24 answers

Baby Shower Gifts

I'm going to a baby shower and would like to pass down some of my baby things for gifts instead of buying brand new items. Is this considered bad etiquette? Would you do it?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for the advice everyone, I ended up doing both, I got something for her as well as wrapped up some new items my kids never wore. I just wasn't sure what was appropriate, since NOW I wouldn't mind hand-me-downs, but for new moms, I totally understand. You MOMS are the greatest resource for asking advice!

Featured Answers

I know I would have appreciated the handme downs as a gift but not for my baby shower. If money is the issue, there are cute things you can get for less than $5. I bought a baby photo album and a gift bag to put it in and spent less than $5 in Big Lots. Try looking there.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that it's nice you want to give this family you're baby items, but I think you should buy a gift from their registry. I do think it's tacky to give a used item as a gift.

I wouldnt give it to her at the baby shower but give her a card and then let her know you have these things you would like to give her. She will be grateful and noone else needs to know. I have found that some people see used items as not being good gifts no matter what even though many of us feel they are great especially for us moms.

More Answers

I know I would have appreciated the handme downs as a gift but not for my baby shower. If money is the issue, there are cute things you can get for less than $5. I bought a baby photo album and a gift bag to put it in and spent less than $5 in Big Lots. Try looking there.

1 mom found this helpful

Hand me downs are bad form as gifts. Buy or make a simple new gift, then invite the mommy-to-be over for coffee and show her the items. Give her the run of your stash. You don't know what she has and what she doesn't. Don't foist it on her in front of the party.

I've done it but it really depends on the person. I'd be tickled personally to get nice hand me downs, but I'm not a first time mom either.

If I was a first time mom I might be bummed.

That being said, I did give my cousin a dress that my daughter never wore, it was new but I washed the sizing out and ironed it. She was delighted, not sure if she knew it was a hand me down though.

I would only give unused items at a shower. When you are at her house or her at yours be casual and tell her that you have used clothing that you're planning on dumping off at the second hand store but you thought that she might want some of the items.

I think you need to give a new gift at the shower, even if it's something small. Then later you can tell the new mom that you have baby items she can use/have if she would like.

Definitely bad etiquette. If you want to give her your old stuff, just do that outside the parameters of the shower. I'm sure she'd appreciate it, but everyone wants at least some new stuff too.

If it likes brand new then I would be if then no. But that's a good idea and I have giveing my younger sister some of my old baby stuff from my daughter and she has not had her shower yet.

Maybe you could give her the used items after the shower..but I would not give them as a "gift". If I were to get used items that were wrapped up, I think I would feel offended, especially as a gift. I am not a very materialistic person, but I think I would still feel that it is better to either buy a new gift or not get her a gift at all. Then, afterward, give her the used things you want to pass down.

I think that it's nice you want to give this family you're baby items, but I think you should buy a gift from their registry. I do think it's tacky to give a used item as a gift.

You've gotten a lot of advice! I just want to say that I wouldn't have minded someone giving me hand me downs as long as they were in good shape. I had no problem doing a lot of shopping at rummage sales to keep the cost down. After all, they grow so fast! But I know of two people that as soon as they got pregnant, they wanted to buy everything new for their baby. You can always give her a small gift and with it, the option to rummage through your baby things and take what she wants.

K. -
I think it would be fine to OFFER some of your used item to your friend, but I don't think it would be appropriate to give them as shower gifts. You should be purchasing a gift especially for the new baby. If money is the issue, you could take your used items to a store like "once upon a child" to get some cash and then purchase a gift.
T.

I wouldn't give the items at the baby shower. Do it outside of the shower on a personal note...I like the suggestion of saying you have items that you would like her to have instead of having to donate them. If its a new item than go ahead and give them but dont do it at the shower. For a simple shower gift, how about a basket filled with some of the items you liked best or could not live without. Or maybe a gift for the mother to be (certificate, pampering items, etc.)

I would buy her a small gift for the baby shower and then ask her if she would like the other things. That way you don't have to worry about hurt feelings and you still accomplish your goal of giving her your things.
Summer clothes are going on clearance now and you could pick up a couple of outfits pretty cheap.
J.

