Baby Shower Help

Updated on May 13, 2008
D.S. asks from Greensburg, PA
46 answers

I will be holding a baby shower on my sister this summer. She is the last of her friends to have a child, the last in our family to have a child. That being said, she already has hand-me-downs for both boy or girl and does not want her shower to be full of unuseful gifts. How can I plan a great shower and tactfully have the guests bring gift cards instead of all the clothes and items that she already has???

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Harrisburg on

There is absolutely no problem with adding to the bottom of the invites "Gifts are not require, but for those interested, gift cards and diapers are requested." Doing a Baby Registry will help with this as well so she can get specific items and add that to the invite as well.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.R.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I went to a shower that was a Diaper shower. The invitations read that it was a Diaper shower (instead of a baby shower). Guest brought diapers, burp clothes, bath towels/rags and gift cards. It turned out really cute. The center piece was a diaper cake (just made one myself that had bath wash (lotion), bath towels, wash rags, and booties and bibs) and it was a big hit PLUS it is all useful items. The Diaper Showers help mom stock up on diapers plus it lets people feel like they are giving a personal gift and in this case people gave gift cards (just as many gift cards as diapers). Just a thought. Good luck and have fun with it.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

D.,

Simply add to the invitation...a nice card that reads, "Mommy would surely love gift cards to purchase her new baby lots of great stuff, Thank you." OR something similiar to that. Everyone will understand...and it will be easier on them.

L. :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from York on

D.,

Every new Mom could use diapers. Have a diaper shower! LOL!

New Moms can never get enough of diapers, wipes or onesies. Have your guests bring their favorite success story for raising their baby. Good Advice is alwyas good to come by too. This way she avoids the unnecessary gifts that she doesn't want, but gets something special just for her.

Good luck and I hope this has helped.

A. C.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Have her register at her favorite store. Then she can pick what she likes and needs. Asking for gift cards with the invitations is impolite and probably won't be well received.

I hope its a wonderful event!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

If I were in your situation, I'd do something like this: Buy a cute fake tree at a craft store or create something out of wire. On the invites tell everyone you are making a "Gift Card Tree" similar to a money tree. Include a list of many different places your sister would like cards to. In the wording on the invite, maybe playfully add in something about her loving to shop and wanting to do it all herself. Do not put any registry info in there of course. Before the shower get some cute pastel colored clothes pins. As guests arrive, have them (or you) attached their cards onto the "tree" with the clothes pins. If you don't like the tree idea, do something similar, or simply tell everyone that she wants to buy something expensive like a crib, stroller, etc and wants gift cards/cash towards that item. When all else fails, return, return, return! Most stores are really good about it and will give you a gift card if there's no receipt. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Scranton on

You can add Gift cards are welcomed or register at a store of your choice and specify the items you would like to receive. it always works out well. Place a comment " Take the guess work out of your special gift with purchasing a gift card at a store of your choice"

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My idea is that you call the Baby shower a Storytime shower. On the inside of the invitation, write a little note that says that your sister has already been gifted with a wardrobe for the baby so you would like everyone to bring her their favorite children's book or a gift card (and I would list the stores she shops at) so that she may fill the babies needs as they are discovered. This way she will get a library for the baby to grow into as well as the clothes she already has. Additionally, a lot of people may buy her both a book and a gift card and some will just pick up a gift card when they are doing their own shopping.

Alternatively, you could do a "Pamper the New Mommy" shower. In this case, you would include a little note saying that your sister has already been gifted a wardrobe and other baby items. In lie of gifts for the baby, bring a gift to pamper the new mommy and help her through the first months of sleepless nights with her new little one.

Anyhow, I hope these suggestions help. Good luck and best wishes to your sister.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.C.

answers from Pittsburgh on

D., I have held so many baby showers. I tried to count and I think at least 30!! Anyways, you could make up some type of poem or saying to the fact that she has been blessed with so many used/but new to her items for her new baby. Tell the guest that you know how busy everyone is and to save them time, that perhaps a gift card would be useful to the mom to be since she has so many things already. I also always request that the guest bring a children's book to start a library for the new baby. Ask them to perhaps bring their favorite childhood story book or one that has meaning to them. I know in my crazy busy world, the thoughts of having my man stop on the way home from work at Babies R Us to grab a gift card is music to my ears!! Good Luck. If you need some unique shower games, email me and I will help. J. :) [email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi D.,
How exciting for your sister and her first child! The first idea that came to mind was having a "Gift Card Shower" that all the guest bring a gift card and maybe to make it a little more interesting have it set up going along with the Alphabet so that each person invited is responsible for a gift card with an assigned letter such as "B"(that may be attached in their shower invitation) and they can come up with a gift card to a place starting with that letter. Example: "Baby Gap". That may be something different and fun to see what places people come up with for their given letter. You can do the whole shower them with the letters of the alphabet including games like word searches which is made up of special words which may describe your sister. Just a few ideas to think about. I hope it all works out and she enjoys her day. Best of luck with the planning!
~D. M~

