Babies can actually be surprisingly hard to shop for. After all, most things “for babies” are either for the care of the baby or for Mom. Let’s take a mental trip down Target’s baby aisle…..We have diapers. then pureed foods and food mills and bowls and bibs,
then all the kinds of smell good stuff we love babies to have along with breast pumps and diaper cream,
then car seats car seats car seats,
and finally tons and tons of clothes.
There’s a tiny amount of toys sprinkled in with the other toys but babies aren’t really interested in toys until they’re not babies anymore (and I think baby toys are a huge waste of money anyway, especially if they’re not your first. Young children only have eyes for what big brothers and sisters are doing. You’re better off buying Duplo, even if they can’t play with them “properly” for another year or two).
So what can you buy baby then? I’m a big fan of what I call long-term gifts. The kind of thing that will continued to be used throughout childhood.
Here are some of the things I’m planning for our baby girl:
Stuffed Matryoshka Dolls from Little DeMoura Designs
Aside from being cute, these dolls are well made enough to be cuddled when your child is little and then to sit on display when she gets older. The smaller one even rattles.
$10 for the 5″ doll, $12 for the 7″ doll.
Invest in a beautiful baby blanket.
I love this one from Neverland Nook because it reminds me of the one Duchess Kate had for Prince George, without the weird ruffled edge.
We were blessed with many many handmade blankets for our two children but unfortunately the people that made them are either no longer with us, or past the point where they can do it anymore. There is nothing more wonderful than your children having knitted/crochet blankets. They are soft and cuddly, and don’t seem to hold the dust and bad smells that store purchased blankets often do.
$45 for a 31X34″ blanket.
Waldorf Knot Doll
You can make a very simple one of these yourself, or buy a pretty one from Pearl and Poppy Shop. Children really seem to love these half doll or animal/half blanket combinations. They’re the kind of thing that most often turns into the one precious comfort object they can’t live without.
Begin their book collection
I really like new Puffin’s Classic and In Bloom series. Antique shops are a great place to find beautifully illustrated children’s books. Oldchildrensbooks has many wonderful antique children’s book, and if you need help thinking of some great vintage books, here’s an entire website dedicated to them
Of course, it will be awhile before baby can read or be read chapter books, but there are lots of other great children’s collectible books out there.
And I cannot get enough of the watercolors Amy Bates does.
Both of these artists also sell their illustrations seperately from books if you just want prints….
…or buy some of these prints
Art work for children isn’t something we usually think about much but some magical illustrations can really do wonders to the feel of a room.
There are many websites like The Graphics Fairy, where you can print off prints yourself
There are also lots of brilliant artists who make children’s art, like Crabby Nicks, who I first saw in a store in Savannah, where he’s from
Plane painting $38
And The Little Fox
Don’t underestimate Classic toys, like a rocking horse
Both of my children loved loved loved rocking horses. I would stick to a very simple one, probably an actual horse, instead of those plush elephants or caterpillars. Those are cute but eventually they will become too “babyish” and get stained and be put in the give away pile. The same could be said for blocks or hammering toys. The more simple they are, the longer they’ll stick around.
People just swear up and down about these amber beads. They’re not terribly expensive ($18-$28) and very pretty. I would wear them and I’m not even teething.
Hopefully that gives every one some good ideas about what to get those little ones in your life! Let me know of any other great baby gifts that I missed!