Why I Do NOT Buy Gifts for Babies


Yes, you read that correctly! I do not buy gifts for babies. I am a firm believer in not buying gifts for a child that I don’t even know, and probably won’t know, or for a child who probably won’t be able to appreciate any sort of gift until they are at least 10 years old.

However, I do buy gifts for the mother-to-be! I feel that the mother deserves gifts and not the little one who doesn’t even know me and probably won’t get to know me. Let’s be real about it. MOST, not all, but MOST babies that you buy gifts for will never be in your life long enough to know that you bought them a onesie with a bow tie, or the softest little blanket, or the silver spoon that they will never use. BUT – the momma will always know that you cared and will always appreciate that you thought of HER during one of the biggest life changes in her journey as a woman.

Unknown-2Here’s the thing, the baby will receive so many gifts, things ranging from the necessities to the fun stuff. The momma on the other hand, she gets zilch during the process. Yes, I know, I know, I know, she gets to have this adorable bundle of joy at the end and that’s a gift in itself. I get it, I know. BUT, seriously, shouldn’t she get some love in the form of gifts simply because her belly is getting big, her boobs are engorged, her butt is wide, her ankles are swollen, and her nose has gotten weirdly fat? Seriously, give that woman a gift!

I made this decision 5 years ago when I received a baby shower invitation in the mail, saw where she was registered, went to said registry place, started shopping and wasn’t having fun. I figured out that I wasn’t having fun because I was buying things for a baby that I didn’t know. Then, I started thinking… Why doesn’t the mom get anything? The mom is the one that has been carrying this baby, the mom is the one who has had to deal with body changes, emotional changes, etc. Why isn’t she getting anything? I put my baby items down, and started shopping for the Mom.

{Sidenote: I don’t do this all the time, if I know for sure that I will be in the baby’s life because it’s a family member, or it’s one my absolute best friend’s child that I know I will see on a regular basis then I of course buy items for the baby and for the momma, but 90% of the time that is NOT the case.}

new mom gift ideasI have the most fun time putting together a gift for the mom-to-be, especially because I know them and they aren’t expecting a gift for themselves at their baby shower! I write in their card my stance on why I will not and do not buy baby gifts, and that I wanted to shower her instead.

I will say this: I haven’t ever received a complaint about it. The mom-to-be is ecstatic, and the guests always say, “What a great idea.”

Gift ideas for the momma-to-be:

  1. Chewbeads Necklaces or Bracelets (If you have ample time to order them before the baby shower, absolutely do it, they are awesome!)
  2. Comfy and Nice Lounge Set (I always get something a tiny bit bigger than what I think she will be so she can be cozy and I don’t get something to small, especially during her post-baby body.)
  3. Kimonos or Cardigans that cover everything depending on the season
  4. Gift certificates to get a pedicure or a manicure (Make sure to schedule this with her and go with her, or chances are she won’t use the gift card. It’s the truth.)
  5. Something for their favorite team – get them a cute top or dress that would fit them during their pre- baby body and then another one for their post-baby body. (I promise they will appreciate it. Momma’s want to show team spirit too, but they usually won’t go out and buy it for themselves.)
  6. Comfortable Necesseties – Slippers, a lightweight thin cotton robe, and a cute hair band to push all her hair back.
  7. Moms Day Out – Get her a $5 gift card to Starbucks, a $10 gift card to Chic-Fil-A, and a $20 gift card to a book store of their liking. (I write a note that says, “For the one day that you have a moment to yourself without the little one but don’t have much time, go enjoy your favorite Starbucks drink, eat lunch on me, and browse through books and get yourself a little something.”)
  8. Help at Home – Gift card for someone to clean their house once or to come cook a really nice meal for her and the family once. (In order to make sure this actually gets used, I always follow up with the momma on when they would like for me to schedule this house cleaning/cooking meal and I make sure it happens.)
  9. Friend Date  Tickets to an upcoming event that you know is happening at a time where the baby can stay put with Dad or Grandparents, and you and her can attend together. (Concert, Play, etc. You treat her to dinner, and the event.)
  10. A New Outfit – If I know the momma really well, I buy her a complete outfit that I know she would love and would be able to wear after the baby is born even with her post-baby body.

new mom gift ideasMy one piece of advice, try to steer clear from anything that is baby related, and make it all about her. i.e. A new diaper bag that she would love, just stop…that isn’t a purse, it’s a diaper bag and it’s for the baby, not her. A new bracelet that helps her with feedings, just stop…that is for the baby, not for her. A new nursing bra and tank top because every mom needs that, just stop.. she can get that herself and will have to get it herself, those aren’t fun to shop for, get her things that she isn’t going to get to shop for when the baby gets here. She won’t have time to get herself fun things, do it for her!

I will continue to take my stance on Baby Shower Gifts, and hopefully we will one day have two totally separate parties for Moms-To-Be, a shower for the baby and a shower for the Mom! Wait, what about a normal baby shower and on one set of invites it has the registry for baby items and the other set of invites has a registry from the momma! I think I might be on to something!

What do you love to buy for new moms? What do you think about skipping the baby gifts and pampering the mom to be instead?





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Patty is a Texas gal who relocated to Oklahoma in 2005 with her now ex-husband and two kids. She became an instant mom when she met her ex-husband in Austin, TX. Her kids were 4 and 6 at the time, they are now 21 and 23! She loves her blended & diverse family dynamic and her sweet French Brittany bird dog named Harper. After being happily married for 12 years, and now venturing through being happily divorced, you can bet her life is quite the adventure. She Style Coaches professionally, enjoys coaching women in refining and defining their style, drinking a well made latte, living by the golden rule of “no talking before 10am”, craft beer, charcuterie trays, true breakfast tacos, bread, the fall season, tattoos, and saying “YES” to any adventures. Get tips and inspiration by following her style coaching on Instagram & Twitter @pattystylecoach, and Facebook – Patty Rankin Style Coach. Check out her business at www.pattystylecoach.com


  1. As a nursing mother I agree with the gift ideas and most of the don’t buys except the nursing clothes. Those things are super expensive and I’ve only been able to afford a few second hand tanks that I have to wear over and over with a couple of big ugly shirts. If someone had gotten me cute clothes that I could also nurse in, I would have freaked out (in the best way :).

    • Amy,
      So glad that you would’ve been excited and “freaked” out in the best way possible. Lol. That’s a great idea, to look for nursing clothes that can be used for “outfits”. I will keep that in mind, I had always thought that the mom would need to find that on her own, but your point is super valid. Thanks for the insight.

  2. Let’s be friends…seriously. I don’t plan on having another child for years but you seem to live by the idea that a gift is to make someone happy and any of these would make a new mom ( or older) happy.

  3. I like where you are coming from, but don’t totally agree. I loved cute baby clothes with the matching accessories I got at my shower, Lord knows I didn’t buy anything like that for my own kids, out of cost and practicality. I agree the best gifts aren’t necessarily on a baby registry, I mean if you haven’t had a kid before, how would you know what you would need or what to ask for? My two go to gifts are the Miracle swaddling blanket and a white noise machine/sleep sheep. When my babies slept, I slept, and all was well in the world; figured it doesn’t hurt to pass along that joy of sleep 🙂


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