Author Topic: Frugal Baby Shower Gift - What kind of things would you like to receive?  (Read 3538 times)

hypocrispy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Location: Central Mass
Woe is me, my cousin is pregnant! So far in my life I'm somehow managed to avoid babies and so this is the first baby shower I'll be attending. I am swimming in a sea of unknown, drowning in adorable tiny shoes and cute soft little plushies! Help!

What kind of things would you like to receive? Or what things have you received in the past that were super amazing?

My idea is to put together a basket of some really helpful items (that won't break the bank) for her first baby. I'll put them together in a basket (garage sale 25cents) and display them with some ribbon (same garage sale, 10cents) to make it look cute and fun. So diapers and a cute toy because I REALLY want to; they are too damn cute! The cuteness is killing me. My ovaries are screaming to produce a rugrat every time I lay eyes on it. But I don't know what else. Teething rings? Baby powder?

Any and all ideas are appreciated!

jezebel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1287
I have two kids and I have never used baby powder or baby lotions.  Teething rings/toys, diaper rash cream, diapers come to mind as useful gifts.  Do they not have a registry?  If they do, I would go there first for ideas, but avoid clothes because they will get a ton.

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
    • Mrs. Dinero's Journal
I have a 10 month old and the gifts I really liked were:
- A beautiful, embroidrary thing (already framed with a wall hook taped to the back) of her name, birthdate, weight, etc.  I loved that they included the wall hook otherwise it would still be sitting on a table waiting for me to buy one just like all the other wall hangings

- a HUGE bottle of Aveeno baby wash and lotion.  We just finished the baby wash and are about to finish the lotion.

- different types of pacifiers.  We went through about 3 brands before we found one our baby liked and she will only take that 1 type.

- Muslin blankets/swaddles - I love these because they have so many uses.  use as a swaddle, light blanket in the car, cover for shopping carts, diaper changing table cover (esp in public), burp cloth, as a cloth diaper in a pinch, or lately has become the only thing she will play peek-a-boo with.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 777
  • Live Long and Prosper
Get stuff off the registry.  Really.  At least one of the parents has probably spent hundreds of hours researching every.last.thing (because #FirstTimeParent).  If they have a teething ring on their registry they have probably reviewed 5 others and decided they are too full of BPAs, or a potential choking hazard, or not educational enough, or not organic enough...First time parents are crazy (I can say this because I was one once) and they probably don't want things that aren't on the registry.

An awesome (not on registry) gift could be to get them gift cards to close/fast restaurants so that new daddy can pick up takeout for dinner when no one has slept in 3 days and the baby won't stop crying.

TOgirl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
I'd even suggest something for when baby is 9-12 months old...a developmentally appropriate toy, or bigger clothes. I'm sure those could fit well into a basket. It might not be the gift that mom-to-be ooohs and aaahhhhs over at the shower, but it will be the one with the least likely duplication, and would be more necessary in my opinion.

I received a sh!t-ton of items at my shower with my first baby. As a first time parent, even half the stuff I registered for, I didn't really NEED...but things I didn't register for that I got WAY too many of - burp cloths, receiving blankets, newborn and 3 month old outfits, and handmade items. There were also lots of items that were the same as on my registry, but not identical pattern, etc..so I had many duplicates of items that I then had to return to the store (eg...3 feeding chairs, 2 swings...)

Hope this helps!

meg_shannon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
Books! Specifically fabric books that can be chewed on and sturdier board books. A good gift can be used many times.
If your cousin lives nearby, and you're a decent cook, consider dropping off food once the baby is born and/or stocking her freezer beforehand. For friends, I have told them I would like to make several freezer dinners for them, and they loved it. (Be specific and get ideas of what they eat, and tell her when you'll be dropping them off. Too many people say 'we'll bring something by' and never do.)

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
    • Mrs. Dinero's Journal

If your cousin lives nearby, and you're a decent cook, consider dropping off food once the baby is born and/or stocking her freezer beforehand. For friends, I have told them I would like to make several freezer dinners for them, and they loved it. (Be specific and get ideas of what they eat, and tell her when you'll be dropping them off. Too many people say 'we'll bring something by' and never do.)

I made about a dozen of these before I gave birth (the last time) and they were a life saver the first few weeks.  I still make them and keep them in my freezer and just made about 6 for my father-in-law.

http://www.mommysfabulousfinds.com/2013/10/easy-crock-pot-freezer-meals-2.html

If you're going to do meals you might also want to think about small items that can be frozen and reheated like oatmeal muffins, potato/egg cups.  Dinners are great but small snacky stuff throughout the day is always helpful too.

If you live close by you might also gift her with your time.  Meaning you go over and help care for the baby while she gets time to do something either in or out of the house.

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5054
  • Location: United States
-Books- fabric books, board books, and plastic bath books are awesome.

-Clothing in sizes larger than 6 months. (Although if you live in a place with extreme seasons this can be sometimes hard to guess because some kids don't fit the sizes that correspond to their age.)

-Target gift card



Don't get baby powder. It is generally recommended to not use at all now because it can get into the lungs.

meerkat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1804
-A gift card from wherever their registry is at
-A stuffed animal/pacifier holder. It's cute, it makes it easier to find a pacifier that gets dropped on the floor, it comes with a pacifier usually so it's one more type for them to try out, and when the baby starts getting the hang of these newfangled "hand" things at the end of their "arms" it's easier for them to grab and put back in their mouths so mom/dad doesn't have to do it.
-A relative of mine used a rattle to decorate the gift box instead of a bow. Genius.
-Nothing that requires a battery. Even with a bunch of rechargables I just don't want to bother with making sure there's some freshly recharged ones available for his favorite [whatever toy].
-Food. Time. Always helpful, always winners. If you want to make it giftbasket-y, you can do DIY "coupon" things for one hour of house keeping, two half hour dog walks, two litter box cleanings, one hour coming over to chat or watch the baby while mom showers, three home cooked meals ... lots of ideas here.

Get stuff off the registry.  Really.  At least one of the parents has probably spent hundreds of hours researching every.last.thing (because #FirstTimeParent).  If they have a teething ring on their registry they have probably reviewed 5 others and decided they are too full of BPAs, or a potential choking hazard, or not educational enough, or not organic enough...First time parents are crazy (I can say this because I was one once) and they probably don't want things that aren't on the registry.

We really are crazy. I'd like to think I'm a little better now that my kid has survived his first year, but there's a lot of room for improvement.
meer journal for a meerkat

Will this matter in ten years?

naners

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 171
  • Age: 36
As someone who is expecting in a few weeks: if you want to spend money, get something off the registry OR include gift receipts. Actually include gift receipts even if you did buy from the registry :) I was also very grateful for gift cards to Amazon, baby stores etc.  If you want not to spend money, agree with freezer food or coupons for babysitting, cleaning etc.

hypocrispy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Location: Central Mass
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and sharing your experiences with me! My mother and grandmother decided to go in on the basket with me so we were able to collate a lot of your ideas into one gift basket.

This has been a trying experience for me. I heard all of you say "just go off the registry" and I wished I could. Family politics interfered. My aunt (cousin's mother) strictly forbid from buying anything off the registry. Her reason was that there were a lot of frivolous things on there that my cousin didn't need or doesn't know she doesn't want to bother with it yet. My own mother and grandmother seemed to agree. Who am I to argue?

I would also love love love to donate time and freezer meals, and I hope if someone ever finds this thread while searching for something similar they are able to use this idea. For myself, I live in Massachusetts; the cousin lives in Texas, and the rest of the family lives in Illinois. So that's a toughy.

In the end, I ended up getting the pacifier holder (thanks meerkat!) a couple books (thanks iowajes and meg_shannon!). Mum and grandmum are doing swaddling blankets, diapers, and a walker. Should be pretty neat when it all gets put together.

Thank you again!


BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1431
My favorite gift to give is a fairly in expensive Fischer Price bouncy seat. Someone gave us one because they loved theirs. I hadn't put it on my registry because I didn't think I needed it. We used it all the time. If you add a couple types of pacifiers and a bottle of body wash and loofa for mommy you get a "new mommy shower kit"! I would take the bouncy seat into the bath room with me, give baby a paci and then hop into the shower while he played in the bouncy. Worked every time!
http://www.target.com/p/fisher-price-animal-party-bouncer/-/A-17131024?sid=1447S&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Baby+Shopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Baby&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9015726&lsft=gclid:CjwKEAjw8da8BRDssvyH8uPEgnoSJABJmwYoxWz8VrVPeH4J_JSvlPuaWqlpEWBFSGFKsYDUJdI-UBoCnIXw_wcB,gclsrc:aw.ds&gclid=CjwKEAjw8da8BRDssvyH8uPEgnoSJABJmwYoxWz8VrVPeH4J_JSvlPuaWqlpEWBFSGFKsYDUJdI-UBoCnIXw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
This has been a trying experience for me. I heard all of you say "just go off the registry" and I wished I could. Family politics interfered. My aunt (cousin's mother) strictly forbid from buying anything off the registry. Her reason was that there were a lot of frivolous things on there that my cousin didn't need or doesn't know she doesn't want to bother with it yet. My own mother and grandmother seemed to agree. Who am I to argue?

Sounds like you found some useful ideas.  Just wanted to add that just because some items on the registry are not too practical, doesn't meant that they all aren't.  In fact, sometime those items are on there because there are people that only want to get the cute/pretty fun items.  I usually go for uber practical items like a diaper bag or baby carrier.  (And I would also defer to the gift receiver's preferences - mom, in this case - over anyone elses, such as grandma.)

Recently I've also handmade: blanket, matching bibs & burb cloths, cross-stitch hooded towels, portable growth charts, sunshine softies (sun shaped rattle with crinkle points), and nursing covers.  I'm limited to four photos, so let me know if you want me to post again with others or better quality ones to see.  I've attached the pirate themed bib & burp cloths and hooded cross-stitch towel, portable growth chart in it's container (tutorial here shows a similar one on the wall, although I modified it some: http://www.tipjunkie.com/post/85-baby-gifts-to-make/), and the blanket. 

ETA Cost:
- Sunshine softie: $0.50 (buying fabric on remnant sale, bells & crinkle paper with 40/50% off coupon)
- 1 bib & burp cloth set: $3-5? (buying fabric with 40/50% off coupon)
- Nursing Cover: $10 (buying fabric, boning & D-rings with 40/50% off coupon)
- Portable Growth Chart: $13
- Hooded Cross-stitch Towel: $21-30 (buying towel with 40/50% off coupon.  range depends if you have thread & pattern already)
- Blanket: $40-50? (buying fabric & batting with 40/50% off coupon - could make smaller though and save)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:28:16 AM by Captain FIRE »

Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
Here are better photos.  (It won't let me remove & reattach ones above, sorry.)

Kitsune

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1553
I'm currently pregnant with my 2nd, so, based on experience:
- If you want to get baby clothes, get 9mo+. EVERYONE buys cute little outfits in tiny sizes, so you wind up with like 15 0-3mo PJs that the kid wears 3 times and grows out of.
- Kids get a LOT of recieving blankets and stuffed animals; most never get used. However, if you can find like 12 flat cloth diapers (big squares of super-absorbant material), include those with a note about how they're for 'baby messes'. Put them down before the baby, wipe up puke, wipe up food, wipe down guests... we basically had 2-3 in every room and washed them every 2 days. Most used bits of cloth ever. :) We've included that in shower gifts since. Parents will universally look at them weird, and within a few months of the kid being born I'll get a text along the lines of 'these things are amazing and so useful'.
- BOOKS. Cardboard books. Or those fabric ones the kid can chew and can't rip. (I highly recommend anything by Robert Munsch, ESPECIALLY The Paperbag Princess and Mortimer.)
- Anything handmade.

And thing 1 friend did and I appreciated it SO MUCH: everyone brings food to new parents, which is awesome and appreciated. But everyone brought muffins and casseroles. When, 2 weeks in, a friend showed up with a huge salad and a flat of berries, I felt like angels started singing. :) If you live close enough that that's an option once the baby is born, seriously: fresh foods. :)

dcozad999

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
  • Location: Topeka, KS
That hooded towel is beautiful Captain.

My son is 5 now and we still use the larger hooded towels we have. My mother-in-law just took some of our old towels and created a few. Not as fancy as the one you made but very functional.

The most useless thing you can buy a newborn are shoes. Until they start walking they have no need for shoes, nor socks really. Newborn clothes are a bad idea as well. Both my children grew out of the newborn size within 2-3 weeks. Several outfits don't even get worn.

