Baby-shower gifts on a budget
Buying frugal gifts can be a challenge. Baby showers are one example of a special occasion where you don’t want to look like a cheapskate. Buying practical gifts makes the most sense. But if you’re not careful, even little gifts such as diapers and rattles can add up. Here are some inexpensive and practical gift ideas any mom-to-be will appreciate.
DOLLAR STORES: Check your local dollar stores for baby items. A mere $20 can buy quite a bit. They carry plenty of frugal options, such as wipes, socks, bibs, baby washcloths and lotions and baby hangers. You can find cheap gift wrap and greeting cards, too. Speaking of gift wrap, you can use receiving blankets, baby towels and crib sheets as gift wrap, too.
THINK BIG AND SMALL: When shopping, consider buying trial-sized merchandise. Look for lotions, powders, baby oil, shampoos, baby wash, etc. Think big, too. Avoid buying newborn sizes. Most people bombard new parents with newborn baby clothing. Buying larger-sized clothing or diapers will be appreciated because babies grow so fast.
SURVIVAL KITS: Buy a gift for mom at the hospital or a baby-care kit. Include quarters for hospital vending machines, snacks for dad, prepaid phone cards, tea, comfy socks or slippers, baby nail clippers and files, newborn hats, nose syringes, baby Tylenol, baby brush and comb, pacifier, gas drops, saline drops, rash ointment or a gift card for a local pharmacy.
HANDMADE AND HOMEMADE: If you’re crafty, make a baby blanket. If you don’t knit or crochet, make a simple fleece blanket. Take two pieces of fleece and pin them together. The size will be however large you want the blanket to be. One yard is good for a baby blanket. Cut out a 2-inch-by-2-inch square in each corner. Then cut a 2-inch-long slit every inch along the fleece. Make sure that you cut both pieces of fleece. Once you have made all of your cuts, go back around and tie the flaps together.
You could also make coupons for free nights of babysitting, housekeeping or cooking. You could make casseroles and pop them into the freezer for the new parents, too.
Another inexpensive handmade gift is a hankie bonnet. This gift starts out as a newborn baby bonnet and is saved and later used as a “something old” handkerchief for the child’s wedding day. Directions can be found at Bumble Bee Linens (www.bumblebeelinens.com/hankiebonnet.php).
You can also make a diaper wreath. You’ll need a wreath form, small package of diapers, curling ribbon, small baby toys and supplies to decorate your wreath. Open each diaper and wrap it around the wreath so the top open section of the diaper is on the top. Tie it closed with curling ribbon.
Continue adding diapers all the way around the wreath. Push the diapers close together so there isn’t any space between each one. Using curling ribbon, tie baby items such as rattles, teething rings, spoons, folded pajamas, etc., to the wreath. Add a stuffed animal in the center if you want.
THINK AHEAD: You can buy a large assortment of baby food in jars for very little money. Consider buying a bulk box of baby wipes, too. Finally, welcoming a new baby with a piggy bank with loose change is a great gift, too. It’s never too early to start saving.
photo by Kate’s craft corner