Author Topic: Baby Shower Gift  (Read 11334 times)

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Baby Shower Gift
« on: September 04, 2014, 07:20:36 AM »
I've been invited to a baby shower. What should I take? Usually, I try to give consumables as gifts.

(I've given pre-made dinners before, but I don't feel I know this person well enough for a batch of casseroles) 

So should I take nappies (diapers)?

I don't have kids, but if I did, I think I'd use cloth. I also don't like wipes (personal thing, I think using handwipes and facewipes leaves a residue so I don't like them, and therefore wouldn't use them). Clothes seems silly, as I know they will be given loads (both new and passed down).

So what do I give? A product I probably wouldn't use myself seems somehow insincere. And I know people have different preferences on stuff like nappies. I also generally feel kids don't need lots of toys etc.

So, parents: what would you have really liked to have received? What did you really appreciate? What was a waste? Should I just go with nappies because everyone can use a disposable at one time or another?

MillenialMustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 265
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 07:25:11 AM »
Diapers are not a bad idea because even people who cloth need a pack or two for going out sometimes (I think). Also things like diaper cream, baby shampoo, etc. Did they register? Many people register for the type of diapers and shampoo they want. I have heard a lot of moms say that everyone buys only things directly for the baby, but the mom needs things like nursing pads, etc. for breastfeeding. That could be a thoughtful and consumable gift. Best of luck :)

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 07:28:53 AM »
Cream, baby shampoo etc is a great idea, thank you! I think I'd rather stay away from pads in case it appears I have an agenda. That's my reasoning for avoiding reusable wipes - don't want to appear preachy (especially as a non-parent).

MillenialMustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 265
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 07:31:36 AM »
I wouldn't just buy them out of nowhere, but a lot of people register for them. Does this person have a registry?

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 07:40:50 AM »
No registry. I'm in England and baby showers have just come across the pond. TBH, I'm not a fan (not that I'm not a fan of them in their proper context. They are part of the American culture, that's great. I actually think it's a lovely idea to spoil the mother to be. But they aren't part of our culture, and stuff has been lost in the translation). From what I understand there are nuances that haven't been brought over with the idea of 'yay! Presents!'. For example, this is being hosted by a family member, which I understand is kind of a no no. Also, just in general, I don't like buying gifts for a child that isn't here yet. Again, probably a cultural thing, my Mum told me their generation didn't even buy prams until the child was safely delivered. But whatever, I'm being a complainypants, no, there isn't a registry because there's nowhere to do it. It would make sense for there to be one, if we're going to start with this tradition.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 07:58:19 AM »
Different cultures definitely have different attitudes about showers.  My friend who is Jewish won't put the last stitch into a baby blanket until the baby is safely delivered (this is common in her culture not to buy ANYTHING for the baby until then, when the family runs out  like mad while mom is in the hospital).  It's avoiding calling down bad luck I think.

Here, showers are very very common (more than they should be in my opinion for second babies though...).  They are also almost always hosted by family members.  The tradition that it not be hosted by family members likely is a carryover for wedding showers which aren't to be hosted by the families.  Let me also tell you that this rule is broken far more often than not such that I'd say it's really a totally dead guideline except for true etiquette purists (who also would never dream of sending an rsvp card for a wedding because you'd write a note back rsvp'ing on your own stationary).

I think you need to figure out a few things.
1) What is your budget?

I've seen gifts ranging from $25 (rare) to $50-75 for friends, and well upwards of $100 for good friends and family.  It's a little crazy.  Set your budget, shop with sales and coupons.

2) What do you feel comfortable giving?

I note a lot of judgment from you about gifts that you feel should be given.  Is there *anything* you would find acceptable?  (I think you can delink what you would want to get from what they would want to get.  It's not insincere to give what they would want, it's far more thoughtful than trying to impose your wishes on them by say, giving cloth diapers when they aren't going to cloth diaper.)  So to a certain extent I think if you are giving a gift you put aside what you would do in favor of their preferences.  But that said, you can - like I do - opt for more practical items over less practical items.  I get things like baby carriers, changing pads (which people often avoid for not being "cute") and stay far away from outfits which everyone seems to love and buy more than is needed in sizes they grow out of in a blink.  If you can't think of anything, I encourage you to give a gift card instead.

Ideas: Diapers, used but good looking books for their library, practical oriented gift items (baby carrier sling, changing pad, diaper genie), things for the mother (creams, nursing bras), make a homemade item like a quilt, give a gift booklet for things like "10 frozen dinners delivered within 2 weeks of the baby" (list each one you plan to make) or "2 nights babysitting" or "2 afternoons babysitting while you run chores or have quiet alone time" etc.  Note that this would be unusual, so will likely go over really well or fall, depending on your friend.


