(Si vous désirez lire cet article en français, vous le trouverez ici).
A few weeks ago, I joined a bloggers community, who raise their children multiculturaly and multilingualy (see at the end of the article). In honor of the newborns of the members of the group, it has been proposed a very kind project of writing posts that might interest new parents, future parents, their family and friends or whoever works with babies. I choose to talk about the gifts we can offer at the birth, and specificaly about clothes and other textiles.
One of my cousin will have her first baby at the end of June and I dedicace her this post. Good luck Céline for the last trimester!
When I was pregnant with my first child, a few friends offered me clothes their children had already worn. These second-hand have helped me so much! I also received many new clothes, and I remember fondly of a box that traveled from USA, full of lovely bodys, pyjamas, and 2 cosy and funny baby-blankets that I used quite a lot! [thank you, again, family Reber!] Of course, my husband and I we enjoyed shopping for our son even before his birth. The result was that as soon he was born, I had everything a young mum would need for the first months of her baby's life (and in some cases, too much!)
|Why are you talking about clothes? |
I'm a naughty boy who prefer to crawl naked
(save the diaper) on my favorite blanket!
Since my second child is a girl, I couldn't use once more many things. Luckily, my friends have been here for me and gave me used clothings. And the biannual sales were quite helpful too to fill the wardrobe with pretty dresses, tights, bodys, and vests for her first year of life.
|A gift that had been worn very often with great joy.|
A pretty, buttoned in the back and easily cleaned dress
for a beautiful princess on Sundays.
However, even if I didn't have to run in a nearby clothes shop when some emergencies happened, I also had some gifts that couldn't be worn or that weren't practicals. I will now explain some tips to be adequate with the needs of the parents.
You have found a clothe so a-do-ra-ble that you have to offer it for the birth of your niece's first child? Before checking out, ponder two seconds about the situation. When the baby is due? In summer, in winter or at midseason? Which size did you take? Oh, right, it's one month old. It's such a pity this dress is thin and with shoulder straps... because I'm rather sure that the new mother will not clothe her small princess of 10 days in such a dress in the middle of December... And the overalls in linen you want to give to your neighbor for her youngest son? It's three months size? Well, it's sad that we are already in october and that he will be two month tomorrow, he won't be able to wear them very often. Perhaps one or two times, if he's not too big...
The first tip, the most important one in my mind, before even thinking of the terrific effect of this so lovely dress in lilas coton and old pink satin you're holding in your hands, or the beige linen overalls for a newborn, is: What is the parents' situation?
If you know quite well the future / new parents, you probably know their clothes style, the size of their home and the capacity of storage at their disposition. And especially, you know if they have enough finances to buy new clothes in a reasonable quantity for their kid.
If it's not the case, ask them directly what they wish as birth gifts. Nowadays, birth gifts lists (or wish lists) are rather a common occurrence. They list the clothes needed, the baby equipment and some toys they would like to receive. It's so more pleasant to be sure that our gift will be valued and utilized!
If the parents didn't write down a wish list and you don't know their tastes in clothes:
- The parents live in a "quite small" housing. OK, I am talking about the ones living in city centers where the rent is high and the flats smaller. Think useful! When someone doesn't have much storage places, he must buy useful. So, princesses dresses and fragile uniforms, let the parents or the grand-parents buy them. Better to give them pyjamas, socks, tights, t-shirts and trousers that could be daily worn and easily cleaned (if small flats, no laundry room to put huge dirty clothes' bags!) A blanket or bath towels are also a good idea.
- The parents live in the countryside. For exemple, rubber boots in size 18 months, waterproof jacket in size 1 year, practical clothes, easy to wash and durable are gifts that will be loved. Children, as soon as they know how to crawl or walk, are fascinated by grass, flowers, animals, etc.
- The parents have a small budget. Offer expensive (but useful) piece of clothes that the children will wear until their 1 or 2 years old: jackets, coats, winter suit, shoes. Or invest in baby equipment (I know it's not the topic for this post, but I couldn't let it pass)
- The parents "adequate" incomes. Well, as said above, ask them directly!
|Pants, tights, practical shoes, body, t-shirt, pull-over and coat.|
The must-have for a happy 18 months old girl / boy at the playground.
Now, we're going to talk about the clothes in themselves. The choice is rather large so that it's quite difficult to decide which one to buy. Whoever the baby recieving your gift is, a girl or a boy, the first thing you have to remember is: how do you tie it? how do you slip it on?
A new born baby can't be handle as a two years old toddler. You have to buy clothes easily put on and with a front opening! And wait a little bit for the funny and lovely buttons (animals, flowers, etc) that are so exasperating to close! Pyjamas with a back opening are adapted for older babies: buy them in size 6 months and more. As for the T-shirts, always look for the ones with a opening on the front (like a shirt or a polo) or on the shoulder. Babies having a wide cranial perimeter, the tops without buttons will soon be impossible to put "through" the head, although they will still fit the body. (clothes makers have to really think about that!!!)
|PJ opening at the front.|
For trousers and overalls, verify that an opening is found betwwen the legs: it's so much easier to change diapers! And don't forget the elastic waist that can be adjustable! Every kids aren't "fat" (and they change from chubby to slim quite often), and the trousers lost in the middle of the hall by the beloved crawler can be unerving...
The main thing is that closures can not embarrass or hurt the child. And that parents do not spend hours to dress the little darling.
If it's a clothe in size 1 year old and older, and I recommend you to do so if you buy it new, the choice is even bigger and the type of closure is less important. However, the trousers must have snaps or zips until the child is 6 years old... Underwears full of pee because the "naughty" couldn't open his trousers and neither wait longer, one time ok, but not two!
About materials and fabrics, prefer cotton (and mixed fabrics with cotton and a little synthetic). The parents won't have time to do "delicate" laundries the first weeks after the birth. Furthermore, leaks from diapers ask for a high temperature wash (60°C at least...). Forget the pretty dresses in silk and linen trousers (even if they are natural fibers...).
Here's a tip: if possible, wash the clothes you're going to offer and iron them. In doing so, the clothes will be wearable as soon as received and the colors won't dye out on the others items. Happy mother and father at noon o'clock!
List of must have for a baby and could be offered:
* bath towels for babies and bath robe when the baby is older than 1 year.
* tights (girls AND boys)
* trousers and leggings/joggings
* body suits
* dresses (for girls)
* coats, vests, etc
* winter suit
* winter caps and summer hats
I can't write an article about baby clothes without talking about second-hand outfits. You know, the kind od second-hands that totally save our saturday's evening when we discover that the darling sunshine outgrew his PJ's because of a sudden growth spur... Hopefully, there was a friend of yours that gave you two Ikea bags full of worn clothes from her grown up children, but perfectly useful. And in them, there are always treasures and week-end saviors.
|See this outfit? I bought only the tights.|
The non-skid socks were a gift, the skirt and
the top (neckline opens at the back with snaps)
are second-hand clothes.
I would like to thanks now all my friends and all the women I don't know that well but who have so kindly given second-hands clothes from their children or grand-children. They were so useful!!! My whirlwinds of children worn them frequently.
So, don't be shy and give away to the pregnant women or new mommy, in your neighborhood or from your relatives, your box full of clothes. They will be forever grateful! And even if the clothes won't perhaps not all of them fit the baby or won't be the right size for the right season, they will find another owner when they will be given again to another young mom.
If you're wondering how many of each type of clothes you need for one baby, here's a very good post about this topic.
Finally, I invite you to look at the websites specialized in hand-made clothes for babies. Unique models at affordable prices (for many of them) will help you to find an original present. And what's best is that you will pay talented people who need more a financial contribution than the multinational firms...
I'm sure that wherever you live you can find in your area creators, seamstresses and shops that will propose you quality hand-made clothes and textiles, as much as on-line shops.
Here are some ideas for hand-made gifts on french websites (it's in french):
a little maman, the new website from "a little market" (online marketplace) , dedicated to future mothers and babies. Vintage, hand-made and customized clothes for all tastes and prices.
I hope my post would have helped you in searching for a perfect piece of clothes to offer for a new baby and maybe made you ponder about all the baby clothes you have actually stored away and that you could give to someone else. Till next time!
If you have other tips to share, I will be glad to know them. The comments section below is open for your insight.
Mother of 1 boy (Captain Tornado) and 1 girl (Princess Sophia)
User of both second-hand and new clothes.
At Multicultural Kid Blogs, we consider ourselves a (very large) extended family, and so today we are taking time to celebrate those members that are about to or have recently welcomed new little ones into their lives. We are so happy for them!
The co-hosts of this blog hop, listed below, have each written posts related to baby showers or more generally about becoming parents, plus we'd love for you to link up yours below.
Also be sure to visit our Facebook page to leave your advice and well wishes for our guests of honor!