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My niece is turning 1 in July, and my SIL has four kids, i.e. she has everything already from the first three kids. She's pretty mainstream. I'd love to get her something cool that will make her life easier and that she will love, but am so lost. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Everytime I ask her for suggestions, she says "diapers and wipes", which I am opposed to, since we use cloth, and I just can't bring myself to buy her cases of dipes.<br><br>
Help me out, mamas! I know you will have great ideas.
 

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Maybe something else "consumable"? Like bath stuff, lotion, baby cream, etc. Or food, like fun snacks for the LO? When my nephew turned 1, one of his favorite gifts was an assortment of fun (organic <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) snacks.<br><br>
These don't really make her life easier though, I guess they're more for the LO. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
You could always do a gift card, then she could buy the diapers herself, but you would still be helpful!
 

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A photo portrait session.
 

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My theory is that anything that keeps the kids entertained makes mama's life easier.<br><br>
I've used sites like <a href="http://www.fatbraintoys.com" target="_blank">Fat Brain Toys</a>, which let you search by age (and gender, which I like less - why does a 1 year old's toys need to be gendered?). They carry mainstream educational toys, and I can usually find soemthing fairly unusual that someone doesn't already have.<br><br>
If you're able and your SIL is willing, then you could offer a few hours of babysitting one night. You entertaining her kids while she gets to relax or go out could be well-enjoyed.<br><br>
Bubble supplies usually go over well this time of year - they often break or seem to get lost, so replacements are helpful. The one year old will love to watch the bubbles, and parents and the older children can blow them. You can get kits ofr big bubbles, different shapes of bubble blowers, there are big no-spill bubble solution jugs, etc.<br><br>
There are places out there that let you use their kitchen and supplies for freezer meals; you could do a gift ertificate to one of them. I've never used such a service, but know others who have and love it. <a href="http://www.easymealprep.com/main/direct02.php" target="_blank">This website</a> has links to a lot of such businesses so you can see if there is one in your area.<br><br>
If you're willing to compromise on the diapers and wipes, you could buy her the more eco-friendly ones from a company like Seventh Generation.
 

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I might listen to her on the diapers and wipes.<br><br>
Alternatively, she probably needs a break-- baby stting or a prepared meal as pp suggested might go over well. Or perhaps a gift card to grocery store if times are a little tight for her family.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jdg</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15411968"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you're able and your SIL is willing, then you could offer a few hours of babysitting one night.</div>
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I'm in TX, she's in OH. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> That would be a long trip! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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i'd also honestly go for diapers and wipes. but i like the idea of gift card so that you can get around any "culpability."
 

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Taking the older three for a weekend? Organic paper, no nasty chemicals, recycled packaging wipes? Freezer meals for the whole family?<br><br>
Frankly, if you get her a gift card to a place like Babies 'R US, it's not going to be spent on the diapers she can buy more cheaply elsewhere.
 

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What about something personalized for the baby, like a piggy bank with her name on it?<br><br>
I love the photo session idea - if in your price range, that would be fabulous.<br><br>
I once made an ABC photobook on Shutterfly for my nieces that had pictures of my kids (and other family members) with items for each letter of the alphabet. That was fun to do and not too expensive.<br><br>
Or a piece of jewelry (e.g. gold bangle or add a pearl necklace).<br><br>
Or consider books and CDs that have been released in the past few months that they probably don't have.<br><br>
Have fun finding the right gift!
 

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What about a gift certificate to a paint your own pottery place? We love having our LO make plates and mugs. We made my mom the coolest platter when she was 1. The lady who worked there helped us do alternating colored hand prints all around the platter and I painted a swirl in the middle. The colors were orange, red and yellow so it looked like a sun.
 

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Do you sew? Could you make a special doll or stuffed animal for her or buy one and make clothes for it? I LOVE handmade things, and I think it would be extra special if her cool auntie made it.
 

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I'd get her some Nature Babycare diapers.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>texmati</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15411998"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Alternatively, she probably needs a break-- baby stting or a prepared meal as pp suggested might go over well. Or perhaps a gift card to grocery store if times are a little tight for her family.</div>
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ITA. probably the greatest gift you can give is the gift of time!! make a bunch of dinners she can freeze, babysit for a few hours, help clean the house for a bit. or one of the nicest things would be to take the older kids for the afternoon, leaving her time to just babymoon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
my friend is having a baby soon and i'm planning on buying her a wrap. she's not as into the crunchy things as we are, but i was telling her how i wouldn't be able to survive mothering 2 kids without a wrap, and she says "yeah that's a good idea. so i said OK!! i'll buy you a nice wrap!! and there you have it!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>newbiemama09</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422796"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ITA. probably the greatest gift you can give is the gift of time!! make a bunch of dinners she can freeze, babysit for a few hours, help clean the house for a bit. or one of the nicest things would be to take the older kids for the afternoon, leaving her time to just babymoon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
my friend is having a baby soon and i'm planning on buying her a wrap. she's not as into the crunchy things as we are, but i was telling her how i wouldn't be able to survive mothering 2 kids without a wrap, and she says "yeah that's a good idea. so i said OK!! i'll buy you a nice wrap!! and there you have it!</div>
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Well, those are all really great ideas that I'd love to do but with the distance it's so hard. (Texas to Ohio.) She's also the type that doesn't like people in her kitchen, so I would feel awkward, even if I had a few days up there.<br><br>
The wrap is a great idea. I REALLY want to get her an Ergo, but she probably won't use it.
 

