10 Gifts not to give at a Baby Shower, and what to give instead.

Baby showers are so fun! You get to play fun little games, focus on trying not to say baby so you don’t lose that clip, eat some good food and dessert, and best of all give some adorable gifts to the expectant mother.

Bonus, A couple pictures from our baby shower haha! Since becoming a mom, I’ve been to a few showers now and noticed a few things. To me, the point of a baby shower is helping the new little family get started yet it seems like a lot of people focus more on the cute stuff rather than the useful. I really don’t want to sound unappreciative, but out of all the gifts I got from my shower, I really only put to use maybe 4-5 things. The rest, has either sat on the side and later donated, donated right away, or returned back to the store. And again, I am SUPER thankful for all the people who came and celebrated with me, and I truly wish I could’ve used the stuff I was given but there are times where things just don’t have a use.

What Not to give your Mom’s to Be!

  1. Blankets! Oh man, this was my most donated item. I think I got like 12 blankets from my baby shower. This is number one because I don’t understand why this is even a thing! AAP standards say babies under a year old shouldn’t even have blankets in their cribs. Many people know this, yet for some reason it is the most given gift. If you absolutely feel the need to do a blanket, please make it a receiving blanket because they are perfect for catching spit up, wiping boogers or cleaning up quick messes.
  2. Newborn, 1-3 mo clothes– It is totally okay to buy clothes for baby BUT remember how fast they grow. They will be out of newborn clothes in mere weeks and 1-3 month clothes soon after. If you choose to give clothes, please try to buy a few out of all sizes. My bestie did an amazing job buying 1-3, 3-6, 9-12, and 18 month clothes so that as she grew, I always had at least one outfit to start with before I went shopping for more.
  3. Velcro bibs– These bibs are great for when they’re little but if you want them to last long, get the ones with a button. Once they’re old enough, they rip off those bibs so fast and they become useless. I donated all my Velcro bibs once she started ripping them off and kept ones that had buttons.
  4. Stuffed Animals– Same reason as the blankets. It is a suffocation hazard. There is plenty of time when they’re older to get stuffed animals for their birthdays or other occasions.
  5. Baby Shoes– I got a few of these and I don’t understand. Maybe I’m just not that high maintenance but like the kid isn’t going to be walking until they are closer to 9 mo or a year. If you wanna get shoes, I’d gift them big kid shoes that they can actually walk in. Baby shoes just make no sense.
  6. Button Pajamas– Maybe you were too sleep deprived to remember but button pajamas suck. You are tired and just trying to change the diaper so you can get back to sleep and you are fumbling trying to get the multiple buttons together, god forbid you put the wrong button on and have to start over again. Just be nice and find ones with zippers. The parents will thank you.
  7. Seasonal/Decorationall Clothes– Just be careful with the due date for baby. Baby isn’t gonna be able use a winter jacket in the summer. And again, babies grow so fast at all different rates. I’ve been super lucky to have a small baby who can wear clothes seemingly forever but I know some babies that are younger than her and twice her size. Find out what is best for baby and their due date or give a gift card so the parents can get the appropriate size when that season comes. And for decorational clothes, you KNOW those clothes will only be used once MAYBE twice if you’re lucky, so again, give the baby something that can be used.
  8. Nursery Deco- Whether it’s a lamp, crib bumpers (which are also dangerous), sheets, frames, all that jazz I think it’s best not to do it. One of the fun things about having a nursery is decorating it so unless its specifically asked for on their registry, don’t buy them something they likely won’t put up.
  9. Used Items/ Dollar store Items- I’m not against all used items. I totally loved the hand me down clothes I got from family. But don’t be giving stuff that is super used and stained. While it didn’t happen to be, I’ve heard of people getting used hospital robes, strained clothes, loose pacifiers and bottles, expired formula. Some stuff is better off new. Dollar store items too often come not as well made and often can fall apart and be a hazard towards the baby. Many of the lotions at dollar stores aren’t name brand which makes it a risky item to put on a sensitive babies skin. I’d rather receive one item them a bunch of dollar items that might not even make it one use.
  10. What didn’t you like- Honestly just think back to the days of your baby shower. What was an item you got that was like yaaaah I can’t use this, don’t get it for them. I know the days all blur together but I’m sure there is at least an item or two you remember never touching or immediately getting rid of.


I’m sure there’s a few of you going, “Aww, but those are the easiest and cutest things to give!”  Trust me, I get you. But when you have a shower of 10 people giving you the same stuff it just doesn’t work. If you want to check in later and give them one of those things go for it, but most times it’s better to stick to the useful stuff. You’ll not only make the parents happy but you will also know you aren’t wasting your money.

First off, check with mom and see if they have a gift registry and you can see exactly what they want. If not, think back about those items that were the most useful to you when you became a mom, especially if it’s an item you found later that changed your life! . Let me list a few things I LOVED getting from my family or things I wish I would’ve gotten.

What to Give to your Mom’s to Be!

