This post is inspired by another post I just read on Pinterest. I am not going to post the link to it because that would be a horrible thing of me to do. Basically it was a post about gift ideas for a baby shower. I read the post and am hoping that nobody ever actually uses it because whoever wrote it has clearly never had a baby. The list included things like colored pots to help mom store things, out of season baby outfits in a larger size, books, engraved charms, and planting a tree. Basically everything a mother-to-be wishes to never EVER receive for a present! Below, I have compiled my very own list of baby shower ideas, as well as tips on what not to get, for those who truly want to know because they deeply care:
1. Do get items from mom’s registry. It’s most likely at Babies R Us, but if you don’t find her on there, ask.
2. Do NOT get a new mom outfits for the baby. Especially not the out of season sale ones in larger sizes. First, you have no idea at which rate the child will grow and what size they will be during the season that’s currently “off”. Just because an outfit says 6 months, does not mean that the baby will actually be 6 months when he or she is that size! My giant two-and-a-half month old is about to graduate to 9 months clothing. Second, onesies for newborns and 0-3 months are practically useless, as they are quite a hassle to put on a newborn. Third, there is an overabundance of them at baby consignment stores and Craigslist, costing about .25c each. Fourth, everyone else coming to the shower will most likely bring outfits.
3. If you are so inclined to get baby an outfit anyways, make it a sleeper with a zipper. Those are the one most useful piece of clothing for an infant at any stage because the zipper makes night-time diaper changes a lot faster. It is also rarely received as a gift, and is actually not that common at baby consignment stores or on Craigslist.
4. While a gift consisting of all supplies necessary for a first-aid kit or baby care are a thoughtful present, make it as much as possible from her registry. I have received the following aids for my showers: gas drops, 5 packages of Desitin, a package of butt paste, 2 baby fever reducers, baby lotion, 7 packs of baby shampoos of all sorts and kinds. What I actually needed for baby so far: burts and bees ointment that does not ruin cloth diapers, cradle cap cream, Neosporin, 1 bottle of baby wash chosen by my husband because he happens to have a preference. If she hasn’t asked for diapers, don’t get them. She may already have some, or, as in my case, she may have chosen to cloth diaper.
5. A great idea is to get a few people you know to go in on a large gift from the registry. It won’t break the bank, and will most certainly make a new mama super happy! For example, while you may not think that a matching crib set is a necessity for a child (since all they really need is a sheet), you have no idea how much time your friend will be spending in the nursery. A prettily decorated crib is more for the mama to enjoy. Indulge her.
6. If you happen to have a strong opinion about what a mommy will and will not need, make your purchases as much from her registry as possible! (Do you see the registry trend?) It would be awesome of you to get what you think she will need that others will most likely chose not to purchase from her registry (such as an expensive frontal thermometer, a nursing bra, or a tube of Lanolin). On the other hand, don’t buy her things that you know she will not need, even if they are on her registry. Clicking things at the store has a tendency to get a new mommy carried away sometimes… She can probably live without a bottle warmer or baby nail clippers. You are not entitled to have an opinion about what the new mom will or will not need if you haven’t ever had a child.
7. Do get gift cards. Gift cards to wherever she is registered are preferred. Another great option are restaurant gift cards for venues located near her house (vs. restaurants the gift cards for which were conveniently located by the checkout register of the store where you stopped by on the way to her shower), so that she can go out with her family, or send hubby for take out during recovery.
8. Please don’t get her things left over from your own shower that you didn’t want, unless they are also on her registry. Especially if your shower was five years ago. Even baby outfits go out of style and products from back then have probably already expired.
9. Books, toys, receiving, and baby blankets, like outfits, unless on mommy’s registry, although cute, should not be chosen by you. I received 12 baby blankets as gifts. Some were downright hideous. No baby needs that many!
10. Please do not plant a tree in honor of her child. And unless you are from some super upscale neighborhood that particularly values charms, do not engrave a charm for the baby. If you are itching to truly stand out, buy her a newborn photo shoot with a local photographer she loves. That would be the one that she “liked” on Facebook.
I know that some may want to retort with “it’s a shower, presents are a courtesy, and mom shouldn’t be choosy about what she gets.” If that’s you, I don’t want to hear it because I kind of, sort of agree, but am really wondering why you are reading a “gift ideas” post. What I do want to know is, what gifts that you’ve received for a shower stood out to you as particularly horrible or particularly thoughtful?