Monday 26 August 2013

My Favourite New Baby Gifts

Disclaimer: I was compensated for writing this post, but all words and thoughts are my own.

When you have a new baby, you should expect to get to know your postman pretty well. For the first few weeks, every morning will see a new parcel or package arriving. Some mornings you may even answer the door with your bra hanging out, because breastfeeding and sleep deprivation are a dangerous combination.

Ebony got so many presents when she was born. Every guest brings presents, and those that live far away send them by post. We didn’t have Ebony christened because we’re not religious, but we had a huge party for her first birthday, and she got another truckload of presents then. I was thinking recently about the gifts that stand out, and will be treasured for years to come.

Homemade gifts
I am lucky to be surrounded by very talented and creative friends. I love homemade gifts, I think it’s really special to be given something unique made specially for you. My friend, Jo,  made ‘Leonard’ (the name for our sex-unknown developing foetus) a quilt when I was pregnant. I absolutely love it. I love the fabrics she used, the pattern of the quilt, and the fact that she spent time on it. We used it as a playmat when Ebony used to topple a lot, and now it takes pride of place in her room.

One of my other favourite gifts was a keepsake set given to use by my friend. The kit featured two little frames, some non-toxic ink and some paper to capture your baby’s hand and footprints. I finally got round to using it when Ebony was two weeks old, when I had finally convinced myself to be brave and cover my baby in ink. I managed to get a really great footprint, and a smudge where her handprint should be. In hindsight, I think you’re probably meant to attempt the handprint when the baby is sleeping. I think it’s a really special keepsake, and I can’t quite believe that Ebony’s feet were ever so tiny.

Personalised gifts
When I was little, I had a wooden spoon with my name, date and time of birth on. I still have it somewhere. I couldn’t ever get personalised things from gift shops because they never had ‘Fiona’, and I’m certain Ebony will face the same problem. One of my friends bought some brightly coloured hand-painted animal letters to spell out Ebony’s name. We don’t intend on staying in the house forever, so we haven’t put them up on her door, but they’re displayed on the mantelpiece in her bedroom. I think it’s nice to have personalised items, so these were one of my favourite gifts.

Sentimental gifts
A few people gave Ebony presents that reflected their own experiences. A friend gave her one of his favourite children’s books, another gave her a toy she remembered playing with from childhood. I think it’s nice that people bought Ebony gifts that they themselves enjoyed as children, for some reason it makes the gift feel even more special, because it is like passing something down to the next generation. There are so many experiences and traditions I want to pass on to Ebony, and it’s great that our friends and family want to do the same.

There are so many different new baby gifts to choose from, and you can easily spend hours wandering the aisles of tiny pink and blue outfits, trying to choose your favourite. Ebony was given so many amazing presents, I don’t think I could ever pick a favourite, but the ones listed above are definitely up there.

What was your favourite new baby present, and why?

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