blanket will become clothing for your babe. Or even a diaper (yes, I've done this.)
|via Aden and Anais|
10. Ju-Ju-Be. I am in love with this diaper bag brand, and I don't even own one. I first heard about them late in my pregnancy with N, and then a friend of mine got one shortly thereafter. I cannot tell you how jealous I was! They are super cute, stylish, functional, and durable. My personal choice would be the Packabe, but they have all sorts of different styles now.
I can tell you from experience that having a backpack style diaper bag wins all kinds of points for being functional. It is so much easier carrying all that you need, or chasing down your older kids when you don't have to worry about your bag sliding off your shoulder.
Have you started your holiday shopping yet? We celebrate Christmas in our family, and I've got some gift ideas sorted out, but no actual shopping done yet. Do you have any gift suggestions you would add to this list?
Check back the rest of this month for more gift guides!