I personally would never do that as a "shower gift". I guess are you close to the person that she completely wouldn't care or is this just a I know her.?? Remember when you were a first time Mom and maybe how you would've felt to recieve 2nd hand gifts at your shower? I think if you gave her a small gift and then in your card told her that you have something else for her later I think it might be more appropriate than giving them to her at her shower.

I think it depends on your friend. If she is the crunchy granola type she will appreciate the recycling. If you aren't really close to the person it's hard to say.

C.

I would just talk to the mother to be before hand. If they know that they are getting some hand me downs then they are prepared. I also would get her at least one new item and wrap it separately. That new item could be an unused item that you already have (with tags).

P.S. I TOTALLY appreciate used items, but I am a little of the "granola type" :)

Hi,

So everyone is saying not to pretty much, but I would. Expecially if you guys are really close friends and she is the type who doesn't really care. I have done it alot with my friends and they think it is one of the best things. I clean them all so they look new and then I spend alittle money getting a really pretty basket and decorating it up. Then I fold up the clothes in it really pretty and add my friends favorite candy (choco pieces usually) over the top so if favorite it Resees I would get a bag of the bite size ones and open it then spred them around the top. She will love the set up and be happy that she is getting alittle something to. Plus she wont really know if the clothes are used or not unless you tell her. I hope I helped. I am a mom of three and it has worked for all of my friends with kids my kids ages and for me me. I keep my babies clothes in great condition for this one reason.

ABOUT ME: SAHM with 3 wonderful kids ages 6,3,1 and couldn't ask for a better husband.

if you want to give her the items, by all means give them to her, just not as her gift. You can buy a couple packages of diapers or something for the gift, then write in the card you have this and this and this for her in your trunk if she would like it. she may not mind hand me downs, but in my opinion it looks tacky to give a used gift...

I have never given just used items as gifts, but I frequently bring a small new gift (something you use up, like a collection of your favorite baby medicines, perhaps) and then bring the used items in a nice box (NOT wrapped).

I usually put the present with the other presents, and when I get a moment alone with the mother-to-be (or talk to her beforehand) I will say something like "I put together some of my very favorite stuff I used for my babies - take a look and if you don't need it, let me know and I'll take back whatever you don't want."

The other really important thing is to ONLY give someone your very nicest hand-me-downs. Don't use a pregnant friend as a chance to clean out stuff that should go in a garage sale. I love getting used items (I'm also a granola, like the other mom) but I do not appreciate having to sort through a large quantity of items.

I wouldnt give it to her at the baby shower but give her a card and then let her know you have these things you would like to give her. She will be grateful and noone else needs to know. I have found that some people see used items as not being good gifts no matter what even though many of us feel they are great especially for us moms.

I had some very generous friends who gave me hand-me-down baby things before my shower. I felt bad even inviting them to the shower, because they had already given me so much. I did invite them, but let them know I didn't expect them to give me anything else I just wanted them to celebrate the upcoming event with me. All of them brought me a gift, but I hope I let them off the hook. I received several homemade gifts that I loved. One friend put her used things in her trunk and after the shower let me pick out what I needed. I still receive hand-me-down clothes and toys from friends, and I'm extremely grateful. It saves me a lot of money. I in turn pass on my things, and the cycle keeps going.

Have to be honest here, I would never give something used as a shower gift. I'd give her the used things before the shower so she is "oh so greatful" for the great hand-me-downs, then a pick a little something not-so-expensive, but new, for a shower gift. A little Burt's Bees shower kit is nice and under $10, or maybe a lullabye CD, or a softbook that she can put family pics for baby in are all nice ideas. As bad as it is, if I couldn't afford even a small shower gift, I'd probably not go. Let's face it, showers are a way women help each other get ready for the next stage in their lives (though everyone says it's to celebrate the upcoming baby), if I can't contribute, I don't go.
Best of luck!
M.

I think if it is done appropriately it would be just fine, especially if this is a close friend. Are the items things that are still in excellent condition that you found to be very useful? If so, I think including a note explaining how you wanted to share these things with her because they were so helpful to you would be fine to do.

However, if you don't know this person very well or she is just a casual aquaintance then you might be better off purchasing something new or even getting a gift card.

I think it would be tacky to bring them as gifts to a shower, but totally fine to offer them as a friend. Just not at the party as gifts to open. But if you have any new items, that I would personally do, as long as the original gift giver is not at the party also. That would seem a little inappropriate.

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