Gift Ideas for Late-Pregnancy Treats

Katie writes:

I am 36 weeks pregnant with my 2nd son (and therefore destined to be outnumbered forever as we may have one more child, but aren’t sure), and getting to the UGH IS THIS OVER?/WAHHH IT’S ALREADY ALMOST OVER! point, and thought about finding a small way to treat myself to perk me up for the last few weeks. The problem is…with WHAT? I tried wonderful coffee, didn’t do it. I would try chocolate, but it gives me the worst heartburn. I even made a fabulous dinner tonight, complete with from scratch apricot clafouti for dessert…no dice. Clearly food is not working.

I don’t want to spend a lot of money (because newborn clothes…squee!), but would like to do something.


When food treats don’t work, we are indeed in trouble. Have you tried ice cream? That was one of my favorites. Ice cream bars are good, too, or Italian ices.

Cashews, almonds, etc.? I love the Emerald Nuts cinnamon almonds.

I also liked getting nice scented shower gels, and nice oils for soothing the tum skin. Maybe a nice beauty bar soap (I like Dove, or Oil of Olay, or Caress). There are about twenty kinds of each brand, so it’s fun to choose: “Hmmm, Summer Revitalization, or Winter Protection? Citrus-Lemongrass Fresh, or Soothing Coconut Vanilla? Vitamin Therapy, or Antioxidant Infusion? Clarifying Glow or Extra Moisturizing?”

My favorite scent at Bath & Body Works is lavender-vanilla: it’s marketed as sleep/relax aromatherapy, and I find it very soothing/comforting. They have a candle you can burn, and I like their lotion and body wash too.

A face moisturizer upgrade. One of those jars that’s half the size of the regular kind you use, but also twice the price.

Or one of those nice face mask things to use in the shower. I like the Oil of Olay warming cleanser.

If manicures and pedicures appeal to you, now is the perfect moment.

I would recommend a haircut/trim, but I did that in my final weeks and there was a problem or misunderstanding and in any case I ended up with layered hair that had to be styled to look good, and was not long enough to put into a ponytail. Were there tears? OH YES, and also self/hairdresser-recriminations and wishing to go back and change reality. But if there is no problem/misunderstanding, it’s nice to get the Needing-a-Haircut Meter set back to zero.

Comfy socks and slippers will be nice now on swollen feeties, and also nice to have in the hospital.

A flowering plant, if you don’t mind having one more thing to take care of. Our grocery store has cute ones in the $4-8 range. One for the bathroom where you can see it as you pee every 10 minutes. One near wherever you sit most often, so you see it whenever you glance up.

Books! Especially absorbing ones that will help pass the time.

DVDs! Especially absorbing ones that will help pass the time. And if you get started on a good series, you can continue watching it during night feedings.

Magazines! It can be fun to get a few you don’t normally buy.

Tea! Although, if coffee didn’t work, tea might not either. But there are so many fun kinds to try.

Things for the hair: deep-conditioning treatments, leave-in treatments, a new pack of ponytail holders, a new barrette.

A new picture for the wall, near where you’ll see it while feeding the baby.

Another thing I found happy in the last few weeks was stocking up for AFTER the baby. Buy a bottle of wine, if you like wine, or beer if you like beer, and set it aside. A box of your favorite candy/chocolates, for when the heartburn is gone. Things that are easy to eat while you’re feeding the baby, or for times when you feel like you don’t have time to even pee: a box of good crackers; trail mixes; pumpkin seeds; Nutella; the kind of granola bars marketed to grown-ups (I like the look of the Planters ones but haven’t tried them yet). An expensive unscented hand lotion, for when you don’t want to get lavender-vanilla all over the baby. A pretty new water bottle. A pretty new coffee mug. A DVD series you won’t let yourself watch until night feedings. Some magazines or light novels for when your brain is too wobbly from low-sleep and high-distraction to enjoy its usual fare. A pretty notebook and pen for the feeding station: I always found I thought of something important the minute I was trapped under a baby. Deciding on and buying these things, and then going and looking at them and petting them, can be very pleasing.