Also I'm going to say I was shocked to go to some showers and discover that the wrapping of the present was this big hidden competition to see who wrapped it the cutest.  Just an FYI. 

yoga mama

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2014, 08:46:32 AM »
This is tricky without a registry.  CommonCents makes a lot of great points.  Start with the amount you want to spend.  We use cloth diapers but have ended up needing some disposables so those would probably be appreciated.  How well do you know the person?  Gift giving depends a lot on your relationship with the recipient. 

A gift that we appreciated a lot is books.  We have read to our children from the day they were born.  They make baby books with lots of contrast in the images which we read a lot and then progressed through board books and are starting to get more interested in story lines with our 2.5 year old. 

For us we don't use a lot of shampoo or baby wash and are suspicious of the chemicals in most lotions so we are still working our way through the several bottles we were given as baby shower gifts.  But we are different from most in that respect. 

Breast feeding is very personal and if you don't know the mama to be well, I wouldn't recommend supplies for that.  I suggest staying away from clothes and toys, as you said they will probably receive plenty of that and baby doesn't need much of that for the first year or so anyway.  If you are out of ideas or tired of thinking about it, you can always go with a gift card to a baby specific store or even amazon, possibly in combination with a book?  Good luck and have fun at the shower :)

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2014, 08:49:41 AM »
Thanks CommonCents (love the username by the way!). Yes, that was the crux of my question - there are loads of things I don't want to give because I think they are a waste of money waste of time (yep, judgemental is definitely my weakness), so what can I give that 1) isn't just clutter/burden and 2) parents actually want and 3) doesn't come across as me preaching what -I- think.

Books is another great idea, thank you. You're a very helpful bunch!

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2014, 08:50:59 AM »
Thanks Shellio! Sounds like books are very popular.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3990
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 08:51:11 AM »
If you buy diapers, you might want to buy size 2 or at least size 1. Some people get deluged with newborn diapers and then can't use them all. I cloth diaper, but the box of 100 size 1 diapers* my brother gave me was really welcome.

*Mustachian win: He and the mom had been given more size 1 diapers than they could use, so they returned these to the store. Then they found out I was expecting again, and decided to buy them back as a present for me. Apparently the store didn't usually carry that size, so they had put them out for half price! Yes, he got to pocket half the cost and still give me a nice present.

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 08:56:33 AM »
If you buy diapers, you might want to buy size 2 or at least size 1. Some people get deluged with newborn diapers and then can't use them all. I cloth diaper, but the box of 100 size 1 diapers* my brother gave me was really welcome.

*Mustachian win: He and the mom had been given more size 1 diapers than they could use, so they returned these to the store. Then they found out I was expecting again, and decided to buy them back as a present for me. Apparently the store didn't usually carry that size, so they had put them out for half price! Yes, he got to pocket half the cost and still give me a nice present.

Love that story! Thanks for the tip on sizing, very useful.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1269
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 08:59:16 AM »
I received too many outfits that were never worn because the season didn't match the size (northern relatives sending gifts for southern climate). Ideas I loved & give:

CD of classical lullabies, which help the baby to sleep & parents won't tire of.
Good baby toys, such as an unbreakable standup mirror, wristlets that jingle, soft lovey object.
Crib mobile.
Diaper bag that's a backpack (hands free) or a good looking tote.
Onesies in 9+ month size (t-shirts that snap at the crotch)
Sleeper sacs in 9+ month size (footless & zips up, eliminates blanket)
Soft "Pat the Bunny" type books, board books

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2014, 09:03:03 AM »
Thanks GizmoTX, lots of good suggestions and it's really nice to hear what people were pleased to receive.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2014, 09:30:27 AM »
Re books, do you think you'll be invited to more showers?  If so, buy this for $56 and save for the next 4 babies (it's 5 copies of 15 books) for an average of $11.20 per baby:
http://teacherexpress.scholastic.com/folk-fairy-tale-easy-readers-9780439773911

My friend is considering doing books instead of treats this year at halloween and found this set of readers (60 books for $23):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/180978823313
(She also found the above link too)

I get these may require shipping costs to the UK,  but hopefully you can find some too.  There's also cheap bookstores (I found books for an average of $4), and yard sales (I found books generally $1, but better ones were $2-3), both of which were more than the above suggestions.

Credaholic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: Seattle
    • Credaholic
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2014, 11:14:35 AM »
We love books, but I do find people tend to all give the same classical favorites (hello, 4 copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!) so if you went that route, I'd get something less known. I also think diapers is a good idea, even though I cloth diaper. Here's what I would do get size Newborn diapers! They'll need them in the very beginning because of meconium poop even if they do plan to cloth diaper, and I haven't been able to get my babies into size small cloth until they're about 1 month old because they're still too big. Might also give them a small bottle of organic olive oil and let them know it's great for putting on babies bum when they're first born so that the awful meconium wipes off easily. They might appreciate the tip!

