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Baby shower and arrival gift ideas, and when to give?

Posted on 29 November 2016

Most people these days will have a baby shower prior to the arrival of their first born baby. But if you visit them after they’ve had the bub as well, sometimes the timing of gift giving can be a bit awkward.

You see, we love to give a gift when the baby has arrived, purchased with them and the new parents in mind, after they are born. But going to a baby shower sans gift is not the right etiquette. Then again, going to the hospital or new parent’s home empty handed can feel a little wrong too.

So if you don’t want to go empty handed to the baby shower or on your first meeting of the new arrival, it can be tricky, especially since while we like to be generous, buying two significant gifts for one baby in a matter of weeks can really add up in the budget.

So how can you manoeuvre around this conundrum? Our favourite method is to buy some picture books for the baby shower, a small and relatively inexpensive gift and write a little message inside. Then we get something more significant when the baby has arrived, like a snuggly toy and a little outfit or a rattle.

Maybe that’s not your cup of tea and you want to go all out with the baby shower. Or maybe you want to go all out after the birth. Everyone has their own gift giving techniques, but if you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a list of low key and more significant gift ideas that you can mix and match when the time is right for you.

Low key gifts that pack a punch:

  • Picture books, especially ones that have a good story that parents would like to read - remember they will be reading them over, and over, and over again for years to come, make it palatable! Classics are a favourite - our go-tos are Harry The Dirty Dog, The Gruffalo and  Where the Wild Things Are.
  • A home cooked meal - probs don’t take your pot roast into the hospital, but a home cooked meal that can be frozen in portions is a great gift for new parents, and the perfect thing to take when visiting them in their own home. Plus it’s low cost and easy to get done, no trawling the shops!
  • Thermometer - many new parents won’t have thought to buy one of these babies, but a digital thermometer is going to be required at some point or other, and it’s always handy to have more than one. It’s a practical gift, right on point.
  • Bottle of Bubbles - what about a bottle of bubbles to mark the occasion? If you want to make it sentimental, get a special bottle from the year the baby was born, that the parents can cellar and drink when the baby reaches a milestone!
  • Soft cheese, sushi or any food generally frowned upon in pregnancy - if you are close with a new Mama and know they have been avoiding certain foods, why not indulge in some lovely soft cheese or pate, whatever you know would take their fancy.
  • A handmade stuffed toy - if you’re a sewer then you can whip something up in no time that’s got true sentimental value.

More significant gifts:

  • This one is a ripper for the baby shower - a dressing gown is a great gift for an expecting Mama, a nice one is perfect for the hospital while fielding visitors - we love A.L.A.S the label’s Kimono robe - divine.
  • We do love a soft snuggly toy and babies do too. Go for the cutest one you can find, maybe native to your home country?
  • Nothing is more useful to a parent that a blanket that can go down on the ground, grass, dirt or any surface and act as a bit of a protective cushioning. Or you could go for the knitted cozy blanket for the cot or pram, either way, a blanket is a very special gift.
  • If you like a sensible gift, what about a piggy bank, and every year you can put money into it?
  • You can buy a star and register it in the name of the baby - pretty cool!
  • If stars aren’t out there enough for you, what about a relatively small growing tree in a lovely pot - the idea is the tree grows at the same rate as the baby, a visual reminder of the life lived.

We reckon you’ve got to go with your heart and do what is right for you when it comes to gift giving for newborns and new parents. In the end, all that matters is giving your love but hopefully these tips will make you feel good in your gift giving etiquette as well!

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1 comment

  • Gary G. Noe: October 07, 2017

    I read your post. This is the first time I am seeing your full post.
    Awesome writing. It’s really helpful. Thank you so much for giving the important information.

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