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.L.

answers from Harrisburg on

Just Word the invitation just as such. We are have a Gift Card shower...instead of gifts we would like to shower her with gift cards so the family can purchase what they Need ...at the time they need it. Many families do not have the storage are for SOOOO much of the items they recieve all in one day. It can be very overwhelming...loading and unloading all the STUFF! just think how light the load will be when she goes home. Gift cards are very nice.. and can be used up to a year. They could use some of the giftcards to supply the big ONE Year birthday party!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.V.

answers from Philadelphia on

First, I agree with the previous posters that utilizing a registry and or wording the invite to express she would like GC's is wise.
My other thought is that if she already has a lot of stuff - to make it more of a "mommy shower" to receive things for mommy - mani, pedi, herbal tea, balt salts, candles - all things to help the new mommy relax once the baby arrives.
One gift card could be a dinner out for the new parents - offer to babysit...often it it too long before the new parents get a nite out (though usually mommy doesn't want to leave :)
Any shower celebrating a new life will be successful no matter how it is done - relax, it will turn out great!
And congratulations on becoming an Aunt!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

She should register/include on invite and you should verbally tell people "gift cards". As mother of a child with a birthday close to Christmas I always say gift cards and make sure we go overboard to make people understand HOW much we appreciate them because we use them throughout the year. Good luck.
T. in Delaware
www.homemadegourmet.com/tuesday815101
Benefitting Diamond Blackfan Anemia

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Erie on

When someone invites me to a shower, I appreciate knowing what types of things the bride/new mom likes. Perhaps you could have a card tree, a money tree, or a gift card tree or something along those lines... I know that I certainly wouldn't mind just giving a gift card. Diapers (size 1) and wipes are very necessary and helpful, too. Perhaps you could simply say something like:

We are having a gift card tree at the party and would love to fill it up with gift cards from all sorts of stores.

Just remember that although you may suggest something, there will be plenty of ladies that will just give whatever THEY want to give anyway!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Harrisburg on

well, I am not sure how to request only gift cards.. but you could give her a get ready to read baby shower where everyone bring two books.. one for the new baby's 'library' and one to donate to a local library or elementary school or pre school in the area (like HEAD START) and tell everyone on the invites or an accompanying note that she has many many hand me downs and does not need large baby items or clothes...

good luck!
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

D., why don't you take your sister out and have her register for things that she will need for her new arrival. That way people can either buy off the registery or you can put gift cards welcomed too. Everyone I know including myself have done this and it works. Good luck with everything. R. C

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

hi D.! if you really wanted to you could write inside the invites that the mom-to be would really love a gift card so she could have the choice of product.
if you do decide to go with gift card only invites, i don't think anyone will think you are being tactless. and you could always do a wishing well for her and ask people for a new book or small toy or bib, bottle..etc.
good luck!
ps: you could always beef up the shower with a nice centerpiece and lots of great food and decorations!if you are interested, i love making the diaper cakes and lots of other things. let me know! i would love to help you!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

another nice idea is what my best friend did for me - have everyone bring a book for her baby - the book should be new but should be a favorite book from their childhood - they can write a note in it - I loved it! and books are certainly useful! this would be a nice, sentimental alternative for people who aren't in to buying gift cards - you could also ask people to contribute to a registry for a doula - either birth or post partum so she and her hubby can have help through the birth and initial time at home - or what about getting prople to make meals to freeze - just some ideas for people who may be resistant to gift certificates as being impersonal - good luck - what a great sister!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.I.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Instead of having a baby shower, why not have a "sprinkle"? It is a practice that I don't think has caught on here yet. Once the baby is born, (and mom is ready) the idea is that everyone comes over for a small brunch and drinks to meet the baby. Registries are a good thing for what she "needs". As far as telling people what to do for a gift, the registry is as close to that as you can get, or tell people what she wants, if and only if they ask. Gifts are a gift -- people are still entitled to give what they want, if anything, and it is rude to do otherwise.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Allentown on

Include a note in the card saying that she doesn't need much because she already has hand-me-down items, but she could really use disposable items like diapers, wipes, diaper cream, baby wash and lotion, etc! You can never have too many diapers or wipes!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