Stashy McStasherton

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »
Here are some popular items I have seen at the multitude of baby showers I have been to.

-Boppy Pillow- can be used for nursing, holding, or propping the baby up for tummy time. Pretty reasonable prices on amazon.
http://www.boppy.com/
-Handmade blankets, gloves, booties
-Books
-Diaper cake
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Diaper-Cake
-baskets filled with essentials (wipes, butt creams, bottles, small toys, clothes, etc.)
-clothes- people tend to get all different sizes up to about a year so you are not overloaded with newborn clothes. If you want to avoid out of season clothes, onsies are always safe.

It is also very common to get a gift receipt and put it in the card or attach it to the present itself in case mom wants to return it.

Good luck!



yoga mama

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2014, 11:51:49 AM »
We love books, but I do find people tend to all give the same classical favorites (hello, 4 copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!) so if you went that route, I'd get something less known. I also think diapers is a good idea, even though I cloth diaper. Here's what I would do get size Newborn diapers! They'll need them in the very beginning because of meconium poop even if they do plan to cloth diaper, and I haven't been able to get my babies into size small cloth until they're about 1 month old because they're still too big. Might also give them a small bottle of organic olive oil and let them know it's great for putting on babies bum when they're first born so that the awful meconium wipes off easily. They might appreciate the tip!

I have heard the same complaint about receiving multiple copies of classics - although we didn't receive any Very Hungry Caterpillar, one Goodnight Moon, and actually have only 2-3 times received a book we already owned.  If you are looking at books, amazon has some great lists and of course the customer ratings are super helpful.  Even the ones we didn't initially like (that were highly reviewed) have really grown on us.  We just love books in our home so I highly recommend gifting them! :)

domustachesgrowinhouston

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
  • Location: Colorado Springs
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2014, 12:00:30 PM »
A "coupon" for a few nights of babysitting would have been appreciated by us.  I suppose it depends on how close your relationship is with them though.

Winter's Tale

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2014, 12:01:16 PM »
A few things that get constant use in our house are: plain white cloth diapers, which we use as burp/general baby cleaning rags; lightweight baby blankets - used for swaddling when the baby was really little and used now in the stroller and/or car seat; baby washcloths and towels for bath time.  One cute idea I saw at our shower was to wrap small gifts in lightweight baby blankets.  Cuts down on waste and a cute idea to boot!

As a new mom who nursed, I was totally unprepared for the new clothes I would need.  A gift card to a clothing store with a wide variety of clothing would have been wonderful.  I would have used it to buy some comfortable clothes and bras to wear at home and to sleep in when I was feeding the baby a million times a day.  We also really appreciated gift certificates to places like Target, which we could use to buy diapers, groceries, clothes, household supplies, etc.

mollyjade

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2014, 12:05:32 PM »
If you know someone close to the expectant mother (a relative or really close friend) you can ask that person what the mother would like. They'll likely know what she's planning to do regarding feeding and diapering and if she has strong opinions about anything.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2730
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2014, 12:09:16 PM »
I received a few outfits in larger sizes when I had my first child. Those were fantastic because by the time a child is in size 2, the gift supply has generally dried up. So go ahead and get clothes, but get them in 18 months to size 2.

Another good gift would've been a bottle of wine. After not having any for 9 months it was nice to finally have half a glass. Makes the painkillers work better too ;-)

If you know the woman's style, get her a pretty wrap that can be used as a nursing cover. I would've loved one of these instead of draping myself in a pink bunny blanket that screamed, "New and inept nursing mom here!" It could also double as a blanket for the baby.

aussiesaver

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2014, 09:59:26 PM »
I also love books as presents and a nursing wrap is probably the best thing I bought. You can get them cheap on ebay. They are now my favourite gift for new mums. Larger size clothes are also great and you can get them cheap in the sales. 

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2014, 01:47:12 AM »
Some more great ideas, thanks everyone! A scarf / nursing wrap / blanket sounds like a lovely gift for both mother and child, and I could make that, which makes it even more appealing to me. Throw in a book or two, done. Thanks.

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2014, 02:32:25 AM »
I often give homemade meals at baby showers, much like the OP.  However, since she stated she doesn't know the mom-to-be well enough to give her a few meals, I think a gift card from a store that carries baby items would be very appropriate, so the mom-to-be can pick out whatever she DIDN'T receive as gifts at the baby shower.

In my experience, moms really do appreciate a gift card, and there are always lots of "oohs" and "ahhhs" by those in attendance when the gift card is revealed.

YMMV

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1447
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2014, 02:44:17 AM »
1967mama that is a really nice idea. I like the idea of focussing on the mum not the baby given my superstition, thank you!

