Does anyone else get a little freaked out at the thought of buying gifts? I do. I’ve never thought of myself as a good gift giver — I usually get paralyzed by feeling like I don’t have any ideas, or that the ideas I do have are dumb. And gifts are the lowest on my Love Languages hierarchy, so I feel like I just don’t have the right mindset for picking good gifts.
But! I’ve been working on that deficiency of mine for years, and I feel like I’ve come a long way. I’ve wanted to compile a list of gift ideas for expecting moms (for her baby shower, or just because) and baby’s baptism for a while, because I feel like I finally have a good handle on appropriate gifts for these occasions, mostly because of people’s generosity to me since I had my first little one.
I always try to have a gift or two for the mamas in with the gift or two for the baby when I go to a baby shower, or when a friend’s expecting, and I can’t recommend highly enough the Mother’s Manual. Do you have one of these? I’ve turned to it time and again for prayers that are so specific to so many situations! It was my constant companion during a particularly difficult time recently, and a source of immense comfort. I seriously wanted to run right out and buy a hundred of them and hand them out to all the moms I know. And though this isn’t new-mom specific, I just finished My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell, and I’m feeling like I want to give this to all the women I know as well. It discusses marriage and motherhood as well as lots of other things Catholic women of today struggle with. I loved it.
When my babies are brand new, I always feel like I’m in a state of constant near-panic that something will happen to them. Crazy, I know! But I seriously feel a reassuring sense of peace every time I see their Guardian Angel Crib Cross (pink and blue and white) hanging over their cradle. It just reminds me I’m not in it alone, you know?
My boys have always loved the Wooden Rosaries we have and my parents have from my growing up as well, and I love that they start to love the Rosary from their tenderest years through them. And I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again — they also love Fr. Lovasik’s Picture Book of Saints. It’s hands-down my first recommendation if you go to a shower where they ask you to bring a book for the baby’s library.
Finally, per her experience raising my sibs and I, my mom always gives us a blanket when our babies are born — a blanket intended to be *the* blankie/lovey — and it’s always been this kind, which I’ve really enjoyed over the years not only because half of my boys have taken to their grandma-gifted blanket in the way intended, but also because Carter’s seems to come out with a new design (usually based around an animal but not always) each year (which goes on its blankets, onesies, outfits, etc.), and it’s gotten so that I’m intrigued with each baby to see what the new design is. I feel like I can trace my motherhood through a timeline of Carter’s designs! (We have a horse; a blanket with “Baby” in bubble letters in the corner; a puppy with paw prints; a puppy with a bone; a monkey; and zoo animals.) I should also note that my mom always gives us *two* of the exact same blanket, so that one is always clean and ready in case the other needs to go in the wash. It’s worked out so well for us that I’ve started doing the same for others.
I do say “half of my boys” though because the other half connected with something different, despite my best efforts (draping it on them when they were nursing, snuggling them with it, etc.) — one received a blanket similar to this from a friend of mine, which he has loved nearly threadbare. Another latched onto a stuffed lamb that looks a lot like this (though it didn’t come with a blanket as this one does). And my last loves an exquisitely gorgeous homemade quilt that I wish I could link to for you but alas, my friend doesn’t have a shop. But I will offer that this seems to be quite popular — we’ve received a couple, which I love — they’re so beautiful and luxurious!
So those are the ideas I have for you tonight! I hope they’re helpful! Happy weekend! (So many exclamation points!)
UPDATED TO ADD: How could I forget??!! Of course every expectant mama needs a name book (or two)!! I would absolutely recommend including the Baby Name Wizard book and perhaps The Catholic Baby Name Book or one of the many other books I list on my Resources and recommendations page in a baby shower gift, especially if the parents are expecting their first baby, or if you know that one or both of them love names, or if you know they’re stumped for ideas (in which case you could also direct them here. 🙂 )
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