How much should I spend on a baby shower gift? 

Box with baby stuff and accessories for newborn on bed. Gift box with knitted blanket, clothes, socks, shoes and toy. Baby shower concept. Flat lay, top view
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Deciding what to spend on a baby shower gift can be tricky, as you don’t want to be stingy or be the only one bringing an obviously low-cost item to the shower, but you also can’t afford everyone’s most expensive whims on their wish lists. Consider a few factors when determining how much you’ll spend.  

1. What is your relationship to the mother? 

If you are close family, like a sibling or a best friend, you might even be part of throwing the shower. If you intend for the shower to be your main gift, communicate this in some way so that you don’t hurt her feelings, and still plan on giving her something tangible as a keepsake or other gift.  

Feel moderately close to her? Think about anytime she may have given a gift to you in the past, if applicable, and try to match the level of thoughtfulness and care shown in your gift. You may not have had a child yet yourself, but consider what kind of gift your relationship might naturally suggest.

What is inside? Beautiful young pregnant woman holding gift box near ear and smiling while two friends sitting close to her on the couch

If you’re not very close to the mother to be, and you’re wondering how you even got invited to this shower, you shouldn’t feel obligated to buy large furniture or the most expensive item on the registry. In fact, the registry is a great place to go to get an idea of what you might pair together to make a nice gift within your budget. Make a basket of a few smaller items that go together, or choose a single standalone item. Based on how well you know her, and how involved you feel with the upcoming baby’s life, you may not feel obligated to spend the same on every baby shower gift you buy for every family, work, church, or community shower you ever attend. 

2. Is this her first child? 

She may have many of the basics, and gifts for this baby are not expected to be “as much” as they would be for a new mom just starting out. You might be asked to only bring diapers and wipes (a package of each would be fine!) or books, and while diapers and wipes vary in cost by size, you won’t have to spend a lot to make someone feel loved and supported.  

3. What level of need do you know her to have?

Knitted toy giraffe, yellow stars and wooden teether for newborn on white bed. Gender neutral baby stuff and accessories.

If you’ve ever been invited to someone’s shower and you know they have a genuine need, a lower income, or a current hardship that they are walking through such as a loss of a loved one or choosing to go forward with a pregnancy despite lack of support from the father of the baby, you may want to consider what level of gift you could bring to show extra support, kindness, and love to such a mom. You may not even be all that close to her, but if you know she has a need, take the opportunity to show your support in her decision. 

4. What is your current financial situation? 

There are no words that can describe the euphoria you feel when your baby recognizes you for the first time and smiles.”

Jared Padalecki American actor

Sometimes literally everyone seems to be having a baby – and you just can’t afford to give everyone awesome ,gifts. Opt for baskets, as you can sometimes shop at a dollar store for the bin itself and some things such as wipes while adding a few items from other stores such as socks, hats, and a small pack of diapers – and you can put together a nice mix of things for under $20. Check the registry and see what you can pair together that stays within your means. Likely you are a part of the people who make up this lady’s circle of friends and family whom she cares about, and your presence means a lot more to her than if you buy the baby blender she’ll possibly never even use. 

5. Is what you spend going to matter, or more so making a nice presentation of a thoughtful gift? 

Sales, coupons, shopping at several different stores – you might not spend nearly as much as you think you have to in order to get a new mom a really nice, thoughtful, practical gift. Spend more time on the presentation of your gift if you think it will make it more meaningful. Wrap things with pretty ribbons and add tissue paper and tulle to pull everything together into a nice gift. 

If you really need a dollar amount to go by, coworkers tend to spend about $25 on a gift, such as a giftcard, a basket of small items, or a single outfit. Closer friends typically spend between $30 and $50, whether a customized gift, a gift card, a couple mid-range items, or just diapers and wipes even. Close family members might spend between $50 and $200, or whatever a higher end gift on the registry might be; they may buy a crib, car seat, highchair, dresser, or swing that the family needs, or they might opt for multiple mid-range gifts, or even gift cards, depending on the situation. 



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