KS

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 198
However, if you can find like 12 flat cloth diapers (big squares of super-absorbant material), include those with a note about how they're for 'baby messes'. Put them down before the baby, wipe up puke, wipe up food, wipe down guests... we basically had 2-3 in every room and washed them every 2 days. Most used bits of cloth ever. :) We've included that in shower gifts since. Parents will universally look at them weird, and within a few months of the kid being born I'll get a text along the lines of 'these things are amazing and so useful'.

+1 to this! We got a pack of these from a relative and they are the best for pretty much everything. We always have one on the changing table too, for when she decides to pee mid-change.

Little Aussie Battler

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
Books are a great option.

Or Sophie the Giraffe - although not sure that it qualifies as frugal, on a cost/use basis it was the best value item in our household for the first year of Little LAB's life.


startswithhome

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
If you need a couple more ideas:
Dollarstore mesh laundry bag for tiny baby socks etc. I had a washing machine eat a tiny stuffed toy (larger than a baby sock) and it cost me waaay to much to call a repair guy (we were house sitting, so I didn't want to DIY). I give everyone a mesh bag now with whatever else I get them.
Oxyclean. The best. It's saved outfits after a diaper blowout that I didn't think could be saved.



Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
Also, don't underestimate the value of simply "sprucing up" a gift to make it look cute.  e.g. A box of diapers gets a "thank you" but diaper cakes get raves.  People are weird about this I thought at the first few showers I attended, but eventually I let my crafting self out.

When I hosted a shower for my sister-in-law, I bought socks off her registry, but wrapped them up to look like a bouquet of flowers using this tutorial: http://www.plan-the-perfect-baby-shower.com/baby-sock-rose.html  (Wrap tightly, it helps.)  It did cost me floral tape and wire (although I'll use the wire for other projects) bought with a 40/50% off coupon, but I took leaves off our bush outside for free to add them to the roses and add extra greenery to the vase.  I already owned the vase & rocks.  While it's not strictly mustachian (to buy the tape/wire), this gave décor to the shower - and a gift as a bonus.  I did this for a coworker's shower too, and she particularly loved it because she was allergic to flowers.

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5054
  • Location: United States
I LOVE the idea of the sock bouquet.

People have always told me the diaper cakes don't end up being useable :(  Is there a way to make them that allows the diapers to be easily used?

Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
I LOVE the idea of the sock bouquet.

People have always told me the diaper cakes don't end up being useable :(  Is there a way to make them that allows the diapers to be easily used?

Why aren't they used?  My guess is people do too many newborn size diapers rather than more common sized diapers.  But otherwise, just unroll and use I would think.  I have not yet ended up doing a diaper cake myself, but did a lot of research on it.  Some of the issue is that you have to really plan ahead to get the things that decorate it on sale (e.g. rattles, socks, books, stuffed animals, pacifier, thermometer, teether), or you can easily spend a fortune.  I think if you looked throughout the year that would be best rather than trying to make one up a few weeks before a shower.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 11:37:17 AM by Captain FIRE »

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5054
  • Location: United States

Why aren't they used? 

The people who have told me about theirs said it was difficult to unroll them all, and the rolling and sealing of them together damaged the diapers.

Maybe there are better ways- in this case it sounded like they were rolled and taped.

Lunasol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: MX
Books are a great option.

Or Sophie the Giraffe - although not sure that it qualifies as frugal, on a cost/use basis it was the best value item in our household for the first year of Little LAB's life.

My brother works for an online baby store and he has mentioned Sophie the Giraffe before! apparently even he thinks it's a great gift even tho he's only 23 with no kids and no nephews/nieces in the making either :)

Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255

Why aren't they used? 

The people who have told me about theirs said it was difficult to unroll them all, and the rolling and sealing of them together damaged the diapers.

Maybe there are better ways- in this case it sounded like they were rolled and taped.

Ah, I was mostly looking at ones tied with a ribbon or used a rubber band, rather than tape, which shouldn't damage anything I would imagine.  There's also ones that fan rather than roll.  http://www.babysavers.com/how-to-make-a-diaper-cake-diy-tutorials/  But it's a good point, to maybe offer your dismantling services with the cake itself, to make it easy for the new parents.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 12:21:28 PM by Captain FIRE »

Kitsune

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1553
Books are a great option.

Or Sophie the Giraffe - although not sure that it qualifies as frugal, on a cost/use basis it was the best value item in our household for the first year of Little LAB's life.

My brother works for an online baby store and he has mentioned Sophie the Giraffe before! apparently even he thinks it's a great gift even tho he's only 23 with no kids and no nephews/nieces in the making either :)

He's right.

It's a great (somewhat pricy - they're like 30$ CAD here) gift because most parents look at the price and don't buy it for themselves... and Sophie is long and leggy and perfect for little hands to grab when they're uncoordinated, and, depending on which tooth is teething, she can be nommed in different ways to relieve the pain from that (for the front teeth, my daughter wound up chewing the ears and horns. For the back teeth, the legs). Basically, for a good 2-3 months, she was the only thing that would calm down my kid and be grabbable and nommable.

Or, in other words: 30$ is expensive for a toy. It's cheap for 3 months of baby entertainment while teething. Depends on what you're paying for. ;)

Lunasol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: MX
Books are a great option.

Or Sophie the Giraffe - although not sure that it qualifies as frugal, on a cost/use basis it was the best value item in our household for the first year of Little LAB's life.

My brother works for an online baby store and he has mentioned Sophie the Giraffe before! apparently even he thinks it's a great gift even tho he's only 23 with no kids and no nephews/nieces in the making either :)

He's right.

It's a great (somewhat pricy - they're like 30$ CAD here) gift because most parents look at the price and don't buy it for themselves... and Sophie is long and leggy and perfect for little hands to grab when they're uncoordinated, and, depending on which tooth is teething, she can be nommed in different ways to relieve the pain from that (for the front teeth, my daughter wound up chewing the ears and horns. For the back teeth, the legs). Basically, for a good 2-3 months, she was the only thing that would calm down my kid and be grabbable and nommable.

Or, in other words: 30$ is expensive for a toy. It's cheap for 3 months of baby entertainment while teething. Depends on what you're paying for. ;)

Good to know! apparently it's been around for years, I'll remember to get it when little baby comes along, in a few years hopefully!

buttercat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
The most useful thing I got at my baby shower was a booster seat with tray - for feeding baby at the table. Much better than a high chair because it takes up less room, is easy to clean, and is easy to transport. It is useful for years and years and lasts from the first kid to the last kid. 6 years later and I'm still using mine every single day.  Here's a link to one to give you an example https://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Healthy-Care-Booster-Green/dp/B00CSAWIOQ/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?srs=2529427011&ie=UTF8&qid=1469974262&sr=8-2&keywords=booster

abhe8

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
Re: Frugal Baby Shower Gift - What kind of things would you like to receive?
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2016, 07:32:20 PM »
I'm amused at the op's update. :)
I'm due with baby#5 in a few weeks and what I want and need and use for my babies is way different from what my mom and grandmothers used. I had no idea you could even buy a walker any more! Pretty sure they are not recommended, given risk of falls and hip problems.

If you want practical, go for a jumbo box of diapers in a bigger size, like a two or three and a jumbo box of wipes. Lotion and soap if they specified a brand on the registry. FOOD is the next best thing. Frozen, delivered, take out. All is great.

If you want to splurge, the A&A organic cotton swaddle blankets really are wonderful. I use them for a million different things and my babies end up with them as lovies for years.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 07:39:21 PM by abhe8 »

NicoleO

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
Re: Frugal Baby Shower Gift - What kind of things would you like to receive?
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2016, 11:05:05 AM »
My favorite baby shower gift to buy is a piggy bank!  It is almost never on a list but is almost always loved by the parents, plus it fits in nicely with what I think is important.

Romina

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Frugal Baby Shower Gift - What kind of things would you like to receive?
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2016, 01:46:14 PM »
Some gifts which my friends loved receiving and didn't break the bank included:

book about baby food
book made out fabric which is machine washable
a soft toy which records and replays some songs
a mobile toy which lights up and makes sound - babies love it
a white lace garment

You're not alone I have three myself coming up soon :) all girls apparently.

Lunasol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: MX
Re: Frugal Baby Shower Gift - What kind of things would you like to receive?
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2016, 03:01:11 PM »
Some gifts which my friends loved receiving and didn't break the bank included:

book about baby food
book made out fabric which is machine washable
a soft toy which records and replays some songs
a mobile toy which lights up and makes sound - babies love it
a white lace garment

You're not alone I have three myself coming up soon :) all girls apparently.
wow congrats!!