Have your sister register some things she really needs and likes at Target, Babies R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, wherever she finds things. She can even register multiple places and you can probably request that your registry say things like, "no clothes please, I already have enough", etc. You can also tactfullly note that on the invitation. I know I read someone's registry once where they specifically had gift cards listed on the registry. Keep in mind though that women love to buy gifts that is why registering specific items is very helpful. Another idea is to have a themed shower. I once went to a "Diaper Shower." We bought enough variable sizes of diapers that the parents did not need to buy any for a very long time. Of course your sister would need to have a place to store all these diapers!!! Everyone can bring a pack of diapers and a gift card if you like. Here's another idea. If your sister or someone close by has a freezer, have everyone bring her a frozen casserole along with a gift card, or gift from a registry, so that she does not have to cook for awhile! Hope that helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.G.

answers from York on

Since there is no way to tactfully suggest what gifts to bring, why not make it a "diaper shower".

Or, you can always tell people when they RSVP that since there are clothes and gear aplenty, the family really needs meals or gift cards or care items like baskets of baby wash, lotions, and wipes.

I found out with a surprise shower for my third (I had EVERYTHING) that there are still a lot of old school gift givers who refuse to give gift cards and insist on giving new clothes - just make sure that the gift reciepts stay with everything.

Also, a tip for returns without reciepts - certain stores only allow things to be returned 3 times without reciepts, so make as many returns to the same stores at one time as you can.

Good luck, this was literally the biggest stress for me with my last pregnancy - I had more stuff than with my first that just went unused.

-C. G

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Harrisburg on

D.,
Just make sure first she really doesn't want a traditional registry shower....that being said, I went to a friends shower and they used a book theme, where they requested you bring a book for the baby and a gift card for the family. it was nice, some brought gift cards from retail stores, grocery stores, places to eat, etc. She loved it. Just an idea :)
Abby

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

Do some research on a Blessingway. It is more for the mom, and less centered around giving the mother to be gifts for the baby. Everyone brings something for the mother to help her prepare for her birth and motherhood. You spend the time pampering the mother to whatever degree she if comfortable with. You could braid her hair, give her a foot massage, do a belly cast, or make her a labor and pregnancy support bracelet or necklace. Everyone brings her words of encouragement and you can scrapbook them with pics from the event for a keepsake. You could make it as religious or not as you want it to be. Here is a website with some more info.

http://www.mother-care.ca/blessing.htm

This ceremony has been around for ages, in our time however we have become more focused on material gift giving then emotional support and bonding. However, the blessingway idea is slowly making a comeback for reasons just like you mentioned.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Harrisburg on

D.,
You may want to consider a diaper and wipes shower. Most people like to give "something", and as you know, you can never have enough diapers or wipes.
Good Luck!
C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.F.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have 2 boys and when I was pregnant with my daughter, my mother-in-law threw me a "Sprinkle." She plans those kinds of events as a side business and it was so much fun. We had games and activities, finger sandwiches, and there were no really big gifts like you get with a regular shower. It was great!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Erie on

what about a different sort of theme, like asking for meals to freeze inlieu of gifts?? something like, Help stock the freezer ok somethinc cuter than that but that's the idea

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.W.

answers from York on

In your creative invitations, kindly suggest the guests bring gift cards, or think of other options that your sister may need - diapers, toiletries, etc that I pray are not being handed down to her :)... Let me know how it goes... email me if you seek further assistance; showers are my thing!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Williamsport on

When I had a going away party for my daughter when she left to go to Milton Hershey School, I put a little note in the invitations to purchase calling cards for her since she was unable to call long distance without them. Maybe that is something you can do for the baby shower. Or talk to your sister about getting registered at Toys R Us or other baby type stores in your area.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Lancaster on

If I opened an invitation and it said Gift cards only, I would think YIPPEE!!!! I actually think it is a great idea.
When you think about it, what is the difference between gift cards or someone being register somewhere? Good luck and enjoy the new baby.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.A.

answers from Lancaster on

Have a diaper shower. They did that at work for me. Just make sure they get all different sizes. If they want to buy something else suggest gift cards, bibs, crib sheets, socks.
Or you could have people sign up to make her dinners or gift cards to resturants, so she doesn't have to cook after the baby is born. Hope this helps. :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

You can't politely tell people that. Just ask for stuff from a place with a liberal return policy so she can exchange or do a diaper/formula shower.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.J.

answers from Philadelphia on

come up w a cute saying to write in invitation. or just write fav stores are ... gift cards are her wish.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I was thinking about this too! Here's a vague idea I was toying with:

What if you said it was a gift card shower and that you wanted everyone to bring a gift card to decorate an umbrella for the mom-to-be? Or it could be a little Christmas tree, or something like that that they could all hang the cards on.

