Miss A Columnist

Stephanie Graham is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. After she earned her degree in English-Writing at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she married her college sweetheart and settled down in Southwest Michigan. She is now blessed to stay home with her 14-month-old son Silas.

How To Get What You Need At Your Baby Shower

Baby showers are fantastic opportunities to celebrate and stock up on supplies that would cost you hundreds of dollars on your own. That village helps raise your child right from the beginning with events like these. But what about the well-meaning ladies who give you pink tutus when you’ve advertised that it’s a boy, or the 0-3 month snowsuit for your June due date, and the many, many blankets? All are adorable, all given from good hearts, all things you just can’t use. You may not be able to prevent this completely, but there are ways to minimize it while still graciously accepting the gifts. The first line of defense is:

Registry help: If this is your first baby, bring along a friend or family member who can give suggestions. This person can help immensely as you decide what you will truly need and what will likely just take up space. Also while you register:

Be picky: It’s easy to go crazy with that registry scanner. However, if you would be bummed that you got Baby’s First Teddy Bear and zero burp cloths or onesies, then maybe it would be best not to register for the unnecessary items at all. Odds are, you will still get those cute-but-impractical gifts, but at least you would not get them from both registry followers and those free spirits who don’t buy from your list. For the shower itself:

Get specific: Diaper/wipes showers and  gender-specific clothes showers (for that mom having a girl after five boys) are viable options. And you might get the best of both worlds; you will have some people who like keeping it simple and others who will decide to spring for the extras but still bring the specified items. You may also motivate them if you:

Offer a prize: If your shower planners are game, they could advertise that everyone who brings _______(fill in the blank: a pack of wipes, burp cloths, teething bibs, whatever relatively inexpensive item you want) in addition to their gift is entered into a drawing. Just make sure the prize is worth their extra expense – maybe a $25 gift card to a nice local restaurant or department store.

No matter what, expect the unexpected, and be ready with a genuine thank you anyway. After all, these women took the time and money to buy the gifts, wrap them, and come celebrate with you. After your thank-you notes, you can start returning, regifting or donating them. It’s all part of the exciting process of preparing for baby!

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