Oh I know, it’s rather a departure from quilty craft making but Oli’s cousin has just had a lovely little baby girl and so I am shopping! Unfortunately I haven’t made anything for little Olive but the internet abounds with beautiful alternatives to pink teddies, happily! Really the sky is the limit cost-wise; see Bambino Goodies for uber-cool baby and toddler inspiration. But if your price range is slightly more limited then here are a few of my favourites.
Tip top of the list for children’s toys and crafts is Myriad Toys. It’s full of absolutely beautiful wooden and natural material toys, rattles and craft sets, and if you are a great big hippie who just loves the idea of your rosy cheeked, hand-knit clad toddler gambolling about in the leaves with a wooden push-along frog then it’s the place for you. Children, sadly, usually plump for the noisiest, flashiest plastic tat they can get their mitts on but hey, it’s a nice dream… I love this rattle, the colours and clacky noises would appeal to a wee one and it’ll be nice and easy to grasp. It’s not too pricey at £7.95.
Next on the Myriad list for a baby gift is this set of stacking cups. Sol and his peers (still!) seem to adore stacking, knocking down, filling, and emptying cups so this wooden set would be perfect. They come in plain wood or coloured and cost £15.95.
We received this towel when Sol was born, and it’s rather expensive for a towel. BUT it was much used, and made drying that teeny weeny newborn body so much easier. You wear the towel round your neck like an apron and scoop it round your baby while you cuddle him. Adorable! The bamboo is lovely and soft and absorbant and it’s just one of those great ideas you wish you’d had:
And finally, a few classic books- there is something that gives me great joy about choosing books for children- I think it’s a mixture of pleasure at beautiful illustrations and pure, indulgent childhood nostalgia. So no ‘That’s Not My Train/Fairy Princess/Digger/Pony’ here (again, Sol is very partial to ‘That’s Not My Tractor’)
Ah, Goodnight Moon- strangely hypnotic with its weird orange/green/blue/yellow colour scheme and lulling rhyme. An absolute classic which I remember fondly and happily, Sol loves too. It ends with the baby rabbit ASLEEP and the mummy rabbit GONE (drinking wine downstairs I imagine) and no drama.
Dear Zoo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (in its original, not colouring/sticker/pop up incarnations) need little explanation. The illustrations are simple, effective and fresh even decades on.
This board book, with no words, is from the fabulous husband and wife team the Ahlbergs. It follows the lives and day to day goings-on of five families, some big, some small, and all the things the babies and toddlers do. Sol loves pointing out all the things he recognises- letters on the doormat from the postman, egg and soldiers for lunch, babies breastfeeding, watering the plants… it’s so sweet and there’s no story to get tired of. You can make it as long or as short as you like!
So there you go- a few alternatives to cute clothes and pale blue Pooh bears.
But of course, I can’t really be held accountable for my actions when faced with this sort of thing…