A Dad's Guide to Her First Mother's Day

With your wife's first Mother's Day only a blink away, it's time to come up with a game plan to wow her in a major way. After all, she's braved pregnancy, childbirth, and countless sleepless nights in her first year as a mom. We've pulled together some of our favorite ideas to help inspire you.

  • Jim Franco

    Create a Culinary Escape

    Breakfast in bed always goes over well. We're not sure whether it's the blueberry pancakes or the fact that she gets to sleep in (that's part of the deal!), but serving your wife yummy food in bed is always a good move. Even better, pick up her favorite meal from that fancy restaurant you haven't been to since your little one was born and treat her to a romantic dinner at home after the baby is asleep.

  • Lucy Schaeffer

    Get Crafty

    Don't let the word "crafty" scare you. You don't need a lot of time or creativity to whip up a heartfelt gift for your sweetie this Mother's Day. A cute frame with a favorite photo of your wife and your baby is a sweet gesture, but if you have time to take it up a notch, make a photo book filled with pictures of your new family. If you own a Mac, it's easy to create a book using iPhoto -- simply click on "create book," drop images and captions into the slots, then hit "buy book." You'll have it on your doorstep within a week. You can also make photo books on user-friendly Websites such as CVS pharmacy, Snapfish, and Shutterfly. If your baby is a newborn and you're lacking enough baby pics, you can still make a great book. Chronicle your wife's pregnancy; from the moment she discovered she was pregnant to the arrival of your little one.

  • iStockphoto

    Set up a Spa

    Being a new mom is physically and emotionally tiring. Help her wind down and de-stress with a relaxing massage at home. "Touch can be very powerful and loving, especially when you have your wife's physical and emotional needs in mind," says Gretta Monahan, owner of G Spa in Boston. Setting the scene is almost as important as the rubdown itself, says Monahan, so keep the room dim, light some aromatic candles, and make sure the space is free of clutter. If you can, opt for massage oil (lavender is ideal for relaxation) instead of lotion; it feels more luxurious and you won't need to reapply it as often. Worried that you don't know the first thing about massage? Don't be. The key to a pleasurable massage is to use smooth, flowing strokes.

  • iStockphoto

    Make a Sweet Card

    It may be a year or two until your child is drawing Mother's Day cards, but that doesn't mean your little one can't give Mom his very own card. Pick one out at the store; then write a message as if it's coming from your baby. For instance, it could say something like: "Mom, this has been the best year of my life (well, the only year!) Thank you so much for taking me with you wherever you go, rocking me to sleep when I'm tired, and always making me laugh. I love you."

  • Stockbyte/ Veer

    Give the Gift of Sleep

    There are few things a mom wants more than sleep, so why not give her some much-needed uninterrupted snooze time? "My wife has gone over five months without one interrupted night of sleep," says blogger Nick Shell, dad to 5-month-old Jack. "For her first Mother's Day, I came up with an idea to create a 'sweet sleep certificate' that entitles her to a full night of sleep in the bedroom while the baby and I sleep out of hearing range in a different room." If you think your wife could benefit from a solid eight hours in dreamland, steal Shell's idea and create your own sleep certificate on the computer, then tuck it into her Mother's Day card.

  • Sarah Kehoe

    Think Outside the Box

    Some of the best gifts don't cost a pretty penny, but if you want to invest in a splurge-worthy gift, take some time to think about what would hold meaning for her, and her only. "Last year for Mother's Day, my husband, Peter, did something really sweet. He gave me an iPod shuffle engraved with 'Go Mommy Go,' because I was training for a marathon," says Robin Immerman Gruen, mom to Charlotte, 4, and Frank, 1, in Chicago, IL. Need an idea? Surprise her with an activity she wanted to do while pregnant but couldn't, like wine tasting or tennis lessons. Whatever the gift, the most important part is that it shows you put thought into it.

    Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation