How Much To Spend On A Baby Shower Gift? [Co-Workers, Close Friends & Family]

Welcoming a new baby into the world is both exciting and nerve-wracking.

As a community, we try to get parents off to a good start by showering them with supplies they will need for their new little one.

But when you have been invited to many baby showers, you may begin to feel the strain of buying so many baby gifts.

You have to balance how much it is customary to spend on baby gifts with what you can afford to spend.

A good rule of thumb for spending on baby gifts is up to $25 for co-workers and distant relatives, up to $50 for a close friend or cousin, and up to $100 for close family and best friends. Choose an item from the parent’s gift registry that fits in your budget.

Remember that any gift will be welcomed, so only spend what you can afford and are comfortable with.

Let’s explore some gifting options for different price ranges as well as some creative ways to give great gifts without breaking the bank.

How Much To Spend On A Baby Shower Gift For Co-Workers And Distant Relatives?

When you are attending a baby shower for a co-worker or a distant relative and you don’t want to show up empty-handed, you can rest assured that a gift under $25 is a respectable and thoughtful gift. Many items on the baby gift registry will be in this price range. 

Baby Shower Gift Ideas Under $25

Babies need baths and those of us with children know, you always need an extra washcloth.

This Aveeno lavender baby wash and lotion are under $15, and this package of baby washcloths is less than $9.

Together, this is a thoughtful and practical gift that any parent will need and appreciate. 

While the new parents may have set up the perfect nursery with a changing table, sometimes moms are just too tired to get up and go to the nursery.

This handy caddy can sit by the rocking chair in the living room and hold a few diapers, a package of wipes, and other odds and ends that a new mom needs at hand.

Of course, a package of diapers and some wipes are always a welcome gift for new parents.

How Much To Spend On A Baby Shower Gift For Close Friends, Cousins, And Nieces?

When you have a close friend or family member, you may want to spend a bit more on the gift.

You could go for a more expensive gift or a themed gift basket that incorporates multiple smaller items.

Start with items on the gift registry, then add a little of your personal creative flair. $50 is a reasonable amount to spend on gifts in this category.

Baby Shower Gift Ideas Under $50

Moms and Dads on the go will need a good diaper bag. They probably have one on the registry that you could pick up.

If not, a backpack bag is a great choice so that their hands remain free for snuggling the baby.

Although the baby may want to be held all the time, sometimes mom and dad need a break.

A bouncy seat is a great spot to safely buckle in baby so mom can shower or eat with her hands-free. Bouncy seats can range from $30 to $100.

Make a baby bath basket. Start with a mesh shower caddy as college students need in the dorms for less than $8.

Add some affordable baby wash, washcloths, lotion, and a couple of super cute hooded towels. This gift basket will be convenient and useful for the new parents.

How Much To Spend On A Baby Shower Gift For Best Friends And Close Family?

If your best friend or sister is having a baby, you will probably want to invest in a higher-priced item for the baby.

You may expect to spend between $50 and $100 if you are able to for the baby shower.

Baby Gift Ideas Up To $100

One incredibly useful item for new parents is a pack and play playpen. Many come with a bassinet attachment for newborns.

A playpen will help the new parents through the toddler years. If they haven’t placed one on their registry, Pack and Play by Graco is an excellent choice.

A baby laundry gift basket would be a fun way to incorporate smaller items into this price range.

This cute canvas laundry basket has wheels so a busy parent with their hands full can move it easily to the washer and dryer.

Add some gentle detergent made for baby clothes, and some wool dryer balls for less than $11.

If your budget is $100, you still have room for some adorable onesies, a sweet blanket, and some burp cloths. 

Group Baby Gifts

There are some big-ticket items that new parents could use. A great way to afford these more expensive items is to have several people donate toward the total.

A good stroller can cost between $150 and $300. Of course, these usually grow with the child and last until a child is 3 or 4 so they are a good investment. 

Another thoughtful higher-priced item is a rocking chair. It may not be something that comes to mind when new parents are building a registry, so ask if they need one.

A nice gliding rocking chair can be $250. But it is worth its weight in gold when the baby is fussy and needs to be soothed. 

Ideas For Affordable Baby Gifts

First of all, no matter what your relationship is with the new parents, don’t feel obligated to spend more than you can afford.

If you can’t afford a gift, but you want to do something for the family, offer to help clean the house or set up the nursery.

An investment of your time will demonstrate your love and support as much or more than any gift could.

Look on the gift registry for lower-priced items. Sometimes the basics are overlooked because they are not glamorous.

While a dinosaur onesie is adorable, baby nail clippers are a necessity. Other necessary items are diapers and wipes. Really, you can’t have enough.

When you are shopping for a baby gift, look for coupons and sales. You might be able to score a great deal on a higher-priced item than you would normally be able to afford.

Create a homemade gift. If you are a crafty person, you may already have the supplies you need at home to make a special item for the new baby.

Decorate a picture frame, make some scrapbook pages, or frame an inspirational quote for the nursery. 

Of course, as previously mentioned, you can contribute to a group gift and give whatever you can.

Group gifts don’t have to be the most expensive item on the registry. Two people can contribute to a baby bathtub for example.

Baby Shower

Gift Giving Advice For The Baby Shower

From The Gift Registry

  • Stick to the gift registry. New parents have put a lot of thought, planning, and research into which bottles, pacifiers, and stroller they believe is best. Respect their choices. 
  • Feel free to get creative to add something complementary to what you chose from the registry. If you buy the bottles from the registry, a cute bib announcing that you are the favorite aunt is perfectly fine.

General Ideas That All New Parents Need

  • Give gift cards or cash. At some point, new parents will run out of diapers – usually after a disaster diaper at 2:00 in the morning. A gift card to a local 24-hour store is a wonderful gift.
  • Include gift receipts for the items you give. It is possible that the new parents get too many bottles and never enough diapers.
  • Having a receipt makes it easier to return or exchange duplicate items. 

Out Of The Box Ideas For Baby Shower Gifts

  • If your family has a traditional gift, stick to it. An engraved Christmas ornament or a homemade blanket will be treasured for years.
  • Cook a meal for the new family. Arrange to bring a hot supper over one night so they don’t have to cook. Or make a frozen casserole they can just pop into the oven. If cooking is not your thing, buy them a gift card to a restaurant that delivers.  Then they can order a meal in when they are just too tired to cook.

Gifts For Multiples

  • If the baby shower is for twins, and you can increase your gift the family will appreciate it. They don’t need two of everything though. What they will need is double the diapers and wipes. 

Hostess Gifts

It is customary to give a token of appreciation to the hostesses who organize your baby shower.

Deciding what to give to the hostesses and how much to spend can vary depending on who your hostesses are, the budget you have, and how many hostesses planned your shower.

If you only have two or three hostesses, consider personalizing the gifts for each person.

Choose something that complements their personality like a serving tray for someone who enjoys throwing parties, an insulated water bottle, or a monogrammed robe.

For Baby Showers with many hostesses, you may need to be more budget savvy.

Affordable gifts include small houseplants, deliciously scented candles, stationery, or homemade baked goods.

Sometimes, your budget is stretched to the limit with a new baby and the associated expenses. 

If your budget does not allow gifts for each hostess, write a handwritten thoughtful note. 

A genuine heartfelt letter expressing your gratitude and friendship is more meaningful than an off-the-shelf gift.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes it feels that the social obligation of buying a gift for every shower is overwhelming.

But remember that you don’t need to overspend your own budget for appearance’s sake. Spend what you are comfortable with on a baby shower gift. 

If you can’t afford a gift on your own, contribute to a group gift or offer your time cleaning or cooking for the new family.

Whether you can afford $25 for a co-worker or $100 for a close friend, your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

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