The Baby Shower Gift List: Terrific? Or just Terrifically Tacky?

Kourtney Kardashian’s recent baby shower got us to thinking about one particular aspect of baby shower etiquette: The Gifts.

Pregnant woman opens a Baby Shower Gift
Baby Shower Gift list…a do or a don’t?

Recently, new mum Jessica Simpson sat and labouriously unveiled what seemed like hundreds of pairs of unsuitable baby shoes (ok, maybe not hundreds) including pink cowboy boots at her shower in front of her guests. Beyonce is famed for receiving a diamond encrusted rocking horse gifted by BFF Kelly Rowland for Blue Ivy Carter. Kourtney Kardashian chose not to open her pressies in front of her guests, taking them back home to be unveiled with hubby in the privacy of her own home.

So when it comes to presents, if you’re attending do you have to bring a present or not? For mums–to-be, do you ask for exactly what you want or politely hope you’ll get lucky, and, what exactly is the etiquette for the opening presents at the party? Is the practice of giving and receiving gifts just an outdated and unnecessary part of a baby shower that just doesn’t fit the bill over here?

It seems characteristic of both the British sensibility and the British baby shower for many mums to be explicitly state they don’t want gifts. Even the mention of the word “gift list” or gift registry seems to imply that any mum to be with the gaul to be specific about what se really wants and needs is taking the royal biscuit, especially if it’s not her first time round.

However the reality is that there will still be a 50/50 split as to who actually will listen to you regarding your evasion of this tradition, and statistics report that even in the UK many lucky mums to be don’t even have to fork out a penny on their newborn for the first few months of baby’s life thanks to their baby shower loot – now saving money’s got to be a good thing when you’re entering one of the most expensive phases of your life, right?

So here’s our quick guide to baby shower gift giving and receiving….

If you do openly request gifts

  • Consider a gift list and don’t feel bad about it = Having a baby is expensive. For many, these gifts are a helping hand so why not be specific about your tastes and needs and provide guests with a list of your favourite shops or your nursery theme or preferred colours. If you feel awkward, then don’t hesitate to ask a friend or hostess to organize this on your behalf to imply you were blissfully unaware of the process but ensure you receive useful items
  • At least do your guests the honour of opening them at the party. It seems many guests just want to see the look on your face when you reveal their treasures – they may have spent hours poring over the perfect gift for your newborn and it’s rewarding to see that those hours pondering and pounding the pavements of the high street looking for the perfect gift paid off.
  • Not all baby shower gifts are made equal, but try to thank all guests equally.
  • Don’t be afraid to put a few items on there for you – massages, makeovers, pampering, labour must haves…after all it’s not all about baby!
  • Keep it quick. We’re all for sentimentality – I mean it is a baby shower! But come on….surely we can get through 10 presents in under 10 minutes? This is a key issue where lots of guests = mountains of presents and whilst carefully making a custom speech, accompanied by a hug for each guest is great, trundling through your baby shower booty at a snails pace merely just cuts back on fun & food time…plus thanking someone aside privately, giving a personalized card (if you’re mega organized), or better still a picture of your newborn using said gift is just as good a way to show your appreciation and won’t impact on crucial baby shower time.
  • Be reasonable –  have a selection of options for different budgets on your gift list. If you’d like a diamond encrusted rocking horse from Tiffany, perhaps be smart enough to request Tiffany vouchers rather than going for the whole horse. It’s just far less tacky and allows your guests to contribute without feeling obligated to spend mountains of cash.
  • Favours are a must – a thank you bag with a gift, like those we provide with each before baby shower, with the option of a personalized note card is a lovely way to remind each guest how much you appreciated their presence and present.

If you don’t request gifts….

  • Be ready to get some anyway! …Sorry ladies, but many guests will simply ignore you and turn up with gifts – they just want to spoil you (it’s all part of the excitement), and since some will flaunt the rules, have a few enthusiastic variations on “ I love it – thank you so much!” up your sleeve.
  • Consider satisfying the urges of those guests who just want to give, so  openly inviting your guests the option of donating to charity on your behalf through just giving, or invite those that want to bring something to come along with just a pack of nappies to enter into a draw to win a prize at the shower. The nappies will certainly come in handy and your guests will get to contribute equally and usefully.
  • As you gave guests the option of not bringing a gift, be sure to remember that an impromptu public present opening session may serve to make those that didn’t want to indulge in present giving feel a tad awkward.
  • Remember, there’s no accounting for taste, and whilst every gift will be appreciated, since you didn’t specify what you wanted you’ll need to be prepared to receive some weird and wonderful gifts with a big smile.

Looking for great baby shower gifts, then look no further….we do it all!

Before Baby Boutique has a great selection of baby shower gifts and mum be’s most wanted gift ideas, plus you can include your gift list on your complimentary baby shower invitations within your baby shower package. Visit to book your baby shower today.


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