How to Select a Practical Baby Shower Gift

Having a baby is one of the most wonderful occasions in life, but it can also be a little scary. With rising costs on everything from clothing to education, raising children is expensive. Many parents worry about how they’ll pay for all the things the child will need. The right baby shower gift can help new parents spend less and save more.

Many big ticket items have multiple functions. Items such as these last a long time and are a great investment. Some cribs can be converted to a toddler bed when needed. Car seats that can be converted into a booster seat simply by removing components can be used for years.

Even if you’re buying smaller items, look for products that can grow with the child. There are clothing hangers for infant clothing, and expand for children’s clothing later. Durable wooden toys hold their value and adapt to the child’s needs. They can be used as decoration in a baby’s room now, and played with later.

Parenting books are another idea. Parents can use them for both preparation and reference. The What to Expect series is a classic for parents, but there are a lot of other humorous and serious books about parenting too. Browse the bookstore and read through some volumes to find books that will appeal to the parents.

Larger sized clothing is another gift that will be appreciated later. As the baby gets older, the parents will run out of clothing that was given as gifts. It will be a nice treat to be able to pull out some brand new clothing in larger sizes.

You can also give gifts that help parents save for the future. The rising costs of a college education can be a scary prospect for most parents, but you can help. Purchase a certificate of deposit that will mature when the child is ready for college. Invest in some stocks or government savings bonds in the child’s name. Open a high yield savings account for the child. Popular ones include the Education Savings Account (ESA) or a state 529 Plan. Some ESAs have restrictions on how much can be deposited each year; 529 plans don’t. Both have tax advantages, since withdrawals used for education are not taxed. Another option is a whole life insurance policy with a company like Gerber. Premiums are affordable, and the coverage grows larger when the child becomes an adult.

Practical gifts that help parents save for the future are always in style. They will be appreciated today and far into the future.