First, it was the season of weddings. You danced your way through all of them and had a blast. You picked out the perfect engagement, bridal shower and wedding gifts. Then, quickly a new season had begun: baby showers.
A gift is expected if you attend a baby shower, but gift-giving can be a headache. How much should you spend on a baby shower gift? What should you buy? This can be especially tricky if you haven’t yet entered the world of babyhood, since it can feel like you need a PhD in baby gear to understand the difference between a high-end stroller or a functional baby chair.
If you’re in a position to shop for a baby shower, read on for our guide to baby shower gift spending and tips on choosing the perfect present!
How Much To Spend On A Baby Shower Gift
When it comes to baby shower gifts, you should keep to a budget you’re comfortable with and can afford. However, here are some generally accepted price ranges to keep in mind when shopping. Your relationship with the recipient has a large bearing on gift budget guidelines, so we’ve broken it down for you.
1. Coworker or distant friend – $20-$25
When it comes to a coworker you barely know or that college roommate you haven’t seen since her wedding, don’t feel guilty about spending less than $25 on a gift. $20 to $25 is a good range to keep in mind and even $15 can be acceptable in this case.
2. Friend or relative – $30-$50
It’s likely that the majority of baby showers you’ll attend are for friends and family, and 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 it feels as if you have), gifting in the $60 to $100 range lets you pick out something really special. A close relationship warrants more thought and energy into a baby shower gift, to provide them with support and love as they embark on the adventurous journey of parenthood.
4. Group gifts
Big-ticket items like strollers and car seats can be harder for a new parent to afford, so pooling money with friends or relatives is a great way to gift more expensive but essential items. If you’re concerned that you’ll end up footing more than your share of the cost, have everyone contribute what they can and purchase a gift card to a store that sells the item. The card should be signed by everyone involved, so the parents-to-be know who to thank.
DIY vs. Buying a Baby Shower Gift
As the old adage goes, “it’s the thought that counts.” When choosing what to bring to a baby shower, what matters most is that you put thought and love into the gift. You can maximize your financial resources by buying a gift that’s on sale (don’t include a gift receipt for these) or by including something handmade. Polite etiquette calls for the inclusion of one item from the registry, but you can choose a smaller gift and pair it with something handcrafted.
Another option is to create a themed gift basket from those smaller but necessary items on the registry. Oftentimes requested items like digital thermometers and nail clippers get passed over for more glamorous gifts, but new parents need these just as much. Pulling together these items for a “baby care kit” or other themed gift basket is practical, thoughtful, and can be less expensive than purchasing one large item.
Tips On Choosing a Gift For New Parents
First time parents can often be overwhelmed by the amount of things they need to acquire for a new baby. They’ve likely put a lot of thought and research into the selection of items on their baby registry, so it’s a convenient way for you to make sure you bring a gift they will love.
If you’re an experienced parent yourself, you might want to gift an item 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/or pass on some sage advice about when is a good time to use it.
Second or third child baby showers
Many parents put away baby clothes and toys once their firstborn has outgrown them, so practical gifts like diapers and baby shampoo are more useful than an adorable layette or bath towels. On the other hand, if they already have two girls and are expecting a boy, new clothes are perfectly acceptable and will be appreciated.
For experienced parents, a caring gesture is to gift unexpected items like meal deliveries or maid services. They’re bound to have their hands full managing more than one child, especially if the siblings are close in age. Another thoughtful 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 a first or a third child, parents want to commemorate the moments and milestones of their baby’s first year and beyond. With personalized baby shower gifts like keepsake boxes and engraved frames, you’ll be sure to bring a unique gift that will wow the parents-to-be.