I’ve been on both sides of the fence – as the excited friend of an expectant mum, and as the expectant one myself. As a friend, it’s easy to get all starry eyed about buying that adorable plush teddy bear clasping a heart, or that sparkly pink frock, or an exquisite piece of a train painting for a little boy’s room.
As a mum on the receiving end, however, I’ve come to realize that, quite often, what I most want/need is not what I have been given by my very loving and well-meaning single or newly married friends. And so, here are 5 simple truths I’d like to share with you, as well as 5 gift suggestions for the next baby shower you attend.
Here’s the truth:
1. I already have a ton of hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law, friends with kids, that colleague at work and (gasp) my own mum who kept all my baby clothes in the store room! So,
quite honestly, I’m not too keen on people giving me more clothes. If I do need more outfits, I’d really like to pick them out for myself , thank you very much 😉
2. Cute and cuddly toys looks awesome wrapped up and displayed, but seriously, my baby is not going to give two hoots about that expensive bear until quite a few months later. And if it’s all that plush, I can’t give it to her until she’s at least 2-3 years old, as the fibers and fur can be dangerous for young babies who might breathe or swallow them in advertently.
3. If you’re going to get books for baby, please avoid anything that’s hugely popular – chances are I already have it, or someone else will gift it too!
4. Anything handmade is sure to score brownie points for effort and being unique. Even if I choose not to hang it up, the gesture will definitely touch my heart and I wouldn’t dream of throwing or giving it away…
5. Diaper cakes look cute and all, but they are such a hassle to transport back home, and honestly, you don’t know which brand of diapers I am planning to use, do you?
And here are five gift ideas to consider:
1. Scrapbook kit
This will allow me to get creative without having to use my thinking cap too much. It will be a lovely way for me to capture all those early memories of baby.
Where to get: Paper Market, Raffles City B1
2. Photo printer
Trust me, between my hubby and I, and our respective families, we’re going to have at least 100 pictures of the little one by Day 3. The gift of a photo printer will be extremely helpful in getting our photos printed without having to make a trip to the mall.
Where to get: Canon Selphy, Challenger stores islandwide
3. Mittens and booties
Those early weeks, baby is going to be ripping off or wiggling out of his booties and mittens every so often (and occasionally losing half of a pair). Not to mention covering everything in a wet layer of saliva… having a few extra pairs of these will come in very useful indeed!
Where to get: Kiddy Palace stores islandwide
4. Mini containers
These will come in especially handy when baby starts on solids, and you can never have too many of them around the house! Tupperware is ideal, of course, but you can also get less expensive and cute versions at Daiso. Parents can use these to hold snacks, fresh fruit, pebbles or beans to make a shaker, wooden beads for play, and even milk powder! Plus the lid can be washed to double up as a teether for baby on-the-go.
Where to get: Daiso, Vivo L3 or Robinsons, Centrepoint L3
Yes, they are boring. But do not underestimate the potential of a great shopping voucher! This gift allows the parents-to-be to pick out items for baby that they like/want/need, and is especially welcome if mum-to-be loves to shop! Do try to get the vouchers in smaller units so that they don’t all have to be used up at one shot.
Where to get: Mothercare stores islandwide
By Dorothea Chow