In my last post, I mentioned how I needed a crafty project to keep me busy on my spring break from school, and I started sewing petal pouches. “Crafty project” is really code for I-will-disappear-for-2-days-and-ignore-my-family-except-to-feed-them-while-I-get-lost-in-a-project.
Here is how it went down. I made two bags for a teacher appreciation gift I had in mind using materials I had on hand. Miss Priss and Mr. Star Wars wanted a bag too, so we bought some additional fabric and ribbon and made 2 of the large petal bags for them. I now had a small collection. The collection looked unfinished since I had not tried the smallest size bag possible in the pattern. I made two more bags in the mini size. Now, I had a set, but the set would be broken when I gave some of the bags away as gifts. I returned to Hobby Lobby for more material determined to make enough bags for a personal set and have some spares for gifts (and a giveaway??).
Jump to today. Petal bags cover my dining room table. I do have enough for my own set and some for gifts, so I am starting to relax a little just in time for school to start again tomorrow. These are my plans for the bags…
Teacher Appreciation Gift: School Manicure Set
clear fingernail polish (so it can be used to stop a run in your tights, fix a fraying shoelace, or other classroom emergencies)
nail clippers (great for snagged nails during the day)
tweezers (just in case someone gets a splinter)
Tween Gift: Trendy Manicure Set
fingernail polish in “ice cream” colors
nail art stickers
Emi-Jay-like hair ties (in the mini bag)
Baby Gift: Diaper Bag Dopp Kit
baby nail clippers
travel baby wipes
Pet Gift: Dog Treat Bag
TheRoomDog’s best friend is on the injured list, and we haven’t been able to get the dogs together for vigorous playdates, which greatly reduce TheRoomDog’s need for other activity– like eating pencils. We are trying to deliver the get well gift before the treats are gone. (Bad dog, Birdie.)
I am not sure what I was thinking when I did not include baby books as a suggestion for The Best Baby Gifts in my last post.
Board books are a great newborn baby and first birthday gift. The heavier page is sturdy and stands up to the wear and tear of a baby or toddler. They are specifically made to protect against drool damage. They are a good price point and wrap very well.
Many classic children’s picture books that were originally published in traditional hardback with paper pages are now available in a board book version too. Board books are typically not longer than 30 pages, so you may get an abridged version of the original book in the board book style. If you want to get your money’s worth, go for the board book version as a first book.
What books have you given as a baby or toddler gift?
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Baby Faces and others by DK Publishing
The Cheerios Play Book by Lee Wade
Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Jamberry by Bruce Deegan
Moo, Ba, La La La! and Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
1 is One by Tasha Tudor
Open the Barn Door by Christopher Santoro
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Sheep in a Jeep and Sheep in a Shop by Nancy E. Shaw
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and others by Eric Carle
As with most things in my life, I have rigid guidelines I follow faithfully for choosing baby gifts.
I refuse to shop from a baby gift registry (but always shop from a wedding gift registry).
I never buy baby gifts that contain brown, black, or orange.
I do not like anything that an adult would wear but has been reduced to infant size. These clothes are easy to identify because they usually have pockets. The last time I checked, a baby is not carrying loose change or car keys.
A baby gift is an opportunity to buy something sweet that the mom would not buy herself. Hey, I know that new mom will get a carseat. She has to have that to leave the hospital. Why should I get the practical gift when there are so many cute and tiny things available? Before I had kids of my own, I had a variety of baby gifts I liked to give.
Royal Doulton Bunnykins baby dishes (do a Google search for sources). I really like their bowl with the wide base to avoid tipping and the two handled toddler cup.
The brand Kissy Kissy makes unbelievably soft footie outfits with tiny little motifs embroidered on them. I love the little embroidery because it is the right proportion for a baby. They have some brighter colors, but most of the clothes are in soft pale baby colors that are RoomMom approved.
Auraluz daygowns were another favorite. For those of you who do not know, a daygown is an A-lined “dress” that stays open at the bottom (no snaps or anything), so it is easy to get to the diaper. And as I told my husband many times, yes, boys can wear daygowns too.
I even went through a brief phase where I knitted baby booties. I could knit pink or blue if I knew the sex of the baby ahead of time. If it was going to be a surprise, I would give white booties and include a set of pink and blue ribbons to be added at the birth.
Since having children, I have honed my baby gift giving skills, lowered my gift budget, and settled on a present that combines sweet and practical. I always give a large hooded baby towel that is accompanied by a gift certificate to have the towel monogrammed. Since I like kits so much, I also add Aquaphor ointment (diaper rash, dry skin, cuts, scrapes, chapped lips), Baby Magic lotion, and Baby Magic baby wash. Finally, the gift includes directions for achieving The Perfect Newborn Baby Smell.
I have a monogram store near my house that sells large white hooded towels for $20 (monogramming included). At the time of purchase, they write up a gift card for me, so the mom-to-be can return to the store and have the monogram added. If the baby has been born or the parents know the sex/baby name ahead of time, I have the towel finished before giving the gift. I found this website that seems to have a white hooded baby towel that is similar to the one I like.
Do you have any favorite baby gifts you like to give? Do you prefer practical or pretty?