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6 Baby Shower Gifts to Leave at the Store

If you’ve ever wondered if you gave baby shower gifts that were returned, this list is for you!  What to give as a baby shower gift is a tricky subject.  People often want to buy adorable newborn-appropriate gifts to welcome the new little person to the world! 

However, many times the items a new mom receives as baby shower gifts are not very useful, or so short-lived that they represent an impractical lifespan. 

What baby gifts do new moms wish you’d left at the store?   Personally, I wish I had gotten less baby clothes.  Baby clothes are not only expensive, but having a huge stockpile is just impractical.  I received so many baby clothes that a lot of the outfits were only worn once or not at all, which is such a shame. 

I know the gift-givers wanted to shower love on my then-unborn son and did so with oh-so-cute clothes, but there proved to be a lot of wasted money on clothing that was never even used!  

If you don’t want to be an impractical baby-gifter, read on for 6 baby gifts you can leave at the store!

6 Baby Shower Gifts to Skip

1.  Religious items.  Religious gifts can be a sensitive subject, especially if you’re not sure of the parents’ religious specifics.  It’s better to leave this one to the parents.

2.  Newborn clothes, size 0-3 months. Consider that “newborn” size is designed for babies from 5-8 pounds. Those of us having large babies (born at 8 pounds and up) may not even be able to fit a newborn outfit on them the day they are born!  The newborn size clothes may be cute, but force yourself to put it back on the rack and look for the same style in a 3-6 month size or larger.  Chant the mantra:  Babies always grow bigger, but they will never get smaller! 

3.  Coats or jackets.  As most young babies will be in a carseat carrier most of the time when outdoors, they’ll be covered up with blankets or car seat covers.  The coat or jacket to match an outfit may be very cute, but probably will not make a very practical gift. Don’t be offended if you never see the little one donning your gift of outerwear.

4.  Stuffed animals.  Unless they’re meant to hang on a wall (like a musical stuffed animal with a pull-string), don’t waste money on stuffed animals.  Babies won’t be able to play with stuffed animals until they are much older, or even sleep with them in their cribs. 

Many stuffed animals aren’t even suited for older babies or toddlers, such as those with hard plastic pieces, or small hard items embedded, such as eyes, buttons, rattles and more.  These small choking hazards can become detached from the stuffed animals while your little one is chewing on or mouthing the toy.  Better safe than sorry- skip the stuffed animals in favor of a different type of gift.

5.  Monogrammed clothes or linens.  Although the thought of a personally monogrammed item with baby’s name or initials sounds special, it might not be the most practical.  Many parents who plan on having more than one child like to keep baby items to reuse for their future children.  Another popular way to reuse these quickly outgrown baby clothes is to pass them on to friends or family that are expecting.  Their kids probably won’t look good wearing someone else’s name!

If planning on a personalized blanket or other item, it’s good to check with the parent first to make sure they haven’t already gotten one.  Some moms might not want a ton of items they have to pack away as keepsakes; one or two is usually enough.

6.  Seasonal clothes.  You can’t estimate what size a baby will be at a certain age.  Don’t buy seasonal clothing, such as shorts, bathing suits, flannel shirts, or Christmas outfits as gifts – there is no way to tell if a 9 month old baby in summertime will really be wearing size 12 months!

Since we know you want to buy a fabulous (but useful) baby shower gift, stay tuned next week for our list of 6 Must-Have Baby Shower Gifts.  In the meantime, check out our 13 Best Baby Shower Gifts on a Budget.

For more Works for Me Wednesday, check out Rocks in my Dryer. Photo by Manassas Cakery.

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. Tiffany
    Feb 17, 2009 @ 13:33:27

    YES! To the newborn sized clothing. My son was born over 9 pounds, yet my mother-in-law is buying newborn sized items for our soon-to-be-born daughter. I seriously doubt she’ll be using them!!!


