Baby's first gift

Alex is the first one of my friends to birth a child.

In the run-up to the delivery, I frequently experienced internal fireworks of excitement so extreme that I had to sit down.

This gift quest would be a doddle. All baby clothes look cute, all the toys are colourful or so soft that you want to rub your face on them. Plus anything in miniature is a novelty.

I was almost at the cash register of Trotters, a very nice baby store, with some tiny rabbit booties when I decided not to proceed with my purchase but to wait.

Although I loved the bunny booties, they weren't exactly Alex's taste. 

Also, after about a month, the baby wouldn't be able to wear them. Alex would probably just end up using them to polish a small mirror. One bunny bootie per finger. It would be a slow task.

Because she wanted to keep the gender of the baby a surprise, people bought her lots of grey, white and yellow gifts. She requested something colourful so I came up with a list of items:

  • mobile for the cot
  • baby crockery and cutlery
  • baby gym mat for tummy time
  • bath toys
  • wall stickers for the nursery

I decided on a Fisher Price baby gym mat with a kick piano. It's awesome.

Fisher Price piano gym | £44.99 | Argos

Fisher Price piano gym | £44.99 | Argos

Nothing like this was available when I was a baby. My mum probably just plonked me down on the floor with a Bible and some dried rice to play with and look how well I turned out!

Alex gave birth to Baby W in June and he is perfect. I have witnessed baby W on the mat. I beheld his intelligent eyes, so full of wonder and his teeny baby toes playing the notes with delicacy.

Baby W is going to be a genius with this level of stimulation.

Gift Ideas for Babies

(Visit my Pinterest board for more)

The right time to give baby gifts

I’m at that stage in life where my contemporaries are having babies. In fact, it seems like every female I know went to a secret meeting and said: ‘Let’s all have babies immediately’ and everyone agreed.

I’ve said before that I think babies are easy people to buy for. But I’m trying to solve the problem of when to celebrate new life with a gift.

My friend Rochelle is Jewish. She believes it is a bad idea to give gifts before the baby has arrived safely. I understand her logic. Not counting your chickens before they hatch is sensible but it does mean that the excitement is tempered for nine months. 

In England, baby showers aren’t the norm. If they were then we’d have a definite date to give gifts and we’d get the mother’s consent to be open and joyous about the occasion. Instead, we’re left to flounder about, fretting about what to do and when it’s OK to do it. 

As with all gift-giving riddles, I think it’s best to be open but to ‘read’ the parents and let their behaviour guide you. Here's my play-it-safe guide:

  • Announcement - send them a card
  • First visit to pregnant mother: something small for the her. It would then be an opportune time to ask the parents what they’d appreciate for the baby. 
  • Baby arrives: go ahead and give a gift for the baby during your first visit. 

By the way. I bought those cute Peter Rabbit pj's from M&S. I bought these for myself when I catch up with my contemporaries and have a little baby.

Check out my baby ideas pinterest board