- Personalized Items
While you may think you know that mom or dad may like your gift, no matter how great the gift, the act or prior personalization can be dangerous. What do you do if the ultrasound was wrong? (It happens.) What do you do if they decide to give the baby a different name than the one they chose prenatally? My advice? Don't risk it. You'll just make the parents feel guilty.
You might find the most adorable quilt for baby's bed - but the mom-to-be may have different tastes. Or what you've chosen might conflict with the nursery decor or even be an item they don't need. The one exception would be if you were purchasing off a registry.
- Dust Collectors
These are items that are used to decorate a baby's room but aren't really baby toys or useful. They look adorable in boxes, but simply have no function in a soon to be messy baby area. This would be glass figurines, breakable objects, music boxes (not designed as toys), etc. If you wouldn't give it to a one year old - it's not a baby shower gift.
- Small Clothes
Who doesn't go ga ga over a tiny outfit. But seriously, most infants don't fit into size 0-3 months or don't for long. Mom has probably already purchased this tiny outfit or two for the newborn size and she, while hard, she really needs to think ahead. (Hint: Be the brave soul who buys a size 9 months outfit. She'll be thankful when it's the only thing she has that fits baby!)
- Novelty Items
The hallmark of a bad baby shower gift is that it isn't useful or practical. Novelty items tend to fall into this category. They can also be fun, but only for a brief moment. Keep in mind that the supposed traditional reason for a baby shower is to help the family prepare for the baby's arrival. Novelty items create clutter and rarely help with the new baby.
This list might leave you feeling like there are no safe baby shower gifts, but that's not true! There are a lot of great gifts to be found - some are on the baby shower registry. Another great option, while boring for you, is a gift card. You might even consider it a date - lunch and shopping spree with you at a baby boutique or store.