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Do Baby Shower Guests Have to Buy Gifts on the Registry?

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:37 AM
  • 7 Replies

Do Baby Shower Guests Have to Buy Gifts on the Registry?

baby shower gift

So you've been invited to a baby shower -- and want to get a great gift. The mom-to-be has made it easy by providing a registry, but then you stumble across some amazing off-the-beaten-path present you're pretty positive she'll adore. You're probably wondering if it's rude to buy a gift that's not on the registry. After all, she told you what she needs already!

Well, according to party and etiquette experts, it's perfectly fine to branch out beyond the mom-to-be's request list.

"A gift registry is simply a guide; it's not an ironclad law," says Christine Landry, an etiquette expert at Retroette. "The registry is nice because it's fail-safe, but if you think the mom-to-be would really love something off the registry, go ahead and get it for her. Unexpected gifts can be the most cherished sometimes."

More from The Stir: 7 Baby Shower Rules Worth Breaking

Generally the better you know the mom, the more leeway you can take with your gift.

"If you don’t know the mom-to-be’s personality, it’s probably best to stick to the registry," says Megan Frisbee at party site Gig Salad. "But if you two are close and you know she’d love something if she had only seen it first, grab it! It will end up meaning more to her than something she mindlessly scanned with a registry gun."

Not sure you know the mother-to-be well enough?

Here's a good compromise: "If you aren't completely comfortable going rogue, couple a non-registry gift with something small that is on the registry, like bath supplies," suggests Jessica Marventano at Marvelously Well-Mannered. "Then you're covered."

More From The Stir: 15 Weirdest Baby Shower Gifts Moms Have Ever Received

After all: a new mom needs lots of stuff for her baby, but it's no fun to know EVERYTHING she'll receive. So go ahead and surprise her!

What is your go-to purchase for baby showers?

by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:37 AM
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Replies (1-7):
oliveoil423
by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:47 AM
No. None of my guests did only two. I just put down on the invite that if they don't see the item on the list then try to get something that is close to it.
XJTrixie
by Suzi on Mar. 16, 2015 at 12:03 PM

I love off the registry gifts.  There's so much more thought put in to them.

Khooks
by Jessica on Mar. 16, 2015 at 12:56 PM
I didn't really like the off the registry gifts. Mostly they were bath supplies, which I never had to buy until my child was 3yo and I gave 3 bottles away and switched to kids soap. I had plenty of cheap stuff on my registry if that's what you can afford, I just feel like bath supplies and bottles from the dollar store were kind of thoughtless. Now, if someone had gotten me a unique kind of gift like from a boutique of something I would've really enjoyed that.
boys2men2soon
by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 1:09 PM

I prefer to make my own gifts, or at least package them creatively!      

I buy washcloths, onesies, receiving blankets, socks.....    and make them into cupcakes, lollipops and such.   I usually make diaper creations, too.

Stevensmomma
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 1:19 PM

No you don't have to but normally the list is things the mom to be needs or would like so you know it's something that most likely won't be returned and is enjoyed 

Irish_mama_2011
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 10:14 PM

I made my registry at Wal-Mart and no one bought anything on it; it's not like I picked expensive things either.

kmqw229
by Ruby Member on Mar. 20, 2015 at 10:13 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree!

Quoting XJTrixie:

I love off the registry gifts.  There's so much more thought put in to them.

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