Baby showers are excellent opportunities for friends and family to show their love and support to an expecting couple. Being invited to a baby shower means that the couple appreciates you immensely and wants you to be a part of their child’s life. As a guest, it is expected that you bring with you a gift. Given the importance of the event, it can be confusing as to how much one should spend on such a gift.
The cost of a baby shower gift would typically depend on how close you are to the couple. The closer you are, the more you could spend on a gift (i.e., $50-100). On the other hand, further relations can get away with cheaper gifts (i.e., $20-40). Guests can save money when they contribute toward a group gift or when giving to a couple who’ve already had babies before.
This article will discuss baby shower gift amount etiquette and the several things you should consider when deciding how much to spend.
Closeness to the Couple
There are several factors to consider when it comes to deciding how much to spend on a baby shower gift. It is important to get something appropriate, especially for baby showers that include opening the gifts during the event themselves. You don’t want your gift to be opened in front of everyone and be the odd duck out.
The first factor you should consider when getting a baby shower gift is how close you are to the couple. Are you a family member? Are you a childhood friend? Are you best friends? If you are incredibly close to the celebrants, they might expect you to shell out more money than someone who is not as close. For example, you might have to get something that would cost about $100 while their coworker can get away with something worth $20.
It is important to remember that it’s not necessarily the cost that is expected of you, but how special the gift is. Unfortunately, special gifts are often more expensive than generic ones.
It is also important to note that special gifts can be inexpensive as well. For example, you can give an inexpensive gift if it means a lot to the couple either way. A childhood friend can gift the couple with something sentimental from their shared childhoods. In the same vein, family members can gift family heirlooms.
If you are not that close to the couple, then you can probably get something worth $30-50. You can already get something valuable for that price range without looking too cheap. You can even get something cheaper (e.g., approximately $20) if you feel like mere acquaintances with the celebrants. The couple can only feel grateful for anything given to them with that type of relationship.
Individual vs Group Gifts
While gift-giving is mostly thought to be an individual practice, it has also become popular for multiple people to contribute toward a single gift. Contributing to a group gift allows people to get the celebrants a more expensive gift while keeping the costs of the individuals low. This is quite popular for baby showers when the equipment needed for taking care of babies can be significantly costly.
While keeping individual costs at $50 for example, a group of five people would be able to contribute and get a gift with an accumulative cost of $250. Sharing the cost could allow people to get the celebrants big-ticket items that would be greatly appreciated, such as a stroller, a changing station, and more.
Joining in on a group gift is very popular, especially for people who are not so close to the couple. For example, coworkers might not be willing to get something very expensive for the baby shower. However, it might also be uncomfortable for them to get a cheap individual gift. Thus, several coworkers can then come together and get a meaningful gift for their expecting coworker without having to spend so much.
Taking care of babies can be quite an expensive endeavor. If you are close to the couple, it stands to reason that you want to get them something special that can really help them out. However, many items needed for taking care of babies can be quite costly. Fortunately, couples might not need as much if this isn’t their first child.
If you are going to a baby shower and this is already the couple’s second or third child, you can get away with just getting them something cheaper. This is because the couple still probably has equipment from their previous babies. This means they would already have a stroller, a crib, a bassinet, a changing station, and such. They might even reuse baby clothes as well, drastically cutting their total needs.
When giving gifts to a couple who has already had a baby before, you can prioritize giving them consumable items that they will be needing such as diapers, bottles, toiletries, and more. Practical gifts such as these can be more appreciated, especially by parents who have already learned what items they need the most.
When deciding what to give for a baby shower, it is important to ask the couple if they have a registry or not. These days, registries are becoming more and more common as it ensures that guests get celebrants gifts they actually want. Since guests will be spending money on gifts, they might as well spend their money on the right items.
Regardless of the other factors mentioned above, you will have to stick to your budget no matter what. Understandably, people can want to get the celebrants something extra special. While the couple might appreciate an expensive gift, they surely wouldn’t want you to spend too much.
To be financially responsible, you should have a budget for your day-to-day expenses. Most of your money should be dedicated to your necessities such as rent, bills, gas, food, savings, and more. You might also want to allocate some of that money to enjoy yourself as well. If you have a budget specifically allocated for gifts, then you should make sure to stay within your budget for your baby shower gift as well.
One way to get something nice while staying within budget is to look out for sales. When looking out for a great deal, it is best to check the store way ahead of time to ask whether they have an upcoming sale or not. If the stars align, they could have a sale before the baby shower, and you could get something special for less money.
No Hard Rules
While it seems like everyone invited to a baby shower brings a gift with them, you should understand that there is no hard rule when it comes to gifts. This means that you’re not going to be breaking any rules if you happen to attend a baby shower empty-handed.
It is important to remember that baby showers are intimate events. The very fact that you were invited means that you are someone special to the couple. They invited you because they want you to be there celebrating with them – not because they want a gift from you.
Sure, a gift will be nicely appreciated. However, the celebrants probably wouldn’t bat an eye either way. Your mere presence should be enough for their gratitude.