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Baby showers are a wonderful way to show support for new parents and celebrate new life. Another (huge) part of the reason for having a baby shower is so that the parents can get all of the things they need for the baby without going completely broke.

With all of the things new parents need as they prepare for the new person coming to live in their home, baby shower gifts are a helpful way for friends and family to share in the joy of new life while assisting mom and dad in the preparation.

But let’s be honest… a lot of baby shower gifts are not actually things that the parents need. If we’re not careful, we can easily buy stuff we like rather than what will truly be useful to the new family.

When that happens, new moms find a lot of the same things in their gifts… more books than a tiny baby needs, baby body wash and lotion to last until the child is 23, enough baby towels and wash cloths to throw them out after use and still never run out, baby blankets that could be lined up from here to Canada and back… you get the picture.

Good intentions go awry when we think of what we like first before what the new parents like.

To help us stay on the right track when buying presents for a baby shower, here are some great suggestions:

1. Buy Off the Registry
I hateeeeee when people say they hate gift registries! A gift registry is an important way for people to help their friends and family know what things are actually needed. Simple.
Tip for parents: register at a store that will be easy for your friends and family to shop at. I like Walmart because they are everywhere and shopping online is easy.

2. Use the Gift Registry Properly
When you buy a gift off a registry, be sure you follow the proper steps in the purchase so that the gift is then removed from the registry to avoid doubles. You may need to have the registry printed so you can scan the associated bar code to have the gift marked as “purchased.”

3. Always Include a Gift Receipt
Place it inside the card or tape it to the item. Never skip this step… ever.

4. Handmade Gifts are Wonderful! (when done right…)
I absolutely treasure the handmade gifts that I received when my daughter was born. My best tip for handmade gifts is to make sure they’re personalized. I have blankets made for my daughter in the specific colors that I decorated her room because a sweet friend secretly asked my husband for the details. What a great surprise! I also have hand-painted room accessories that exactly matched our nursery baby bedding (light switch plate, tissue box cover, etc.). Love it! And one sweet friend gave me baby clothes and burp cloths with my daughter’s initials on them. These kind of personalized, hand-made gifts are precious.

5. Useful Packaging
Pretty gifts wrapped in paper or in a gift bag are wonderful, but I love to give a gift in a container that is useful. Think basket, laundry basket, a storage bin, a baby bath tub, etc.

Here’s what I did with a baby bath tub:

Cute, right?!

My daughter and I used Disney Baby items we picked up from Walmart in the baby section this week.

We placed everything right into the tub and wrapped it with clear plastic and tied it all up with a bow…

6. When in Doubt, Ask!
If you’re invited to a baby shower and no registry information is provided, just ask the hostess for gift suggestions.

7. Show Me the Money!
Not in the mood to shop for baby gifts? A gift card or cash in an envelope is always a good thing! When I was pregnant with my daughter, my office threw me a little surprise baby shower. We had cake (yay!) and I was given some lovely hand-made presents… plus a wad of CASH! It was awesome! New parents have so many expenses to think of, so gift cards and money make perfect gifts. Always the right color and always the right size.

What Do the Mommies Say?
I recently asked some mommy friends two questions: “What were the best things you received at your baby shower?” And “what things did you get too much of at your baby shower?” Here are their very interesting answers:

“The baby gift I received that was most helpful was burp cloths (they were monogrammed and cute), because I had a severe reflux baby…these were a life saver. I received way too many bath towels/wash clothes and bath wash/lotion. I’m using leftovers for my second baby I had so many!”
-Danielle

Most helpful baby shower gifts: bouncer seat, hands down. My baby was always in his and I love how easily they can be transported room to room and in the car. Ours has a vibrating setting that was incredibly helpful for when he was gassy. I don’t think we could have survived without it lol! Of course clothes are always great too, and never need to be registered for because people love buying baby clothes!
What I was given too much of: yep, baby wash and lotions. We can’t use either for him because they irritate the eczema. Hint, if you really feel the need to buy lotions and washes, go scent free! We could use them if they weren’t scented. 
Also nice, things for me. I was given a gift card for a pedicure and that was really nice!

-Amanda

I received too much baby lotion and wash that I didn’t want and too many blankets.
Gifts that were the most helpful: swing that can go either side to side or front back (my first liked side to side, my second liked front/back). breast pump/bottle steam bags, and cube storage with baskets included.”

-Staci

Too many fuzzy/heavy blankets that we never use, lotion, baby wash (my son ended up having eczema so we can’t use most of it anyway), and some ugly outfits that just weren’t our taste. But we loved getting diapers, cloth diapers, and lots of onesies. Those some of the best, most practical gifts. Also, I loved all the muslin blankets we got. They are great for swaddling and nursing.”
-Emily

I loved getting my rock n play and some sleep sacks because they’re expensive! We got way to many blankets… like an ungodly amount lol!”
-Athena

“I received way too many baby blankets and stuffed animals. I also received baby wash stuff of the brand I didn’t register for. Practical gifts were the most helpful. Swaddlers were my life saver that I registered for. Diapers were never a disappointment, loved the outfits but many were out of season for his size so I did lots of exchanging”
-Brianne

Most helpful things were the baby wise book, a baby seat, excersaucer, bouncy seat, and gift cards. I received too many soaps and lotions which I couldn’t use due to them all having eczema.”
-Bethany

“I got way too many onesie outfits, towels and wash cloths. I was having twins, so it was CRAZY! One of the cutest gifts I got was white shirts with 1-12 on them to take a monthly picture of my babies. I loved it! Every 27th of the month out came the next shirt!”
-Kelly

“Too many blankets. Loved the boppy pillow, stroller set, and zip up sleep sacks. Don’t prefer getting bathing products if they aren’t on registry because I preferred a specific brand. Same with diapers. A gift card would be better.”
-Katie

“Too many bathing products. Diapers and wipes are the simplest and most useful gifts. You can never have enough!!”
-Marwa

“Too many lotions and body washes… Just too many and not the ones I needed. Also I got tons of pacifiers of all different kinds… Most of which my babies wouldn’t take… That’s something that better bought by the mama when she figures out baby’s taste. I preferred people shop off my registry but honestly appreciated gifts from moms who understood things I didn’t… Like how I would need baby medicine that I hadn’t thought to register for… Or how insanely many diapers I would need! And baby hangers! Also appreciated things that were for a little bit older ages like sippy cups and dishes… Things I never considered registering for but definitely appreciated just a few months down the road when it was time to start trying that stuff out.”
-Jodi

Always keep in mind when shopping for new baby…
*Could they just buy this themselves? Mom and dad can easily go buy baby wash, so maybe it would be better to buy them the little bath tub rather than $25 worth of shampoo and lotion?
*This isn’t a gift for you… what will they actually like?
*Can I go in on a bigger gift with other friends and family members?

What were the best things you received at your baby shower?

Have a great day!

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9 Comments on 7 Tips for Buying the Perfect Gift for Baby Showers

  1. Michelle
    June 30, 2015 at 2:21 am (2 years ago)

    So many great tips. It can be such a struggle when buying for a new baby and you want to buy it ALL. And you want to buy something special that they'll remember, too. I love getting gifts for my babies, and this would have gotten everyone right on track! #client

    Reply
  2. Terri Lynn Grothe
    June 30, 2015 at 3:16 am (2 years ago)

    Great tips! I struggle with finding the perfect items

    Reply
  3. Kelsey Ferguson
    June 30, 2015 at 3:51 am (2 years ago)

    Wonderful tips! I love doing a themed gift. For the last baby shower, I purchased a bunch of bath stuff (that was on the registry!) and bundled it up in a baby bath like you did. For close friends or relatives, I ask them what they are REALLY hoping to get, and then buy that. Thanks for sharing your tips. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Rachel Dahl
    June 30, 2015 at 4:41 am (2 years ago)

    Great to read these tips! I have stopped buying skin products especially for babies. I just don't believe in them, and chemicals are just so nasty. I'm glad that there were a few quotes on here that disliked them, too.

    Rachel

    Reply
  5. Traci Rhoades
    June 30, 2015 at 11:24 am (2 years ago)

    A good post. Sometimes we're afraid to buy a practical gift because that seems boring. But I've learned that anything which saves the new parents time or money is appreciated. You gavee a few new ideas. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  6. Clare Speer
    June 30, 2015 at 1:57 pm (2 years ago)

    Great great tips! Lots of good suggestions!

    Reply
  7. ntina nt
    June 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm (2 years ago)

    Such great tips, thanks for sharing them at bloggers brags pinterest party. Pinned.

    Reply
  8. Andy Bradley
    August 28, 2015 at 9:12 am (2 years ago)

    Yes definitely baby shower is a program in which we can get several types of baby related products; this program is especially celebrate in western countries to welcome the new baby in advance. In this program friends and relatives are always bring several kinds of baby products especially baby diaper cake; but the most common problem is that we are getting confuse on choosing the best and right baby shower gift. I hope while following tips from here we are able to get a perfect solution for this problem.
    baby products

    Reply
  9. carol
    June 14, 2016 at 6:44 pm (1 year ago)

    Great tips! Also I think that personalized baby shower gifts are the way to go. You can always personalize the product listing by creating the name, parent’s name, or what ever you would like. Precious memories are the best. Here is a website that that will let you do that. Check it out! http://www.littlecsdesigns.com/baby-showers.html

    Reply

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