How Much To Spend On A Baby Shower Gift

Whether you’ve been invited to your first baby shower or you’ve been to more showers than you can count, one of the most common baby shower etiquette questions out there is “how much should I spend on a baby shower gift?”. There are several considerations and we cover all of them below so you know exactly how much you should spend on your next shower gift! 


While baby shower gift amount etiquette might seem like it’s a cut and dry topic, deciding how much to spend on a baby shower gift actually has quite a few factors to consider. Let’s take a look at each of them as you weigh how much to spend on your gift.


Are You Attending or Not Attending?


We’ve seen many ask whether your attendance affects the amount you should spend on your baby shower gift. Based on our research and experience, we do not believe it does. Whether you’re able to attend in person or not, the amount you spend on your baby shower gift shouldn’t vary wildly. Rather, we’d encourage those that cannot attend to make it clear that they’d love to attend but are unable to and to either send the gift in advance of the party or even better deliver the gift personally after the shower so that it is clear that they really wanted to be there but could not. In our experience, the mom-to-be will be far more grateful and happy with an in-person visit than fixated on the amount you spent on your baby shower gift. 


Are Cash and Gift Cards Appropriate Baby Shower Gifts?


Simply put, yes, but it depends. Let’s take a look at each of these two common gift options. 


While giving “cash” can sometimes be viewed as a cop-out from putting some time and effort into finding a great baby shower gift it really just depends on the recipient. If the mom-to-be has everything or you know there will be many people at the shower then cash might be just the thing the new mom wants. This gives them the flexibility to buy whatever they may not have received or what they really need. Just be aware that there is no “hiding” or obscuring the amount you’ve spent on a gift when giving cash. So, if you’re going to give cash make sure you’re in line with what is generally accepted as outlined further below. Giving $5 when it’s probably more socially acceptable to give $50 isn’t going to look great!


Those that might frown upon giving cash will likewise probably caution against giving gift cards but we’d suggest that gift cards are modern-day cash and be treated as such. There is no way to hide how much you’ve spent or subtly give less if there is a need on your part to do so when giving gift cards but there is no doubt great value is attached to them. For many, they know exactly what they want and a gift card to Amazon, Target, or another big retailer with limitless options is actually the most preferred thing to receive. While no mom-to-be wants every guest to show up with cash and gift cards a few people bringing these options is very unlikely to disappoint. 


If you are giving cash or a gift card, what we would encourage you to do is to spend a few extra dollars and “doll it up” some. Buy a nice bag, add some of the mom-to-be’s favorite candy or treat, or something similar. Doing so helps the very practical gift fit in a little better with all the other standard gifts that are bound to be opened at the shower.


Do You Have Budget Constraints? 


Not only is every person’s financial situation different but financial health is as fluid as your personal health. At any point, either can change for the better or worse whether it is little by little or very rapidly. Given this reality, there is no shame or guilt if your current situation means that you have less disposable income to spend on a baby shower gift. If this is your case, the two most common methods around this are a DIY baby shower gift and pooling money with other attendees. 


In the DIY route, you can often use your time and talents while spending less to create something that is not only a great gift but even more appreciated by the mom-to-be due to the time and effort put into it. 


When it comes to pooling money, this often works best if you know the other attendees and can ensure that their spending abilities are roughly equal to your own. This way, the proposed contribution of each person in the group isn’t more than what you would have spent on your own to begin with. If this does occur there is still no reason why you can’t politely suggest an alternate amount, contribute what you can, or politely decline. 


It is almost guaranteed, despite appearances, that most have some kind of limit and understand that not everyone has endless funds to spend on baby shower gifts. Whether you go the DIY route or pool your money with others both can be great ways to get a great gift without breaking the bank during potentially tougher times! 


Does the Mom Have a Registry? 


While a gift registry at popular retailers or websites is extremely popular for weddings it is a bit less common for the arrival of babies and baby showers. But in the case there is a registry this can be a great way to determine what might be an acceptable amount to spend on your gift. A registry is literally a list of things the mom-to-be needs or wants and makes it all the easier to bring a gift to the baby shower that costs a socially acceptable amount. Again, there is no shame or guilt if your gift or gifts represent something on the lower end of spending if your financial situation isn’t the same as everyone else in attendance. In cases where this might be true and a registry is available, buying a few of the more affordable items is one way to obscure a smaller amount spent. And even when there is a registry that doesn’t mean that you can’t still do a DIY gift and/or pool money, as noted above, in lieu of purchasing from the registry.


