Baby showers are a super-fun time—both for the mommy-to-be and for the friends and family who are excited to celebrate the arrival of a new little one. Inevitably, there are some questions of etiquette that will come up, so we’ve put together this handy guide to get you started.
There are some big items that you can’t get around needing for a new little one. For example, an infant car seat to bring your new bundle of joy home in (hospitals in the U.S. won’t allow you to leave their property without a properly installed car seat). Here are some of our favorite registry must-haves and why:
- SnugRide® Infant Car Seat: “This is something you have to purchase: the SnugRide is mom’s favorite seat,” said Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor, American Baby recently, in an appearance on NBC’s TODAY Show.
- Pack ‘N Play®: With more than 30 million sold in the U.S. alone, it’s America’s best-selling playard. From the compact Travel Lite™ Crib to the full-featured Pack ‘N Play® with Cuddle Cove™ Rocking Seat (it has a removable rocking seat and a flip-away changer), there is something for every budget and family. Plus, there are tons of extras to choose from—from bassinet vibration to MP3 players—so it’s fun to pick just the right one!
- Stroller / Travel System: After you have your little one, you’re going to want to get out and explore the world. A stroller is a must-have for doing this with ease. Many moms love the FastAction™ family of strollers—since moms & dads can fold them with one hand and in just one step (so your other hand is always free to hold baby). Regardless of which line you choose—one that is ultra-lightweight, one that’s sporty or even one that is equipped for multiple children—you can choose the stroller that fits your lifestyle and fits together with an infant car seat.
- Swings & Soothers: You’re going to want to soak up every minute holding baby that you can, but sometimes, it’s nice to have the option to soothe them in a swing. From bouncers to swings that swing in multiple directions, swings with built-in toys to ones made to work with an infant car seat, it’s easy to find the right one for you.
Choices Rule! Something for Everyone
If you’re the lucky expectant mom, you’re probably wondering how much is too much on the registry, and you may be only thinking about the bigger items (car seat, Pack ‘N Play, crib, stroller, etc…). It’s great to remember that everyone’s budget is different and people will be purchasing items at different times (we’ve all been in the situation where we’re the last person to buy a gift and the registry is practically empty!). So, make sure and register for things at a variety of price points—from that full-featured travel system you’ve been drooling over, all the way down to the cute socks you can see your new baby’s little toes in after he arrives. That way, there is really something for everyone—and every budget—on your registry.
Money, Money, Money: How Much to Spend
“It’s the thought that counts” is a saying for a reason—it’s true! Spend only what you can afford and at a level with which you feel comfortable. Big or small, expensive or inexpensive, the mother-to-be will appreciate the gesture, particularly because some of the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts might be inexpensive but big on sentiment. Another idea is to pool your resources with another shower-goer and purchase a more significant gift.
Is a Registry Gift Thoughtful?
Some people feel like ordering a gift off of an expectant mom’s registry is taking the easy way out and maybe not quite thoughtful enough. Not so at all! Moms-to-be register for items that they really want (and need!) for their new little one, and giving something—anything!—off of that list is a huge help and always very appreciated. If you want to add your own personal touch, consider writing a really thoughtful note (maybe with a piece of new mom advice) or another, small gift from the heart (a cute photo frame or a meaningful children’s book are always nice) to include with a gift that you’ve purchased from the registry.
Regardless, the months leading up to the arrival of a new baby are packed with excitement, and a baby shower is the perfect time to celebrate!