When I found out one of my best friends Mary was pregnant, I immediately started noodling on what gifts I could make for her. She made me a hand-crocheted blanket with Scottie’s initials on it, which was so thoughtful and useful. That last part was definitely one of my main considerations. Making tiny booties with a monkey face on them or a little pea pod shaped sack blanket are cute as a button for approximately as long as a newborn photoshoot takes, but then they just end up laying around. I also definitely wanted to make sure I was making something appropriately-sized. When another of my friends was pregnant several years ago, she was the first of my peers to have a baby. I was so excited, I made like 8 little hats for her kiddo. However, I wasn’t super into checking gauge and they all turned out omg so small. I felt like an idiot for sending them something that they couldn’t even use.
In the end, I decided to make both knitwear and something that I sewed. Since my friends didn’t find out the sex of the baby until she (!) was born at the end of March, I also aimed to make the items relatively gender-neutral, even though babies couldn’t care less how they’re dressed.
The one piece of knitwear I made was a little Flax sweater sized 6-12 months. Even though I remember not receiving anything newborn or even 0-3 month sized at my baby shower and had to scramble to shop for little clothes that would fit Scottie when he was born, I didn’t think a super tiny pull-over-the-head sweater was practical for a newborn. Plus, by the time baby Maggie is old enough to fit into it, the weather ought to be cooling off again.
I had a ton of partial skeins of Quince & Co.’s Lark leftover from various things, so I used a bunch of different colors. I alternated colors every 2 rows which resulted in soooooooooo many ends to weave in. But it’s cute AF and I’m just going to die when she wears it for the first time.
The other handmade item I made for Maggie was a pair of jammies that matched the pair I made for Scottie. The pants are the Cuff Leggings and the top is the Raglan Tee by Brindille and Twig. Now, let me tell you about my sewing experience: I suck at sewing. Using knit fabric is difficult AF to sew with. I don’t own a serger/overlock sewing machine so I was stuck attempting to use a zig-zag stitch for the whole thing which…. Look, these are as jammies as jammies are going to get. They turned out quite well by my standards; they’re cute and useful! However, I cannot make any promises on the structural integrity of the seams. At least I made them as a size 6-9 months so she won’t be jumping off of furniture or doing other similar fabric-straining activities.
These two items made it to the baby shower along with some necessities from their registry – in this case a diaper-changing pad with two covers. I am VERY adamant about buying specifics from a registry. I know how annoying it is when your long-researched list is ignored in favor of cutesy useless crap.
Failed jumper attempt
This last item has not yet been delivered to our new tiny friend. Like I said earlier, I am complete trash at sewing. The other things I’ve made at least were passable even if they’re not skillfully made. But this was another story. I tried to make a little onesie short-sleeve Romper that had edging on the neckline, arms, legs, and crotch with a snap-closure at the bottom. If I’m going to be able to resurrect this thing, the seam ripper is going to need to be involved heavily. And I’ve got to get a move-on because I think I was making either a 0-3 month or 3-6 month size for her to enjoy in the summer months.
Mary’s care package
This last thing isn’t something that I hand-made, but something I cobbled together when remembering what I needed and would have killed to have when Scottie was first born. I put together a care package for mom & dad since their little 7 lb bundle of joy takes precedence over things like remembering to eat.
First, I brought over some homemade food, frozen so that they could choose to eat at their leisure. I don’t cook with gluten because I have an allergy, so everything was gluten-free. I made sure to make everything dairy-free, too, since some nursing moms temporarily have to stop eating dairy if their baby is colicky. Here’s what I brought over frozen:
- breakfast sausage patties (these can be heated in the microwave and eaten with one hand)
- lemon blueberry muffins (can also be eaten with one hand, and are great nursing snacks at 3 in the morning)
- chicken dumpling soup (pure comfort food, but it does have secret pureed cauliflower for creaminess and extra veg)
- frozen spinach (microwave, add butter and garlic powder – ya been veggied)
And I also brought over several things that just seemed like a good idea.
- diapers & wipes (the disposable brand that we use – I figured why not try as many brands as you can)
- a book with an inscription from our family (I did NOT have my shit together enough for her baby shower to include this item at that time, so this was tardy if anything)
- all 8 Harry Potter DVDs (because holy crap I remember how long it takes newborns to nurse – I watched Parks and Rec twice in like 3 weeks while trapped on the couch for hours)
- a big box of Lärabars (one-handed snack/MealLet’sBeHonest, non-perishable, can stow them in the nursery for aforementioned 3 am starving chow down)
- aaaaaaaaaaand a bottle of wine because you guys deserve it (and it’s organic *adjusts monocle*)
The newborn phase is so fleeting and special even if it is HARD and sort of the worst and energetically expensive for everyone. This won’t be the last of the things I bring to Mary, Mark & little Maggie, even though they said not to bring them more food. I’m going to anyway, free up some fridge space girrrrrl.