  1. Rock N Play and/or Swing– My aunty got me a Rock n Play and it was a life saver. It was the only way Riley would sleep her first 2 months. And the swing was the next runner up.
  2. Bottle samples– whether the mom is breastfeeding or formula feeding it is good to have a few bottles on hands. Babies choose the bottles so it’s best to give them a few single bottles of all the different brands so that they have bottles to try when baby gets there. This was the one thing I asked and hoped for and I didn’t get a single one. If you do this, your expectant mommy will be so thankful!
  3. First Aid Kit Items- Babies get sick and as a first-time mom, that first sickness was terrifying. Gift them a good thermometer, some bandaids, nose-Frida (If you don’t know what this is look it up, it’s the best), baby nail clippers, nail file, Maty’s vapor rub, baby Tylenol, baby Benedryl. And everything else that’s good for those baby colds.
  4. Diapers & Wipes– Your mommy to be will be soooo happy with these if you give them! It is kind of my go to gift. But similar to clothes, if you’re going to do it, try give other sizes. It was amazing when I was debating if It was time to size up or not that a had a pack of diapers to try. And for wipes, it’s a great simple gift you know will be used whether it’s to wipe a butt, clean the hands, or wipe up a table. It’s a great gift! Bonus points if you ask the mom ahead of time what kind of diapers and wipes they plan to use.
  5. Bath set– This includes shampoos, body washes, lotions, diaper cream, all that jazz. Someone got me a beginning bath set and we used it for probably the first 6 months or so and it was wonderful! I also want to include here it is also super nice to be gifted that special baby laundry detergent, Dreft.  And again, bonus points if you ask the mother what brand they want to use. I wasn’t very picky but some moms are so if you want to make sure you get the good stuff, make sure you ask.
  6. Play Gym– I didn’t ask for one of these and I wish I did. Riley loved when I would hold toys above her to bat her hands at but it got so tiring after a while, I ended up finding out about play gyms and bought one and she loved it. Especially since ours had a singing mobile too.
  7. Books or toys- Reading is soooo great for kids. They’ll get so much use. Just try to invest in thicker board books so hopefully they can last more than one kid. Now you don’t need to go crazy on the toys since they’re so little but some teethers, or textured balls are great. My daughter also loved crinkle paper that her godmother got her which was a super simple first toy. Babies also love tabs so a toy that comes with textures, rattles, tabs and teethers are great (I know it sounds like a lot but there are totally toys like that. I bought a fish for a friend’s baby and Riley had a little elephant from target).
  8. Parent Gift– Yes, the baby is the point of the shower but don’t forget about the parents. If you can afford to give them a special gift like a gift card to their favorite restaurant, or even a spa day for the mom. It would be sooo appreciative. A newborn is hard and giving them that so they have another reason to enjoy a much-needed date night will be worth the money. Just try to make sure that it doesn’t have an expiration date. You could also gift them a cleaning service to help around the house too!
  9. Mommy Gift– I mentioned the spa but I know that can be totally expensive. For smaller stuff don’t forget all the things the mom’s body needs to go through to recuperate especially if they are nursing. Include a nice new water bottle (Points if it’s easy to open with one hand), some high protein snacks, a good book, nipple cream, breast pads or milk storage bags, and all those other things you remember needing those first weeks. Even giving them something like a bath bomb and a candle so they can relax in the bathtub one night is perfect! Gone are the days of pampering the mom as attention shifts to the little one so give her something nice to treat herself with and remind her that she still matters!
  10. Gift cards– Sometimes gift cards can feel like a “I don’t know what to give so I’ll do this and hope they don’t mind” sort of thing but honestly, it’s awesome. I was buying things before the baby shower, and then after it I got a good idea of what I still needed to get. That’s when gift cards came in handy so I could run out and get the things I still needed.


There you have it! Now you know what are some of the best gifts to give your mommy to be at their baby shower! I also wanted to include this little really fun unexpected gift I got that is great for moms who love to journal.

A very special person in my life got me this 1 line a day 5 year journal. And I LOVE it. Yes I know, how are you supposed to balance baby, work, and home life and add on a journal to add in a line of a memory?! You’re gonna miss some days and that’s okay. I even looked back and realized I missed a whole MONTH! But here’s what I do, I take pictures almost every day or I text things to my husband or bestie with little stories. When I miss days, I look back at my photos and text messages and insert them either on the day of or around the day and fill in those blank days. To me it’s more important to get the memories around when it happened then to write it on the day of.

This gift I have LOVED though especially now as I am nearing the end of year 2 that I can look back and read what Riley was doing around this time last year. I can only imagine how fun this book will be once the 5 years are over especially if there’s another little one in the mix.

Here’s a LINK to the journal if you know a mommy who would enjoy this. This is the one I have, but if you search “Mom’s One Line a Day” on Amazon, you can see some other great designs!

Now tell me, what were some of the weird or not useful gifts you got at your shower and what are gifts you feel like you couldn’t be without?! Or what is something you found later that you feel the need to share with every mom ever since you found it? Let me know below!




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