If you are a lucky guest invited to a baby shower, you may be wondering what to bring for the bundle of joy. While registries are full of items and gadgets, the choices and their high price tags can be overwhelming. Instead of ordering off the registry, consider saving your money and adding a personal touch by crafting your gift for the baby on the way.
Baby blankets are a thoughtful and useful present for a new mother, who could always use a blanket when she nurses or swaddles her newborn. Before starting on the blanket, you can ask the parents ahead of time about what colours or patterns they prefer. If you are still unsure about the colour scheme, consider gender-neutral choices like warm sunshine yellow or sweet mint green to please any parent.
Use yarns that are a blend of plant and wool or manmade materials, so that they have good elasticity and look for yarns labelled as “superwash” so that they are guaranteed to survive multiple rounds in a washing machine. Check the fiber content of the material and feel the how soft it is on your skin—remember, babies have incredibly sensitive skin that can be irritated by coarse materials. If you are ordering online, a brand like Bernat is a safe choice to order without testing it first, because they label their yarns specifically for baby products. For crafting ideas, go to Yarnspirations to find instructions and simple patterns for crocheting and knitting baby blankets.
Baby clothes are incredibly expensive, especially when you consider how quickly they are tossed away. Babies go through four to five size changes on average in their first year of life, so a lot of clothes get used and thrown away within months. On average, parents can spend $800 to $2500 on baby clothes for the first year. Some might buy cheaper clothing to cut costs, but cheap fabrics won’t last long and deteriorate quickly in a few washes.
Knitting or crocheting baby clothes is a thoughtful gift and an affordable alternative to purchasing cheaply made items. Crafting your items ensures that they are well-made with high-quality products, so that they will keep the baby warm and have a long shelf-life. Even if a baby grows out of a hand-made item, the quality and sentiment guarantee that the item will remain as a keepsake. For your baby shower gift, start with simple clothing items like booties, mittens and hats. If you’re an experienced crafter, try adding fun touches like animal ears on hats or pom-poms on booties.
If the newborn baby is going to have some older siblings that are only a few years older, you can make sure they don’t feel left out of the celebration. Children can get jealous of the attention that a new baby receives, and attending a party for their unborn sibling could make containing that jealousy even more difficult. Make the older brother(s) or sister(s) plush toys to make them feel special and will keep their attention away from all the presents their mom is unwrapping. You can knit or crochet monkeys, mice, or traditional teddy bears to make sure the entire family is happy at the shower.
Any baby shower guest can buy a gift off a registry or run into a store to pull something off the shelf, but it takes effort and care to craft something beautiful. A homemade baby blanket, hat or plush toy is a thoughtful gift that will stay in the family for years, because of its high quality, and more importantly, because of its sentimentality.