Car Seats to Carriers: The Best Baby Shower Gifts

Whether or not you have friends who are expecting babies, finding the right baby shower gifts (and knowing how to react to all of the weird baby shower games) takes some planning. You love your friends and want to wish well for them and their future miniatures, but the rules of baby shower gift giving are sometimes unclear. For example, if a coworker invites you to a shower, how much are you expected to spend?

Although exact amounts will depend on your individual situation, here’s a guide to thinking about baby shower gifts:

Buy Off the Registry, If There is One

Many expectant parents sign up for baby shower registries. Professional baby planner Lisa Cattie reminds us that it’s best to buy from the registry, since you know you’ll be getting an item the parents really need. One way to pay for a single expensive registry item with a big group is to use Deposit a Gift, which is a website that lets multiple people contribute smaller installments toward a larger goal. That way, no one person has to be the money collector.

If You Don’t Go to the Shower, Give Something Small

If your coworker invited you to her baby shower but you didn’t go, bring something small to work the next day. This doesn’t have to be more than $20 or $30; it just needs to be useful and show that you care.

Embrace the Homemade

Baby gifts can be kind of weird and gross, but the key is to give your friend something she can really use. For a creative—and surprisingly tasteful—way to give her something she’ll really use, frugal mommy blogger Jessica Katz suggests creating a “diaper cake”. If you’re crafty or have scrapbooking experience, consider creating a baby book for the new parents, with prettily designed spaces to write key facts like height, weight, and milestones.

Don’t Forget the Mother

There are only so many pairs of baby clothes a woman can receive in one day. (Not to mention the fact that the little one will probably just outgrow them within a couple months, anyway.) Instead of buying solely for the baby, we like breaking the mold at baby showers by giving gifts to the expectant mother to help her relax while she’s in anticipation.

Check out a slide show with some of our favorite gift ideas:

View Slide Show

Tell us in the comments: What's the best baby gift you've ever given (or gotten)?

  • Anonymous

    LOVE THIS!! I have a baby shower gift to get and this is fantastic. I never knew how much money to spend and this sorts it out for me. One of my favorite sites to look for gifts is http://www.mightygoods.com The site’s owner, Maggie, does a great job finding really cute stuff. The site http://www.swissmiss.com is great too, but it’s more design-y. Tell us, where to you go to find baby shower gifts?nCheers,nCarolinenLearnVest’s Chief Content and Community Officer

  • Anonymous

    The diaper cake one is horrible. I’ve seen it before and I think it’s pretty weird. The whole concept of a cake with diapers is deplorable on many levels. I hand knit bootites and a blanket.

    • Anonymous

      Agree. I was at a shower once and my friend got three of them. No joke. I guess they are useful but please don’t give those to me. I’d rather have a box of Pampers. Thanks

    • Anonymous

      Agree. I was at a shower once and my friend got three of them. No joke. I guess they are useful but please don’t give those to me. I’d rather have a box of Pampers. Thanks

  • Rockon

    Cupcakes? As your gift? My Southern mother would be not be happy. I can see if you are hosting the shower but to show up with cupcakes? No

    • Anonymous

      What’s wrong with cupcakes? Everyone I know loves them. Please, if I were having a baby and a baby shower I’d want them.

  • Guest

    I LOVE these gifts. Thank you for making my life beyond easy.

  • Annes

    I once got something used! Someone’s used baby blanket No joke. It was disgusting.

    • Anonymous

      Nasty

  • Guest

    I like to “wrap” baby shower gifts in a baby towel, instead of using wrapping paper- one more component to your gift, and one less thing to throw away.

  • Judy Rodgers

    Our friend from Church had a premmie at 25 weeks. What big prayer we did. At the shower one of the gifts was a diaper cake with affirmations written in Sharpie, on every diaper. It was adorable.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Judy, for sharing this! Sounds adorable AND inspirational!nCheers,nCarolinenLearnVest’s Chief Content and Community Officer

  • Tharavn

    I think it would be great to give a coupon for a hour of housekeeping/cleaning services. A great gift for the mom during those early weeks after baby comes home. Or even restaurant gift certificates ! I love the idea of cupcakes. I had the most delicious lemon cake that a friend brought for my baby shower. 17 years later and I can still recall the taste of that yummy cake.

    • Anonymous

      Love this! Some of us wish we could the housekeeper gift certificate even without the baby shower!nThat lemon cake sounds delicious! Tell me you have a picture of it to share…?nCheers,nCarolinenLearnVest’s Chief Content and Community Officer

    • Anonymous

      Love this! Some of us wish we could the housekeeper gift certificate even without the baby shower!nThat lemon cake sounds delicious! Tell me you have a picture of it to share…?nCheers,nCarolinenLearnVest’s Chief Content and Community Officer

  • desperately broke

    This is great thank you so much. How much should one give for a bachelorette party, bridal shower and wedding if I’m a coworker or acquaintance, friend, best friend and family and the wedding is held in the same state as the guests and if it is a destination wedding? Please advise. Desperately broke.

  • This is great! Very useful information since my friends are starting to have babies.

  • Dkellogg251

    I’m a quilter and sew up bibs for those who are acquaintances and make quilts to close friends and family members.

  • Crystal

    The best gift I got at my shower was chocolate covered popcorn for me. It’s great getting all the gifts for the baby, but it was really special to know someone took the time to get something little for the one having to carry and care for the baby.

  • ev

    Baby 411 by Dr. Ari Brown = BEST GIFT EVER! I give it to everyone now. My copy nerly fell apart from use!

  • Jeanne Sherwood

    One of my favorite gifts that I received was a Bjorn Baby Backpack. My daughter loved to be carried and I loved carrying her, so it was the perfect match.rnThe absolute favorite gift I ever gave was a group gift. The hostess for the shower had purchased beads (varying colors and themes) that she placed in a basket. Each person at the shower chose a bead, and was asked to share advice or a memory as they placed the bead on a chain. From grandmothers to children, the advice/memory shared made the shower became this precious time with laughter and tears. The mother-to-be received the necklace as a gift at the end of the shower. Incredible!

  • Thanks for including DepositaGift.com in the line-up! We love helping parents-to-be create a practical registry that allows friends and family to contribute to what they’ll actually need for their baby. If anyone has questions, feel free to contact me personally for help.nnCheers,nDana nChief Gifting Officer and Founder of Deposit a Giftnsupport [at] depositagift [dot] com