While baby showers were conventionally an extravagant tradition embraced by our American cousins, they have steadily become a popular trend among many UK mums, who now either opt for or are surprised with, such an occasion.
Baby showers allow mums-to-be to get together with loved ones, have fun and celebrate the imminent arrival. As well as bonding with our friends and family, they tend to serve another useful purpose; namely, the receiving of much-needed practical items for the baby during their early years.
However, choosing the right gift can prove tough, especially if your friend is a little tricky to buy for! Read on to understand my top tips for picking the perfect baby shower gift.
If there is a registry, stick to it
Many people choose to create a gift registry, which is there to help friends and family know what to purchase, since the parents have specifically requested those items. A lot of time and effort goes into selecting the items that the mum-to-be needs, so a word of advice would be to try not to divert too far from her registry.
Of course, giving her a beautiful, personalised gift may be extremely well received, but if you choose to do so, try to select one of the smaller gifts on her registry to go along with it.
That being said, many baby showers come as a total surprise, which often means a gift registry won’t have been created, in which case you can certainly get creative with your choice of present!
Gifts from the heart
If the mum-to-be is someone who prefers the personal touch, a unique baby gift might be better suited. Here, you have the opportunity to think-outside-the-box and give her something special that she’ll really treasure. Perhaps a home-made baby blanket or cardigan that you’ve knitted yourself, or a personalised bracelet for the new baby – each of these are nice, sentimental gifts that your friend can cherish for a lifetime, and shows you’ve put some love and care into them.
If, like me, you are a budding baker, why not make her a cake in her favourite flavour? Alternatively, you can order your own personalised baby shower treat from Beverly Hills Bakery, which offers gorgeous cake delivery in London and across the whole of the UK. Sweet tooth or not, nobody can resist a lovely homemade slice of cake!
Don’t dismiss the gift cards
Gift cards might get a bad rep, but, when chosen correctly, they can be extremely practical, thoughtful and help save us some much-needed cash. The nappy supplies and baby wipes will run out eventually, which is where shop gift cards can really come in handy during the first couple of years.
Likewise, a gift card for an all-expenses meal at the new mum’s favourite restaurant will surely be appreciated when she is in dire need of a night off and some quality time with her partner.
Alternatively, one idea that I really like is creating your own set of “I.O.U coupons” for the new mum, which could include a couple of personalised, special treats that she can redeem down-the-line. For instance, a coupon in which you offer to babysit for her in the future, or one for a night-in at yours with her favourite take-away would undoubtedly go down a treat.
Anything that lets her relax, socialise or helps take the edge off will be enormously worthwhile, especially since most of us find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed as new parents.
Group gifts can be great
Group gifts have become increasingly popular over the years, providing a great way to help split the costs of the larger, more expensive items that are needed. Quality prams, cots and car seats do not exactly come cheap, and the mum-to-be probably won’t expect guests to buy such high-value gifts individually. As such, grouping together with a couple of other friends to buy the new mum her dream stroller can prove to be the most sensible and cost-effective course of action.
Above all, whichever baby shower gift you choose, remember to keep the receipt! Even with the most carefully thought-out registry and pre-planning, mistakes happen from time-to-time. Items may arrive in the wrong colour or size, or another guest could purchase the exact same thing, which is why it is important that the new mum is able to exchange the gift if need be.