What Does The Mom Actually Need?


One of the best ways to determine how much you should spend on a baby shower gift is to find out what the future mom actually needs! Is this her first child? First daughter or son? Does she have lots of family members nearby? Does she have a large group of friends and/or community that she associates with regularly? All of these considerations are factors in what she might need and/or have access to. 


For someone who has multiple kids, has had a previous baby shower, has lots of family members living close by, and is extremely social and has a large group of friends that are likely to attend a shower, then it is more than reasonable to spend a little bit less on the baby shower gift knowing there are plenty of things she might already have or have support with. 


Alternatively, the mom who is about to have their first child and shower, has no family living close by, and is introverted or more of a homebody, might not only have less and need more but have fewer resources or attendees that might come to a baby shower. All of which would add up to it being ideal for attendees to spend a little more on their gifts where finances permit. 


While those two cases represent theoretical extremes the point is that how much you should spend on the gift is no doubt partially contingent on the mom’s situation and what she actually needs.  


What Is Your Relationship With The Future Mom?


In our research and experience, the biggest consideration when deciding how much to spend on a baby shower gift is what your relationship is with the mom-to-be. Simply put, it is far easier, more natural, and commonly expected that you will spend more money on someone very close to you than it is to spend on someone you barely know but who sent you an invite to a shower. An acquaintance or coworker differs from a friend, who differs from your closest friends and family members. 


Relationships matter! 


And not only do relationships matter but how much you spend on a gift can impact those relationships as there is no doubt it will be more acceptable to spend less on someone you barely know than to be super cheap with your best friend or a family member. So, as you decide how much to spend on your gift keep in mind not only the relationship by definition but the current state of that relationship (Dormant? Fraying? Alive and well?).


One Price Does Not Fit All


It’s easy to see that with as many considerations as we’ve outlined above there really isn’t a one-price-fits-all answer to the question of how much you should spend. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical amount that is socially acceptable across all situations and relationships. But based on a survey of 3000 people that we conducted, as seen below, there are ranges of what might be considered acceptable based on your relationship with the mom-to-be.


We polled three thousand women to find the answer to how much you should spend on a baby shower gift in these three scenarios:

  • How much should you spend on a baby shower gift for an acquaintance or coworker?
  • How much should you spend on a baby shower gift for a friend?
  • How much should you spend on a baby shower gift for your closest friends and family?

Let’s take a look at the results of each question. 

How Much To Spend On An Acquaintance or Coworker

 

how much to spend on baby shower gift acquaintances and coworkers


Nearly 67% of people said that the cost of a baby shower gift for an acquaintance or coworker should be between $10 and $30. With another 22% of respondents saying $30 to $50 was a more acceptable range we’d propose the max amount you need to spend in this scenario is $50 but far less is probably just fine. 


How much should you spend on a baby shower gift for a friend?

 

how much to spend on a baby shower gift friends


Nearly one in three people said that you should spend between $30 and $50 on a baby shower gift for a friend. With another one in four people saying that $20 to $30 was an acceptable range, we’d suggest that anywhere between $30 and $50 would be enough for a friend’s baby shower gift. 


How much should you spend on a baby shower gift for your closest friends and family?

 

how much to spend on a baby shower gift close friends and family


Just over half of respondents said that a baby shower gift for a close friend or family member should fall between $50 and $100. Based on this data, and assuming you’re able, we’d recommend that you spend between $50 and $100 on a baby shower gift for your closest friends and family members.


Appropriate Spending Ranges


Purely from a relationship perspective, we’d suggest that a gift that falls within the ranges noted in the image below is a great starting point. Depending on some of the other considerations we covered in this post each person will have to determine if the amount spent will be more or less than these ranges.


how much to spend on a baby shower gift overall


The Bottom Line


Finally, based on our polling, if we absolutely had to name a single price or range of what an average baby shower gift should cost, or how much should be spent, we’d suggest that $30-$50 is an acceptable range in all situations.


No matter how much you choose to spend remember that your gift should help someone adjust to motherhood and that the baby shower is not a time to see who can spend the most but rather one of socialization and the celebration of life itself! 



Methodology:

Three separate surveys were run via Google Surveys. Each question was asked of 1000 women of all ages in the United States.

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