More ideas for Katie?

27 thoughts on “Gift Ideas for Late-Pregnancy Treats

  1. Slim

    Does food work better in a particular context, maybe? Scones with jam and clotted cream (and tea!) float my boat, but even if I weren’t hankering for them, I would probably take an interest if I could eat them while reading trashy celebrity magazines. Maybe even British celebrity magazines.

    More expensive, but worth it: a prenatal massage.

    Or splurge on thing to address household situation that bugs you a little every day but you’ve told yourself you can live with. I now have a set of tumblers that match. And I have enough of them that I don’t run out. It is totally delightful to me. Next up: enough pillowcases.

  2. Anonymous

    I am not sure what your price range is, but how about paying someone to clean your house. Coming home with a fresh baby to a sparkly clean house would be so nice I imagine.

  3. Jessica

    Oh dear, I now want all of this.

    I’ll second Swistle’s recommendation of a haircut/mani/pedi. I spent my last two weeks preparing myself for the hospital and/or newborn photo shoots. I looked pretty awful in the pictures after the birth of my first child and making sure I did everything I could to mitigate that the second time made me feel a lot better about myself. I even went to Sephora for new makeup. I’ve barely worn it since the baby was born, but it did look good in the pictures!

  4. elckd

    I got a massage for my treat, they have special places with a hole in the table for your belly. Hell just lying on my stomach was a treat!

  5. Annika

    You didn’t mention your budget, but I just got a Kindle and I wish wish WISH I’d had it when my children were babies.

  6. Marie Green

    Well, since I am (almost) 35 weeks pregnant, this post is right up my alley. I’m planning on a haircut, eyebrow/lip wax before baby, and I’d also like to get a pedicure. Also, my hips have been really starting to ache, so I thought about a prenatal massage.

    I think cute pj’s and/or cute (and not yet nubly in the inner thigh area) lounge wear is a good idea… Most of my yoga pants from pre-pregnancy still fit while pregnant (with the top rolled down), so I assume I could get some cute lounge stuff that I can wear NOW and after baby.

    Since this is not my 1st baby and therefore I don’t need much, I like to splurge and buy boutique-y quality things for baby: a really plush blanket, more expensive wooden toys or rattles, some fancy swaddling blankets, that kind of thing.

    I’m also planning on putting together “big sister” presents for my older girls… I think those will be fun to shop for.

    Shopping on Etsy for baby hats is fun (though a little hard for me since I don’t know the sex of our baby.)

    I love photography, so I’ve saved some birthday money to purchase a new lens and a few other photography things that are for ME but will be useful in photographing the new baby too.

    Scheduling things like brunch or a movie with friends (and without my kids) also helps pass the time and gives me something to look forward to. My friends and I are also planning a weekend away at a cabin a couple of weeks before I’m due (can’t do that- as easily anyway- after baby!)

  7. PBJdreamer

    Occupying your time with cooking and freezing meals for after the baby is born?

    I loved a massage at the 36 week point in my pregnancies.

    If you have the money, hire someone to deep clean your kitchen or your bathrooms.

    Hope one of these helps

    that is all

  8. Lippy

    With our first my brother and sil had someone clean our house while we were in the hospital. It was hands down best present ever. With my second my mom and I went for mani/pedis a few days before the baby was born and it was nice, I notice my pretty nails in all the pictures. With my third I had the massage and it was nice. I think focusing on something that is driving you nuts is a good idea.

    Swistle- Maddie insisted I enlarge the picture of the ruffled skirt. She wants me to find one just like it for her. I didn’t have the heart to explain it was a few years ago they had that.

  9. ssm

    Two words: Afternoon Off. Since it’s her second child, maybe she could get a friend/relative/nanny/babysitter to watch her kid, take the afternoon off work if she works outside the home, and then go do anything she wants, since it will likely be her only alone time for a while.
    I did this and I STILL remember, almost four years later, exactly how nice it was to sit in a restaurant booth alone and drink a milkshake and read the newspaper. Alone!

  10. Clarabella

    I just wanted to second the mani/pedi idea. I had them the day before I had my son. It satisfied me to no end to focus on my pretty toe nails as I was pushing. No really. Also, I enjoy noticing them still in the pictures. My hair might be a hot mess & my face all splotchy with burst blood vessels, but my nails looked good, dammit.
    Other than that, I say get a babysitter & go see a movie you really want to see. Enjoy the A/C, a large popcorn and soda and something R-rated!
    Good luck!

  11. Halyn

    Swistle, you are just awesome at this sort of thing. You’re like a guru…a new mom guru. There must be a way for you to parlay your good sense and knack for little luxuries into a profitable sideline.

    And I second the suggestion by Anonymous: If it’s in your price range, get the house cleaned. What a wonderful feeling that would be! If it’s not in your price range, start hinting around to the grandparents and aunts and uncles about it!! ;)

  12. -R-

    My immediate thoughts were haircut, pedicure, and/or lunch with a friend. Oh, or an afternoon by yourself at a coffee shop to read a book.

  13. Christy

    Swistle – I am dead serious when I say you should run a personal shopper business. You have the best gift ideas! And the best thing (I imagine) about personal shopping is that it’s not your money!

  14. Frenchie

    From the time I was 34 weeks pregnant until I gave birth, I went and get a pedicure every other friday. Just sitting there, soakign my feet, and enjoying the massage chair was my one hour of bliss. Plus, you want to make sure your toes look nice when they’re up in the stirrups, right??

  15. Shelly

    I don’t have any idea the price range, but I’ve always thought that a temporary henna tattoo on the (also temporary) huge belly sounds like a fun idea.

  16. SIL Anna

    I am 38 weeks pregnant, and loving this post! I’m going to second Clarabella and say get a babysitter so you can go see a movie you really want to see. We went to see Harry Potter in 3D and it was really fun.

    Swimming feels so good right now, and though I can take our 2 year old swimming, I have considered getting the babysitter to come so I can go alone and enjoy actual swimming, instead of toddler-guarding.

  17. Anne

    How about some pre-made meals you can freeze. In my area there is a place called Dinner by Design where you can go and make the dinners yourself or just pick up ones that the staff made for you. Sides, entrees, etc. Perfect for after baby is born!

    And a massage. Definitely a massage.

  18. Anonymous

    In line with post-baby items, I had a baby in June and found reading the Anne of Green Gables series very satisfying as a nursing past-time, day and night. For some reason it felt indulgent. I love imagining living in idyllic PEI or imagining doing these idyllic things with my own kids. And there are eight books, all of which are easy reads and inexpensive to buy as a set for yourself and then to keep for your own kids later!

  19. Katie

    Thank you all for your ideas! This is EXACTLY what I needed. And how thrilling to have Swistle publish my silly little email! I will share with you all, she edited my original text. I said I emailed her because: “you are 1. Awesome at baby names and 2. Awesome at gift ideas AND 3. Awesome at finding little ways of treating yourself to make a bad day better, I think you are quite possibly the most-qualified person in the ENTIRE WORLD for answering this.”

    Anyway, thanks for all the ideas. I do love wine, and the thought of even going to the fancy wine shop BY MYSELF makes me giddy! I also love the house cleaner idea, but don’t think that’s in the budget (but what a fabulous group gift at a shower!!). A movie out sounds wonderful too (complete with generally-forbidden giant caffinated soda)! I will get a pedicure, but don’t want to do that too early for fear of ruining said pedicure before I actually go into labor.

    You all are so great! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  20. Anonymous

    One more – give yourself twenty bucks to spend on iTunes and make yourself a new playlist of music. Take you time choosing or click impulsively!

Comments are closed.