How much is too much for a baby shower?
October 7, 2007 7:02 PM   Subscribe

How much do I spend on a baby shower gift?

My best friend, of seven years, is pregnant! Yippee! It's a boy! Her baby shower is coming up on Saturday.

I've checked out her registry and I'd like to buy her one of the more pricey items. I can afford about $100 (the Baby Carrier is the specific item I was considering, though the Pack 'n Play also looks cool).

However, when I spoke with my mom about what I planned to buy my friend, she mentioned that $100 is too much for a baby shower.

Is that true? This is really my best friend - I will be "auntie" to the baby, and, while I won't be Godmother, I will be very close to one.

I can afford the gift I'd like to buy, but I don't want to make my friend uncomfortable.

What do you experienced baby shower attendees think? If location matters, this is in Chicago proper (not suburbs).

posted by MeetMegan to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
if it's on the registry, your friend is clearly not uncomfortable about asking for it. if she's your best friend and you love her, you want to get her something and you can afford the price, go for it! your mom's concern is well-meaning but misplaced.
posted by lia at 7:05 PM on October 7, 2007

Nah, for a close friend with no baggage you can spend whatever you like. If your friend isn't going to feel weird or obligated, go for it. Aunties get to buy whatever they want.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:07 PM on October 7, 2007

You may want to buy something off the registry (say, for $75) and add to your purchase something a little bit more personal or devastatingly cute that speaks to her as a friend who really gets her tastes. Cool artwork at Etsy, or a box of Trumpette socks (I loved this gift -- at $25 for a box of 6 socks, it's something I'd hesitate over buying myself but loved as a gift.) Or a couple of children's books that mean a lot to you or her.
posted by mdiskin at 7:10 PM on October 7, 2007

Sweetie, she's your best friend - spend whatever you like. There's no spending-limit-baby-shower rule. I just hope you don't play the "smell the weird things in the diaper" game at the shower...
posted by ersatzkat at 7:12 PM on October 7, 2007

if it makes you happy to spend the $100, then do it! i once footed a $350 bachelorette party for a dear, dear friend and, since i was across the country and couldn't go to her baby shower, sent her a really nice diaper bag filled with goodies and toys and things for her--some nice, adult, easy to wash shawls to cover herself up with while nursing (a more discreet alternative to a blanket with ducks and chickens).

money doesn't buy happiness, but it can show happiness. i don't think you'll regret being more generous with someone you love.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:21 PM on October 7, 2007

I spent over $300 (1/3 of which was shipping) on a care package for a best friend who had a baby. Money well spent - she ADORED it. Go ahead and buy it.
posted by divabat at 7:47 PM on October 7, 2007

I guess my only hesitation would be if you're significantly richer than the other people at the shower, and if it would look like you were flaunting your wealth. If so, you could buy something smaller for the shower and then present her with the Pack 'n' Play at a more private moment.

But look. She's your best friend. This is one of the most important moments in her life. I don't think you have to worry about spending too much, as long as you're comfortable with the amount you're spending. Also, assume that you're going to be spending a lot more in the future, because once you have babies to buy for, you start to realize that the world is chock full of adorable baby stuff that these babies simply must have. It's a disease, I tell you.
posted by craichead at 8:05 PM on October 7, 2007

Go for it. She will love it and be very grateful.

If you're worried about freaking out other shower attendees you could get a cute little baby outfit and give that at the shower, and give the real gift behind-the-scenes.

(But don't make assumptions about the shower attendees. My sister just had a shower with other people from her blue-collar job - people who really don't have a lot of disposable income - and they went totally over the top for the baby shower. I went conservative and brought just one cute little outfit. The other attendees - just her friends from work - had probably spent $100+ each on miscellaneous clothes, smallish baby gear, etc. They didn't go for the big-ticket things (family mostly got those) but still spent a ton of money on putting together groupings of little things.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:26 PM on October 7, 2007

I would think $100 is absolutely approximately correct for a best friend.

Much less than that, unless you're a college student or otherwise flat broke, would look kind of stingy, in my opinion. I've seen co-workers get $100+ gifts for people in the past (and I see lobstermitten has seen the same thing).
posted by InnocentBystander at 9:14 PM on October 7, 2007

Babies come with fairly significant start-up costs. Before my son was born, friends purchased for us basically everything we needed for him -- co-sleeper, crib, dresser, two car seats, tub, moses basket, crib mattress, you name it. Many of these items were over $100 (or more), but people bought what they could afford. It was a huge blessing to us not to have to drop several hundred dollars on baby "stuff" - moreso since we ended up with significant medical bills after his birth.

Buy what you can afford, and feel no guilt. My only caveat would be to add in something that is personal from you to the baby as well. The folks who bought us the car seat, for example, also included an inscribed hardcover copy of a classic children's book. Long after the car seat is useless, I'll have the book to remind my son of how many people were looking forward to his arrival.
posted by anastasiav at 9:31 PM on October 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

I just had a baby shower on Saturday, and I got items that expensive from my closest friends and relatives. So I think it's very generous and thoughtful of you to get that for her.

Include the gift receipt, though, just in case she gets a duplicate or needs something else instead.
posted by pyjammy at 10:57 AM on October 8, 2007

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