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How much to spend on a baby shower gift in 2023

You’re over the moon for the mom-to-be and you want to give her the perfect gift for her bundle of joy. Luckily, that’s what a baby shower is for — a gift-giving extravaganza to honor the mom. These days, dads are also on the guest list. For new moms, it can feel like a huge financial burden lifting. (If you’ve ever peeked at the price of diapers, you may wonder how in the world everything aligns financially for new parents.)

But how do you not only find the best baby shower gift but also make sure you spend money in the right price range? Check out our guide and help you decide how much to spend on a baby shower gift based on the relationship between you and the mom- or dad-to-be.

How Much to Spend on the Average Baby Shower Gift

The last thing you want to do is stress about is spending too little on a baby shower gift for a close friend or family member. You may also want to avoid spending too much on a gift for someone who isn’t as close of a friend, potentially ruining your budget for the month.

In the next section, we’ll go over how much you might spend on a coworker or distant friend, friend or relative, best friend or close relative. We’ll also discuss how you might go about handling group gifts. We’ll also consider some baby shower gift ideas that you may find within those spending guidelines.

Coworker or Distant Friend

If the expecting parents is a coworker or a distant friend (or even a distant relative), consider spending between $20 and $25. You may not want to spend a ton on baby gear because this individual may not be as close to you as, a close family member or friend.

Take a look at the baby registry for the parents-to-be. If they only have big-ticket items on their list, it’s easy to find a lot of items on Amazon or another site, such as baby clothes, lotions, swaddles, pacifiers, bibs and onesies, that fit within that gift price range.

Friend or Relative

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a friend or relative’s baby shower, consider spending between $30 to $50, a bump up from what you might spend for a coworker or distant friend’s baby shower. What might you give to a parent-to-be who fits this category? You could consider giving a gift basket of smaller items, which quickly adds up to fit this price range.

Consider exploring your creative side and create a diaper cake (diapers can cost up to $35 for a 120-count box), complete with ribbons and tulle. You could also consider giving a gift card to the parents-to-be that fits within the gift amount range that feels comfortable to you.

Best Friend or Close Relative

If your best friend or a close relative is having a baby, consider ratcheting up the amount you spend to between $60 and $100 for these loved ones. You may also want to think about the meaning behind your gift. For example, for your best friend or relative, you may want to consider giving a keepsake, such as a quilt you’ve sewed for the baby yourself. You may also want to pass on a family heirloom, like an antique christening dress.

Otherwise, you may want to consider other great baby shower gifts, such as a stroller, car seat or another item that fits in this price range.

Group Gifts

If you want to get a coworker or friend a big-ticket item but can’t justify the expense on your own, you may want to consider going in with several others and purchasing a practical gift at a higher price. The most important thing is to make sure that you coordinate costs with each individual. For example, if five people want to go in on a gift, designate a dollar amount ahead of time, such as $20 per person or $30 per person based on the gift you’d like to buy.

Purchasing a group gift can make it more easy for individuals to buy expensive items for soon-to-be moms and dads. They might get an overwhelming amount of small gifts like onesies, when they might have needed a baby monitor, nursery furniture, feeding gear, car seats or strollers.

Tips: Gifts for New Parents

Purchasing gifts for new parents can seem like a ton of fun. Sometimes new parents aren’t sure what they need and they might put things on their gift registry that you wouldn’t have chosen, particularly if you’ve already gone through the baby stage with your own kids. For example, a relative might have given you a bottle warmer but you never used it — ever. However, even if you never used a certain baby product yourself, that doesn’t mean that the first-time parents in question won’t use it.

Even so, consider the most useful items you used with your own kids. Was it the wipe warmer or the baby bathtub? Was there a certain stroller brand or carseat brand you couldn’t live without? Whatever it was, think back on those baby days to help guide your purchases. For example, new parents may not need the following:

  • Lots of baby clothes
  • Bedding accessories (like bumpers and blankets) that aren’t recommended for safety reasons
  • Baby bouncers
  • Dozens of bottles
  • Gadgets
  • Toys (babies don’t really need toys right away)
  • Excessive amounts of baby grooming products

Again, don’t criticize parents if they do put something on a baby shower list that you think they won’t need. They may have to find out through trial and error that they don’t like it, either! Raising babies involves a lot of experimentation, just like when you were working through the products that people gave you for your baby showers!

You may also want to consider the parents themselves — what might they need? Sometimes, the most important gift is one that involves not cooking or having to leave the house!

Tips: Gifts for “Sprinkles”

What is a sprinkle, exactly?

It’s completely acceptable these days to have baby showers for second or third (or further on down the line) babies. Even if parents may have already gathered plenty of baby gear, it’s still possible that you may be faced with purchasing baby stuff for a “sprinkle.”

Consider the real reason people get together for a sprinkle — to celebrate that a new little one is on the way. However, new gifts for a sprinkle might be completely necessary if your friend or loved one has had three girls and a fourth baby — a boy — is on the way! At that point, it’s worth considering what the parents might need for a boy (hint: boy clothes or onesies!) when they currently have all girls.

Purchase the Perfect Gift

Gift-giving can seem like a huge headache sometimes. However, knowing exactly the right amount to spend on a baby shower gift can help you figure out just how much to spend on an upcoming baby shower.

If you’re looking for what you consider the “perfect” gift, remember that you can’t really go wrong with baby shower gifts. Just about everything will make all guests “Oooh” and “Ahhh” for one very important reason — almost everything is adorable!

In almost all cases, you can stick to the mom-to-be’s registry, because everything she truly wants is on there. If you deviate too much from the baby registry, the new mom may not appreciate their thousandth baby outfit from well-meaning friends and coworkers.

Finally, should you spend more than what the guidelines outline above? You certainly can, though often unnecessary. Baby shower gifts aren’t meant to break the bank. However, if you are the grandma- or grandpa-to-be, you may want to consider spending more on your newest family member. In a situation like this, it could be completely appropriate.

If you’re looking for something really special, consider asking the soon-to-be parents to set up a UNest account, a custodial account that can help parents save for college and other costs. Read more about setting up an account with UNest.


This material is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. You should consult your own financial, legal, and tax advisors before engaging in any transaction. Information, including hypothetical projections of finances, may not take into account taxes, commissions, or other factors which may significantly affect potential outcomes. This material should not be considered an offer or recommendation to buy or sell a security. While information and sources are believed to be accurate, UNest does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information or source provided herein and is under no obligation to update this information.