I have been lucky enough to be the first among many of my friend circles to become a mom. Thanks to that I had not one but three baby shower’s. And while I had a fabulous time at all of them, I received more gifts than I knew what to do with!
Now let me share a funny story. When we got married and were renovating our bedroom, I got an extra double wardrobe made. This was meant to be the baby’s cupboard as and when they came into our lives. However, I received so many gifts that I not only filled up that cupboard (which already had taken me 3 months to empty as it got filled up with my junk over the years) but also half of mine.
I am one of those people who loves gifts though as I feel that gifts mean the person has gone to the effort of thinking what you’d like rather than just stuffing some cash in an envelope. So, I dutifully stored all the gifts until M came around. Sadly, seven months on many of these gifts are still totally unused. I would give them away to other pregnant moms but I have come to realize that most of them are totally useless (or not the right gift) for any mom.
So, in the interest of ensuring that friends don’t waste their money and that moms don’t end up with wardrobes full of stuff that’s of no use, here is my list of useless baby gifts that we should just stop buying.
Maybe these are useful if your baby is born in Antarctica or even Canada but making a baby wear mittens in hot humid Mumbai is simply torture. Some may say that babies feel colder than we do as they were in the womb etc. If that’s true, most baby full sleeve onesie’s (which I assume you will make baby wear since you think they will be cold) already come with flaps you can fold over to make mittens. Besides, I don’t know one baby in my friend circle of 20 kids that ever wore them for more than 5 minutes.
I have about 40 bibs, not joking. All of them were gifted not before baby started eating but before he was even born. The only one I use is a sturdy silicon bib. Why? Because as cute as the others look, the silicon one just needs a quick wash under the tap and we are good to go. When you spend your day cleaning cloth diapers and growing triceps holding your baby one-handed you just no longer need cloth bibs in your life.
The only person who plays with rattles in my house is me. Again, I have about 4 sets of these and by the time M could figure out how to hold a rattle he was already disinterested with it. Not to mention, they make just way too much noise. I would much rather than my child play with something that is bright and educational than a rattle. Currently, that is our wet wipes packet!
4. Baby Carriers (Traditional)
I must say I invited this gift unto myself. I was quite keen on wearing my baby from the time I found out I was pregnant as I have a job that requires the use of my hands on most days. I got gifted one of the traditional carriers from Mothercare which is firstly not ergonomic and secondly produced enough heat between me and baby to tender cook some mutton. Even if you plan on gifting an ergonomic carrier to a mom in your life, it is better to give them the cash and allow them to choose the one they like. There are so many different types – from ring slings to Mei Tai’s to SSC’s to Wraps, not to mention colours and fabrics – that this can be very easy to get wrong. And there is nothing more heartbreaking than a mom wanting to wear her baby but not being able to do so because the carrier she was gifted is uncomfortable for her and/or the baby.
5. Baby Blankets
I get why you would choose to gift a blanket. They are soft, cuddly and come in the cutest prints. The problem is that doctors the world over recommend that a baby’s crib must be devoid of any blankets or pillows as it can be a factor that causes SIDS. Not to mention the fact that it is swelteringly hot for more than half the year in India and the only thing I would put on my baby would be a thin cotton or Linen sheet. I think blankets make a great gift if you are planning on knitting one as a keepsake or for older kids that have moved to their own beds. But they suck as newborn gifts.
What other gifts have you received that are gathering dust in your wardrobe? Do share in the comments below!
P.S. I realize that this is not the most positive of articles and I will be following this up with a list of Unique Gifts too as soon as my #AtoZChallenge is over.
Disclaimer: This article does not claim that these baby items are useless and that they should not be bought. Everyone is free to buy what they like. It’s just that the above don’t make great gifts as the likelihood of them being used is very small.