Saturday, October 11, 2008

An Extraordinary Baby Gift

You know how easy it is to find baby gifts for first-time parents. Between the registry, and the adorable clothes in such teensie tiny sizes, and the desire to help in practical ways, there are so many things to buy for baby #1 that it's hard to narrow down the options.

Well, I'm about to make it a little harder -- or a little easier, depending on your perspective.

If you want to stand out from a sea of diaper bags and burp cloths, or you favor gifts of a more crafted and heirloom quality, or you need something to give a mother of a second child, or you have your very own little one who just keeps dashing off in a store, look no further than this great idea:

Bumble Bells.

These beautiful, adjustable, sterling silver baby anklets are hung with little silver bells that tinkle softly when baby wiggles, kicks, or walks. They come in two sizes, for babies and toddlers. They would make a gorgeous and unique gift for a friend.

Or, if your children are anything like mine were as younger toddlers, they would be a very practical gift for yourself. If I'd had Bumble Bells on Daughter the day she ran away from me in Kohl's, I certainly would not have severely sprained my ankle trying to dash after her between the racks. I wouldn't have had to keep her in sight, you see, only within earshot. And I would have caught up to her just the same. Except without the week of being on crutches afterwards.

Those of you who are concerned about safety (aren't we all?) will be glad to know that Bumble Bells are ASTM certified. For you who don't click outbound links, that means that THE international organization that regulates product standards attests to the fact that these bells cannot be removed by a curious child and swallowed. Now that is peace of mind.

The main site for Bumble Bells has more information, photographs, and testimonials from other mothers who have fallen in love with Bumble Bells. You can buy them right now on the Bumble Bells Etsy shop, and in select retail stores, although the small company is expanding and soon will offer more purchase options.

One of the reasons I agreed to review Bumble Bells is that I prefer to support local business whenever I can. Bumble Bells is a Chicago-based company owned by a mother whose own daughter wears Bumble Bells, and as soon as I started talking to her, it became clear that she not only offers a great product but cares about children everywhere. After I'd already agreed to write the review, I asked Jill from Bumble Bells if she would be interested in making a donation to the Literacy Funding Challenge as part of Help Our Schools Saturdays; she responded right away by telling me that a portion of their profits already goes directly to Head Start and that she would be very happy to consider making another education-based donation as well. The goodness and integrity of small businesses in this country never fails to inspire me. All I had to do was explain the project to her, and within a few hours, I had this email response from Jill,

"I have donated! And man does that always feel good."

What a fantastic company to give your business to, if you're in the market for a unique and beautiful baby gift! I only wish I'd known about Bumble Bells before my children were too old for them.

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