This post is in reply to frequent questions about what were the best baby gifts. Since many of my readers gave Hazel gifts, I want to BEG you not to take this personally! This is merely a list of gift ideas for future use, not the list of my personal favorites.
- A Summer Bonnet. This is really just for summer babies, but unless the parents plan to stay inside all day (barf. I don't want to be their friend.), it's really hard to keep the sun off of little baldie without overheating said baldie.
- Trumpette Shoe Socks. Fit better than most baby socks, stylish, and guaranteed to get compliments (not that my baby needed help in that department!)
- BLANKETS! After Hazel arrived and baby gifts were pouring in (we felt very loved! ooo, do I measure love by tangible gifts? YIKES!), I began to stress because we received SO many blankets! Flannel, fleece, knitted, crocheted... I had blanket guilt because there was NO way we'd be able to use all of the blankets. Oh, to be young and naive again ;) Flannel blankets are my preferred burp rags because you have either a blanket or a burp rag while you're out (note: one set of flannel blankets are extra large and they were/are my favorite flannels because they worked for swaddling much better than all the postage stamp sized ones). Knitted and Crocheted blankets are lovely because I love the look of homemade, they can look a little girly, and most importantly they have air holes which gives me a little piece of mind now that Hazel has learned how to pull the blankets over her head when she sleeps. The fleece blankets are great for playing on the floor and wrapping up in for short walks. Though I have found uses for the smaller blankets, let me repeat that the largest baby sized blankets are the most helpful!
- Diapering supplies. I'm a primarily cloth diaper user, so keep that in mind. However, universally the Prince Lionhart Diaper Warmer and 30+ flannel wipes would be a great way to help any mom be a little greener. (I also have a Munchkin Warm Glow that is great, but the PL is my favorite because it has a soaker pad that keeps the wipes from drying out). If a mama is curious about cloth diapering, it would be awesome to buy her one or two diaper systems... any kind! That's the only way she'll figure out what she prefers. Read this old post to get some ideas!
- Long sleeved onesies, sweaters/hoodies & pants. Yes, Hazel was born in July... during a heat wave. HOWEVER, newborns have so little body mass! So, regardless of the season, I recommend holding off on buying onesies in exchange for a few warmer clothes items! We received SO MANY ADORABLE onesies that I decided not to use bibs so that I would have a chance of using the onesies. Now it's winter and I'm finally able to pull out the larger onesies... and she's not wearing them :( Seriously, I have onesie guilt now.
- I have one wish for every new parent out there... that they may be given a SLEEPY WRAP!
Jake and 1-month old Hazel frolic with some sharks.
- A close second is a homemade SLING! I'm having trouble finding a picture of Jake or I wearing our slings. Probably because I am ALWAYS wearing one these days and it's difficult to take a picture of one's self. Baby carriers enable parents to continue to use their hands, calm the babies, promote bonding, and look cool. Slings have to be custom made to fit the parent, so the Sleepy Wrap is a little more universal. However, I can easily just slip the sling on and after 5 seconds of fussing, Hazel is asleep. Seriously, ask any member of my church. Hazel is in a sling during EVERY church service and she sleeps the whole time! I also use it when I'm out shopping. So much healthier for your back then carrying one of those car seat contraptions and 1000 times safer for your baby (those seats are not supposed to be placed on shopping carts 'cause they fall off... not saying that I never do that, but typically I slip her into the sling and leave the seat in the car.).
- TOYS! Until recently, toys were of no interest to my newborn. However, the HABA brand is my favorite. Quality German-made toys that look cool and are fabulously interactive.
Oh boy, I'm having trouble knowing when to stop. Looking around, I see so many other great things that I use a lot: the Ikea LEKA gym, her vibrating bouncer seat, the Boppy pillow, a Bumbo seat (which I've only borrowed, but it's so handy that now I know I want one!), BOOKS...
You really can't go wrong when buying a baby gift for new parents! Everything you buy saves them money and lets them try out a product that they may otherwise not splurge on. Babies grow so rapidly that it's great to give stuff for the early months, but I also really appreciate the fact that I have some clothes and toys that she has yet to grow into. I've mentioned before that I love organic clothing. Without a doubt, the organic items are MUCH softer. They are a little more expensive, so that's why they're a great gift to give... something the parent may not spring for themselves. Her homemade gifts (knitted hats, sweater, felted booties, blankets) will be added to the "family heirloom" boxes....
*one final thought: I REALLY appreciated the mama gifts I received. I had just gone through such an intense experience (labor and delivery) and was functioning joyfully on very little sleep... so the tokens (mama & baby yoga video, lotions, jewelry, food) that reminded me that I'm still a woman and seperate from my newborn were much appreciated!