Baby shower gift ideas
We welcome guest author Leah Fink to Tiny Years:
Perhaps you’ve been there: called on to purchase a gift for a virtual stranger. Rubbing my temples and shaking my head, I searched ONE last time through the registry computer for my husband’s business partner’s daughter’s baby shower registry…to no avail. It simply wasn’t there. Not entirely sure that I wasn’t messing up the spelling of her last name, I began to despair – the baby shower was in 2 hours, and I had no idea what her tastes were, or what she needed. I was left to wing it and hope for the best. Procrastination 1, Me 0. As I headed for the baby department I rolled up my mental sleeves and called on my experience as a mom of three to guide me. Let me share with you my personal hints and tips for choosing a practical baby shower gift when you have no personal knowledge of the gift recipient to guide you.
1. Go practical. There are some items that a new mom can truly never have enough of: diapers, wipes, baby bath items, etc. The problem with these everyday essentials is that they make exceptionally dull baby shower gifts. To ramp up the oohs and aahs a bit, use an infant bathtub instead of a gift bag. Infant tubs are very inexpensive and their tiered shape lends itself perfectly to displaying an array of baby bath time gift items beautifully. Fill the tub with a bag of diapers, a box of wipes, a sampling of different washes, lotions, and powders, baby washcloths, nail trimmers, small bath toys, and anything else that will add color and interest to your gift.
2. Avoid outfits. Mom-to-be might love frilly dresses, or she might hate that zebra-striped hot pink onesie that says “Little Diva.” With no way to know, you risk wasting your money on clothing that baby will get little use out of. If you just can’t resist those tiny baby clothes, go for pajamas instead! Even if mom-to-be can’t stand the footy pajamas you couldn’t pass up because of the funny slogan, she can still hang on to them and baby will still get to wear them – but only in his crib, where no one will see. A point of practicality here as well: consider purchasing size 3-6 months instead of size 0-3 months. 90% of the clothing baby receives will be size 0-3 months and chances are good that she will outgrow most of it after only one or two uses. Having a few pieces that are the next size up is a relief when mom realizes how quickly her new bundle outgrows her tiniest little clothes. Consider the season when buying the next size up – what will the weather be like when baby is 3 months old? Buy accordingly.
3. Purchase consumables. Head for the Health and Beauty Aids aisle for baby. Unlike diapers and wipes, you can frequently find pre-assembled gift baskets of soaps, oils, and lotions that can serve as stand alone gifts. If mom doesn’t care for the bath products, no problem. She won’t know until she tries them, so you will have done her a favor by saving her from spending her own money to find out. And unlike a nursing pillow or an outfit that she would need to return, bath products will be appreciated and used up, even if mom decides not to purchase them again. Buy organic if you think the mother will prefer organic bath products.
Remember to keep it all in perspective. If you don’t know your gift recipient well enough to be familiar with her tastes, then she should be gracious enough to appreciate your effort to celebrate her family with a gift, even if it turns out to be something she wouldn’t have chosen herself. The old adage is true: it’s the thought that counts, and your warm wishes and presence at her celebration are the real gift you are passing along. No gift receipt is necessary for those…but include one with the other gifts…just in case.
About the Author:
Leah is a mom of 3 small daughters and the owner of Diaper Cakewalk, an online retailer of diaper cakes and baby shower gifts.