How much to spend on baby shower gifts?

So you have been invited to a baby shower and would like to know the etiquette of how much to spend on a baby shower gift? This will be determined by a few factors.

These are;

  • Your relationship with the person — The closer you are to the parents to be the more likely you are to spend on them.
  • How much do you feel comfortable giving — Spend as much as you feel comfortable giving. Just because a blog or someone else says you should spend a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to.
  • How much you can afford to give — Don’t put yourself in financial hardship by buying baby shower presents. Baby showers are not about gifts. They are about spending and enjoying time with the mum-to-be before having her baby.

Remember, a baby shower is a chance for everyone to celebrate the upcoming birth of a baby. To play games, catch up with old friends and party. In the end, the mum-to-be would prefer that you attend the baby shower without a gift than not coming at all.  

Below we have given a guideline on how much to spend. Note, that these are in Australian dollars and are based on 2023 prices.

How much to spend on a friend

  • Distant Friend — You might be wondering why you received an invoice at all. So if you are a distant friend, maybe an old school friend or someone from their past you are not expected to splash out. Budget between $20 and $40 for their baby shower present.
  • Neighbours — A good amount to give as a neighbour would be between $30 and $50. Remember you will be seeing them regularly so you don’t want to give a cheap present. I’m sure the parents-to-be will be asking for lots of favours once the baby is born. So don’t feel too guilty about how much you spend.
  • Friends of Partner — You may have been invited as your partner is a friend of the mum-to-be. In this case, spending between $30 and $50 is an acceptable amount.
  • Friends — If you consider yourself a friend of the couple who is about to have the baby expect to pay around $50 to $80.
  • Close Friend — You might be part of their inner circle, who catch up regularly and spend lots of time together. In this case, you would buy a more expensive gift. Consider spending between $60 to $100 on something you know they will love.
  • Group Gift — You and your friends might want to pool your money together and buy something big. Depending on how many people contribute to the gift, spending around $150 to $200 is fine.

Buying a baby shower present for a family member

Most people invite members of their families to the baby shower. So here is a guide on how much each of them should spend.

  • Distant Relative — As a distant relative that doesn’t see the mum-to-be much. Don’t go overboard with a baby gift. Spending $20 to $40 is enough.
  • Niece — If your niece has invited you to the baby shower expect to spend between $30 and $50 on her.
  • Cousin — Like the niece, if your cousin has invited you to a baby shower work on spending $30 to $50 on a present for them.
  • Aunty — Aunties are normally invited to baby showers, especially if they are close to the parents-to-be. So expect to pay a little more than a niece or cousin, around the $40 to $60 mark.
  • Sister in Law — Depending on the relationship you have with the sister in law you are expected to buy a good gift. As a sister in law, you will most likely have a fair bit to do with the baby. Therefore spending between $50 and $70 is appropriate.
  • Grandmother —Grandparents will be a huge part of the baby’s life. In most instances, they will help out bringing up the baby. So don’t worry too much about how much you spent. But if you spend between $60 to $90 that is more than enough. Here we have some baby gift ideas from grandparents which you might like.
  • Mother-in-Law — Like grandparents, a mother-in-law will be a big part of the baby’s life. Thus expectations may be a little higher. Spending between $90 and $130 is enough.
  • Sister — As a sister, and soon to be Auntie you will want to spoil your niece or nephew. And rightly so. You will be a huge part of the baby’s development and life. And when it comes to buying a baby shower present expect to pay around $100 to $150.
  • Twins — Twins get an honourable mention. If the parents-to-be are having twins it can be a little tricky to buy for. You have to double the quantities so no one misses out. Some companies do a twins gift set so expect to pay between $80 and $120.

How much to spend on a work colleague

The mum to be spends lots of time at work and builds lifelong friendships. So it is very common for work colleagues to be invited to the baby shower. It is also custom for the employer to buy a maternity leave gift for the mum. And even a newborn gift on the baby’s arrival. Below we have outlined what you can expect to pay.

  • Coworker — It is quite common for coworkers to be invited to baby showers. Even if you aren’t best friends. So it’s nice to buy a small gift and expect to spend between $20-$40.
  • Employee — You may be tasked with buying the gift for an employee’s baby shower. And you will most likely be spending the company’s money. It’s best to check how much the manager expects to pay but a figure between $130 and $150 is common.
  • Client — If a client of yours has invited you to the shower. Or if they have recently had a new baby it’s nice to celebrate with a gift. Your business doesn’t want to come off looking cheap. So expect to spend a similar amount as you have for an employee, between $130 and $150.

Other Occasions

Some parents choose an alternative to a baby shower to celebrate their baby. And knowing what to spend can be difficult. We touch on how much to spend on alternatives to baby showers below.

  • Stocking the Nursery — A stocking the nursery is a party to stock up on all the small items that aren’t on the baby registry. Expect to pay between $20 and $40. Things like nappies, newborn baby bibs and breast pads are some ideas.
  • Small Things — Like a stocking the nursery party, a small things gathering is to buy small things you need for a baby. Don’t spend over $30 and think of items like nail clippers, Sudocrem, and nappies. You can never have enough nappies.
  • BabyQ or Jack and Jill — These parties are mixed-sex parties. You can use the guide above on how much you spend depending on the relationship you have with the parents-to-be. Expect to buy a present worth between $60 and $90.
  • Gender Reveal — A gender reveal party is self-explanatory. It’s when the parents to be let everyone know if the baby is going to be a boy or girl. This is normally a mixed event. You can spend a little less on this gift as you may also be invited to the baby shower later on. Work on a budget of between $30 and $50. We have a selection of gender reveal presents to help you decide.
  • For a second baby — This is called a baby sprinkle and is to celebrate a second, third or even more babies. As the parents will have most of the newborn essentials already you don’t need to spend a lot. Buying a gift between $20 and $40 is enough. We have some baby sprinkle gift ideas too.
  • Sip and See — A Sip and see celebration occurs after the baby is born. This is when everyone gets to see the new baby and celebrate with the new parents. By now the parents have most of the requirements for a newborn boy or girl. So only look at spending $30 or a baby gift voucher. We also have a range of sip-and-see gift ideas.

Now you have decided how much you want to spend it’s time to choose the gift. We have a guide on 17 practical baby shower present ideas that will help you decide.

I hope these suggestions have been helpful. Note all prices are in Australian dollars and are current as of May 2022. But most importantly, the gift is not the most important thing. Being there to support your co-worker, family or friend is.

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This article was written by Luisa Figueroa. She is the owner, designer and maker of the My Little Love Heart range of baby gifts and accessories. She has been working within the fashion industry for over 15 years and specialising in baby accessories for the last 5. Her love of fashion has enabled her to work and study around the world.

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