Etiquette of Gifting a New Mum: 5 Common Mistakes You Must Avoid

Most people love gifts because it is a lovely gesture, and it leaves an expression of excitement with the new mum. We want to make people happy so it is a nice thing to do, however, if you must do something, do it right, right? I am sure that some of us have made gifting mistakes that has left the recipient feeling the opposite of what we intended - unhappy, confused, or even angry. Master the etiquette of gifting and avoid these common mistakes that people make so that you can leave a long-lasting impression. Here are five common mistakes you need to avoid.

1. Insensitive or Inappropriate Gifts

You may think you are being helpful, but the truth is that you will only be causing more harm than good. Insensitive gifts may include imposing or subjective gifts like weight loss resources, resources insinuating that they change a trait or behaviour, or any other inappropriate gifts. Avoid unnecessary heartache for you and the recipient, and be thoughtful about what you choose to give. If you know the expectant mum personally, you would already know to an extent what they would like, and if you don't know them, keep it simple, general and less personal.

It is important that you are sensitive about what you buy when you are choosing a gift. At a baby shower, it is appropriate to gift a size 1 or 2 nappy, but the same size may no longer be needed if you are gifting four months postpartum. Babies weigh differently so unless you are 100% sure about the size of nappy their four month old wears at the time of the gifting, it is best to avoid it. You would not gift a size 0 nappy at a baby shower. Most newborns start out in size 1 and size 0 nappies or under are usually for preemies so it is an inappropriate gift for a baby shower. 

2. A Blank or Wrong Card

It is always a cherry on top of the cake to include a note or card with your gift. If you are gifting a baby hamper, put a card inside and if you choose something small, use a tag to go with the gift wrapper or gift bag. However, there is no point attaching a gift card if it is blank. It is usually pretty obvious when someone has put some thought into their gift. Have you ever received a gift with the label or price tag still intact or a blank card? How did that make you feel? Do not be the person to do this! I once received a wedding card on my birthday. I was 16 years old at the time. Not only was this inappropriate, but the price tag was still intact, and the card was blank. I also had a very similar experience as a new mum and I was unimpressed. A handwritten card addressed correctly is always cherished. The presentation goes a long way.

3. Ignoring a New Mum's Request

If they send out a baby registry, honour it if you can because it is for a reason. There is no point ignoring the list to buy what you want even though it is not what they need. Remember, it is about the recipient, not you. They specifically state no nappies but are gifted boxes of nappies that they cannot finish, either because they already have enough, they are the wrong size or they have too many of the same size. However, this does not mean that you cannot buy something off the list if you cannot afford anything on the registry. More often than not, one of the biggest reasons family and friends do not buy off a registry is because they do not want to leave an impression that they chose to buy the cheapest item on the list. Statistically, 1 in 8 women buy gifts from a baby shower registry. The reason is because many people feel forced to buy a more expensive gift than they hoped to buy. A new mum would not care about that, after all, she put it on the list because she needs it. 

4. Going to a Baby Function Empty-Handed

In the context of a baby shower, we know some people would love to see you regardless of whether you bring a gift or not. Some would ask you not to worry, though, it is not courteous to go empty-handed. If you cannot afford a gift, be creative. For instance, DIY gifts, offering some food or help with tasks etc. When someone sees that you have put in the effort, it makes a huge difference. A gift does not have to be expensive or even always monetary, just thoughtful. As the saying goes, it is the thought that counts, so honour their invitation with a little gift.

5. Fake Gifts

There are several authentic gifts that you could buy at a good bargain, but at all costs, avoid fake gifts. It looks bad on you, it is embarrassing, and it most likely will not be used. There are several inexpensive gifts that are thoughtful but cheap does not mean fake. If you are unsure about something, avoid it. There are loads of gift ideas to choose from after all.