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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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. Need an idea? Surprise her with an activity she wanted to do while pregnant but couldn't, like wine tasting or snowboarding lessons. Whatever the gift, the most important part is that it shows you put thought into it.

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Create a Sweet Mother's Day Playlist

Mothers have been the subject of many a song, from tender ballads to funky hip-hop rhymes to rock anthems. Set up a playlist full of all the tunes that represent your wife's new life as a mama so she can chill out with her headphones on while you occupy your little one. Not a music guru? No worries—check out the playlist the experts at Billboard compiled, which includes tracks like "Hot Mama" by Trace Adkins, "Oh Mother" by Christina Aguilera, and 2Pac's "Dear Mama." Or get inspired by the roundup Fuse put together of the 31 Most Adorable Songs About Moms, which features videos of songs including "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift, "A Song for Mama" by Boyz 2 Men, "I'll Always Love My Mama" by The Intruders (1973 Soul Train!), and "Thank You Mom" by Good Charlotte.

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Jupiterimages/Getty Images

Honor Her With Meaningful Jewelry

Recognize that your wife carries her child in her heart in every moment by giving her a token she can wear everywhere she goes. Major retailers have a variety of jewelry options designed just for moms, like Jared's Mother and Child sterling silver necklace with diamond accent, or Uncommon Goods' Mother Nestling Birds necklace. Or check out Etsy for unique necklaces, bracelets, and rings like a customized cuff bracelet with a photo of your little one or personalized ring sporting your baby's name.

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Promise Her a Day of Pampering

Chances are, your busy new mama probably hasn't had time to pamper herself much since giving birth, so why not get her a gift cerificate to her favorite salon or spa so she can enjoy a blow dry, mani/pedi, or facial? Or all three! In addition to including the gift certificate in her Mother's Day card, tuck in a note that you'll be on baby duty for as many hours as she needs for the appointments—and for her to grab a glass of wine afterwards. Or, promise to arrange a babysitter so the two of you can meet up after her primping for a nice dinner together, sans baby. 

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Organize a Family Photo Shoot

Surprise your spouse by booking a professional photographer to document her first Mother's Day with a family photo shoot. Have the photog meet you at a pretty local park or favorite area locale, or even just come to your home and take some shots in your "natural" environment. (Tip: Make sure your wife will feel like both she and your home are camera-ready!) Ask the pro to take both posed and candid photos—sometimes the best pics are the ones that capture genuine moments between you, your wife and your tot.

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