Baby showers. Some love them, some hate them. While I love buying things for little people, I dislike attending baby showers. Nothing against the expecting family, I really just hate everything about traditional baby shower games. I’m at the age where there is a stark increase in the amount of showers I get invited to, though.
Between the number of showers I’ve attended, and the ones I’ve been on the receiving end of, I feel like a bit of a baby shower expert, and I’m here to give you my opinion on the best, and wors,t baby shower gifts.
Best Baby Shower Gifts
There are some baby gifts that are more useful than others. These are the ones that almost every new parent will appreciate.
Large, Expensive Gifts
First time parents will likely welcome large, expensive gifts that they have on their registry such as a stroller, crib, playpen, and rocking chair. These gifts are usually too expensive for one person to buy on their own, so feel free to chip in with other people and give a group gift.
When we were expecting our first, my co-workers went together and bought our stroller/car seat combo. I was so glad that we didn’t have to buy this ourselves because our money was tight then.
Some babies are only consoled when their parents hold them. This can lead to both tired arms and frustration. Getting anything done around the house is difficult when the baby fusses as soon as she’s put down. A baby carrier can be a fabulous gift because it gives parents the opportunity to keep the baby close AND get things done around the house.
Restaurant Gift Certificate
No matter what kind of birth you have, the perfect natural drug free delivery or complicated c-section, no new mom, experienced or not, feels like cooking in those early days. Life is chaotic and having a gift certificate or two to fall back on is a huge help!
Clothes the Kid Can Grow Into
Too many people will show up with exclusively newborn clothes. Sure, they’re cute, but they’re also impractical. All three of my babies were nine to ten pounds at birth. They never fit in newborn clothes, and they only stayed in size 0-3 month clothes for about the first four weeks. Had I gotten many outfits in those sizes, they would have been wasted.
Having a few outfits/PJ’s in larger sizes the kid can grow into is always appreciated. Kids grow fast, so they’ll get into that cute outfit sooner than you think! They’ll likely stay in the larger size outfits longer, too.
Newborns make an insane amount of mess. They vomit and spit up everywhere, all of which requires being cleaned up. No mom can have enough burp pads/wipes/bibs for kids since they will go through about 25,721 per day. They also get stained beyond recognition and eventually tossed, so don’t spend too much money on them.
Kids need diapers in many sizes. Find out if the parents plan on using disposable or cloth before buying, though. Even if they get a lot of diapers, it is a gift always well appreciated.
Worst Shower Gift Ideas
And then there are the gifts that well meaning friends and family give you that are, honestly, worthless.
Unless you’re in the change room with the new mom, there is no way you’ll get this right. If you think it’s a gift mom would like and want though, get a gift certificate instead.
Expensive or Impractical Baby Clothes
Babies, especially newborns, are messy. They do not need fancy, expensive and fussy clothes! You are literally wasting money when you buy these clothes, no matter how cute. Same goes for newborn shoes. Unless the kid is walking (usually past 1 year), they don’t need shoes with proper soles. Even in the winter, small children don’t need them; most baby snowsuits will take care of foot coverage.
Likewise, avoid impractical baby clothes. When I was expecting my first baby, a co-worker bought me a towel and a baby bathrobe. Sure, the set was cute as can be, but how practical is struggling with a baby to put on a bathrobe only to dry the baby off and put on his clothes? I returned that gift before I even had the baby.
Non-seasonal baby clothes
Find out when the kid (should) be born before buying seasonal clothes. If the child is born in December there’s a good chance they won’t still be in newborn size swimwear come July. Pay attention to sizes when buying such items.
A Word about Baby Registries
If the parents did create a registry, look it up. Chances are they spent time to figure out what would work and what they need for their family. Sometimes, showers aren’t the best time to be reinventing the wheel, so-to-speak. If they took the time to research a monitor they liked, for example, don’t bother buying a different one because you liked it more; there’s a good chance it will end up getting exchanged.
One More Thought on Gifts
It’s not to say new moms think of everything, though. As a mom myself, there were things I received from experienced friends and family that I never would have thought of and was so appreciative of. If you go this route, just make sure to include a gift receipt so they can return the item if it turns out not to be something they would want.
If you are invited to a baby shower, keep in mind some of the best baby shower gifts to give. I still remember which of my friends and family gave me the gifts I most appreciate and found most useful. Now, when I attend a baby shower, I try to do the same for new moms.
What is your favorite gift to give for a baby shower?
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.