Some people like to hold a mini celebration for their baby once they hit the three-month mark. Typically, these events involve a photoshoot and drinks with a few close friends and family members. If you get an invitation to a baby’s three-month birthday party, chances are one of the parents sees you as an intimate acquaintance. While it’s not an essential requirement for attending an event like this, bringing a gift along is a well-accepted, probably even expected gesture.
Buying gifts for a baby can seem simple to the uninitiated. After all, at three months (1), babies haven’t formed personalities, so they can’t like or dislike your gift. Even if they did dislike it, they probably wouldn’t remember you as the evil aunt or uncle who got them the gift.
However, if you’ve had to get a gift for a baby, you’ll know just how complicated it can get. The sentiment is common, especially if you want your gift to appear thoughtful and stay relevant for a long time. If you’re like most people, you also want to do something special. There are fewer things more embarrassing than seeing someone else bring the same gift as you to a party.
Baby gifts are as much about the family as they are about the baby – it is important to keep this in mind. If you’re a close acquaintance of the family, then getting a thoughtful gift is less challenging.
Being aware of the needs and preferences of the family is a useful asset when getting gifts. If you can meet a need with your gift, it’ll likely be appreciated by the family.
Quite unfortunately, human relationships are rarely straightforward. There’s always a chance you get invited to the birthday party of a family you barely know. In such instances, getting a gift can get even more complicated. All the information you have about the baby and the parents will still come in handy, no matter how little. However, you will have to get creative with your choice of gifts. To help everyone in baby-gift dilemma, we have put together this list of six excellent ideas for you:
1. Baby Bibs:
If the baby is already being weaned, bibs can be an excellent gift choice. Babies between 0-3 months (2) often drool excessively, and it can dampen their clothes. This can make clothes messy and uncomfortable. Most people try to start weaning their babies a few weeks after birth, which means that your gift will find practical applications. Using bibs helps the kids avoid getting wet from drooling, spitting up their foods or spills during feeding.
But bibs can be more than a functional gift. They can also be stylish to wear. Babywear companies have various designs of bibs that make babies look cute. Some bibs come in a cowboy-like design; others come as complimentary gifts with full outfits. Parents typically have to go through a lot of bibs with babies so you can be sure that yours will be used.
Playmats are an important accessory that many parents forget to get until they need them. For most parents, there’s no obvious need for playmats at the time of birth, but studies have shown that the opposite is true. Sometime around the third month, most babies learn to sit up (3), and that is when parents begin to recognize their need for playmats.
Playmats can, however, be used earlier. They are typically designed to encourage children to develop motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and visual sensory skills. The multi-colored floor tiles of the mats help to achieve all of the aims above. The tiles may also contain letters, numbers, animals, and colors to help the children identify these early.
When looking to get mats, it is best to go for quality over a bargain. If you can get both, then that’s great. However, key qualities that you should look out for in a play mat are that it should be:
- Hand washable
- Able to provide insulation from cold floors
3. Musical Toys:
Psychologists have long advocated for parents to introduce their children to musical sounds early. Music plays a significant role in the cognitive development of children (4) and also helps boost their emotional stability. At their tender age, these rapidly developing babies take to associating sounds with places and people, and that is important for their mental development.
Most psychologists believe that children who are exposed to music at a young age have a faster mental development than those that are not.
When it comes to musical toys, there are several options from which you can choose. The only determinants should be your taste and your budget. Your choices range from a kick and play piano gym to toys that produce sounds when pressed. Regardless of what you choose to go for, you can rest assured that the child will find it a fascinating toy.
4. Teething Toys:
Three months old is around the time most babies start to teeth (5). This can be a particularly trying time for both the parents and the kids.
Teething babies are typically in pain, hence quite irritable and cry a lot. They may also take to biting everything around them as it helps them relieve the pressure on their gums.
This is where teething toys come in. They are designed for babies to chew on. The chewing action provides almost-immediate relief for the children. Although they are designed for chewing, for safety purposes, they are made too big for the babies to swallow.
When shopping for teething toys, always make sure to look for those made with materials that are not toxic to the babies. Common materials used in manufacturing safe teething toys are natural wood, natural rubber, and silicone. Silicone teething toys are the most popular of the three, and they are great at giving babies relief. Even if the baby isn’t teething yet, it can be a thoughtful gift to receive.
5. Baby Outfits:
For someone looking to make an impression with their gift, clothes may seem counterproductive. After all, they’re easy to get, and other people may be doing the same. However, you should always keep in mind that babies outgrow their clothes fast. Parents are often under a lot of financial pressure to replace clothes almost as soon as they buy them because of their fast growth.
Anticipating this need and getting them clothes can be quite thoughtful. Baby clothes are typically classified by their age, so this makes your task easier. You can choose to buy clothes that are a few months ahead of the baby’s current age.
You can also try to be creative with the clothes by customizing them. To do this, you either have to purchase a plain shirt and do the designs yourself or request a custom t-shirt from any of the many baby t-shirt brands. Doing the customization, yourself adds a personal touch to it, which the parents will appreciate, but there’s nothing wrong if you can’t do it. Most people do not have the time or skill required to do designs personally. The thought and message passed through the design are more important than the maker.
6. Mummy and Me Outfits:
Have you ever seen super cute pictures of mother and child wearing matching clothes? If you’ve been searching for baby gifts, the answer is probably yes. Aside from being cute for pictures, these outfits are an excellent way for mother and child to bond. They are particularly ideal if the baby is female. Parents typically use these outfits to create “mini-me” impressions that are beautiful to see both in person or online.
Mummy and me outfits are typically designed for children older than six months who have started crawling or walking. As highlighted earlier, there’s nothing wrong with buying clothes a few sizes bigger than the baby so that they grow into it. The only downside is that you won’t be able to get them as a gift at a future celebration. That said, you can find inspiration for your mummy and me gift items here: http://bitsybugboutique.com/collections/matching-mommy-and-me-dresses-clothing
There are no hard and fast rules for buying gifts for babies. There’s also no reason to put yourself under pressure to pick the perfect gift. Giving gifts has always been a symbolic way of showing that you care about people. In the case of babies, it’s about showing that you care for both the parents, as well as the baby.
The most important thing is to be sensitive to the needs of the parents and the baby when buying gifts. In some cases, they may be in dire need of essentials over clothes and toys. You might not even need to buy them stuff. Offering to help out with some errands may be timelier. Parenting is a hard task, especially in the first few months. Those times are often difficult for both the child and the parents as they both struggle to adapt to new realities. So, while it’s okay to want your gifts to have aesthetic value, you have to make sure they are also functional for the parents.
- “Baby Development: Your 3-month-old” – WebMD.com
- “What Causes Drooling?” – HealthLine.com
- “Child development 3–6 months” – healthywa.wa.gov.au
- “Music lessons improve children’s cognitive skills and academic performance” – sciencedaily.com
- “When Do Babies Usually Start Teething — and Can It Happen Even Earlier?” – – HealthLine.com