As a mother of a toddler and with another on the way, I have now had two baby showers. My daughter’s shower was in May of 2009 and my son’s was a couple weeks ago. When making my registries, I thought long and hard about what I was asking people to buy me. And let’s face it, that’s exactly what a registry is!
The first instinct of someone looking to purchase a baby shower gift is to buy something cute…clothes, plush blankets, stuffed animals, baby calendars, picture frames, etc. And while these are all lovely gifts and would be appreciated, let me make a few suggestions:
1. Buy something useful – Diapers, wipes, toiletries, diapers, feeding accessories, DIAPERS! As fun as it is buying something cuddly or an adorable outfit with five layers, the truth is that the something cuddly will end up on a shelf or in a basket and the baby will outgrow the outfit in a matter of weeks. So, buy something Mommy needs to care for her new baby! To jazz it up and make it more fun, get a variety of things and make a gift basket (BASKETS are another wonderful thing to have!) or buy the gift set version of the bath goodies or baby bottles and accessories.
- Here are a few rules of thumb for diapers:
- Go with the brand Mommy has registered for.
- If she hasn’t registered for any, the general rule is to buy Pampers for girls (they are the most gentle on little girl tushies), while boys are less sensitive and tend to fair well in most brands.
- Include a gift receipt! That way, if baby grows quickly, ends up sensitive to a particular brand, or Mommy gets too many of one size, then she can exchange them.
2. Buy the bigger size – Everyone buys newborn sizes for newborn babies. It seems the obvious choice. But the smaller the size, the faster baby will grow out of it. So get the size 2 diapers, or go with 3-6 month size clothing and up (yes, even a 12 month outfit!). As the itty bitty little ones become too small, Mommy will really appreciate having the larger sizes already in stock. But be sure to include a gift receipt, just in case!
3. Give a joint gift – Let’s face it…some of the items on baby registries are just plain expensive. Unfortunately, some of those expensive items are the most important. If you have the means, spring for that travel system stroller, infant carrier, glider chair, or the high chair. Or, call a couple of the girls on the shower invite list and everyone chip in! Any mother would appreciate not having to worry about those big ticket items including..wait for it…the bigger size car seat! That’s right, the convertible seat for when baby has outgrown that infant carrier. See? It’s all coming full circle! Oh, and don’t forget that gift receipt!
4. When in doubt, the gift card – There is NOTHING wrong with giving a gift card. It is not impersonal. It does not show a lack of thought. There’s always some expensive item that hasn’t been purchased and all those gift cards add up! Be sure to include the receipt with the card so Mommy knows how much she has to work with and can plan her purchases before heading to the store.
So there you have it. From a very practical Mommy who has had two showers-one for a girl and one for a boy-stick to these basic ideas and your well-thought out gift will be a huge hit!