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Monday, August 2, 2010

My Baby Clothes Boutique: Always Be Prepared

(submitted by Signe Whitson with My Baby Clothes Boutique)

Always Be Prepared: Stocking Up on Fabulous Baby Gifts

My mom has a special section of her basement that I call “The Store.” She is a shopper by nature and a bargain-hunter extraordinaire. When she sees a sale, she stocks up, whether she needs the item or not. “You have to spend money to save money” she likes to say. Whenever she needs a baby gift, birthday gift, or any other type of gift in a pinch, she just checks out “The Store’s” inventory—her personal warehouse of perfect gift items—because “you just never know when you’ll need a gift.”

It’s important to listen to your mother. So, I have begun construction (e.g. shifted around boxes) on “The Boutique,” my own personal inventory of readily-available gifts for those moments that when a friend with a baby drops by unexpectedly or I do not have time to go shopping for the kid’s birthday party that comes up suddenly. The Boutique is not overstocked—I do like to personalize gifts when I can--but it is designed with versatility in mind (gifts that all Moms will appreciate) and organized by age (so that I am prepared from Baby Shower to pre-school graduation). Here are some of its featured items:

In the Newborn Department (aka top shelf), I like to have on hand adorable 3-piece layette sets in pink and blue along with keepsakes like personalized embroidered diaper covers and baby booties.

In the Toddler Section: Moms of kids this age are usually focused on clothes with good “wear and tear” value, so I like to make gifts of fabulous items they wouldn’t ordinarily buy, like tutu dresses and petticoats. It’s never too early to be fancy!

In the Pre-School Area, I make sure to stock toys! A classic rocking horse, little stuffed animals, and Mother Goose gift sets are always winners among the 3-5 year old crowd!

For boys, I love to buy anything with a “Prince” theme since the rough and tumble crowd does seem to get a kick out of having a role in the usually girl-dominated fairy-tale play. I also keep my share of cowboy accessories and baseball outfits. Did I mention hats for boys? They are a can’t-miss gift item that I always have available, just in case!

For girls, I am always keeping my eyes out for trendy accessories like large-flowered headbands, colorful, loopy bows, animal print clips, and floppy sun hats. Tunics and legging sets are also year-round favorites and big hits with Moms and kids alike.

The boutique in my basement is a great place for stocking can’t-pass-up sale items and hard-to-resist baby gifts that I know I will have the occasion to give…probably when I least expect it!

Signe Whitson is a freelance writer and co-author of The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools and Workplaces. She is also a licensed social worker and mother to two young daughters. Please visit her blog on passive aggressiveness. My Baby Clothes Boutique provides her helpful articles to the parenting community.

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