Cheap, but thoughtful gifts for baby and the mom-to-be

Inexpensive Baby Shower Gifts Part 2

TDS Reader Contributors

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I have a problem. I have 2 baby showers to go to within the month and 2 birthdays to host next month. I already know what gifts I will be giving for the birthdays but I am stuck on what to give for baby shower gifts. I want to give thoughtful gifts, (one shower is for one of my best friends and the other is for a family member), but nothing that is going to cause me to go broke. Please help! I'm running out of time!

Painted Pot an Inexpensive Gift

Terra cotta pots ( plant pots) painted in pastel colors and some simple ink stamping for decoration like a baby bottle & rattles or bears and bows.

After painting and decorating simply fill the pot with cotton balls, Qtips, an inexpensive rattle, wipes or even buy inexpensive little plastic bottles to be decorated to match the pot. With this in mind you can buy one bottle of lotion and use it for both gifts. ( its a good idea to put a little place card in the pot telling the mom what kind of lotion or shampoo you filled the bottles with just in case there is a reaction) There are so many different ways you could go. Good luck.

A Special Shower Card

To make an easy homemade baby shower card, you'll need a square of white paper, a pen and a safety pin or diaper pin.

  1. Take a square of white paper and fold the top left corner to the bottom right corner to make a triangle.
  2. With the flat side facing away from you, write a message in the center of the triangle.
  3. Fold the left point and right point to the middle, overlapping slightly.
  4. Fold the bottom upto the overlapping left and right points.
  5. Secure with the safety pin or diaper pin -- it's a little diaper!
  6. Write the new mother's (or baby's) name on the diaper.

If you want, you can punch a hole in the diaper and attach it to the ribbon. Or just stick it to the can with a small piece of tape.
Julie P


One of the best gifts I got from my baby shower was a cross stitch of the alphabet and the babys name and birthdate stitched onto it. My friend put it into a nice frame (find nice ones at costco or garage sales and just paint) . They grow out of clothes, put away blankets and outgrow cute toys. This will be on my wall for a very long time. If you don't have the time, just give her a picture of the pattern and let her know it will be done after the baby is here.

Baby's Buffet

In the past, I have gone to the grocery store and purchased one jar of every kind of baby food and bottled juice that the store sells. One jar of each kind of food isn't really expensive (total expenditure for this gift is between $20 - $30) because the cost of each jar is so small. It is a very practical gift because it will be fully used. It also gives the mom a chance to find out what the baby will eat, one jar at a time, and she can replace what the baby likes (and skip what the baby won't eat). For presenting this gift, I have decorated a sturdy box with contact paper, put the jars inside and then wrapped the exterior of the box with gift wrap. Because of all the small glass jars, this gift is quite heavy; make sure you use a STURDY box.
Barb W. in Midland, MI

Let Mom Pick

We have three children and have been giving and receiving "baby gift certificates" for the last few years! Everyone who gets these certificates loves them because they get to pick their own gift (no duplicates, no unwanted or unneeded gifts to return!). Everyone comments on how thoughtful the gift certificates are for busy families. The gift certificates save everyone time and money.

Always Ready

I stumbled upon this solution for a good, inexpensive gift. After Easter or other holidays, the merchandise often goes on deep discount. I picked up a few decent size decorative baskets for a dollar each, found a baby blanket half off to use as a liner and got bath items at a factory warehouse supply place. Did I go to get these items individually? No, I have a big family, so I keep things on hand, visit the factory twice a year, and put together gift baskets as needed.

Pamper Mom

When I was pregnant with my first son, my landlady started a Baby Shower Tradition for me. Instead of buying for the baby, buy for the mother! Face it, mom does all the work and gets absolutely nothing. Find your local 99 cent store. Shop for a "pamper the mom basket." Soaps, bubble baths, shampoo, teas, baskets, towels, candles for that quiet tub time, etc. You can even get some really nice cards at these stores. Wrap your basket in plastic or woven material(she will find a use for it in the baby's room) and tie off with a bow bouquet (you can get bows at the 99 cent store as well). In your card enclose a coupon for some of your time to watch the baby while she gets to take that soothing bath all alone. I have done a small basket for under $10.00. Watch the mother's face light up when she receives something for herself at her baby shower!

From the Heart

One of the nicest baby shower gifts I've given is inexpensive in materials but has a lot of heart. Buy a very pretty white handkerchief with lace edging (usually these can be found at craft stores). Fold the handkerchief so it looks like a baby's bonnet. Hand sew the corners of the handkerchief to make the bonnet. Add white ribbon for ties and white ribbon roses to hide the stitching. This should be a functional baby bonnet.

This is where the "heart" comes into play. Write a poem about how every baby needs a bonnet to come home from the hospital in. And how every bride needs something old to carry on her wedding day. Just clip the stitches and the bride has a handkerchief to carry with her down the aisle. If the baby is a boy, write in the poem how he can give the handkerchief to his bride for "something old."
Lisa N-W

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Special Wreath

A friend of mine gave me this great gift at my shower 2 years ago, and since then, I've been doing it for other friends. You need a wire wreath frame (found for around $3-$5 at craft stores), a package of disposable diapers, some ribbon, and some small baby items (nail clippers, brush and comb, pacifier, etc.). Pull diapers through the wire, tying each one as you go with the ribbon. Once you have the diapers on, decorate your wreath by tying on the baby items. It's very cute and you don't need to wrap it, just take it as is with a little gift card. You can give the extra diapers as well, or keep them to make another wreath. It's a big hit!

Two Suggestions

Some of the best shower gifts:

  1. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which is about $15, less if you or someone you know is a current member of La Leche League (the breastfeeding information and support group.)
  2. A soft baby carrier or sling. The most long-lasting brand is Over the Shoulder Baby Holder. They run about $40. Again, if you're a LLL member, it's only $36.

Ellen F.

Ahh, Sleep

Lullaby tapes for the baby. One of the best ones I got was a gift certificate for a dinner for two and an IOU for free babysitting for our first night out after the baby was born.

You can find more baby shower gift ideas here!

Take the Next Step

  • Try of of these gift basket ideas for the new mom.
  • Give baby a good financial start on life: Compare savings and money market account rates and open an account for them today.
  • It's tough raising kids today! You need every time and money saving idea you can find. That's why you'll want to get our free weekly Dollar Stretcher for Parents newsletter. You'll find great ideas designed just for parents that will help your family 'live better...for less'! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.

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