Dear Sharon: I am in desperate need to buy a baby shower gift for a rather savvy fashionable relative. Unfortunately, I am absolutely out of the newborn loop and can’t even begin to figure out what to buy. Should I buy clothing, toys, necessities, or what? Help! – Goo Goo Ga Ga Gift (via Fashion Advice)
Dear Goo Goo Ga Ga Gift: Baby gifts can be rather tricky, sooo many people give what they would like their child to have rather than consider the parent’s tastes or needs. Bravo, for thinking outside of yourself! With this in mind, many moms-to-be register their wish list at a favorite store. You can ask if there is a baby registry and case closed, eeeny meany miny mo, just pick something in your price range and go.
Otherwise, chat up the mom-to-be or whomever is throwing the shower to see if there are any preferences or absolute no-no’s. I’ve known moms to be phobic of anything with an appliqué, certain colors, non-natural fibers, or frilly headbands. Seek things that both look good and are good for the baby.
Try your best to stick to the taste level of the parents. If mom was a funky mama way before the blessed event, she won’t cotton to her “mini me” dressed in a big floral romper with a lacy trimmed Peter Pan collar and a coordinating bountiful bonnet. Hint, BabyGap and Old Navy have darling, hip newborn clothing and they have a lengthy return policy if you include the gift receipt.
Stuffed animals are a given, and that’s the problem. After receiving a few, they become large dust collectors, so I suggest aiming for gifts that either “do something” or have some educational value rather than merely being cute and decorative. But, a stuffed animal filled with baby’s first bath products, like the Baby Bee Gift Basket is a great idea.
Necessities are not a bad gift idea. A carton of newborn or size one diapers will be a tremendous asset once baby arrives. As will some hours of pitch hitting babysitting to let the parents acclimate alone together to the new edition or just let mom go out and get a pedicure.
For the more financial minded, there’s always the gift of equity, like a bond or stock– My First Stock is custom-framed just for the occasion.
A luxurious keepsake like a monogrammed silver rattle or sterling picture frame will be cherished far beyond the first six months. My baby woke us up every morning with the precious jingle from his silver rattle and I will always cherish that sound. There are some wonderful selections available online.
Soft toys that are fun and stimulating are the way to go. Tiny Love Gymini Deluxe: Noah’s Ark Design provides hours of entertainment as baby’s first “gym”. The Lameze series from Learning Curve offers an array of age appropriate marvels designed to foster specific developmental milestones-love the Lamaze First Mirror.
Baby Einstein by Family Home Entertainment is a “video board book” of stimulating images with voiceovers reciting nursery rhymes or counting in six different languages-could a future job at the United Nations be in the cards? Babyscapes Baby’s Smart Start primary colors-red, white, black- images are set to classical music to both relax and stimulate. Of course, any Teletubbie video reinforces “the big hug,” and there’s nothing wrong with that-guarantee you’ll catch yourself humming their theme song in no time.
A Musical Carousel that looks old world beautiful will lull and entertain baby now and be terrific fun for a toddler to wind up. Twist A Pillar by Fisher-Price, is a colorful, friendly caterpillar who coils it’s way around a stroller, crib, swing, or bouncer seat. The Combi Bouncer Seat (babybasics.com) rocks, vibrates, and soothes, plus it’s an attractive go with any kind of home décor navy dot pattern.
Baby transport starts to take on a life of its own. Most new parents can’t live without a Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier (babybasics.com)-opt for a chic simple black or navy. The Snap-N-Go LX Frame Stroller by Baby Trend easily turns an infant car seat into a super-light stroller (with a nice size shopping basket) in a click. Choose a cuddly Layette Set to perfectly swaddle angleface from crib to stroller.
Something mom will never be far from is a diaper bag. Nix the cutesy cartoon prints and find a “real bag” that just happens to organize diapers, wipes, pacifiers, toys, books, bottles, formula, a change of clothing, and other sundry paraphernalia for poopsy all at easy reach for the next waaaaaa. Babystyle.com has an assortment of diaper totes, backpacks, and fanny bags ranging from simple to the trendiest prints-no dancing sheep prints here, but they do have Cindy Crawford on board!.
SHOP: Diaper Bags
Don’t feel limited to buying items only suitable for a newborn; you will be thanked for considering gifts that can be used down the road when the avalanche of useable welcome-to-the-world gifts starts to outgrow itself. Style on.
Copyright (c)2000 Sharon Haver, distributed by FocusOnStyle.com.