  2. Angie @ Many Little Blessings
    Feb 17, 2009 @ 16:54:10

    I have given several friends handmade rosaries for babies (as a keepsake), but only friends from church. They have all loved them, but, of course, I knew their religious preferences. ;)


  3. Carey
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 04:06:56

    I agree on the subject of too many clothes. My daughter was given so many outfits – some of them quite fancy – she never wore half of them! Especially being that I was a stay at home mom at the time, and we live in Florida – she was just in onesies most of the time!


  4. mub
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 04:39:36

    I’m going to agree with all of these -except- for the coat one! Of course it will depend on where you live and such, but here in The Netherlands there are a lot more people on their bikes or walking and in these instances coats are a very good idea! I’m looking forward to the must haves post!


  5. Kookaburra
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 07:33:36

    Perfect list. Seriously. I don’t know what people are thinking sometimes.

    So many people gave me baby clothes that would end up being the wrong size for the season. Completely useless.

    Oh and when I was pregnant with our son, he was measuring huge and everyone knew that he’d be atleast 8 pounds at birth, and most likely more. I received sooo many 0-3 month outfits and even 2 preemie outfits. Yea he was 10lbs, 2 oz at birth. Didn’t use any of them.


  6. Cute Baby Clothes
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 09:21:54

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  7. Wani
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 10:34:29

    I’ve taken to buying toddler clothes as baby shower gifts! I was so sad when I had run out of clothes before my little guy had barely turned 1yr! I’ll buy clearance clothes and stockpile to use for future gifts.


  8. Lola Fayemi / Nourishment......
    Feb 19, 2009 @ 05:22:20

    Whoops, I always buy cute baby clothes for people, albeit ones the child can grow into and I give the receipt. But now pregnant with my 1st, I’m really hoping I don’t get a load of clothes!


  9. Lin Burress
    Feb 19, 2009 @ 06:47:58

    My daughter is soon to be given a baby shower and even though she’s registered for her baby shower already, there are so many baby shower gifts that are a waste of money and time.

    I sometimes wonder if a pregnant mom has created her “baby needs checklist” to actually write down the basic needs the baby will really need vs what is advertised as a need. Newborn baby’s don’t need nearly as much stuff as advertisers make it appear.

    Many gift givers get so excited about the cute little outfits for newborns, but don’t seem to realize that most of these outfits can’t possibly be worn before they’re outgrown, or simply because the fuss involved with diaper changes while the baby is all gussied up in these clothes becomes a burden for the mom.

    Since baby clothes don’t stay on the shelves or rack at the store very long, it’s difficult if not impossible to actually register for baby clothes. We’ve spread the word around that the more important items on the registry is what is truly wanted and needed. The newborn baby will likely be in onesies, gowns and tshirts for the early months, and that’s why anytime I give a baby shower gift of clothes, I always give baby clothes in at least the 6-9 months sizes if not larger.


  10. Ellen
    Feb 22, 2009 @ 17:30:36

    I agree with everything but the monogrammed items. I would’ve absolutely LOVED to have gotten even one thing with my child’s name on it. I even told people 3 months ahead of time what we were naming him, hoping for something like that. No dice. I didn’t get a single personalized item. So I think the monogramming is a personal preference, and unless you’ve got a monogramming fiend in your family, most people aren’t going to get too much of it.


  11. Dress Clothes For Infant
    Mar 01, 2009 @ 17:20:56

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  12. Deb
    Oct 04, 2010 @ 08:50:05

    We had two small baby showers- plus a gift or two from friends. I am sad to say that 90% of them were clothing- and we already had a good start on that. Many of them are 0-3 months, or 3-6 months. I know this baby is gonna be 8 lbs plus- so the small sizes are useless! Then there’s another thing to consider- we all have a different opinion of what’s “cute” in baby clothes. For example, we live in a college football town, but we both are not football fans. I can’t tell you how many sport onsies and so forth we received for the local “team.” Meanwhile, my registries, which took hours and hours to perfect, have been little used, and remain filled with items that we actually NEED and must go out and buy. I wish people would at the least, give their reciepts, so we could return outfits that won’t fit him, or duplicates to save up for say, a car seat or bassinet, or diapers. Also, we received 25 or so receiving blankets! 25!


