Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: For Babies and Mums-to-Be

Having spent one Christmas 7 months pregnant (Lara), had one baby due on Christmas Day (Sophia, arrived 10 days 'late'), and one due on 6th December (Tatiana, arrived 1 week 'late'), we have received many new baby/young baby and mum-to-be Christmas presents over the years, variously addressed to the bump, the family or the soon-to-be-born!  I was very surprised by a conversation the other day when some friends were saying that they didn't like to buy in-advance baby gifts, as they thought the prospective parents might not like it.

Of course, we can only speak for ourselves, but we loved that this not quite here, or just here, little person was being acknowledged by our friends and families, and that they got gifts as well as their very much here sister(s).  In fact, some of our girls' most treasured possessions are the gifts they received before or just after they were born.  Go ahead and buy one!

Here are some of our favourite ideas for baby gifts this year, and there are of course many babies aged between 0 and 12 months to take into account too.  For older babies, please see our toddler gift guide.

I am slightly obsessed with beautiful leather baby shoes, yes I know I'm on dodgy ground there as a vegetarian, but I do think their soft but protective soles, warmth and beautiful styling are just adorable.  Market leader Inch Blue continues to expand it's wonderful range, and Tatiana has been sent the gorgeous Inch Blue Snowflake in white with silver stars.  They are just beautiful and, of course, perfect for this time of year!

For a baby like Tatiana, who is cruising and attempting her first unaided wobbly steps, they are perfect, and they clean up perfectly too, even being white.  With their stunning presentation this is a perfect gift for any new or expectant parent.  Inch Blue baby shoes are available in 0-6, 6-12 and 12-18 months sizes, in a huge variety of styles, and priced from £19.00.

We recently ran a giveaway for beautiful Bathing Bunnies bathrobes, which we highly recommend for toddlers, but their range of beautifully gift-boxed hooded towels and bath mitts would be a delightful Christmas present to receive.  I think the penguin set is my current favourite, but it's SO hard to choose!  The towelling of these products is so soft and they wash up beautifully.  Here's our review from March, and ours are still in amazing condition.  A beautiful gift, made to last.  Gift sets cost £29.99 and are available in a variety of cute animals characters.

We have always used cups from the girls' toy kitchen as first cups when they started drinking water, and questioned why there weren't suitably-sized baby cups on the market.  Well luckily one innovative mum spotted this gap and has brought out a line of little cups for little people, the  BabyCup.  These little cups support a natural approach to drinking with no gadgets or gizmos getting in the way of learning the process of healthy sipping from a normal cup.  Spouts and no-spill valves have been implicated in numerous health issues, including tooth decay, jaw development, and speech problems; so many health professionals are now recommending the use of an appropriately-sized open cup for optimal development.  BabyCup is just that, and can even be used for cup feeding expressed breastmilk to newborns or premature babies.  The cups are suitable for use up to about 3 years, they are BPA-free, and dishwasher and steriliser safe.  These cups are the perfect accompaniment to a baby-led weaning approach, and help develop fine motor skills too.  Available from JoJo Maman Bebe and Argos online, RRP £7.99.

Fab baby brand Aden + Anais have partnered with the HIV charity (RED) to create a lovely new collection, eponymously named (RED).  Sales from the range go towards helping prevent HIV transmission between mothers and babies in Africa.  We have been sent a pack of 2 over-size muslin swaddles, which are fantastic to use to mop up dribbles and possets, or to use as a blanket or extra layer in the sling, or even as a changing mat cover when out and about.  They are also the perfect size for covering up a sleeping baby in a pram or pushchair, just drape one over the rim.  This fantastic set of two multi-purpose 100% cotton swaddle muslins in a rather festive red and white print of stars and stripes retails at £29.95.

Many of the so-called essentials that you are urged to buy before the arrival of your first child really aren't that essential, as you only find out after shelling out for them all, of course!  But one thing we have used time and again since Lara was born nearly five years ago is our combined room and bath thermometer.  Crank the heating up and you panic that it may be too hot for your precious newborn, turn it down a notch and you worry it may be too cool; and don't even get me started on the potential dangers of testing your baby's bath water with your elbow!  One of these little gadgets is a must-have, and this cute little one from Brother Max is great fun!  


