Patrick received two of these for his baptism- one for each of the saints he is named after- and we have collected a few more saints since. These are perfect for babies who put everything in their mouths, because these little vinyl dolls are all one piece. Each one comes with a little descriptive card which includes some fun facts about the saints and a prayer. (These would also make fun desk accessories for an adult, especially a religion teacher!)
This shop's prints get their own category because I wish I could paper my walls with all of them- they are so beautiful and creative. The current offerings include alphabet saints, Noah’s Ark, saint quotes, and maps. If you know the name of the child you are purchasing for, you can get a customized saint letter made for him or her. I dare you to go look at that shop and not buy something. True story: Kath and I literally had an argument over who got to buy gifts from this shop this year. I won. ***Revised: we will both be buying gifts from here.
Obviously there are a lot to choose from in this category, but my favorite is one that Patrick received from my friend Sarah- The Story of Pope John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope by Fabiola Garza. This book is so beautiful in every way that it brings tears to my eyes each time I read it. It is text-heavy for an infant, but it’s definitely a book a child can grow into. If you think you like this saint now, just read this gem of a book and fall more in love.
Patrick received a framed print of St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer from Kath (his fairy godmother!) She knew the colors of his nursery and customized the frame to match. We pray this prayer every night before Patrick’s bedtime, so it’s like she gifted him a picture AND a family tradition.
Traditional Gifts- with a twist
Bibles, rosaries, statues, etc. are all fairly common gifts for Catholic occasions. One way to personalize these traditional gifts for babies is to pair them with a kid version- for example, you could gift an heirloom Bible with a baby cloth Bible, or a saint statue with its Shining Light doll version. ChewsLifeShop makes a teething rosary (great for Mass!) that could be paired with a traditional one for a gift that a child can use now and later.
Patrick has received several handmade gifts which we will treasure for the thoughtfulness of the giver and the beauty of the thing itself. These include a rosary and a blanket each made by one of his grandmothers, a picture of St. Patrick from his godfather, a poem from his Merlin (uncle), etc. I think handmade gifts are especially lovely for Baptisms, because they represent the manifold talents of the Church.
This surely goes without saying, but prayer is the best gift anyone can give to a Catholic baby. You can express this gift physically by making a prayer bouquet or book, but even that is just lagniappe. Pray, pray, pray for our newest Catholic family members!
(I'm just going to add on a few things, because Gen covered many of the gifts I also love.)
I think especially for girls it's nice to have a little doll for them to play with (or chew on) that doesn't make noise but also is clearly set apart for church time. There are some beautiful cloth dolls that are Catholic and oriented towards prayer. We know of so many shops that sell good quality, handmade dolls like this. We don't own any, but we are definitely adding some to our Christmas lists! They include the folowing: Marekmade (these are so cute and many are made of linen!), My Little Felt Friends (this is a popular shop, but they're not taking any orders now because of Christmas but good year round), Saintly Silver (so lovely, these are small but detailed and less expensive), Philomena Design Co (made-to-order and absolutely precious!), Marzipantz (These are beautiful! She does made-to-order saints, but she's waiting to start again until after Christmas), and Trendzilly (a little more expensive but very beautiful and detailed).
We got this as a gift for Miriam's Baptism, and it is so cute! It's also super helpful for helping to explain the Mass to toddlers. My favorite part of the book is when it says for the part after Communion something like, "I sit quietly so mom and dad can pray." Yeah, that's really cute.
This one sounds a little strange, but I love the idea of giving little boys a compass for their Baptism to symbolize the many directions God will take them in their lives. If you have dreams of your boy becoming a miniature Pier Giorgio Frassati, perhaps this is a start. Jonathan's godson was baptized at the same time as Miriam, so we got him this one as a gift for his Baptism (I liked it because you can get it engraved).
Gen got this for Miriam for her Baptism, and it's one of my favorite things she has. It is absolutely beautiful, timeless, and has so many compartments. This will most likely last her her whole life, and I think it's such a great gift, especially because we got so many beautiful rosaries that we now have a place for. Miriam's is from Pottery Barn Teen, and I love how Gen got it monogrammed for her.