Kate Middleton is expecting her third child, and I would love to be a fly on the wall at the Royal Baby Shower. Note, I did not say “guest,” because that is so far fetched that it is more likely that I be transformed into a fly, to witness the festivities. I can only imagine what type of shower gifts would be adequate for Royalty.
Having a baby is such a wonderful event, however, shopping for a baby can be a bit of a headache. Today, the selection of baby gifts world wide is dripping with sophistication and maturity, but in the luxury and mass market, the sheer volume of choices can make even the most seasoned shopper question, “How can one sift through the possibilities?”
The Evolution of the Baby Gift
As a baby of the 1970s, I owned many progressive “stretchies” known today as “onesies.” My Mom was not a fan of pink for girls and to this day speaks fondly of a brown velour “stretchy” (I love that word) that I looked so cute in…
The stroller was navy blue, trimmed in white, and I had one; not three like my son had to honor many different traveling occasions. I had one car seat in gray and here I am alive and able to tell the tale.
Pink and blue were popular color palettes back then but then the 80s happened and like the crazy hair and eye shadow, the scope of the baby fashion world changed. I did not say it changed for the better; it simply changed.
For the non-royals in the 1980’s baby gifts may have been Pac-Man or ‘Precious Moments’ themed with a less aggressive but still marketed pink for girl and blue for boy color palette.
Rattles and Bibs (a great name for a baby shop) were great gift options and the colors and designs expanded to more prints and designs in lieu of traditional silver rattles of years past.
The 90s and new millennium gave way to tremendous market growth for the new bundle of joy. ‘Buy Buy Baby’ established in 1996, founded by Richard and Jeffrey Feinstein, came to market with the mission to “ensure that new and expectant parents have everything they need to confidently welcome their baby and navigate the transitions of life as a family.”
I am not sure what the heck we did before that, but somehow here we are.
In the world of luxury the options flourished too. From luxury strollers to flatwear, to clothing from Burberry, the baby market expanded and caused many a gift giver to scratch their head and wonder, “What do I buy for the baby who has everything?”
Not to worry, we are here to help. Whether you are attending Kate Middleton’s Shower or your best friend’s, here are some of our favorites to help you make a splash and get in good with the new addition.
Top-5 Baby Gifts
1-The Stroller: StokkeXplory® 3-in-One Stroller $1,199.
I continue to be mesmerized by the stroller market. I remember ‘Pregnant Angela’ looking for the right stroller and actually crying because I did not know what was going on around me. There were so many strollers with so many accessories. It was complete sensory overload. I remember having to come home and lay down after a stroller search trip, with a complete feeling of dread that I had to go back and do more work for what I thought would be an easy purchase. If I were doing the stroller purchase today, this would be my pick.
Made in the Netherlands, the visor is removable, an optional opening in the hood for ventilation keeps the baby cool when its very hot and this unit includes chassis, seat unit, canopy and umbrella. The seat is a bit higher than many strollers so baby can travel closer to you and the unit can also function as an on-the-go high chair, which in my experience is really useful if you have a baby like mine, who loves to eat when you’re out and about.
2-The Diaper Bag: Valentino Garavani reversible pebbled leather tote bag $3,475.
Go big or go home on this item and here is why; I carried a diaper bag with me every day for three years. It was literally the one piece that went everywhere that we did. I love that this is a tote design, its in black and the 19.5” removable shoulder strap comes in handy if you are “bjorning” it instead of using the stroller. Its 10” H x 13” W x 5” D size ensures you will have room to pack all the bulky items you need, including the change of clothes, burp cloths and diapers. The studs make it fancy and fun, because after all, Mom needs to have some fun in the day!
3-The Bibs: Burberry Core Two-Piece Cotton Bib Set in White $95.
This is a total indulgence gift, and not the most practical, but you only live once…
The bibs snap on at the neck and are cotton so you can machine wash them since babies are very messy. They are just really cute. They are also the type of gift that Mom and Dad may be too tired to entertain since they are not much of a necessity and they have counterparts in the market that are far less expensive. This falls in the category of “great gift someone may not buy for themselves.”
4-The Highchair: Bloom Limited Edition Fresco Chrome High Chair for $750.
We had a Bloom and loved it. It reclined three different ways so the baby could lie flat, semi flat or upright. The chair is a 360 degree swivel and the harness is removable so you can keep the seat for a child to sit at the table up until 8 years old or 79 pounds. The tray is made of FDA approved plastic and stainless steel parts that are also dishwasher safe. The wheels are scratch resistant and the pads are easy to remove and clean because as I have mentioned, babies are messy.
5-The Crib: Bloom Alma Papa Crib in Cappucino would be my pick for $700.
The mattress is sold separately and you will need to buy a Bloom custom mattress since the crib is European design and therefore the sizing is different from the United States mattress sizes. This crib is made of American birch wood and is suitable for a newborn to 4 years old. The sizing of 48” L x 35.5” W makes it ideal for smaller and shared spaces.
This crib also folds for easy storage (it is 15.5” L when folded) and it’s on wheels so you can roll it from room to room, because not only are babies messy, but sometimes they do not sleep at night and you will do anything to catch some shut eye including bringing the baby in your room. Now you can just wheel the little crying one in your room and go back to bed.
I hope that this helps you with your baby gifting needs and if you find yourself at Kate’s baby shower, please tell her I said “Hello!”
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.