Right now, it seems like every other family I know is expecting a baby.
And I couldn't be more thrilled for them. Hooray for babies! Over the past few months, I've become pretty well-practiced, I think, at putting together baby shower gifts that are a happy mix of practical and charming.
Here are a few of my go-to's:
1. Bright receiving blankets: As much as possible, I like to include something handmade in a baby shower gift. It just seems like an extra-sweet expression of love for the growing family. My favorite items to make are receiving blankets, which can be personalized with bright prints or yarns, and tailored to the perfect size and shape for swaddling. And even if you have novice (or no) sewing skills, I promise there is baby-blanket pattern that you can accomplish beautifully. Still not sure? In that case, you can include something that was handmade by other hands, like one of the lovely creations from the Stockton-based CutieSue and Juanita's Family Crafters shops.
2. Beautiful books: Even better if they're chewable books. The Indestructibles line of chew-proof, waterproof and tear-resistant baby books is new to me, and I love them. Designed by a mother of triplets to accommodate the way babies read (with their mouths), the books are super portable and filled with lovely illustrations. Tots and Teapots on the Miracle Mile has a large selection.
3. A cozy romper: The parents-to-be, especially if they're first-timers, will no doubt receive a mountain of adorable baby clothes. (Who can resist buying those teensy socks and onesies.) I say, go ahead and add to the pile - but maybe with something a little special like this cotton-and-cashmere nautical romper by Bees & Dragons. Again, I found it at Tots & Teapots. (By the way, I don't hear it too often anymore, but in case you know someone who is discouraged that it's easier to find cute clothes for girls than for boys, Tots & Teapots is a great place to send them.)
P.S. from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. this Thursday (July 12), Miracle Mile shops are celebrating Mommy's Night Out. Enjoy discounts on meals, wine(!), clothing and more.
Do you have any favorite baby gifts or baby-gift sources? I'd love to hear about them.