Baby showers and those babies’ first month birthdays are a lovely get-together to celebrate the babies and mums-to-be.
As well as the scrumptious nibbles, funny games and girly company, the gift-giving is a memorable part of the day. Make sure it’s memorable for the right reasons by knowing what gift to buy.
Whether you have been invited to a baby shower, a first month party or you’re a mum who wants to know what to expect, here are 10 worst gifts for babies.
1. Gender-specific clothes
If you’re shopping for a baby shower gift, this is tricky territory as you need to be 100 per cent sure what sex the baby is – and even the doctors can’t do that! Unless the parents-to-be have gone ahead and decorated the nursery, chosen the baby’s name or bought gender-specific baby clothes then don’t start buying pink baby dresses or blue dungarees as it runs the risk of them being unused if the baby is the opposite gender.
2. A joke gift
Who knows how someone as hormonal and tired as a mum-to-be will react to a joke? It could go one of two ways, so play it safe and stick to generic or heartfelt gifts instead. Joke gifts such as condoms, sexy lingerie or a t-shirt to be worn post-birth saying something along the lines of ‘I’m not fat, I’ve just had a baby’ might not be taken in the comical way you intended it and could instead cause offence. Cue awkward silence at the baby shower.
3. Impractical gifts
Think carefully about the gifts you’re buying instead of just being sold by the fluffy, adorable baby products that catch your eye. The baby shower may be in November, but the baby might not be due until April – in which case woolen blankets or fleece-lined bodysuits would be far from the ideal gift. Similarly, overly expensive gifts such as a silver rattle, gimmicky baby products or designer clothes that will be grown out of way too quickly won’t be on the top of the mother’s list.
4. Overly practical gifts
On the other hand, there is such a thing as being too practical. The mother wants at least a bit of excitement and interest when she is opening her gifts, and doesn’t want to have to try too hard to fake a thrilled response. Nappies, baby food, a first aid kit and nipple cream for breastfeeding are not exactly the most riveting gifts an expectant mother could wish for.
5. Religious gifts
Don’t assume that the parents will be baptising or christening their child, or any other religious welcoming ceremony. Buying gifts that are synonymous with these ceremonies such as a christening bracelet, candle holder for the service candle or a decorative spoon may make the parents feel awkward if they are not particularly religious or they have chosen not to continue their family’s religion.
6. Too small baby clothes
Don’t assume that every woman will give birth to a teeny-tiny newborn sized newborn! Even if they have had other children who came out the typical ‘newborn’ or ‘naught to three months’ size, it’s wise not to buy this size of baby clothing in case the mum-to-be has a 10 pound, two ounce bruiser. Either wait until the baby is born to buy them clothes or buy a bigger size for the baby to grow into.
7. Clothes for the mother
While it can be a motivation for mums to see clothes in their pre-pregnancy size, it can also cause offence or damage their self-esteem – the last things you want to do to a pregnant woman! A not-so-great gift idea for the mother-to-be is clothes that she feels under pressure to lose weight for. Instead, buy something looser-fitting such as a kaftan or maxi dress that she can enjoy now and post-birth.
A standard gift when going to a party is a bottle of something fizzy or a bottle of the host’s favourite wine or spirit. Think outside the ‘generic gift box’ and avoid buying alcohol or liqueur chocolates for the pregnant host who can’t drink until after the birth – it will be frustratingly tempting to those mums who love a tipple now and then and has to keep it untouched in the cupboard for months.
9. Personalised gifts
You may think the parents are set on a name for their child but what if they change their mind when it’s born, and they realise he or she doesn’t suit their name? While gifts that are personalised with the child’s name can make a really thoughtful gift, it would be a shame if it can’t be used or put on show once the baby is born – and it’s unlikely you will be able to exchange it if it has been custom-made.
10. Style statement gifts
Decorating the nursery is a very personal project and likewise, the baby’s nursery is a very personal space for mum, dad and baby. Buying a blanket, ornament or nursery accessory that has a strong and specific style, such as a particular colour scheme or theme such as Noah’s Ark, could conflict with the mother’s tastes and not complement the existing decoration.