How to Shop for a Baby Shower: pt 1

It can be hard when you know nothing about babies, and your friends insist on spawning left and right. You then get invited to the celebration of said spawning, and are expected to provide something useful and meaningful for the spawn. If you have no babies this can be a HUGE challenge. I know it sent me into whole new territories at Target I had never ventured into before, even when I worked there.

Well here’s a trusty guide from me, a relatively new mom, with almost no prior baby experience. I can help you navigate this madness!

1) Registries – ALWAYS start with the registry. Most pregnant ladies focus their nesting instincts on picking out exactly the right crib sheets and baby bottles. If they’re like me, they neurotically compared ratings and safety information across several websites before adding even a pacifier to the registry. Acknowledge all that hard work by getting them exactly what they want. A couple more hints:

a) Make sure the item is listed as “Wanted” and not “Purchased” or something like that. Items are not REMOVED from the registry after someone buys it. You want to avoid duplicates so the massively pregnant lady, or the new mom hauling a tiny baby, doesn’t have to trek back to the store to return or exchange it.

b) Make sure your purchase is marked off the registry. This also helps prevent duplicates. Check with the store or retailer to see if there’s a special process to have the item marked “bought”. Even just double checking the registry to see if it was marked off can be helpful.

2) Get a gift receipt – if you’re shopping online, I don’t think this happens, but I could be wrong. Even if you followed the above steps with the registry (good for you!) not everyone else giving gifts did, I promise. Hopefully, when the mommy ends up with two pack-n-plays, you’ve provided the receipt so she can return one.

3) Baby clothes – New parents do NOT register for baby clothes. They are told not to, and with good reason: EVERYONE wants to shop for baby clothes. We got TONS of them. My son is 6 months old, and I’ve still never bought him an outfit. If you desperately want to shop for baby clothes, go for it, but keep a few things in mind:

a) Most people buy tiny clothes, like newborn and 3 month. Help the new parents out by buying older sizes, like 12 or even 24 months. My son was born so big he never fit into several of the smaller outfits we had for him.

b) Keep the season in mind. If the kid is born in winter, s/he’ll be one year old again in winter, so buying warm 12 month old clothes makes sense. Buying warm 18 month old, not so much.

c) I would buy something practical, like a thermometer, in addition to the clothes. But that’s just me. Or, of you want to buy practical clothing items, consider Onesie Extenders. These are short pieces of fabric that have snaps on both ends. They can be added to a onesie to make it fit longer. The link I provided is for Amazon, but you can also find them on Etsy and Ebay.

d) Buy something washable and practical. Read the washing instructions. If it says anything like “Dry clean only”, or “Hand wash separately, lay flat to dry”, PUT IT DOWN. Ain’t nobody got time for that, much less new parents.

e) Also make sure the neck opening has snaps or fabric folds so the baby’s giant melon-head can fit through. We got one outfit that was super adorable, but had no way to get it over my kid’s head, so I have no idea what to do with it.

This post got pretty wordy (What? Me, wordy? Never!), so I decided to give your eye balls a rest, and break it into 2 parts. Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion! Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel!



June 27, 2014. Tags: , , , . Baby Stuff.


  1. jkornbergwall replied:

    I usually bring wine and call it a day. Then I drink that wine when I’m kicked out by the screeching pregnant lady who can’t have wine.

  2. lefty replied:

    I like that bringer of wine! My kind of person. Sometimes a gift certificate is nice. You need to know if this mom-to-be likes gift cards. Ask her hubby. Never mind. He won’t know. Ask her mother. Also bubble bath, etc. for mom is good but if she gets a dozen bottles of it – not good. Or, if you have time, give a personal card telling her you’ll cook dinner for x number of days after she gets home.

    • thatcleverchick replied:

      I would say gift cards on the condition it’s somewhere you know she can shop, like Target. We have a store here that’s immensely popular, Buybuy Baby, but it is INSANELY far from my house, and they only have one location. Target is fairly universal, however.

      Making food is always a great help!

  3. How to Shop for a Baby Shower: pt 2 | My Attempts at Cleverness replied:

    […] post got a little unwieldy, so I broke it into two parts. See part one for advice on registries and baby […]

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