I’m off to a baby shower this weekend. As I like to do, I scoured the registry early so that I had the pick of the list, and went with something I thought would make a good theme. This time I selected a baby rocker and settled upon a sleep theme.
It seems to be the trend now that rather than taking a card to a baby shower, you’re asked to share a beloved book. With the price of a card often being high, building a library instead seems to make sense.
There are so many wonderful children’s books. We have many, many favorites, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Goodnight Gorilla. But taking along one of these classics may mean that you end up giving something that someone else has also chosen. Below are some other suggestions. – All of which would make fabulous reading material for a young mind.
The This is series features a different city in each book, such as London, New York and Rome, allowing you to personalize your selection. They were created and illustrated in Miroslav Sasek’s striking hand, making these a stylish choice. Another old classic, from 1946, is How to Behave and Why. This has some wise words to impart which parents will appreciate.
A reworked classic that will please the fashionista Mom-to-be is This Little Piggy Went to Prada, an irreverent and witty take on traditional nursery rhymes. The same story is retold rather cleverly in The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale, this time aimed at architecture buffs.
Future classics include Shhh! Don’t Wake the Royal Baby, a must for royalists. While artistic types will like the New York Times bestseller Mix It Up! which introduces children to color through an inventive participatory experience.
Other professions are catered for with I Am a Zookeeper and One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent. The former is comprised of pictures featuring lots of activity, which generates conversation. The latter takes the Seuss format while providing knowledge on all things monetary.
Finally, for a more traditional book I’ve included Paddington Bear All Day, a nice little amble through the loveable bear’s day.
For baby showers I like to stick to the gift list. It’s nice to know that what you’re giving is needed/wanted and it also makes returns easy for the recipient. However, I still like to inject some creativity into the process. So I carefully view the list and pick some things that are visually appealing and would pull together as a theme.
If the invite dictates a theme (say, the jungle) then that’s a good place to start. Last weekend our whole family was invited to a wonderfully relaxed celebration with the creative title of Burgers, Brats & Baby Talk. Nothing on the list fit with that concept but there were a couple of sea-inspired items, so they became my starting point: a Tranquil Turtle and a Soothe and Glow Seahorse. We were also asked to bring a book instead of a card, so I chose Wish For A Fish, a Dr. Seuss book.
Using blue and green wrap and trim I was able to create a sea worthy present for a boy.
These days there are baby products to cater for every possible need – and a lot of things that you have no real need for. I’ve tried to be discerning when making purchases, particularly now that we’ve had our second child. (We just don’t have the space.) However, there are some items that we would love even if we didn’t have kids. These would make excellent gifs, being appreciated not just by baby but by the grown-ups too. A selection are shown below – for the big kids amongst us:
a – Burberry Baby Touch – a gentle perfume that works for mummys as well as babies
b – Chewbeads Astor Teething Necklace – a practical choice that also makes a lighthearted fashion choice
c – Twinkles To Go Octo – a cute nightlight that projects stars to magical effect
d – Jack Johnson Curious George CD – upbeat tunes that are easy on the adult ear
e – Sleep Sheep On The Go – a sound machine that makes you feel like you’re at the spa
I’ve always been rather obsessed with purses, and now that I have two small children that obsession has carried over into diaper bags. Under the guise of searching for the perfect one I’ve purchased a couple. (I use the word ‘couple’ in it’s more general definition, not meaning just two!) With this experience I feel qualified in making some recommendations in this area. Diaper bags make perfect gifts, being among the most appreciated baby shower items. They are, after all, virtually the only thing that is not solely for the baby, and if chosen correctly can make a mom-to-be feel attractive and stylish. Here are some of my favorites:
Skip Hop Versa:
(Source: Skip Hop)
The Versa functions like a diaper bag (insulated pockets, changing pad, etc.), but looks like a regular purse. I like it’s compact appearance and the way it sits close to the body. This is a great hands-free option for when I’m toting a toddler with no stroller to lighten the load.
Skip Hop Dash:
For going on the stroller I like the Dash. Skip Hop make some of the best diaper bags out there. Their bags come with stroller clips for easy attachment, and have all the practical features you could want. The Dash works well because it’s rigid shape means that nothing gets lost in the bottom.
Storksak + Bugaboo Leather Bag:
If the Mom-to-be is getting a Bugaboo stroller then the Storksak + Bugaboo Leather Bag would be a luxurious upgrade for her. Being leather it’s very practical, and in this dark color Dad would not object to carrying it either. This would be a generous gift to purchase in a group.
Marc Jacobs Elizababy:
The Elizababy is my absolute favorite from a style perspective. With a combination of short handles and crossbody strap it has good versatility. But what I particularly love is the fabulous print (Jerrie Rose) – both bold and feminine – which goes with a surprising amount of things.
Orla Kiely For Target:
Another designer I’ve always admired is Orla Kiely. Her recent designs for Target have made these distinctive pieces much more affordable. The diaper bags are worth checking out, with a recognizable stem design in attractive red or navy.
Giggle Pronto! Mini Changer:
Finally, for popping out of the house on quick errands, or for adding the essentials to a regular purse, a clutch version works perfectly. I use the Giggle Pronto! Mini Changer, which includes the essential mat while also holding just enough for a short outing.
I’m always on the look out for the perfect diaper bag – either for myself or as a gift – so I’d be interested to hear other people’s favorites.