I was lucky enough to have two baby showers for our daughter.
The first one was hosted by my dad’s cousin and consisted of visits with all the ladies on my dad’s side of the family. It was quaint and low key. We played a few games. I opened some gifts. We ate food. Everyone commented on how happy they were for us.
Gift wise I got a lot of gender neutral clothes because we kept that a surprise, a few basics and a noteworthy handmade blanket by my grandma that is currently in my daughter’s crib right now.
My second shower was held after my daughter was born and was hosted by my mom and my sister. This was the meet and greet and it was co-ed. So no games, awesome food and a few more gender specific clothes. Several bigger items from my aunts and cousins like a baby bathtub shaped like a whale. The star of the day was my daughter because it wasn’t so much to celebrate me being pregnant, but more so everyone could meet my new, tiny human.
My husband’s family didn’t have a shower for us. We got given money and told to buy what we needed because we wouldn’t be getting a shower. So of course random family members I don’t know wanted to bestow their congratulations with gifts. These gifts were 90% clothes and trickled in over the course of 3 months or so. Honestly, it was super annoying.
I asked around to my mom friends to see what it was they wanted as baby shower gifts, but didn’t actually receive.
I felt that in the excitement of buying adorable tiny outfits a lot of essentials were missed. Things like vasoline, diaper rash cream, bottles, breastfeeding accessories.
Some of my friends admitted they didn’t even receive a shower. Which is kind of a let down. Parents get so excited because we’re bringing new life into the world. It sucks when other people we care about don’t seem equally excited for us. Not to mention baby stuff is stupidly expensive.
A few friends joked that the best gift they could have received was a nanny or some kind of free child care. Let’s face it… baby’s are a handful. They are wonderful and magical but they are super overwhelming. Especially for first time parents. So the idea of extra hands isn’t such a far fetched gift idea.
But the number one gift that everyone wished they gotten more of?
This is not because we are greedy or selfish and just want your money. This is literally, like I said earlier, because baby stuff is expensive. Like obscenely over priced considering half of it is meant to catch random bodily fluids.
Unfortunately, I don’t think any of us have the space to stock up on diapers and wipes for a whole 2 years or so. So we have to buy as we go.
I hosted a diaper party for my husband. All his guy friends came over with a box or bag of diapers. They ate food, drank beer and watched dumb videos on YouTube. My husband got to feel involved and we got enough diapers to last the first 3-4 months of our baby’s life.
But not all parents are so lucky, and what about diapers for the rest of the baby’s pre-potty-trained life? Or clothes for when she rapidly outgrows all the 0-3 months clothes she got at her showers? Or the tubs of vasoline I go through protecting my baby’s bum from the dreaded diaper rash? It all costs money. Lots of money.
Gift Cards are a great way to ensure this new little life will have everything it needs in at least that first year. I managed to ration out the gift cards I got and it took until my daughter was almost 6 months old before I had to spend my own money on her. Every time I checked out at Walmart or Babies R Us I silently thanked whoever gave us that gift card.
All gifts are appreciated when a new baby is born. All the time you spend with us. All the thought you put into your gifts. Everything is wanted and needed.
But if you really want to get a new mom the PERFECT Baby Shower Gift? Give her the opportunity to splurge on baby stuff with no financial guilt riding her conscience. She’ll thank you 3 months from now when she runs out of formula or diapers. Because we always run out of formula or diapers.