Being pregnant

Baby gifts through the generations

Mom-to-be Monica Reyes receives some family heirlooms for her baby — and considers making her own handmade contributions.

1knitted-socks-mr Hand-knit socks for baby. Photo: Monica Reyes

Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. She’s also a soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

I was fortunate enough to have my sister send me some baby stuff that she no longer needed. Because my family is so far away, I thought I would need to start from scratch and buy everything instead of relying mostly on hand-me-downs. While I was sorting through everything, I found a treasure — a blanket that was mine as a baby. It originally belonged to my sister and then was passed down to me, and finally her own children. I now get to use that same blanket for my child. It’s nothing fancy, it wasn’t handcrafted by a relative, but it’s just a simple plain white acrylic blanket. To me, this is a family heirloom as it’s been in my family for almost 40 years now.

My husband and I just recently found out that my mother-in-law had saved several baby outfits for more than 40 years in the hopes that one of her sons had a child. One of the items is a gorgeous outfit from Italy that she received from her parents. It remained unused as all her sons were too big even as newborns to fit into it. While she gave most of her baby clothes away to other expectant parents, she couldn’t bear parting with those special items.

Then there are things that, in my opinion, would be better off being tossed rather than saved. Some women save the umbilical cord as a memento. Finding a dried up piece of umbilical cord in a drawer isn’t really a keepsake for me. I’ve even heard of women putting their pregnancy tests in a scrapbook. Maybe I’m not as sentimental, but I think there are better things to hold onto than saving a stick I peed on.

With my baby due in a few short months, I’ve gotten the urge to craft up a storm. I have grandiose dreams of making the most beautiful quilt that I can wrap my baby up in despite the fact that I’ve never sewn a quilt before. I plan on knitting as many items as I can churn out before the baby gets here. I can’t think of a better expression of love than creating by hand thousands of stitches that will eventually clothe them in warmth, even if it’s just for a short wink.


I’m hoping my handmade creations will become treasured heirlooms for generations to come. To be a part of something that may last for decades is pretty special.

What do you consider as an heirloom? What items did you end up saving?

This article was originally published on Sep 20, 2013

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