If you have been invited to a baby shower, chances are you’re tempted to go with a unique, funny, or over-the-top gift. Whether this is the couple’s first baby or their fourth, there’s no doubt that some gifts are always better than others, and they usually aren’t the glamorous or flashy kind! Remember that the baby shower isn’t just about giving the new parents a fun, silly day of celebration. It’s also about providing them with a sense of community and support for the challenging days ahead. So if you’re in doubt, choose a gift that is going to be useful to the parents or a timeless gift for the baby.
To make the most out of the occasion, consider coordinating with all of the other guests ahead of time. This will help you avoid duplicate items to focus instead on some of the more important, bigger price tag, or more complicated gift ideas.
Practical Clothes in All Sizes and Lots of Diapers!
While frilly baby dresses with lots of bows and lace may look adorable, babies grow quickly, so parents won’t get much use out of expensive, fancy clothes at this stage. Instead, get more bang for your buck by buying practical clothes in a range of sizes. Go to the thrift store and bargain baby stores. Babies outgrow clothes so fast, it’s best to make sure the parents are stocked with replaceable clothes in many sizes.
Of course, if this is Mom’s fourth baby, she may have lots of hand-me-down clothes, so don’t overload her with something she doesn’t need. Instead, find out what she plans to do for diapers. If she will be using disposable, consider signing her up for a diaper service. Believe it or not, there are also diaper service options for reusable diapers. This is an extremely practical gift that pretty much anyone can appreciate.
Special Personalized Items
If you’re the crafty type, consider planning ahead to leave yourself enough time to make a special gift for the baby. Knit or crochet sweaters, hats, or blankets, or prepare a pre-made scrap book with picture slots for the baby’s milestones and spots for other special items like Mom’s hospital bracelet, a copy of the ultrasound, etc. Consider a gift card for a photo session for a photo book to encourage the new parents to take the time to capture lots of precious pictures.
If you’re not naturally crafty, but you love the idea of doing something personal, consider personalized gifts for baby or for Mom. Lots of babies love blankets with silky ribbons or linings, so a personalized blanket in very soft fabric might be the kind of gift that would get a lot of use. Or personalize a big tote bag for Mom for carrying diapers plus the hundred other items new parents always seems to be carrying around!
Make a Schedule for Helping the New Parents
Coordinate with the other guests at the baby shower to get people to sign up to help out the new parents. Scheduled items can include bringing over cooked meals, running errands, bringing over groceries, or helping with laundry and other housework. Try to get volunteers who will be available for at least the first three months after the baby is born. This will be the time when the new parents will be the most frazzled and the least able to keep up with their normal chores.
Consider Going in with a Group on an Expensive Item
If you know that the new parents are in need of a larger item like a crib or a stroller, consider getting a group together to split the cost. This could be a significant help for the new parents in saving time and money. Alternatively, you could consider grouping together to buy a generous gift card for one of the chain stores for baby clothes, gear, and accessories. You could also go with a Visa gift card or check that would allow the new parents to decide how they will spend the money.
If you’ve ever had your own baby, consider all the times you found yourself in need of an item that was not close at hand. Consider packing emergency kits for the new parents. This can include back-up diaper bags to be left in the cars or at a grandparent’s house. You might also consider emergency medical kits to include a thermometer, baby acetaminophen, band-aids, etc. You can also get lots of interesting safety items for babies and infants that may help give the parents some peace of mind.
Don’t Forget the Parents!
With the excitement of a new baby arriving, it can be easy for everyone to want to focus on the baby. Consider giving the new parents a gift that’s just for them. Give them a gift card for a restaurant or make a contribution towards a small vacation. Offer up your services as a free babysitter for a night when the parents need to get away. Or go with something totally indulgent like nice wine or fancy bath bombs.
Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons
What do want your favorite item that you received at your baby shower?
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