A new life! What a special gift! In just a few weeks, I will be become a great aunt. The excitement is exceptionally wonderful as there’s not been a new baby in our family for some years. When this latest addition was announced a few months back, I was in a real quandary about what I would give to the new mother at her first baby shower.
As I began my search, I centered my thoughts on something that would be of long-lasting value for the new mom, dad, and baby. There are just so many wonderful, useful, and affordable gifts to choose from. After a good deal of pondering and searching online, I decided on my ten favorites and thought to share them with my readers. However, before I get started, allow me to share a few thoughts on gifts in general.
We all have a certain philosophy on our approach gift giving and receiving. Some of us don’t care one way or another, while others (and I am one of them) have a special appreciation for both giving and receiving gifts. The degree of our caring may even be tied to our childhood experiences.
In my family gifts were few and far between. My parents, although wonderful, were simple working folks, and extra money for gifts was in short supply. My brother and I received one gift each at Christmas, and our birthdays were only celebrated with my mother’s great chocolate cake.
Our joy for these few simple gifts was an occasion of happiness and appreciation, and fond memories of them still exist in my mind. As I contemplate those times, I realize now it wasn’t about the actual gift. Rather, it’s knowing that they came at a great sacrifice from my parents. Today when I give or receive a gift, I think a little prayer that it may become a special bridge of remembrance between myself and the receiver, or vice versa.
Those memories of gift giving and receiving will always remain in your heart and mind. The time you spend in carefully choosing your gifts will bring smiles long after the occasion…even if that person is no longer with us.
This quote from Science Daily says it even better than I can:
“Gift exchanges can reveal how people think about others, what they value and enjoy, and how they build and maintain relationships. Researchers are exploring various aspects of gift-giving and receiving, such as how givers choose gifts, how gifts are used by recipients, and how gifts impact the relationship between givers and receivers.”
The Easy Way to Shop for Your Next Gift
As I set out on my shopping trip, it occurred to me that we can now do most of our shopping online with minimal effort! That, I’m sure, isn’t a surprise to any of you, but I’m no expert at online shopping. Rather rather than make my purchase through the internet, I researched the best choices online and then found local stores that had the products I most liked. The best of both worlds for those of us who prefer to buy local.
(Oh, and stopping at a quaint little restaurant to sip a cup of tea and ponder which of the lovely things I’d just seen would be coming home with me was an added perk!)
Below are my ten best finds. Enjoy!
My #1 Choice: The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care
I definitely knew that I wanted to include at least one book. After several days of searching for a good fit that would have value over the long term and could be taken off the bookshelf for any future babies, I settled on The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morrell and Thomas S. Cowan, MD.
This book contains seventeen power-packed chapters on prenatal diets, natural birthing, breastfeeding, vaccines, and nourishing your infant and growing child. It also covers childhood illness, allergies, asthma, and eczema, and even includes wonderful remedies and recipes galore.
The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care meets all the requirements I feel are critical to Mom and Dad (and yes, of course, the baby). This resource will help our new mother rear a super happy and healthy baby, and there will be fond memories as they discover raw milk and many other profoundly nourishing foods. A sure bet if you want to have a truly healthy baby!
As noted on Amazon, this multifunctional three-in-one travel bag from Boxum Baby “folds into the size of a regular diaper bag, giving you the freedom to carry your bassinet with ease while still retaining room for your baby’s essential diaper changing needs. The waterproof wipe clean mattress and machine washable fitted sheet make cleaning up leaks a breeze!”
My #3 Choice: Government Bonds
Government bonds can be a godsend when the child reaches twenty years of age. Giving bonds along with The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care gives the parents great child-rearing health advice and also helps prepare the child with a secure way to save. As the website Investopedia explains: “The U.S. Treasury offers two types of savings bonds. The first is called a Series EE bond. Sold at half its face value, all Series EE bonds receive a fixed and stated rate of interest. However, if the bond is held for 20 years, the value of the bond will double and result in an effective pre-tax interest rate of 3.53%.”
My #4 Choice: Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat
The Britax B-Safe car seat seems to be one of the few car seats that won’t leave parents swearing over as they install it. The easy-to-use features make it my top choice for car seats. The website The Bump gives it a great review (includes a helpful installation video):
“This one has two push-button lower latch connectors on either side of the base. You push these connectors straight into the seat cushion pan, push the red button to open the shark-tooth shaped closure to snap it onto the anchors—all the while your hands stay in plain sight. It took a total of less than five minutes for the base to snap in place. Once in, my husband and I checked the level indicators located on either side of the base. If the green bar isn’t in the level position, you can adjust the base to five different positions. As we learned when we were trying to figure out how to level the base, the push bar can be a little sticky and we nearly pinched our fingers trying to adjust the base.”
My #5 Choice: Ergobaby Carrier
This snuggly looking baby carrier is the perfect place for a baby. The security and love that emanates from Mom’s body must be awesome. According to the website, “Our premium Original baby carrier is great around the house or on-the-go, so you can get more done. It has a big, roomy pocket to carry all your essentials.” Here are some other things that make this such a great gift:
- It’s comfortable an ergonomic for both you and your baby.
- It includes an extra-large, zippered storage pocket.
- It comes with newborn infant insert, 0–4 months (7–12 lbs. sold separately).
My Number #6 Choice: Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet
I’ve read a good deal about the benefits of co-sleeping with your baby. This versatile co-sleeping bassinet from Arm’s Reach seems like the perfect way to go about it, as it includes the option to use it both a bedside sleeper and a freestanding bassinet.
Here’s a little more about co-sleeping from the website Mama Natural:
“Cosleeping is the act of a newborn, baby, or child sleeping close to one or both parents. While some people consider co-sleeping to mean that baby is within arm’s reach, others qualify it as parents and baby sleeping in the same room. This could mean baby has their own bed (or crib) in the same room, a bed adjacent to the parent’s bed, or sleeping in the same bed as one or both parents.”
My #7 Choice: Baby Bouncers
Baby bouncers seem to be a great babysitter for busy moms. Check out this list of the six of the best baby bouncers out there. As many parents are now incorporating music into child rearing with great results, I recommend finding one with an MP3 player or other music features. What a wonderful way to introduce baby to the music of Mozart.
Here are my remaining gift choices, which I would recommend bestowing along with a gift card.
Skip Hop Moby Floating Baby Bath Thermometer: According to the manufacturer, this adorable bath thermometer will help you “achieve the ‘just right’ temperature for baby’s bath water! When not in use, suction to any tiled surface for easy storage and safekeeping. Replaceable battery included: lasts for over six months on average; BPA-free, phthalate-free.”
Noncontact Infrared Thermometer: This FDA-approved and pediatrician-recommended three-in-one thermometer from [email protected] can take human body temperature at the center of the forehead from a distance of 1.2–2 inches. Other great features include:
- Advanced infrared detection system gives reliable and stable measurements
- Three-in-one mode to measure body, object surface, and room temperature
- Sound/silent button, beep and LCD backlight blink alarm (if temperature is more than 100.4°F)
- Storage of the previous thirty-two measurements
Comotomo Natural Feeding Bottle: Designed to closely mimic breastfeeding and reduce bottle rejection, this feeding bottle from Comotomo features an ultra-wide neck that allows easy cleaning by hand. It’s also safe to place in the microwave, boiling water, dishwashers, and sterilizers.
Last but not least, here’s a great recipe from The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care (p. 286):
Custard for Baby
Caution: This recipe contains honey, which isn’t safe for children under twelve months. Only serve this custard to children over a year old. (For more information on first foods for babies, check out Monica Corrado’s elegant chart “Nourishing Healthy Babies: First Real Foods.”) Makes 6 servings.
1 cup whole raw milk
1 cup heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized)
¼ cup honey or rapadura sugar
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Warm milk and cream gently over a low flame. Meanwhile, beat honey or rapadura with egg yolks. Slowly add milk and cream mixture to eggs, beating constantly. Blend in vanilla and pour into individual buttered ramekins or custard cups.
- Place in a pan of hot water and bake at 325°F for about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean. Chill well.
Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.