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Choose the perfect Baby Shower Gift or Present

Updated on August 19, 2013
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Susannah Birch is a certified birth doula, journalist, and owner of Trimester Talk, a leading pregnancy website.

Baby shower ideas list.
Baby shower ideas list.

Choosing A Baby Shower Gift

So your sister/brother/friend or work associate is going to have a baby. They've invited you to the baby shower but you don't know what to buy! Of course you want to choose a gift that will be useful, cheap and appreciated. There's only one problem - you go to the store and see hundreds of different items to choose from - diapers, clothes, mittens, dresses, onesies, overalls, sets, feeding utensils and more.

This guide should help you figure out what present will be best for the baby - and the parents!

If after reading this guide, you still can't decide, there's a list of the best gifts to get in all situations. There's also a bonus guide to what to include in a baby gift basket if you want to go for a bigger, no holds barred gift!

A diaper cake is one popular and highly useful gift for a baby shower.
A diaper cake is one popular and highly useful gift for a baby shower. | Source

Gift Types And Costs

With babies, gifts can get very expensive. Adding the word "baby" or "wedding" onto any item automatically adds $$$. Here's a breakdown of the types of baby items you'll see:


  • Baby furniture- Cribs, changing tables, baby baths, highchairs, playpens, strollers, baby carriages.


  • Baby needs - Diapers, wipes, shampoos, soaps.
  • Going out clothes - Dresses, suits, sets and fashionable clothes.
  • Toys - Toys are generally expensive - the bigger you get the more you pay.


  • Comfy Clothes - Onesies, overalls, pyjamas & sleeping bags.
  • Food Items - Bowls, spoons, bibs.

Choosing A Color

If you aren't sure on the baby's gender or on the parents color choices, it's good to go neutral. Some parents don't want their daughter in pink - others may not want their son wearing nothing but blue.

Best neutral colors:

  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Two or Three tone
  • Rainbow

Think Before You Gift

Before you decide on a gift you need to take the following into account:

  • Are there big babies in the family? If so, baby might grow out of small sizes in a matter of weeks - consider buying a larger size instead of one for a newborn.
  • What weather are you buying for? Buying a short sleeved dress that won't be worn till winter isn't a great idea.
  • Can you have too many of the item? If you plan to buy a one of item such as a baby bath, bottle steriliser or stroller, you need to make sure you're the only one buying it.

Choosing an item that baby won't be able to use for some time means that you're less likely to double up on gifts.
Choosing an item that baby won't be able to use for some time means that you're less likely to double up on gifts. | Source

What Not To Give

  • Items for use 'right now' - Baby size and needs can vary, so try and avoid items that mum and dad probably already have - such as infant diapers, diaper rash cream and bottles.
  • Complicated items - If a baby is going to be using a bassinet or bath for only a few months, they don't need a top of the line, expensive item with 4 positions and two pages of instructions.
  • Obviously cheap items - it's fine to go cheap, but try not to buy anything too flimsy or that looks like it will break after a few uses - it probably will!
  • Unusable items - Try not to buy things that are just for show - such as stuffed toys or collectible items.
  • Unusable disposables - Try to avoid flowers and chocolates. The new parents will probably have plenty of flowers already and sweets aren't the healthiest thing to keep the energy up for parents who'll be waking up every night!

Top (Always Appropriate) Gifts To Give

Quick & Easy:

  1. 2 or 3 pack of onesies or coveralls in size 6-12 months.
  2. Baby's first doll
  3. Gift pack (you can buy packs with items such as a headrest, toy and blanket)
  4. Towels
  5. Baby Blanket

Planning For The Future:

  1. Shoes or Booties
  2. Bibs & eating utensils
  3. Teething toys
  4. Nice going out outfit (such as a set or pretty dress) in size 3-6 months or 6-12 months.
  5. Walker

Much Appreciated:

  1. Personal Hamper (see below)
  2. Nappy (diaper) Cake
  3. Diapers & wipes (in toddler size)
  4. Babysitting coupon or food coupon or if possible, cook a freezable meal
  5. Money - ok so it's not the most appropriate gift but trust me, it will be appreciated

Making A Baby Gift Basket

So you feel enthusiastic, have a bit of money and want to put together a hamper with some thought behind it? Below are two ideas for great hampers for new parents:

All You Need Super Baby Gift Basket!

  • Baby bath tub, or diaper pail to pack items in
  • 1 winter blanket
  • 1 muslin wrap
  • 1 pack of wipes
  • Small pack of diapers (infant or toddler)
  • 3 pack of face washers
  • 1 towel
  • Baby shampoo
  • 1 pacifier
  • 1 baby sleeping bag or pyjamas (size based on when winter will arrive)
  • 3 pack of baby onesies size 3-6 months
  • 3 pack of socks

The Basics Baby Gift Basket.

  • Large basket to put items in
  • 1 towel
  • 3 pack of washcloths
  • 3 pack of short sleeve onesies
  • 1 warm coverall
  • Warm baby beanie
  • 1 baby shampoo


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