Baby, it's cold outside: Gift help edition
November 27, 2015 7:52 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for suggestions for an appropriate winter gift for a currently 6-month old baby who lives in South Dakota.

I was delinquent (lots of reasons) and did not buy an extravagant* gift at birth as I had planned. I was thinking I would like to surprise my friend with a Christmas gift for baby. And since they live in -- well, I would call it hell, some would just call it winter in SD, I was thinking some kind of outdoor wear for baby.

But I don't do babies. And I really don't do cold. I don't know what's reasonable or if it would even be appropriate for me to make that kind of decision for them. They are really lovely people who are special to me. They don't make much money, yet are some of the most generous people I've ever known.

So gift conditions - baby, winter, something maybe a little nicer than they could normally afford.

*I am thinking in the $100-150 range, so not too extravagant. The cost is not as important to me as the usefulness of the gift. If it costs $50 and it is the best dang winter-baby-thing ever, that's cool.

Any ideas for those of you who know babies and cold?
posted by slipthought to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Step 1: It's important to know what size the baby is. Yes, the baby is 6 months old, but you should not assume that (s)he wears "6 month" clothes. Kids grow incredibly quickly and at vert different rates at this age. Just among my friends, I've known 6 month olds that wear everything from the "3 month" clothes to the "12 month" clothes.

Step 2: What do they have? They probably don't need more then one snow suit, but some kind of snow suit like this would no doubt be appriciated if they don't already have one.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:01 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

You don't do babies but you know and love your friends. Babies really don't need much. I would consider a gift for the parents - either a splurge of some nice food or drink or something that would help, like a cleaning service.
posted by dawkins_7 at 8:13 AM on November 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Baby clothes in general don't have to be expensive to be effective in cold weather. You might do better to buy one cute item in the current size, and then a couple of graduated items in larger sizes so that your gift keeps on giving right through next winter. I would also point out that "fashion" takes a back seat to "warm" in places like South Dakota, so girls often wear charcoal and flannel, and boys often end up in purple if that's what fits and it's warm.

dawkins_7 has a point, too. Smaller sizes of childrens clothing get passed around quickly from family to family, because they're not doing anybody any good hanging in a closet, never to be worn again.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:16 AM on November 27, 2015

Best answer: I had something like this, with a windproof outer and fleece inner, for my kids and I loved it. It meant not having to dress the kid as warmly when we went outside. But it would only be of use if they use a front carrier, which many people do not.
posted by metasarah at 8:19 AM on November 27, 2015

Best answer: A baby's car seat cover similar to this one. Keeps baby nice and toasty and blankets don't blow off. This one is a bit pricey, and has many cheaper--I just don't know how warm they'd be.
posted by angiep at 8:21 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How about a wooden sled they can pull the baby in? That will last them a lot longer than clothing and enable them to take baby outside in the winter (people in cold climates do that). LL Bean has a nice one for $129.
posted by FencingGal at 8:31 AM on November 27, 2015 [8 favorites]

Best answer: FencingGal beat me to it. We got this sled from LL Bean as a gift when my son was a baby, and he loved it!
posted by amro at 8:37 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really love these Hanna Anderson sleepers. They are cute, non-commercial, and cozy (and on a hella good sale today!)
posted by vespabelle at 8:41 AM on November 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I'd get a Patagonia down jacket for the baby in the 18-month size*. The baby will be big enough for an approximate fit soon, and right now, if it's big that's OK because the baby won't be mobile outdoors for a little while yet. Someone got one for our son, and it has been an amazing gift. They're too expensive for us to buy normally ($100), very warm, very flexible, and long-lasting. Patagonia will repair them indefinitely. Having a FLEXIBLE coat is really important for a lot of kids because it can be very upsetting for small children to have their motion restricted by puffy stiff coats.

*Our son started wearing his 18m size jacket when he was 11 months, and he's still wearing it daily at 23 months and it'll probably fit through this winter.
posted by Cygnet at 8:43 AM on November 27, 2015

You could also get baby toys. Board books, rings on a peg, interactive button type thing. When it feels like less than zero, baby is not likely spending time walking about outside, so toys are all the more important to keep baby stimulated and entertained. A new toy can be like black gold for parents because the child will be very happy and busy, for a little while.
posted by Kalmya at 9:06 AM on November 27, 2015

Best answer: This car seat wrap. It's open on the back so the straps go over clothing, which is much much safer than wearing outdoor gear in the carseat (because in a crash all that nice fluff gets compressed and baby is jerked around or even can slide out), and it easily unfolds once the car warms up to prevent overheating. Even if they have a car seat cover already, they probably don't have a plan for when baby outgrows it, which will be soon.
posted by teremala at 10:15 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

A sleep sack is awesome for babies. It's like a blanket they can't kick off and it lets their head and shoulders stay cool while their little feet stay warm.

Just using this site to show example; not recommending in particular.

Also want to ditto Hanna Andersson recommendation above.
posted by jfwlucy at 2:12 PM on November 28, 2015

I would actually specifically recommend the Halo sleep sack because it lets the hips be in a natural position. As an adult with hip dysplasia, I'm very much in favor of doing everything possible to avoid it.

On the decadent baby gear front, I wanted to add Zutano booties. They're warm and actually stay on! Expensive but they do their job admirably.
posted by teremala at 6:08 AM on November 29, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for the help, everyone. I ended up going with the pull sled, which was not at all something I would have thought of on my own. And I may use some of the other suggestions for later gifts as baby gets a little older.
posted by slipthought at 3:34 PM on January 6, 2016

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