Before I had a baby, I used to splurge on baby shower and after-birth baby gifts, buying my friends cute designer baby duds. However, now that I have a little one of my own, I see how quickly babies grow out of clothes.
In fact, the baby shower and baby gifts I used the most probably didn’t break the bank of those who bought them. It turns out that “there’s no requirement” that a baby shower gift “must come from the registry or cost a certain amount,” and some of the most meaningful and appreciated gifts won’t cost you that much, as The Emily Post Institute staff pointed out a while back.
So if you’re in the market for baby gifts, today’s hint is to consider these budget-friendly ideas that both the recipients and your wallet are sure to appreciate.
1. The Basics. If there’s baby gear new parents really need and want, it’s diapers and other relatively inexpensive newborn necessities like wipes, baby shampoo, onesies and baby clothes, and I wish I had received more of such items.
As blogger “Post Emily Post” aptly points out on her site, “the most appreciated gifts are the practical ones. . . even if the parents don’t know it yet.” To make these items feel a bit more like gifts, you can present them in a diaper cake or as a “baby care package.”
2. Favorite Reads. One of the most memorable baby gifts I received was a few board books that the giver noted in the card were her little ones’ favorite books. In fact, I’ve since copied the gift, giving a couple of my daughter’s favorite board books to some of my friends when they’ve had babies (some of my daughter’s favorites: Rachael Hale’s Baby Giggles, First 100 Words by Roger Priddy and Nina Laden’s Peek-a-Who?).
Besides being a meaningful gift, board books also won’t hurt your wallet too much, as each one tends to run less than $10. What if you don’t have a little one? Give a couple books that were your favorites from your own childhood.
To add a personal touch to such a gift, explain the story behind the book gifts in your card. Another similar idea is to give an inexpensive toy (think in the $10 to $15 range) that is, or was, a favorite of your little one, or that you loved when you were younger. My daughter, for instance, is a huge fan of these $10 Kidoozie Peek N Peep Eggs so they’re now also on my go-to baby and birthday gift lists.
3. A Meaningful Onesie. These days, you can find a onesie that says pretty much anything for $10 or less, so consider giving one that displays something meaningful to the couple, like their hometown or school mascot, as the staff at The Emily Post Institute suggests.
4. A Homemade Meal. After we had a baby, I was amazed by how many friends brought us over meals. We appreciated these dinners so much. Like most new parents, we had our hands filled and needed all the help we could get with feeding themselves. As Amiyrah, who blogs at 4 Hats and Frugal, points out in a helpful post on “frugal baby shower gift ideas,” “new moms tend to not have much time to cook a quality meal, so you can offer up your services there.”
So, if cooking is your thing, consider giving a post-birth homemade meal as a baby gift, whether it’s one you drop off (along with a card and a bottle of wine) or cook at the new parents’ home (and to all my friends who had babies before me and who live in driving distance, I’m so sorry we didn’t bring you a meal).
What are your favorite budget baby gifts to receive and to give?