Baby Shower Gift Giving Tips

Ideas for baby shower gifts are endless, so choosing the right one can feel overwhelming.

Finding out exactly what the parents-to-be need is the easiest way to choose the right gift. If they have a gift registry, use it. Many people resist buying items from a registry; they feel it's impersonal, or they don't like the choices. However, the parents probably put a lot of time and effort into choosing things they need. Necessities will be a lot more appreciated than something that sits on a shelf or is rarely used. They will thank you every time they use the gift you gave them.

Using a registry makes shopping easier for you, too. At larger stores, you can usually access the registry on the company's website. Just search for the mother's name or address. You can order your gift and have it removed from the registry right from the website. If you'd rather shop at the store, a sales associate can print out the registry and help you find items.

Buying from a registry doesn't mean you can't personalize your gift. Leave some room in your budget to add a smaller gift that is more fun than practical. Some ideas: personalized items, decorations for the baby's room, and keepsake items. Keepsake boxes and books to record baby's firsts are a great gift, and no parent can have too many picture frames, photo albums or scrapbooks.

Many big ticket baby gear items - cribs, play pens, and strollers - offer convenience and durability. Most of these items have high price tags and may be too much for the parents to purchase - and possibly too much for you to purchase on your own. If you need to purchase a baby shower gift but are short on cash, team up with others to buy the perfect gift.

Don't rule out consignment shops when looking for a baby shower gift. You can find some wonderful, barely used baby clothes, simple toys, and other items there for a fraction of the cost. Find high quality items in upscale shops in wealthy neighborhoods. Avoid items that are worn or stained, and don't purchase large items like high chairs, car seats or cribs that may have since been recalled for safety hazards.

If you want to buy toys, look for classics like wood blocks. Even if the baby can't play with them right away, they can be used as decoration in the baby's room.

Keep safety in mind when buying for baby. Avoid products that could cause a choking hazard and items that have been shown to be dangerous for babies, like baby powder and pillows. Check the US Consumer Safety Product Commission's website to make sure the item you purchased has not been recalled.

Following these tips will ensure that you buy the perfect baby shower gift - one that the parents will appreciate for years to come.