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13 Best Baby Shower Gifts on a Budget

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Looking for great gift ideas for a baby shower that won’t break the bank? Everyone wants to give a gift that will be liked, be appreciated, and most of all, be USED! It is possible to give great gifts when you’re on a budget, and don’t forget that sentimental and practical value are king where baby presents are concerned. A more expensive gift is NOT guaranteed to be a better gift!

What do new moms really want to get for gifts at baby showers? Surprisingly, these 13 most-wanted gifts are affordable and desirable baby shower loot!

13 Best Baby Shower Gifts on a Budget

1. Diapers.  The MOST important gift that is given the least! You can’t have too many, and all sizes are appropriate. Diapers are expensive, it’s true, but can still be a frugal gift if you can’t afford a lot. For a really small budget: buy a very small pack of diapers, roll each individually and tie with ribbon, then fill into a cute gift bag. Diaper cakes are also high on impact and easy on the pocketbook.

2. Wipes.  The #2 most useful gift, also not given as often as they should be.  Combine coupons with store sales to get a nice stockup gift of wipes for a bargain price.

3. Bottles. Check with the mom ahead of time to find out if she’s planning to use a certain brand. Any little bit you can contribute to a bottle stock is good – extra bottles, nipples, or liners for the drop-in models. With an infant, you can never have enough bottles (a large supply keeps you from running the dishwasher 10 times a day!).

4. Thank you cards with envelopes. Save the new mom a few extra minutes and put the return address on each one. She’ll be thanking you for it when her precious minutes are better spent sleeping than working on thank you cards!

5. Gift cards to Starbucks. Sleep deprived new moms still have to do errands. Give her the gift of caffeine with several $5 Starbucks gift cards bundled together in a homemade card. She’ll thank you for it!

6. Gift cards to mass merchandisers like Walmart or Target. There are always items on the list that the mom is hoping to receive at the baby shower but probably won’t. Gift cards to these stores will allow her to get what she really needs the most at the last minute.

7. A portrait package from a studio or a gift certificate towards part of a package. This is a great big gift to go in on with friends also. Sears, Walmart and JC Penney have inexpensive portrait studios that often run package specials. The new mom will love having photos taken of her little angel!

8. Receiving blankets. New parents always need more clean receiving blankets than they have, making them a great gift. You can NEVER have too many!

9. Diaper Genie or Diaper Genie Refills. Go in with friends on the larger genie or if you know someone else is buying the genie, give a few refills.

10. Keepsake calendar. Inexpensive and incredibly time-saving, a keepsake calendar hangs on the wall in the nursery. New parents without time to dig out the baby book or scrapbook for each milestone can simply write them on the calendar.

11. Babysitter list compiled by you of all the available babysitters in the area, along with contact information.

12. Babysitting coupon. Give the gift of your services! Homemade babysitting coupons will be well received: you watch the bundle of joy so the parents can have a few hours alone for dinner or even sleep!

13. Date night movie pack. Quick, easy and cheap: buy a bargain-priced comedy, add a pack of microwave popcorn, a few packs of assorted candies, and put into a gift bag. Voila! A date night in a bag for after the baby is asleep! Make sure to include a handmade card from you telling the new parents to enjoy their movie date night

We’re proud that this baby shower gift checklist has been linked to by so many sites- thank you!  If you liked this checklist, subscribe to our free updates today to get more like it.

Photography by Kim Byquist, my wonderful sister!

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Danelle Ice is an entrepreneur in Los Angeles and mom of 3. She is the creator of and Danelle is also known as internet personality SimDanelle, the first virtual person. Danelle is a beauty guru on YouTube, vlogger, blogger, and new media darling. She is a current brand ambassador for for Keurig and previous AMD Tech Mom, Kraft Foods Delicious Byte brand ambassador, and Purex Insider.


  1. Monday through Sunday
    Jun 12, 2008 @ 18:05:00

    Awesome list!!! Diapers are an awesome go through so can never have to many!!


  2. Alice Audrey
    Jun 12, 2008 @ 19:17:00

    Cloth diapers are a great gift. With any luck they will last a while.


  3. Kat
    Jun 12, 2008 @ 20:40:00

    I think that diapers were the best gift. When I had my girls I could not figure out why people bought stuff they wanted (like cute clothes) instead of stuff I would need – like diapers and wipes. And that date night care package is genius! (It could even be labeled as entertainment for that 2 am feeding! I cannot tell you how many movies I watched in the middle of the night!)


  4. Kristie McNealy
    Jun 12, 2008 @ 20:48:00

    As I was looking over the free or super cheap baby stuff I’ve gotten lately, I thought of another cheap idea. A baby blow out emergency kit… travel wipes, travel size diaper cream, small pack of diapers, and an inexpensive onesie. If you CVS, and watch for baby outfits on clearance, you could get all of this for a couple bucks. We even have a few onesies with the tags still on that we never used for our kids.


  5. Bubba
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 01:05:00

    I might need to bookmark this list. As a single, childless guy, this list is a big help for gift-giving! Thanks!!!

    Happy TT!


