The Etiquette of returning Baby Shower Gifts

Baby Showers.  Some people are Team ‘bring on the cutesy coo’ and some are ‘bring me my umbrella’.

But what to do if you’ve ended up with a pile of ick – and  you haven’t even delivered a baby yet!?

Editor’s tip: make a gift list, or, even better start a Junior ISA and ask guests to give a small donation. You can bank 4K in the first year of the child’s life…

“It’s always OK to return a gift as long as you’re polite about it,” says Emily Miles Terry, coauthor of Nesting: It’s a Chick Thing and columnist for Disney’s Family.com. If you return the item in a timely fashion, most stores are generally very accommodating and open to exchange, even without a receipt.

Oliver Mims, an etiquette and manners expert, agrees. “There is nothing wrong with returning a gift that you already have and most everyone will understand,” he says. “For gifts you don’t want, have no use for or just plain hate, getting away with returning them depends on how often you see that person and whether or not they will expect to see the gift in use. Sometimes in the name of not hurting someone else’s feelings or offending their bad taste, it is best to store the gift away in your closet and bring it out when they come around.”

Slick Mummy Tip: one of our mums suggested instead of asking friends to buy baby items, instead create a wishlist at a wine retailer and ask guests to choose a bottle to lay down for the little one’s 18th. Store each bottle with a personalised tag or polaroid of the generous benefactor (and hey, maybe pop one or two after the birth…)