So, you've been invited to a baby shower... or you're the one hosting one. Cue the excitement and the panic! But what on earth do you do at a baby shower and what do you bring as a gift for the soon-to-be parents and their little bundle of joy?
Navigating this ʻright of passageʼ can be unexpectedly challenging, both for mom-to-be and for her guests. From “whatʼs a ʻgoodʼ gift to bring” to “what can or should I really be asking for?!”, this is your guide for mastering baby shower gifting with confidence, and ensure you come out the star of the party.
Okay, okay, okay... Letʼs start with “what is a baby shower?”
I feel like most people are familiar with the concept, but maybe not the purpose of why we have baby showers – so hereʼs a quick breakdown:
A baby shower is a party that is thrown to celebrate the upcoming (or recent!) birth of a child. It is also a way for friends and family to help the new parents get prepared for their new baby – a tradition that people have been participating in since ancient times (seriously, baby showers can be traced back to ancient Egypt, Greece and India!).
When thinking about “what should I bring” to a baby shower? Think of something that supports mom-to-be as she transitions from ʻyouʼ-hood to motherhood. Instead of everything being just about her baby, the parties are (or should be) a great way to also shower mom-to-be with endless love, support, and all the essentials she'll need as she continues to embark on this crazy journey called motherhood! And because, truth be told, she'll get enough cute little onesies, baby blankets and diaper cakes!
What happens at a baby shower?
These are some of the ʻtypicalʼ things to expect at a baby shower – but by no means do they have to be done this way (or will they)! Typically;
Baby showers are just for the other special women in mom-to-beʼs life
They are heald 4-6 weeks before her due date
Guests bring gifts to help the new parents get ready for their new little one
There are games, activities or favors
Something that I always thought was kind of strange the first time I attended a baby shower (I will preface that I was 11 years old at the time lol) was that the gift giving part of the event was very formal, involving a dedicated chair, sitting around in a circle and someone writing down what was gifted and by who. Talk about pressure!! As I grew up and attended more of these kinds of events (i.e. bridal showers and the like), I realized that this is a very standard way of opening gifts for big events like this – but jeez did it seem weird the first time!! So... expect something along those lines!
So, what do you bring as a gift?
Firstly, thereʼs no ʻrightʼ or ʻwrongʼ gift to bring to a baby shower, but I'm guessing you'd feel really great knowing that you gave her THE standout gift at the party (you know, the one she'll cherish most :)
And let's consider this.. Instead of thinking about what you can get the baby, shift your focus and instead brainstorm what you can get for HER!
Hereʼs a snapshot of our top three tips for giving an amazing gift:
1. Bring something thatʼs for her (not baby)!
As you can tell, if you've made it this far in the article so far, this is always our go-to idea for gifts. Most of what sheʼs going to get is likely fictional and practical items for baby (things like baby bottles, clothes, blankets, diapers, etc), which is all amazing because 100% she is going to neeeed those!! But they arenʼt really "exciting" and really donʼt make mom-to-be feel celebrated – so our take? Look for something thatʼs a gift just for HER! A few of our favourite things are Rumbly Gift Boxes, spa gift cards, or home cleaning services for the first few weeks after baby arrives!
2. Find something you know she really needs/wants:
If youʼre close with this person, you probably know (or could easily find out) what sheʼs really been wanting, which perhaps she likely won't buy for herself! A cute prompt to start off this brainstorm with is “what does her dream pregnancy look like?” ...and then finding something that helps her get it!
Pro Tip: Creep her Pinterest for ideas!!!
3. Get something off her registry:
Iʼve heard the phrase “oh, I just got something off her registry” too many times! And to be honest, I used to think it implied ʻI didnʼt get her something thoughtfulʼ - but I've learned that that's not always true! If itʼs on her registry, itʼs probably there because she's actually hoping to get it! T\And there is nothing wrong with finding something in your budget straight off her registry and just bringing (or sending) her that!!
(For Mom-to-Be) What is OK to ask for a gift?!
So, asking for things can be hard (yes, we all know that) – especially when you have a particular sense of style or taste! But this day is about YOU, so you should get what you want!! Of course you canʼt control what people bring (there will be some sort of diaper-flower-bouquet thing you have to politely be excited about), but what goes on your registry is totally up to you!
Here a few of tips:
If you like it – add it! If no one gets it for you, that's okay! Most places with registries give you a discount on un-purchased items, so you might as well just add all the things youʼd like to get!
If itʼs expensive – add it! You never know who wants to spoil you and if no one wants to spend that much, they wonʼt! Also note here that we're big fans of group gifting, and we honestly can't think of a better way to help purchase higher cost items than through gift giving.
Make sure there's a substantial range of expensive, mid and inexpensive items on your list. This gives everyone an opportunity to get you something you really want!
Itʼs okay to ask for cash! Call it a “fund” – ex. a diaper fund, a childcare fund, etc. This is something you can certainly ask for of your guests - and the best part is that it gives them the sense that they are contributing to a specific part of helping with baby, making it feel much more meaningful and special!
Hope that helps you feel more confident navigating baby shower gifts. If you have more questions or need a gift recommendation, our DMʼs are always open! Drop us a line over at @rumbly_co or email us at all hours at firstname.lastname@example.org!