If you feel it's impolite to ask for gift cards from everyone in the invitation, there are probably some closer family members that you would feel comfortable asking in person. Maybe her mother, mother-in-law, siblings-in-law, etc. are all close enough that you can approach them with this problem and they would understand. They are probably the ones who would be buying the big gifts anyway. Then the extended family and friends can all just buy from a registry. As other people suggested, she could register at a store with a liberal return policy.

Hope that helps! Let us know what you decide!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Make sure she registers and put an insert in with the invites indicating where she is registered, and note that "due to an excessive amount of hand-me-downs, please stick to registry or provide gift cards to limit duplicate items". If you do a wishing well....maybe do a $5 gift card wishing well? Although you may want to do a traditional wishing well b/c she will need all of the basics (diapers, creams, etc etc). Hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.E.

answers from York on

I don't think it's ever appropriate to tell someone what to bring as a gift. Has your sister registered somewhere? That could help because then she could register for the things she'll need. If someone asks for an idea, you could respond by saying something like "She has a lot already, so maybe a gift card would be a good idea." Some people just don't like giving gift cards though so be prepared with some other responses of things she'll need.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

sure in the invitation it's ok to ask for gift cards only, we are really living in the time of gift cards unless you want something specfic then register her at Target or Walmart or any Dept store she likes......

Good Luck to her.

K. C

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

I agree with other posters....use a registry! In fact I just purchased a gift for a friend of mine through a baby registry, and one of the items on the registry was gift cards! They buyer can then select the amount for the gift card that way, too.

Registries are so common these days, most shower guests will assume the mom-to-be is registered somewhere and elect to purchase a gift from the registry. That way the gift-giver and the gift-getter both know the item will be perfect!

I'd suggest Babies-R-Us or Target.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.V.

answers from Philadelphia on

You probably will not like my response and I am sure my attitude toward this subject will be considered old-fashioned. To think that a gift someone gives you is unuseful is rather arrogant and elitist. I do not think there is a tactful way to say "gift card". If I were invited to this shower and you told me what to give, I would RSVP "Sorry, I am busy."

I am a grandmother and the showers of old (before knowing the sex of the baby and mothers' preferences) were much appreciated. It is, after all, the fact that people even want to come to these productions and give of their time and money, in whatever fashion, that should be appreciated.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.T.

answers from Philadelphia on

One idea is to have everyone bring there favorite children's book. Everyone has a favorite and I believe you can never have too many books. Another thing to ask is for everyone to bring a recipie, either geared for children or a quick and easy to prepare that she can easily do as a new busy mom. But remember that even though she already has a lot of the nesesities it is always nice to have things that are new, choice outfits, special blankets and special lovies. She should definatley register for those things she knows she needs or wants. There is always a way to nicely word the invitation to express your wishes in terms of gifts. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Allentown on

use a registry if possible. Nice to have new of some things.

Diapers cleaning supplies, bath time.

Make sure some of the hand me downs are in excellent shape sometimes they not as good as you think.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.T.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Have her register somewhere. Or have a "Gift card shower", and tell everyone to a gift card to a baby related store. Or I just went to a shower, and the theme was books. Everyone was suppose to buy the baby a book. Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Scranton on

You could ask her if there is anything that is needed, or have her make a wish list on a store website to use. If she really only wants cards, then just write it on the list. I would think that there would be some stuff she could use though. She will need bottles and diapers, maybe formula... Make sure she has thought it through, and being serious. It's too late after you have the party.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

O.O.

answers from Kansas City on

I would have her register for what she wants and needs and include that information with the invitations. She can always return things she can't use. I'm a very practical person, too, but maybe she would like some new "special" things for her own baby! Have fun!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Johnstown on

Hi D.!

I just helped my mom with my sister's shower last summer. We too were trying for gift cards, from Babies R' Us. I'm not sure if there is a Giant Eagle grocery store that offers the fuel perks near you and your sister, but we mentioned that you could buy a Babies R' Us gift card there and get fuel perks right on the invitation. Tried to be tactful and put it small at the bottom, and many people did do that, especially with the cost of gas now! She still has some giftcards and her daughter is 9 mo old!! Most baby registries have a gift card to scan too.

I think these days you can say most anything on your invites and if it's family and friends they will understand where you are coming from! Hope this helps~ good luck!

~J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Everyone loves to shop for new babies, so I don't think there is any way to specifically request gift cards that falls under acceptable manners.

What about doing a book themed shower, where everyone brings a favorite childhood book with a note to the little one written inside the cover.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches