Looking at those first-birthday pictures of my mom and uncle earlier this week got me thinking about babies. Am I the only one who knows like a dozen couples who are expecting in the fall or recently had a baby? I can’t even keep them all straight anymore. Friends from high school, summer camp and study abroad, neighbors, coworkers, dog park acquaintances — name a social circle and I’m sure I know someone in it who’s having a baby this year.
Sometimes I’m really on top of things and manage to knit a blanket or something, but more often than not I’m looking for something I can send off quickly. So, I thought I’d mix things up here on the mirthmobile today and share some of my favorite, most excellent gift ideas for wee ones of many ages!
If either of the parents-to-be is a music buff, it’s hard to go wrong with baby-size gear from their favorite band. The child of my friend from camp was the lucky recipient of a Pearl Jam onesie; she looked like the coolest kid on the block in it.
Granted, not every group is going to have official babymerch, but if you can’t find it on the band’s website, you can almost certainly find rock ‘n’ roll duds (in lots of sizes) for your kid on Etsy, Ebay or any number of other online sources.
Next up, we have an Uglydoll named Poe. Poe happens to be my family name, and it also happens to be a kickass Uglydoll — it was meant to be! I ordered four or five of these at once a few years back just so I could dole them out as needed.
We can’t all be so fortunate as to have an eponymous Uglydoll, but there are dozens of quirky, funny-looking critters to choose from. They each come with a little personal background attached as well. It actually looks like Poe might have been discontinued (what the hell?!), but, glory be, Amazon still sells it.
Now, this one I haven’t bought for anyone yet, but I’ve got plans, big plans. This guy caught my eye at my favorite local haunt, Young Blood Gallery & Boutique.
photo from sweetandsourgoodies.com
Yes, that is a little stuffed German boy, brought to you by Sweet & Sour Goodies. OK, it’s actually Hansel of Hansel & Gretel, and they make a Gretel to go with him, but I think this one is pretty awesome all on his own. Really, who doesn’t want to snuggle up with a tiny blond man in Lederhosen with angry eyebrows? Germany friends, you’ve been warned.
As with the Uglydolls, there’s a vast collection of Sweet & Sour plush dolls, from nuns to yetis to vikings to ballerinas. You can even have them make a custom doll, though that’s another one of those gifts that requires forethought.
If you’re more of a book-giver, in my family we’re partial to the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney. (Surely I’ve mentioned by now that my mother is known to many as Llama, yes?)
Llama Llama Red Pajama, about bedtime routines for little llamas, is the first book in the series; a fifth book about sick days at home with mama will hit shelves in August. (The others are about missing mama, being mad at mama and holiday drama.) Also, bonus: they make a Llama Llama stuffed animal! Everybody wins.
The other book I love to give has local ties. If you’ve been to an arts festival in Atlanta in the past decade, you’ve seen artist James Dean peddling his paintings of Pete the Cat. A couple of years ago, my mom and I noticed he was selling a children’s book featuring Pete as well called I Love My White Shoes.
This book is rad. Pete the Cat strolls about town is his nice white shoes, and when he walks through something that stains them a new color, he just rolls with it and goes on singing about his awesome red/blue/brown shoes. It has excellent artwork and even comes with a bonus CD/song download. I just learned in writing this post that there is a second Pete the Cat book coming out this month. Another one to add to the list! I also discovered that there’s a plush Pete as well.
Well, that about wraps up my kid-friendly gift guide. Hopefully this roundup gives some of you out there in blogland with friends with babies ideas if you need them. If not, at least I’ve made note of presents I like to buy in case I ever forget.