Ray the Bath & Room Thermometer from Brother Max will float in water or stand on a shelf in the bedroom, providing a fast, efficient thermometer reading on its LCD display, and giving visible warnings if the temperature is too low or too high.  Available in blue, pistachio, lavender and tangerine, its cute design is great for toddlers too. RRP £14.99 and available from Boots and other retailers.

For an adorable Christmas treat, how about this cute little Christmas Pudding hat from Cobweb Knits?  Beautifully crafted in the finest wool, and presented in a lovely gift box to keep it pristine, this is such a lovely gift, a real keepsake.  There are many other designs available, including a crown, various animal designs, and many more.  We love our Christmas pudding one!!  Prices start at £15.95.  A gift-wrapping service, including your own special message is also available to make the perfect gift.

The award-winning bibs from Dribblebuster help to keep clothes dry , reduces rashes and laundry, and they look great! Large enough to collect dribble, and designed to fit snugly up to the chin to collect all moisture, they are perfect for those babies who drool when teething. They are made in more than 40 stylish 100% cotton fabrics, including beautiful iconic Liberty prints, and all have a soft fleecy absorbent backing. We love this gorgeous pink one Tatiana has been sent, such fantastic quality and beautifully made. The Dribblebuster range also includes dresses, t-shirts and sleeping bags; prices start at £7.99. http://www.dribblebuster.co.uk/

On a clothing theme, why not keep baby's feet warm with these adorable little slippers from Ruby+Ed.  In a muted gold leather effect with soft, faux shearling lining, they are the perfect pram shoe for colder days.  With functional velcro strap to keep them on and available in sizes 0-6, 6-12 and 12-18 months, they cost £21.50.  An orchid pink velvet bow ballerina version is also available.  Just adorable!

You may have spotted these in our personalised gifts post, but they are so lovely I wanted to highlight them here too.  These Wooden Baby Star Keepsake could be hung on the tree, or hung on the wall, they are just lovely.  A perfect new baby or first Christmas gift, Just £6.50 each.

Baby massage has grown from a slightly odd idea to normal practice in recent years and this lovely book and massage oil from Sam at Mumma Love Organics would be a lovely gift for any new or expectant mama.  The perfect antidote to the busyness that often surrounds a tony baby, this guide to encouraging natural, peaceful sleep from the youngest age is perfect, and offers great advice for new mums too.  The Miracle Oil (£13.95) contains chamomile and lavender essential oils and smells divine.  We have been using it at bedtime for all the girls and it's helping us all sleep better!  While Comfort, Settle & Sleep (£9.99) offers a reassuring hand as you help baby transition from the comfort of the womb to the sensual onslaught of the outside world.

Online retailer My 1st Years offers so many beautiful gift ideas it's hard to know what to choose, but we opted for this beautifully soft and fluffy bathrobe for Tatiana to snuggle in on cold evenings or after her bath.  The Personalised Pink Star Print Hooded Robe retails at £20.00 and can be persoanlised with up to 12 characters in your choice of thread colour and font.  It is so soft and snuggly and generously sized so it will last baby a long time.  Beautifully presented in signature packaging, this will be a much-treasured gift.

For mums-to-be, a lovely pampering kit will always go down well, and one of our favourite ranges is Cussons Mum & Me.  Their Bump Gift Pack contains contains four nurturing and nourishing products from the Bump range:
  • Smooth & Glow Pregnancy Shampoo
  • Soothe and Nourish Body Lotion
  • Relax and Unwind Bath Soak
  • Relax and Unwind Sleep Mist

Containing almond, avocado and grapeseed oils, and scents of camomile and lavender, this collection has every the expectant mama needs to pamper and treat herself.  A lovely gift, priced at £16.99 and available from Tesco, Boots, Sainsbury's and Ocado.

We also love the Neal's Yard Remedies Mother and Baby collection, which includes the lovely Mother Gift Box (£35) full of lovely things like Massage Oil and Bath Oil; and the Mother & Baby Gift Box (£45) which also includes for baby after they are born.

And finally, if you're really not sure what to buy, then pretty much anything baby-related from The Little White Company is sure to go down a treat, just look at this amazing selection!

And don't forget to enter our competitions!

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