  13. Danelle Ice - Home Ever After
    Oct 04, 2010 @ 11:06:01

    @Deb: Sadly, your story is common! It happens to so many new moms and dads, and we get loaded down with unneeded presents and still have to buy the necessities. It’s just too bad about the registries, too.



  14. Jessica
    May 30, 2011 @ 22:57:47

    Near the end of my pregnancy, my doctor predicted my baby would weigh 8 1/2 -9 pounds. Nearly everyone I knew bought me adorable NEWBORN outfits; my daughter, who was born weighing 10 lbs, 5 oz., never wore any of them ONCE! My friend’s daughter was born prematurely around the same time, weighing 4 lbs 3 oz., so at least I was able to find a good home for the clothing. Still, it was a shame to not be able to dress my daughter in the hand-knitted sweaters we received:-(


  15. Home Ever After
    Feb 17, 2009 @ 13:37:08

    @Tiffany: lol! I know the feeling. My son was so huge that newborn clothes looked like doll clothes next to him!



  16. Home Ever After
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 10:15:32

    @Angie: That sounds like a fantastic present for a pregnant church friend! There is a lady who sets up shop at our state fair every year and she makes the most gorgeous rosaries. I’ve had my eye on a red beaded one with a red and clear gemmed cross for about 3 years now, and always forget to go back and buy it before the fair ends!



  17. Home Ever After
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 10:19:17

    @Carey: I know what you mean. Most of the time we were at home too when he was really little. Sometimes I would feel guilty and dress him up in some of the outfits (instead of just a one-piece, my favorite). Then even if we went to the store, no one would see the outfit because he was in his carrier with a blanket. *sigh*



  18. Home Ever After
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 10:21:09

    @Mub: How cool that you’re from the Netherlands! It’s always nice to hear a point of view from a different part of the world. Some things can vary so much from location to location. It seems like a lot more people bike in other countries than here in the USA.



  19. Home Ever After
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 10:25:28

    @Kookaburra: I hear ya! My son was estimated to be 10 pounds at birth (from the ultrasound) and thankfully he was only 8! The newborn clothes were just a waste – for next time I’ll make sure to exchange them for bigger sizes before the baby is born. Thanks for dropping us a line!



  20. Home Ever After
    Feb 18, 2009 @ 13:07:44

    @Wani: I albsolutely LOVE that idea… great advice to watch the clearance sales for toddler clothes. I am definitely adding that to my arsenal of gift-finding ideas. Thanks for the tip!



  21. Home Ever After
    Feb 19, 2009 @ 08:27:22

    @Lola: Don’t feel bad! I have to admit that before I had kids, I did the same thing. I would buy the cutest outfit I could find in newborn size to give as a baby shower present. *sigh* It’s a good thing we keep learning as we go along!



  22. Home Ever After
    Feb 19, 2009 @ 08:35:06

    @Lin: I fully agree with you on this! While getting ready for our son, we actually did make a checklist of baby needs to take with us to garage sales and shopping. However, I think many moms don’t make it past the baby registry list, which is much different than a needs list anyway. I have to say I never received any item from my registries!

    Thanks so much for the comment, and congratulations to your daughter and her (soon-to-be) new little one!



  23. Home Ever After
    Feb 23, 2009 @ 08:21:36

    @Ellen: That’s why we say to check with the parents first. In some cases, parents can get TONS of personalized items, and in some cases, zero! It seems to be an all-or-nothing situation, for some reason. I love the baby blankets that are personalized, but wouldn’t want to keep more than one monogrammed item as a keepsake (I like to reuse!). Thanks so much for leaving a comment!



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