  6. Storm
    Jun 18, 2008 @ 22:48:00

    Great gift ideas. I like to give a safety kit with all the drawer locks, etc., for a baby shower gift. Happy TT!


  7. Ivan Martinez
    Feb 17, 2009 @ 13:47:01

    Number 5 is ok only if the future mom won’t breastfeed. Baby socks (size 6-12) are also good gifts because they tend to be forgotten on blankets, cribs, car backseats… a good bookmarks list of baby websites is free (for extreme low budget, but shows great affection and caring, and is very useful for moms with fifteen minutes to find everything)…


  8. Reiza
    Mar 27, 2009 @ 18:14:16

    Breastfeeding mom here and I love my Starbucks gift cards. My daughter’s less than 3 weeks old and we’ve already been a bunch thanks to the cards my mom sent.

    I’d be leery about giving bottles. All my friends breastfeed and a number of people have complained that they got bottles when they didn’t need them. Even those who use them because they pump at work and leave milk have needed specific bottles.

    First Aid kits can be a great gift. I’ve seen a bunch in smaller sizes that fit in diaper bags, but it seems like you could put that together yourself for a lot less money.


  9. Kim
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 15:52:50

    I like Kristie’s idea for a diaper blow out kit. They always happen at the worst possible time! Diapers are always a great gift. When I had my baby showers, you would not believe how many towels I received. But, I didn’t receive any baby toiletries or even diaper creme. I look back and I don’t even remember receiving many diapers. I wished many people would have just bought me gift cards so I could buy items that I needed for the baby (not that I wasn’t thankful but a lot of moms know what I mean).


  10. Home Ever After
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 19:34:46

    @Kim: I can relate – I cherished the gift cards! I’m all about the diapers- and yes, I do give them as gifts at showers! And the diaper blow out kit – yeah, I took a carry on suitcase with me everywhere in the trunk, just in case. :) Thanks for the comment!



  11. Jess
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 17:42:34

    Before you spend money on diapers, definitely make sure Mom is using disposables, or which kind of cloth instead! Being a cloth diapering Mommy, I wasn’t thrilled to receive two boxes of disposables, but I thanked graciously, and sent them to Grandma’s to use there.

    As far as bottles go, as long as you check with Mom to make sure you’re getting the right kind, don’t see why that would be a problem.

    A “baby blow-out” kit is a great idea! How many times have my kiddies completely messed themselves away from home–more than I want to think about (anytime they’re spending a lot of time in the car seat is a recipe for disaster.)

    Instead of a babysitting coupon, how ’bout a “housecleaning” coupon? I HATED having a messy home when my babies were little, but I wasn’t willing to give up our “nap time” together to deal with it. No one ever offered to help around the house, which would have been a HUGE blessing–I don’t mind hanging out with my baby. :)

    Diaper Genie or refills, again, if Mom wants it. We just use a trash can and there are no refills to buy there (again, with cloth diapers, it’s lined with a laundry bag anyways.)

    I 2nd the socks suggestion. Those with the little band around the ankle are the best! They’re so hard for babies to kick off! We loved ‘em (and would put the cuter, fancier socks over them when it was cooler.)

    Portrait package–meh. I think gift certificates to Shutterfly or some similar photo developing site would be better. All the Moms I know are very particular about photographers.

    Thank you cards with return address (and stamps?!?!!) would be great!

    How ’bout a small mesh laundry bag, for baby socks (and other little baby things.) Always found it useful.


  12. Young Wife
    Jul 01, 2009 @ 20:41:26

    I’m totally using the blowout idea! I also like the idea of house cleaning gift certificates. People always bring food, but how many people offer to clean up the kitchen?


  13. The Goblin Mama
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 08:51:43

    Totally love the blow-out kit!!
    I routinely give disposables, as whether Mom uses them at home, just for away from home, or Camp Gramma is up to them.
    Second the motion on both receiving blankets AND cloth diapers, both of which can be used for spit ups.
    The small mesh bag for tiny socks – how I wish I’d thought about THAT way back when!!

    Great site! Fabulous ideas!


  14. Jill
    Oct 22, 2009 @ 15:01:07

    Great list!
    But! While diapers are easily THE BEST GIFT EVER please please please think before rolling them up and tying them individually and/or making a diaper cake!!! I got two diaper cakes at my shower and had to enlist the help of two people and devote an entire afternoon to unrolling them and smoothing them out. Once they’re taken apart, they’re very difficult to store. Even if you kept them together, it would be difficult to grab a diaper off the diaper cake when you really needed one!
    Also, if diapers have been specifically requested, buy a larger size like size 2. So many people bring newborn and size 1 diapers to a shower and babies grow out of those sizes fairly rapidly. When you realize you’re not going to be able to wedge your baby into a size 1, the pack of size 2 that’s been living in the closet is a huge blessing!


  15. Tweets that mention 13 Best Baby Shower Gifts on a Budget - Home Ever After --
    May 14, 2010 @ 10:28:03

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Danelle Ice. Danelle Ice said: 13 Best #Baby Shower Gifts on a Budget #frugal #moms [...]


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