Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Been invited for another baby shower? Or a one-year old’s birthday party? Buying the same ‘ol newborn clothes set again? No idea what to buy for the one-year old?

Ever realised what it must be like to be on the receiving end?

Received the 20th set of baby clothes which your baby may never wear because he just grows so fast? Received an identical toy… again?

Us Chinese/Asians have an easy way out. That is the… “ang bow”. It is the most practical, most meaningful and most welcome gift – cold… hard… cash. The parents can buy the most appropriate thing at the most appropriate time. They can even save/invest it for the kids’ education in the future. An alternative are shopping vouchers – almost just as practical, useful and welcome as cash.

But if you must buy something (maybe you really just want to go shopping and the invite was just another good reason for you to spend), you may want to consider these:

Clothes

Buy stuff that are a lot larger than the child.  For example, you might want to get clothes for a 6 t0 12-mth old if you are going for a baby shower (1 month old). Babies – they virtually grow bigger overnight. Really. Do not buy for their age. The smaller they are, the larger you should buy for your goods to last as long as possible… or even get a chance to be worn (your set will be competing for attention from all the other similar gifts).

For a 1 yr old, you may want to buy something that could fit him till he is 1.5 yrs old.

Toys

1 month olds do not play with toys, really. They probably start playing after 4-6 months. Again, if you must go shopping… consider creative teething toys. That could last till 2 or so cos that’s how long it takes to have the full set of teeth out. Get something with a cute face or big eyes. Otherwise, few kids would be attracted to it. Get items that are of a single piece. No attached eyeballs and stuff like that. They are at risk of being chewed out and swallowed and in the unfortunate case… it could choke the child. Also get non-toxic materials.

Special note: there is no need to look out for toys that say that they are “teething toys”. Anything can be a teething toy as long as they are safe to chew on.

Between 6 mths to 1 year, they still do not need toys, really. Anything and everything is a toy to them and anything could be uninteresting to them.

Both my kids did not play with the toys they had. They played with CDs, CD boxes, cups, plates, pots, pans, lunch boxes, the bed frame, the book you are reading, the label on the pram, drawers, socks, slippers, shoes… anything they find lying around your home … EXCEPT the toys.

Food

THIS… I’ve never received before. But I thought it was a good idea. Your gift would be different from most others. However, it cannot become a memoir piece years into the future cos it would all be eaten up already. So if you hope to be remembered by the child or the parents, then you don’t have to give food gifts.

But if you come across unusual and interesting foodstuff for infants, I think the parents would welcome it. I know I would. I’m just a dumb ass for shopping anything really… including foodstuff. I only buy tidbits/food I’m familiar with. So if someone gave me something unusual, chances are higher that I’ll buy it again.

Do you have any other interesting gift ideas for 1-mth old or 1-yr olds’ birthday parties? Do share, please.

Thank you!🙂

Fun. We Are Young.

The first time I heard this song, I got hooked onto its chorus.

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

It was not only musically catchy but the lyrics seemed really inspiring.  It made me want to blaze forth and set alight a bright future for self and others.  Sung not alone, it also made me want to go forth with a bunch of like-minded people.

The rest of the song was catchy too so I took some effort to listen carefully to it so that I could sing along.

But I began to realise that the song was about drugs, booze and physical abuse.

My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State

… asking bout a scar, And I know I gave it to you months ago…

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home

 

So now I do not know whether to like the song or not.

Increasing Independence; Increasing Distance

She grows up so fast!

A year ago, she was 16 (2 years old) and today, she is 18 (3) already!  Sometimes we feel as if she would be getting married the next day!

As if for the longest time, I had to clean up after her: Change her diapers; clean her poop; keep her cups; feed her; read to her; change her clothes.

Now, during waking hours, I have no idea how many times she goes to the toilet because she now does it by herself… complete with washing her hands after.  She only needs me to clean her when she poops.

She still wears diapers when she naps or sleeps at night because I refuse to bother myself with bed wettings.  Other than having to put it on, there are times whereby I do not have to change her when she wakes up.  She will change by herself.

No matter how tongues wag, I’m fine with her wearing diapers to sleep all the way to the point whereby she automatically does not want to wear diapers to sleep anymore.  So far, it is proven that she does not require potty training… all transitions from one stage to another were automatic.  No need for struggles and meltdowns to force my child to do something she is not ready for.

Now, whenever she gets a drink in a cup or a packaging, she would put the cup back in the kitchen or throw the packaging into the bin.

Meal time, she eats by herself.  I only have to feed her when she is very very distracted (e.g. by a TV show that makes her dance or the thought of eating only tidbits for lunch).  When we have cereal and milk at home, she even makes her own breakfast and prepares a set for me while I’m still sleeping.  (Daddy doesn’t get a set cos he does not like cereal and milk.)

At times, I find her flipping and “reading” books by herself.  While she can’t actually read the words in the  books, she has memorised the lines.  Very recently, she started to point to the words she believes she is reading.  Usually, she points correctly to the first word in the sentence.  Then, the rest is just “action action” only.

With her increased independence, she needs me less and less.  And as she needs me less and less, I miss her more and more.

While some parents train their children to be independent so that they can have control over their own time for their own pursuits, I don’t do it as much.  I do it just enough mostly for her own good and when she is ready.  Timing is tailored specifically to her readiness level rather than her age.

My daughter demands a lot of my attention/company compared to other kids of her age.  But I’m happy to oblige as much as I possibly can cos one day very soon, she will no longer need me at all – completely.

I heard that some kids do not want their parents anymore as early as 10 or even 7-8 years old!  It could be that soon.  I’m living proof – I personally wanted total freedom from my family at around age of 9 or 10.

We only walk this journey with each of our children once.  There is no turning back the clock, no room for regrets.

Cherish it.