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2014, 03:17:12 PM »
1967mama that is a really nice idea. I like the idea of focussing on the mum not the baby given my superstition, thank you!

I don't think you're being superstitious at all!  Sadly, I personally know two women who's first babies died in childbirth and to add to their grief and mourning, they had to deal with a room full of brand new baby gear and clothing after they buried their child.

That's why for me, it's either meals or a gift card, both of which could still be used if the unthinkable happened.

labrat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Location: USA
  • Lady Mustachian-in-training!
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2014, 07:30:57 PM »
The gift we wish we received was a gift certificate to a local food co-op that has a delivery service.  Those first couple of weeks were rough, and we had very little time (or inclination) to prepare food let alone shop.   

I also am getting a lot of use out of the boppy pillow.  A very thoughtful friend gave me a gift of the boppy and cover along with lansinoh cream, and soothing spray for postpartum.  Those three items made me and the baby a lot more comfortable during our first weeks together.

fidgiegirl

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2014, 08:47:03 PM »
I didn't take time to read all the replies, so sorry if this has been suggested, but I found snacks to be super useful in the early weeks - a wide variety of good granola or nut bars in particular, because the baby usually wanted to nurse immediately upon waking up, and I was also famished at this time, so I could eat a good morsel while I fed him.  Some days I think I would eat three or four bars.  :)  So that could be a nice consumable gift.  Also, as a person with food sensitivities I can say that I preferred purchased/packaged foods unless they were coming from someone I knew had a very good grasp on my dietary needs.  That way I could check the ingredients before consuming.

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2901
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2014, 10:01:21 PM »
As a father of 5 (soon to be 6), I'd say:

DIAPERS AND WIPES!  The recommendation for going up a size or two is a good one.  We've gone through thousands of diapers and probably tens of thousands of wipes over the last 10 years.

Astatine

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3690
  • Location: Australia
  • Pronouns: they/them
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2014, 10:27:04 PM »
I'm going to a baby shower next weekend for someone I'm not super close to. Some great ideas! The snacks idea sounds great. Might get some nice muesli bars and either a packet of disposable nappies (I can't imagine she will use cloth nappies - only one out of 20 friends went that route) or maybe a packet of face washers or singlet tops.

oinkette

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 195
  • Age: 41
  • Location: New York
  • Well behaved women rarely make history.
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2014, 05:33:47 AM »
Ha , I've actually had the "privilege" of going through way too many baby showers in the past two years. That time of life I guess (I myself am childfree).

At any rate, after one particularly bad year of nine baby showers, I decided I would never again go based on the registry. Everyone gets a Target gift card. Period.

It has actually worked out well since a lot of moms end up using it on themselves instead.  It seems the focus on the mom gets lost in a sea of diapers and onesies. :)

Davids

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 974
  • Location: Somewhere in the USA.
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2014, 06:50:38 AM »
If they have a registry just get something off of there. If not some onesies is good enough.

Goldie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2014, 12:49:13 PM »
Aden & Anais muslins are very popular here in the States.  They are very useful for multiple things - from swaddling to changing to burping to stroller covering - and get softer with every wash.

For a luxury buy, a baby blanket from Little Giraffe.

For a cheaper buy, go with books like Go Dog Go, the Going to Bed book, White on Black, and Blue Hat Green Hat. I don't think those are well known enough that everyone would buy her the same book.

I agree with the previous poster who said showers for second babies are becoming too common. I didn't even have a shower for my first because I didn't want to seem gift grabby.  Two friends each offered to throw me one and I politely declined. I think a shower for subsequent babies is really gift grabby.

socaso

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 480
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2014, 01:01:11 PM »
Even cloth diaper users end up needing a few disposables here and there. I cloth diapered my kid for over a year until he went into daycare and I still used the occasional disposable. Also baby wash is a nice gift. I liked to use more natural products on my kid and even though they are a bit more expensive it's still cheap for a gift. I can get a bottle of Burt's Bees baby wash for about $5 and even with bathing my kid every other day the first bottle lasted his whole first year of life.

LadyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2014, 02:09:31 PM »
SwaddleMe blankets. They're super easy to use for people who aren't good at swaddling, and the velcro helps the baby stay swaddled even if they try to kick and squirm the blanket off while they drift to sleep.

labrat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • Location: USA
  • Lady Mustachian-in-training!
Re: Baby Shower Gift
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2014, 05:51:08 PM »
SwaddleMe blankets. They're super easy to use for people who aren't good at swaddling, and the velcro helps the baby stay swaddled even if they try to kick and squirm the blanket off while they drift to sleep.

+1!  We are using SwaddleMe, Kiddopotomus, and Miracle blankets all with great results.  Excellent gift idea!