I think everyone’s first reaction when someone they care about is having a baby is “how can I help?” We all want to do our part and, as crafters, we want to do it ourselves.
Recently, my husband and I had our first child: a beautiful baby girl. Little did our daughter know that she would hit the mother lode! Our family is chock-full of crafters, and nearly all of them had something handmade to add to the pile of “baby stuff” that was eagerly awaiting her arrival from the hospital. Between the gifts we received, as well as the products of my own nesting efforts, we were very quickly stocked with all manner of homemade baby gear.
Having been the recipient (and creator) of so many homemade baby supplies, I can definitely say that it makes a big difference to me. Every time I use one of these extra-special gifts, I have remember the person who made each one. I feel their support in my daily life, and I remember them when I need to call on someone for help. You see, making someone a gift for their future little one isn’t just about making sure the baby has all the ‘stuff’ that babies need. It’s true, babies need a ton of stuff, but that’s not all. If it were just a matter of furnishing the baby’s future home, we’d all take a trip to the store and save ourselves the time. The reason that we make things for babies is to show that we love them and we’ll help take care of them. As a show of our willingness to help with the work of caring for them, we put in some or that work before they’re even born.
We, as crafters, know that homemade is better. Not just because of the quality of the product – whether it be a quilt, a table, or apple pie – but because you made it. You put something special, something unique, that only you could put into it. So, when we give these handmade things, not only is it an expression of love for the future baby, it’s also an expression of who we are. That hand-pieced quilt, the teeny little sweater or hat you crocheted — these are expressions of yourself, and they help to tell the story of who you are. They’re bits of your own personal culture, and part of preparing for a new baby is preparing the way to teach them about the world in which they live. To teach them about their family, and who they are, as individuals.
Making things for babies is a crafter’s way of expressing love, support, and a commitment to care, all conveniently wrapped up in something useful for the new mom. (Not that crocheting a cute little hat is a commitment to babysit, because crafting is something we do just for fun, too!) However, if you ask me: furnishing a baby with things lovingly made by hand is more about how much their new family and friends will love them than the fact that they needed a blanket.
About the Author
Bonnie Irene is a new mom stretching her finances through crafting. She likes to crochet, bake, draw, sew, sculpt and weave as well as other things: check out her projects at her blog!
Article & images © Bonnie Irene. All rights reserved.