Archive | December 2014

Christmas Presents and Gift Wrapping for Babies

My daughter is 7 months old this holiday season. She’s crawling at the speed of a rabbit. She wants to stand all the time. She’s teething. I had to really think about what to get her for Christmas and just how to wrap it in a way that she could open it. I wanted her gifts to be safe, fun and educational.

Here is what I came up with it:

  •  Cloth Books – she loves to read and the cloth books are really nice because she can’t tear out the pages or poke herself in the eye with any hard edges. They also make crinkling sounds which she loves. And some cloth books are designed as natural teethers for babies. I’ve also noticed that these books are easy to take with you everywhere so if you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment or something, you can hold baby’s attention in your lap with these books. And if he or she decides to throw it down on the floor…at least it won’t make a loud noise 🙂

    Reading her cloth book on the plane.

    Reading her cloth book on the plane.

  •  Cloth Dolls – You’ll notice the word “cloth” keeps coming up. That’s because as Amaani tries to stand, she often ends up falling. I try to keep plastic toys away because they can hurt her when she lands on them. And like most babies, she wants to put everything in her mouth. I feel better about her putting the washable materials in her mouth than her plastic toys (which are sometimes too heavy to bring to her mouth anyway but that doesn’t stop her from trying!) I also got her a cloth doll to sleep train her with – a companion in the crib that she won’t be in danger of suffocating on.
  •  The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Love to Play Puppy – this is a good example of an educational toy that can also be fun and safe to play with. We’re all about introducing her to the alphabet, numbers and colors as much we can. We have her whole play area floor covered by an alphabet puzzle mat and colorful baby gates. We also have cloth blocks with numbers and letters. She loves it!

    Alphabet Puzzle Play Mat and Colorful Baby Gates

    Alphabet Puzzle Play Mat and Colorful Baby Gates

  •  Remote Control – Not all of Amaani’s toys are made out of cloth. We just take make sure we don’t leave her unattended with any toy that she could accidentally hurt herself with. For some reason, babies love remote controls so we got Amaani a Click and Learn Remote.
  •  Colorful Teething Blanket – can never have enough teething toys!
  • Donate Toys – We feel very blessed that we have a child, one who we are able to buy such presents for. As a gift to ourselves, we donated toys to Toys for Tots and are looking into donating some at our local hospital once the season is over (the hospitals get a lot of toys this season but needs help throughout the year)

These are just a few ideas but there’s so much one can get for a baby that’s both fun and practical – jumpers, high chairs, baby piano, etc. I had to think about how I was going to wrap everything though. I really want Amaani to open her own gifts so here’s what I did:

  •  Swaddle blanket– I wrapped some of her toys in a swaddle blanket – it’s safe, she can still open it, and she can put the blanket in her mouth without concern.
  •  Gift Bag – She loves gift bags. In fact, she might be more fascinated by the bags than the toys. She loves to teethe on the handles of the gift bag. I thought, this way, she would have fun with the bag and she could knock it down to get to her toys.
  •  Gift-wrap paper – we only used gift wrap paper for one small toy. Our concern with wrapping everything the traditional way was that she might not be able to open her gifts and that she might start eating the wrapping paper (babies put EVERYTHING in their mouth – it’s how they explore the world)

We’re excited about Amaani’s 1st Christmas and know it will be special with or without the presents…. wishing everyone a happy holiday season from our family to yours!

P15

 

The Irony of Motherhood

You find yourself restless at night counting days until your little one will be born… but soon after you find yourself wishing you were able to squeeze in a few more restful nights before the nighttime feedings began.

You want them to fall asleep so you can catch a break… but when they do, you miss them so much you wish they would wake up.

You want them to be surrounded by a village of cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles… but you also don’t want them to get spoiled or in the case of babies- be held for too long because then they’ll always want to be held.

You will do anything and everything to make sure they have no reason to cry… but then you let them “cry it out.”

You always said you would never do what “those” parents did… but then you find yourself doing just that and you’re grateful you did.

You tirelessly try to teach them how to crawl and walk… but then you tire of baby proofing the house and chasing them around.

You want your house to be clean at all times… but you also want your kids to fully enjoy playing and growing up in their home.

You want them to learn to play independently… but you also want them to be social and play well with other kids.

You wish you could have the body you had before the extra pounds and stretch marks… but if it meant choosing that or your child, you would welcome your post-pregnancy body with open arms.

You monitor their weight carefully, making sure they are always growing… but after awhile you begin to wish they were small again and easy to hold and cuddle.

You want them to hurry up and grow older so you don’t have to rock them to sleep or change their diapers or spoon-feed them anymore… but just when they graduate from their entire dependence on you and are beyond the baby/toddler stage, you decide you miss it all too much and want to have another one.  And some of us do just that.