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I think the biggest hit at my grandson's first birthday was a ball pit. It was a ten dollar animal shaped blow up pool with a ten dollar bag of ball pit balls, he was in heaven!
 

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Why not the Ergo? I think it's more "mainstream" than a wrap. Did she ever use a Baby Bjorn? I see an Ergo to be similar (not similar quality or anything like that, but similarly acceptable).<br><br>
Would she like something like a learning tower? <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FLittle-Partners-Learning-Tower-Natural%2Fdp%2FB001ECHXVC" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Little-Partner.../dp/B001ECHXVC</a><br><br>
I really like the photo session idea, but unless you bought her a package, it might end up costing your sister money (to buy the prints).<br><br>
How old are the other kids? Are they boys or girls?<br><br>
What about paying for a session of housecleaning?<br><br>
If you get the diapers, I'd get the ones that she's currently using. Not every diaper works for every kid and it would be a waste to get something that ends up leaking or causing frustrations. Also, the environmental debate of disposable versus cloth diapers is not completely black and white, so, personally, I'd give the diapers without any guilt.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>noobmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15429449"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why not the Ergo? I think it's more "mainstream" than a wrap. Did she ever use a Baby Bjorn? I see an Ergo to be similar (not similar quality or anything like that, but similarly acceptable).<br><br>
Would she like something like a learning tower? <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FLittle-Partners-Learning-Tower-Natural%2Fdp%2FB001ECHXVC" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Little-Partner.../dp/B001ECHXVC</a><br><br>
I really like the photo session idea, but unless you bought her a package, it might end up costing your sister money (to buy the prints).<br><br>
How old are the other kids? Are they boys or girls?<br><br>
What about paying for a session of housecleaning?<br><br>
If you get the diapers, I'd get the ones that she's currently using.</div>
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Well, she has told me that she has a baby carrier. I know it's super old, and basically a cheap one. Probably something Bjorn- or Infantino-like. She calls it "one of those things" and says it's hanging in the laundry room. She NEVER uses it. She'd probably just think an Ergo is just "one of those things" and it would sit unused. Also, I feel bad saying this, but she just leaves the baby on the floor a lot. My brother and SIL believe that sometimes babies/kids "need to be disappointed" and learn that parents are not always going to pick them up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Your ideas are great, and I don't want to sound like I am shooting them down. I guess my SIL is a tough customer, though. I think she'd feel weird about a house cleaning. And they have TONS of toys. I mean, like rooms full. A huge plastic slide, plastic cottage, and enormous play kitchen in the living room. The dining room is ALL toys, wall to wall. I got them a bean bag toss game (wooden) from Land of Nod one year and they hated it. (My brother called and told me if I really wanted to know what the kids want, to just call and ask them next time. WTF?!?) I like the Learning Tower, but I think it would not be appreciated in their home, to be honest.<br><br>
The kids are a girl turning 7, 5yo boy, 3yo girl, and baby girl turning one.<br><br>
I don't know what kind of dipes she uses. I think Sam's Club. I am so lost on this one! She is a tough nut to crack. And she tells me the baby doesn't need anything.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Beauchamp</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15429636"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, she has told me that she has a baby carrier. I know it's super old, and basically a cheap one. Probably something Bjorn- or Infantino-like. She calls it "one of those things" and says it's hanging in the laundry room. She NEVER uses it. She'd probably just think an Ergo is just "one of those things" and it would sit unused. Also, I feel bad saying this, but she just leaves the baby on the floor a lot. My brother and SIL believe that sometimes babies/kids "need to be disappointed" and learn that parents are not always going to pick them up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Your ideas are great, and I don't want to sound like I am shooting them down. I guess my SIL is a tough customer, though. I think she'd feel weird about a house cleaning. And they have TONS of toys. I mean, like rooms full. A huge plastic slide, plastic cottage, and enormous play kitchen in the living room. The dining room is ALL toys, wall to wall. I got them a bean bag toss game (wooden) from Land of Nod one year and they hated it. <b>(My brother called and told me if I really wanted to know what the kids want, to just call and ask them next time. WTF?!?)</b> I like the Learning Tower, but I think it would not be appreciated in their home, to be honest.<br><br>
The kids are a girl turning 7, 5yo boy, 3yo girl, and baby girl turning one.<br><br>
I don't know what kind of dipes she uses. I think Sam's Club. I am so lost on this one! She is a tough nut to crack. And she tells me the baby doesn't need anything.</div>
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i would be sending a card with a target giftcard, or maybe nothing!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lookatreestar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15429657"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i would be sending a card with a target giftcard, or maybe nothing!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> YES, we've done that quite a bit. Actually, after years of our gifts being unappreciated, DH and I made a "rule" that all nieces and nephews get $10 cash for their birthdays. Kids love cash, and we avoid the drama.<br><br>
I just wanted to do something a little special for my newest niece on her first birthday. It might be more trouble than it's worth, though. Although I know they are getting a gift for my DD's birthday.
 

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Wild Animal Baby magazine subscription!<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWild-Animal-Baby%2Fdp%2FB00005Q7E5" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Animal-Baby/dp/B00005Q7E5</a>
 
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