The Latest In Gear For Parents-To-Be.

Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between and The Mother of All Baby Books: The Ultimate Guide to Your Baby's First Year, is here at Pregnancy & Baby! Read Ann's advice on everything from keeping romance alive amidst the structure and stress of baby-making to weathering the storms of morning sickness to preparing for the birth of your dreams.
Ann Douglas

More Mom's the Word by Ann Douglas

Practical ideas
Wondering what items to put on your wish list for an upcoming holiday or birthday? Here are some items that will encourage you to savor the remaining weeks of your pregnancy and help you get psyched for life after Baby.

Forget the childbirth classes: the best way to prepare for the joys and challenges of parenthood is by listening to Nancy White's hilarious take on motherhood. If you're mega-pregnant during the holidays, you'll get a particularly kick out of her now classic ditty, "It's So Chic to Be Pregnant at Christmas." (As White points out in the liner notes that accompany her CD, "Nancy spent two Christmases in this Biblical-looking state, so she knows.")

Gentle Air Maternity Air Bed
Having trouble getting a good night's sleep? The Gentle Air Maternity Air Bed should make it easier for you to find a comfortable sleeping position. While it doesn't come cheap -- the air mattress sells for around $99, and the optional metal frame will set you back the same amount again -- some mothers-to-be swear by this thing.

A Belly Cast Kit
Want a permanent souvenir of your pregnancy? (Something other than the baby and the stretch marks, that is!) Why not make a plaster of Paris belly cast? The kit is surprisingly affordable, and the results are pretty impressive.

A gift certificate for a local maid service
It's hard to find the time to brush your teeth and comb your hair during the early weeks postpartum, let alone keeping your house clean. A gift such as this will help you to keep the dust bunnies from achieving a coup d'etat during the early weeks of your baby's life.

Homemade anything
If friends and family members are asking you what you want or need, ask them for entrees that can be heated up after your baby arrives. It's your ticket to freedom from the pizza delivery man.

A babysitting gift certificate
One of the nicest things a family member could give you is a gift certificate for an hour or two of childcare after baby arrives. That way, you and your partner will be able to get out for dinner alone on Valentine's Day, your anniversary or some other special occasion.

A cordless phone
It's almost impossible to dash across the room to grab the phone while you've got a baby attached to your breast, so unless you're planning to go into hermit mode after baby arrives, you'll definitely want to ask for a cordless phone. (Editor's note: Be sure to choose one that operates on a different frequency than any baby monitor. Monitors are often set to 900 megahertz, which can interfere with a 900 MHz phone.)

A rocking chair
It may be old fashioned, but it could be one of the nicest gifts you and your baby may ever receive. This simple piece of furniture will instantly transform your baby's room into "Cuddle Headquarters."

Tags: expectant gear mom-to-be

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