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Baby clothes and crib linens are popular shower presents, as are plush toys, mobiles, and baby care items. Sometimes a group will pool for a larger item, such as a stroller or a car seat. Gift registries can be a great help in this regard—not only do you know you'll be selecting a style and color that the parents will like, your gift is also more likely to meet current child safety standards.
Often relatives choose something commemorative, such as a silver frame or a cup to be engraved with the baby's name and date of birth, a silver rattle or baby bracelet, or a baby album. Books are also popular—there are several age-appropriate books in the Emily Post children's book series that could make for phenomenal baby shower gifts!
The entire point of a baby, adoption or new child shower is to shower the parent(s) to be with gifts to help them with this big life change. Gifts can be from the registry or be something you choose off registry or even something you make. Some people are stumped about what to give at a baby shower and are grateful for the guidance a gift registry provides. Others have creative talents and can hand-knit baby blankets or make other keepsake gifts that are cherished for years. Some people have "signature" baby gifts that they enjoy giving, such as engraved silver cups or picture frames.
Gift registries (like myregistry.com - which is one of the easiest to use) are intended to make life easier for guests and the honoree—no more duplicate gifts, no more guessing about color palates and one stop shopping, wrapping and even shipping if necessary. However, gift registries are not marching orders. Just as a shower hosts can't command guests in a shower invitation: "Remember, Alexis needs baby clothes and cloth diapers," no one can force a guest to purchase a gift from the gift registry.
While registering for shower gifts at a store or online is practical and time-saving for the parents-to-be and guests alike, there will always be guests who choose a gift without the assistance of a gift registry.
Gift registry information should not be included on the baby shower invitation itself, though enclosing it on a separate sheet of paper is fine. Guests should always feel free to choose whatever gifts they think are best, registry or no—half the fun of giving and receiving presents is the element of surprise.