How to Shop for a Baby Shower: pt 2

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

4) No stuffed animals – kids get millions of them, and according to the American Association of Pediatrics, they shouldn’t sleep with them until a year old. Stuffed animals can be cute, but they just take up space until the kid is old enough. If you want to buy a toy, check out Lucie’s List for some helpful suggestions (but always check the registry first).

5) Don’t buy any baby shampoo, lotion, or baby powder. Doctors recommend avoiding baby powder altogether now. For the other two items, my son has eczema which is very common in babies. Our doctor recommended avoiding anything that was not unscented and hypoallergenic. Plus, lots of people will buy these items for new parents, so avoid overkill.

6) You still have no idea what to do? CASH – It may sound crass, but cash is the best thing ever. The new parents can buy diapers, books, Chinese delivery, pay for housecleaning or yard services they don’t have time to take care of for themselves, or get that baby monitor they registered for, but no one bought.

Cash is far superior to gift cards because of the versatility. This is especially great if your friend lives far away (cheap shipping!), is registered at some specialty boutique you can’t get to for whatever reason, or only registered for items that are out of your price range.

If you don’t want to look lazy and cheap by sending cash, buy one of those cardboard baby books and tuck the cash inside. Cash WILL get used, I promise, and you don’t have to worry about duplicates!

7) Strapped for cash – make a card and offer to bring them food after the baby comes. A week or two after they get home from the hospital, send a text or email (something unobtrusive that won’t wake a sleeping newborn) and say “I’m free on (list a few dates). Would any of these work for me to drop off some food for you?” For people that may not have gotten to the store in awhile, produce that doesn’t spoil quickly, like apples and oranges, would probably be welcome as well.

a) You can even make and freeze food and give it to them before the baby comes. If you’re traveling to see them or are a terrible cook, even a frozen lasagna is helpful. Just check in advance for dietary restrictions and freezer space.

b) Really can’t cook? As I’ve said before, paper towels and toilet paper are extremely helpful. You can also offer specific help, such as “I can come over and watch the baby while you nap or shower”, or “I can run some laundry and dishes for you” or vacuum, or walk the dogs, whatever. Try to think of the things that get out of control when you get sick for several days. Again, give a few specific dates when you’re available so the frazzled new mom has to think as little as possible.

8) Use your skills – if you have something you’re good at, consider how to use that for the new arrival. We are so fortunate to have talented friends, and we received a crocheted narwhal, a tiny pirate outfit, pirate quilts, a beautiful scrapbook, and a pirate cross stitch, all handmade just for my baby Nacho. (There seems to be a theme emerging…)


This got incredibly wordy, but I promise, it’s simple. Anything you can do will be appreciated, and hopefully these guidelines will keep you from feeling too lost.


July 1, 2014. Tags: , , , . Baby Stuff.


  1. How to Shop for a Baby Shower: pt 1 | My Attempts at Cleverness replied:

    […] 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 […]

  2. jkornbergwall replied:

    You forgot the best present you got–housecleaning services!!

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