Baby showers are one of those things that you either love like rainbows and fluffy kittens or hate with an intensity that cannot be measured. Regardless of how you feel about them, you've probably been invited to at least one, and you also probably had a few minutes of brain meltdown as you pondered the gift you should bring. Unless it's a gag gift party or you just really want to piss off the new mom, there are a few things that you should never gift at a baby shower. Things like these:
1. Anything that needs to be ‘grown into’ past year one. It’s okay if the outfit is a little big -- after all, babies are tiny, and they grow super fast! Or if you got a pack of level-3 diapers. That's fine, I'm sure they will come in handy. But do you have any idea how much space it takes to store things that baby can’t wear until the first grade? A LOT. So, unless you're prepared to store it for mom, skip the "someday" clothes.
2. Anything hard to clean or, worse, dry clean only. Just don’t. Unless you plan to take care of that for her. Are you doing that? Because if so, I have a couple things for you to take ...
3. Personalized gifts. There’s not a thing wrong with going the extra mile and getting something with baby’s name on it or having something monogrammed ... unless you forget to double-check the spelling on baby’s name. Whooops.
4. Anything vintage/used. Some people don’t mind hand-me-downs or thrift store items, and then there are some people who mind it a LOT. Regardless of where your giftee falls on this scale, please, for the love of salt, make sure that everything is stain-free and in good repair. Unless you think handing over a bag of useless trash is the best way to welcome a new baby.
5. Dollar store gifts. Just because you bought it new from the store doesn’t magically make it better than if you purchased it at a yard sale (see vintage warning), and it’s probably lower quality. Buying more crap doesn’t make it NOT crap.
6. Anything that makes assumptions; a collection of pacifiers (she may not use them), breastfeeding supplies (maybe she's using formula), etc. The last thing she needs is stuff she doesn't need.
7. Clothes with team logos. Unless you know beyond all doubt that mom and dad are fans of a particular team, avoid the temptation to get Junior his first jersey. I know, I know. What's the harm, right? And you found THE most adorable little Yankees jersey in a size three months that’s just too cute not to buy! Well guess what? Mom and Dad are Mets fans (*gasp*) and that delightful little onesie is going straight in the trash, possibly after being set on fire.
8. Seasonal items. If it will be Christmas in a month, please don’t get a holiday outfit in a size nine-month. It will be way too big this year and too small next year (i.e., USELESS). Baby also does not need a cute little swimsuit in a three-month, when she was born in September. Know what I mean? It’s a waste of money, time, and storage, and it makes it look like you don’t know how calendars work. Which is totally not true. Right? RIGHT?
9. An invitation or gift certificate to a fancy restaurant or day spa, if it has an expiration date anytime soon. This is TOTALLY a thoughtful and awesome gift, it can also end up being more of a problem that it’s worth. Leaving a new baby for the first time can be an extremely emotional affair that can take a long time to work through. Aside from that, she may not yet have a support system for childcare. So, by all means, get this one -- just make sure it can be used at least six months or a year from when it's given.
10. Anything you were given at your shower that you didn't want. Obviously.
Do you have any more tips for things NOT to give? Or gifts you received that you could have done without?
Image via Scary Mommy