How to avoid Baby Shower Faux pas Gifts
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So, as a recently pregnant lady, I feel like this is a topic needs to be discussed. Baby bear is our first child, and in turn, my first pregnancy, so I wasn’t really prepared to deal with the influx of STUFF that we received. (Who knew tiny adorable blobs needed so many things!?). We were lucky enough to be given four baby showers, and some fantastic gifts! Our families, friends, and respective coworkers were all so generous and kind, making sure that we were plenty prepared for baby bear’s arrival. While I am very grateful for all the support our friends, family, and coworkers gave us, and all the great gifts they supplied us with, some of the gifts that were given to us were…. unnecessary. I know intentions were pure, and people get super excited about babies and channel their own preferences and excitement when purchasing baby gifts, but sometimes, your own choices are misguided as gifts for others. I would like to give some learned insight to my readers so that they can give thoughtful and much appreciated gifts to their pregnant friends! I also apologize in advance for my bluntness.
Ok, so let me be clear, Diaper Cakes are super cute and an AMAZING gift for a friend. IF, and there is a BIG IF here, they are the brand of diapers they have on their registry. I must admit, I am guilty of doing this myself. Sorry past pregnant friends (specifically JB and CL)!
Let me paint you a picture. You’re surfing Pinterest looking up super cute baby themed gifts, and you come across this fantastic glorious Diaper Cake DIY, and you think to yourself, “I WILL CONQUER YOU!” Then you go to target, you stand in the diaper isle and think to yourself…. “Do I buy the giant box of pampers diapers they put on their registry (with is cost of a gift itself), or do I buy these off brand store brand diapers AND get them a gift?” The generous person typically goes with the ladder. WRONG.
Fast forward to the baby shower. Mom to be, “OMG this is adorable! We are going to put in some super cute baby name’s room until we have to use it!!” Every ooh’s and ahhh’s and gives you all sorts of praise for your conquest. You feel victorious!
Fast-forward two months: Its bedtime, the diaper basket runs out, baby is sleepy, and so is mom. She’s out of Diapers and thinks, “well, I guess it’s time to use this diaper cake, it sure was thoughtful of insert your name here to make this for me. I feel bad using it and ruining all her hard work.”
Fast-forward three hours: It’s the middle of the night, baby is screaming for its 3am feeding. Mom is half asleep, and is rudely awaken by a giant massive poopie blow out. “What the shit kind of diapers are these?! Why would anyone do this to me, why couldn’t she just buy the pampers?! Damn you insert your name here! Now I’m stuck with these stupid diapers for god knows how long! DO THEY EVEN WORK? Are they even diapers, or are they little demons sent from hell to ruin my life?!” Now, your once grateful friend is crying into you off-brand diapers and cursing your name. Is that what you want? I didn’t think so.
Just buy the Pampers, or don’t make the cake.
Stuff that’s “kinda” close to what they wanted
Don’t try to be a thrifty-fancy shopper. You think to yourself when you walk into the store, “I am going to buy them a monitor, that seems fun.” Then you look at their registry and see the $200 price tag and think to yourself. “NOPE” and then buy them one that’s similar, but about $100 cheaper. DON’T DO IT! Your friend spent A LOT of time researching and choosing the items on their registry for a reason, to fit their needs and their home, don’t screw that up.
If you are going to purchase away from the registry, purchase an item that (with good reason) you think will be useful for them and their new family. Perhaps something from your own experience was helpful that most new parent’s are unaware of.
Clothes YOU like
OK, so everyone likes to buy baby clothes. “Its so much fun!!” everyone says. They stand in Generic Baby store and look at all the clothes and think “OMG, this is so cute, how cute would X baby look in this?!” Or, “how funny would it be if I got these for baby x?” You know what question everyone forgets to ask themselves as they are fawning over fuzzy, glitter filled baby girl dresses, OR awkward itchy boy sweaters? “Will my friend actually like this, will they actually put their child in this?” If the answer is anything but, “Yes, OMG my friend would totally love this!!!”, put the damn itchy glitter monstrosity back on the rack.
Baby clothes are the bane of my existence. I don’t understand who the hell designs these clothes. Many of the clothes look like they took a freaking curtain from some 70s backwoods trailer, covered it with itchy glitter, sewed some rhinestones and a pink bunny on it and called it a day.
Think of your friend. If your friends are a very simple dresser themselves, they probably will dress their child similarly. If they are a person who wears a lot of blacks and grays, hot pink is probably not their deal. If they are a T-shirt and jeans family, bow ties and suspenders are not ideal (Sorry moose!).
Think of the baby. If it looks uncomfortable, it probably is. You don’t like to be uncomfortable, right? Neither do they. You know that super itchy wool sweater your 175-year-old great grandmother made you wear when you were 5 and you cried for 15 hours? Channel that memory when you are buying baby clothes.
Think of convenience. If it looks like it takes a Masters degree in engineering, 3 hands, and a shoehorn to put on, leave it at the store for some other unsuspecting fool. Zippers and MINIMAL snaps are the way to go, your friend will thank you.
If you are going to be generous enough to purchase a gift for your friend, make sure your money and generosity are going to good use. Purchase items you know your friend needs, wants, and of course will actually use. If you are purchasing anything other than that, you are wasting your money and causing an added errand for your friend.
Please check back later this week for the follow up post: Thoughtful (and useful) Gifts to Give your Pregnant Friend.
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