You’ve made it through wedding season – dancing and enjoying every moment. Now, a new season is upon us: baby showers. Attending a baby shower means that a gift is expected, but figuring out what to buy can be a headache. How much should you spend? What should you get? It can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with the world of baby gear. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our guide to baby shower gift etiquette and tips on choosing the perfect present!
How Much to Spend on a Baby Shower Gift
When it comes to baby shower gifts, it’s important to stick to a budget that you’re comfortable with and can afford. However, here are some generally accepted price ranges to keep in mind:
1. Coworker or Distant Friend – $20-$25
When it comes to a coworker you barely know or a college roommate you haven’t seen since her wedding, don’t feel guilty about spending less than $25 on a gift. A range of $20 to $25 is perfectly acceptable in this case, and even $15 can be suitable.
2. Friend or Relative – $30-$50
Most of the baby showers you’ll attend will likely be for friends and family. In these cases, a budget of $30 to $50 is generally considered appropriate.
3. Best Friend or Close Relative – $60-$100
When it comes to someone you’ve known your entire life or have a very close bond with, you may want to consider spending a bit more. Gifting in the $60 to $100 range allows you to pick out something really special. A close relationship warrants more thought and effort, showing your support and love as they embark on the exciting journey of parenthood.
4. Group Gifts
For big-ticket items like strollers or car seats, consider pooling money with friends or relatives. This allows you to buy more expensive but essential items. If you’re concerned about footing more than your share of the cost, have everyone contribute what they can and purchase a gift card from a store that sells the particular item. Ensure that the card is signed by everyone involved, so the parents-to-be know who to thank.
DIY vs. Buying a Baby Shower Gift
As the saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts.” When it comes to choosing a baby shower gift, what matters most is that you put thought and love into it. You can maximize your financial resources by buying a gift that’s on sale (without including a gift receipt) or by including something handmade. Polite etiquette suggests including at least one item from the registry, but you can also choose a smaller gift and pair it with something you’ve crafted yourself.
Another option is to create a themed gift basket using smaller, but necessary, items from the registry. Items like digital thermometers and nail clippers are often overlooked for more glamorous gifts, but new parents need them just as much. Pulling these items together for a “baby care kit” or another themed gift basket is practical, thoughtful, and can be less expensive than purchasing one large item.
Tips for Choosing a Gift for New Parents
First-time parents can often feel overwhelmed by the amount of things they need to acquire for their new baby. They’ve likely put a lot of thought and research into selecting items for their baby registry, so it’s a convenient way for you to ensure that you bring a gift they will love.
If you’re an experienced parent yourself, you might want to gift an item that you personally know is a lifesaver, even if it isn’t included on their registry. For example, you could fill a diaper bag with your favorite swaddles, bottles, and board books. Add a note in the card about why you found the item so helpful with your own child and offer some sage advice on when to use it.
For baby showers celebrating the arrival of a second or third child, practical gifts like diapers and baby shampoo are more useful than cute outfits or bath towels. However, if the parents are expecting a different gender than their previous children, new clothes are perfectly acceptable and will be appreciated.
For experienced parents, consider thoughtful gestures like gifting meal delivery or maid services. They’re likely to have their hands full managing more than one child, especially if the siblings are close in age. Another idea is to spend less on a gift for the baby and include a small “big sister/brother” gift for the older child, who is likely to experience many changes with the arrival of a new sibling.
Whether it’s their first or third child, parents want to commemorate the moments and milestones of their baby’s first year and beyond. Personalized baby shower gifts like keepsake boxes and engraved frames are sure to bring a unique touch that will wow the parents-to-be.
Remember, the most important thing is to show your love, support, and excitement for the parents-to-be. Use our tips and guidelines to help you find the perfect baby shower gift!