My peer group has reached the family-starting, baby-making stage of it all, and it seems there is a never-ending arrival of adorable Baby Shower invitations in my mailbox. Some are pink, others blue, and a growing number are yellow, green and rainbow – the gender neutral party…
Sometimes it seems a daunting task to shop for a gender neutral baby shower gift. So many items are geared towards the pink wearing princess or the blue wearing sports fan. However, if you steer away from gender specific items, it is actually very easy to fill a sure to please baby shower gift bag.
A few tips to get you started:
1) Purchase everything from the same store – this not only makes shopping easier on you, but it makes it very convenient for the mom-to-be to return any unwanted (*crazy concept*) or duplicate items.
2) Always leave the tags on and include a gift receipt – unless your item is from a boutique store out of town, or is monogrammed, assume the items may be returned. It could be a duplicate, defective, or the wrong size.
3) Purchase several, lower-cost items – baby showers are all about the oohing and awing, so prolong the fun with several, lower-cost items instead of going for one or two high-priced gifts (of course, if the mom-to-be is a dear friend or family member this may not be practical!)
4) Shop for items that your own children have enjoyed – new moms typically crave advice, at least I did! So, purchase items that your children have used and that held up to the rigors of babyhood and that wash well. Let the mom-to-be know any secrets about caring for the items.
5) Steer clear of clothing items and baby blankets – it seems these items are the most frequent gifts at showers. Who can resist shopping for adorable baby clothes?!? But, clothes and blankets are very personal items that parents may prefer to pick out for themselves, and it’s more fun to have a diversity of gifts at a shower.
6) Include items for parents and baby – although it is mostly all about baby, remember mom and dad too.
7) Consider a hostess and sibling gift – do not forget to thank the party host(ess) with a small token of appreciation like a candle or a small gift basket of baby shampoo, lotion, etc. if the hosts are the grandparents-to-be. Also, older siblings may feel left out in all the fuss surrounding the new baby, so a little coloring book or pack of stickers can go a long way to ease some of that party tension.
Even when the baby’s gender is known in advance, I still opt for items like the following because they are tried-and-true, durable, and useful. I typically include a bottle of my current-favorite baby shampoo or body lotion because that baby smell is just glorious. I like to mix in some practical items along with mommy items and toys. For the practical side, the Baby on Board sign makes me feel a bit more comfortable that other drivers may be more considerate near my vehicle (and be forewarned that there is a protective mommy driving precious cargo – don’t mess with me!). Some dishwasher safe spoons and bowls are a must-have for introducing baby’s first foods and The Mommy Hook for the stroller comes in so handy when your stroller sling is full of a diaper bag, dirty diapers, your purse, etc. It really makes keeping up with grocery and shopping bags a great deal easier. The children in our family have all loved the Bug-a-Loop teether; all the shapes, colors and textures keep babies enthralled for a lot longer I’ve found than a simpler water version. Strollers and car rides can be a little boring for babies so a fun, engaging toy like the turtle mirror pal is a great distraction with the different fabric textures, crinkly sounds and the mirror component so baby can smile at herself. I would have been lost, along with several toys, without the plastic links; this one doubles as a toy and teether itself.
In general, I recommend sticking to a $40-$70 budget, depending on your relationship with the expectant mother. The following gift bag idea should cost around $65 dollars (bag, tissue, card and tax included) and was put together for an office party shower.
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Many of these gifts are available on Amazon, links to purchase are included here: