Vent: Baby Shower Disappointment - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I REALLY do not want to sound (or feel) ungrateful, but I am really surprised with the outcome of our baby showers. We've had two! How lucky right? This is our first baby and we are trying to buy things that are gender neutral so that we can use it all again for the next if it happens to be a boy. We registered for stuff we could really use some help with....cloth diapers, a swing, a playpen, etc. But we also included lots of cheapies that would be easy for other people to help us with - Gripe water, etc. Plus we have mentioned to everyone that since my sister just had her one and only child (a girl) last year, that we have been and will be receiving all of her clothing and won't need a stitch! Again, very lucky! My sister had a TON of clothing and we could clothe three baby girls if we had to! We really do not need clothing.

My mom has been about the only person who has tried to buy us things from the registry, in addition to one of our friends. But EVERYONE else decided to buy us stuff that we'll NEVER use!

-Bracelets (for baby)
-LOTS and LOTS of Summer clothes in 0-3 months (ummm...hello?)
-Fancy, frilly burp cloths...personally I don't understand satin ribbons on a burp cloth.
-Silk socks

The list goes on...Out of about 30 people, I was really shocked that everyone got what they thought was cute instead of thinking about what a young couple with a new baby might need. What happened to the idea of showering a couple to help them out?

Did anyone else experience this? Oh and only 2 people included receipts. So we couldn't even return the stuff. I tried selling some of it and made about $30.

I know that my baby will have everything she needs. (Our bed, my boobs, our love). But I think back to all of the thought I put into other people's wedding and baby showers and tried to help them off on the right foot always shopping from the registry in hopes of getting them something they really needed. I feel resentful that we'll be spending so much money on all of the diapers we'll need, the monitor, bibs, lullaby CDs, a swing, a carrier, etc.

Any thoughts about why people ignore the registry and buy things like summer clothing for a fall baby?
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#2 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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my personal opinion? Selfishness on their part. A lot of people that I have talked to don't like buying things for other people. (But that has a lot to do with the state that I live in also.) And a lot of people are in a financial crisis. Constantly worried about money. As if they weren't worried before all this happened. Sorry your baby showers weren't as useful as you would have liked.

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#3 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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Just had my shower, too. Only 2 gifts were off the registry. One person included a receipt.

I'm also getting stressed out because there 2 more showers scheduled very close to my due date (scheduled by the hosts according to their availability, not mine!), and I'm starting to want to just go out and get the stuff I need, since apparently no one actually buys off the registry. I know these people are excited for us and want to help us celebrate, but it is making me really nervous to not have any of the baby's things ready, just because I have to wait until after the showers to go buy everything on my registry myself, like I was planning to do anyway. Plus, one of my friends just had her baby 3 weeks early, and they didn't even have a carseat. I don't want to be in that situation but these people and their showers are trying their best to do just that!

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#4 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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I may be the odd one out here, but I NEVER buy stuff off the registry. I try to get things that people wouldn't think of. I don't often buy clothes, because I know babies get lots of those regardless, but I will give a subscription to Mothering, or a sling, or The Baby Book or even just a pack of diapers or wipes. I didn't register for my baby shower with DS 1 and I got some really great gifts that I probably wouldn't have thought of (and some I returned or never used). The coolest thing I got was a real Native American moss bag for a baby (think little Native baby wrapped in leather hanging on a tree, or on the mommas back.) I didn't get that many clothes, I guess becaues I didn't know what I was having, and that was good because I have pretty particular tastes.

I know it can be disappointing to not get what you want, but I think people have the best intentions with their gifts. I'm KNOW for a fact that some moms I've given Mothering subscriptions to have not appreciated it quite like I do, but I truly think it's worth giving, so I do it anyway. Terrible? Perhaps.

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#5 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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I absolutely understand what you are saying.

I have to share my worst baby shower gift ever. When I was very unexpectedly pregnant with baby#2, a good friend threw us a baby shower. I was extremely grateful, we were very, very poor (on welfare & food stamps poor at the time, & had no baby things saved...) & I was just so happy to hear our friends wanted to help us get together some needed baby goodies. We ended up getting almost nothing at all that we needed, and guess what my friend gave us? The host of our shower, the one that I had told *exactly* what we needed-- a big plastic dolphin swing that attaches to a swing set.

Yes. We lived in a tiny apartment. We had no yard let alone a swing set. We had no clothes, diaps, blankets, etc. for our newborn.... and she gave us a swing set attachment. This was 11 yrs ago & it still makes me exasperated to think about.

And you know what? I've been married twice, and both times only a couple people bought things off our registry. The rest all gave us things we never needed or used & ended up selling or tossing. I was very grateful, truly, but then at the same time wished they wouldn't have bothered with gifts at all because really, what ARE we gonna do with the world's hugest fondue set??

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#6 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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We are currently 30 weeks pregnant and my family is hosting a baby shower for us next Saturday. One thing I should mention is that we haven't told ANYONE (not even our parents) what the gender is going to be.

We've registered at Babies 'R' Us for things that we think will be useful. We wanted to keep things as gender neutral as possible as we do plan to have more kids and the things we registered for, we feel can possibly last us through 1, maybe 2 more. And we really don't want to be bombarded by gender specific clothing that the baby may not even use.

One week away from the baby shower, I can't help but check our registry once in a while to see if anyone has gotten us anything from it. A few things have been purchased from it, including the play yard we registered for, but that was from my mom who understands how we feel.

In the same boat as all of you, I'm a little afraid of what we'll receive at the baby shower. I'm scared that we'll receive things that we don't really need and can't return/exchange. I just hope people remember that we are a young couple expecting our first child and would highly appreciate practical/useful gifts. I hope I don't sound selfish.
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#7 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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I can totally understand why it's frustrating to not get things that you put on your registry. I think that it's pretty much par for the course.

People probably got summer clothes because that's what's in the stores right now (well, they are starting to get fall stuff in) and they just didn't think about it.

That's the precise reason why for our wedding, we specifically asked for "no gifts". I would rather have people save their money than buy us things that we don't have a want or need for.

Since I am having my shower so late and because it won't be very many people, I am opting not to have a registry. I didn't really want a shower to begin with, so I haven't been banking on my baby good being bought by someone else.

I'll probably make some general suggestions as to what would be helpful, but I think that the more specific you are, the less likely you'll get what you want.

I guess, even though you are disappointed, it really is the thought that counts. People didn't purposely buy you things you didn't want. They just didn't know any better. Just be glad that you have some time to get the things you feel like you really need.

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#8 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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My SIL and brother got a 6 month old Santa outfit for their baby who was due in January. It was the most ridiculous shower gift.

I always buy an Ergo/infant insert in the hopes of getting babywearing off to a proper start. I don't care if they've registered for a Bjorn, I know an Ergo is better.

But getting summer clothes for a winter baby is ridiculous. It's not very thoughtful to just go out and get whatever is in stores. That would make me really angry.

We don't have showers anymore. They are way too exasperating because no one cares what you register for.
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#9 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I think people just feel compelled to buy baby clothes for some reason. Also, I hate to say it but all of the summer stuff for kids/babies/everyone is on sale now cause the fall stuff is in so I bet a lot of people got good deals on the clothes and felt like their money was going farther by getting you clothes.

I've only had one shower with DS#1 and didn't have one with #2. I was VERY lucky that we ended up with a lot of stuff that we needed and had registered for BUT my mom REFUSED to put the registry info on the invitations because she thought it was "wrong/tacky". She has weird ideas of how these things work. Anyway, with DS#2 I had a shower from the folks I worked with and ALL we got were clothes when they knew full well we were having another boy and had plenty of clothes from DS#1. Honestly, some people just don't think about it OR they just want to buy what is cute to them.

I'm sorry your shower wasn't what you had hoped!

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#10 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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I had two showers with my first. The first wound up being family only, because it just happened to be on a bad weekend. My coworkers gave me gifts earlier that day. They all got me things off my registry. That was nice. My SIL, who was the main one bugging me about making a registry, didn't get me anything off the registry. I was grateful for the washcloths, which are getting a lot of use as wipes. However, I was a bit irked because of the baby books. When I opened them, she gave me a smug look and said she bought them because I didn't think to put them on. She always buys things that first time moms would never think of. Um, no, I didn't put them on the registry because I didn't want them. That is why I put a baby's first year calender on instead. Both she and my husband kept bugging me about them until I "lost" them in a move. My second shower was hosted by a friend and I thought she was going to invite all of our mutual friend. At the last second she decided she didn't feel like dealing with a bunch of people so she took two friends shopping. I got clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. This is after I told her about making a deal with a man running a garage sale and bought his entire baby's wardrobe up to 4T. I was set. She knew this. I still got a lot of clothes. Thankfully I haven't had one for either of boys.

I think people just see the clothes and think they are cute, and don't give a second thought to what you really need.

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#11 of 35 Old 08-22-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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I hear ya! It can be very frustrating. We got a lot of crap with our first that we didn't use nor want. I had to go pay for the stuff I really needed.

Just know that this happens to most people. You just don't realize it until its time for your shower

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#12 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 12:40 AM
 
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Wow. I have to say that getting stuff off your registry is the norm from what I've seen around here. No shower for me this time around, but last time I'd say that 90% of the gifts were from my registry. Anyone who bought clothes typically bought something from the registry as well. Or at least useful stuff.

Oh, and the best defense against getting a ton of clothes is not finding out the gender! People are typically befuddled by the idea of gender-neutral clothing. We did get a lot of clothes as gifts after she was born though.
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#13 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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Gosh, that really stinks! I'm not really sure WHY people don't follow registries sometimes. Just the fact that people bought 0-3 month summer clothes makes NO sense, except that they were trying to buy inexpensive stuff.

At my shower people did buy all of the big stuff and I got very very few clothes. My one SIL put her whole nursery furniture and crib bedding set and someone bought it for her shower! It might just be my area, but from every friend's shower I go to the big ticket stuff is always bought off the registry and you'll see the closest friends buying special keepsake items and clothing.

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#14 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 01:07 AM
 
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People like to buy baby clothes, especially baby girl clothes. I don't want to sound rude, but that's just the facts. No one wants to buy cloth diapers and such, clothes, baby socks, yep I got a LOT of that same stuff when I was pg with DD. Truth be told we had to buy about $50 worth of newborn clothes for her because we had so little. Oh and FYI-Old Navy has a "Baby and Maternity" sale every Sept. so of there are clothes that you need that's the time to buy. That's what we did.

Also I returned a bunch of the stuff I thought was crap, like the little sundresses for a newborn. Most of it was from Walmart because that's where there is to buy a baby gift where I live(the sticks), so I returned it and bought myself some "transitional" clothes with the money. It made me more happy and was more practical anyway.

I got lots of stuff I just didn't need.

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#15 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 10:21 AM
 
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Why would people buy summer clothes for an October baby? Around here they are on triple markdown and really, really cheap. Also some people buy presents when they are on sale and stock a gift shelf so that when an event comes up they hace someting on hand.

I know times are tough, but it would be so much better if, for example, two or three friends pooled their money and bought something together (a ababy monitor, for example) that you really need instead of junk.

For my shower with my first my mother's friend gave me a night light made to look like a sand castle--it was a little plug into the socket jobber that she had lying around. My mother was really sad--not because she cared if guests spent a lot of money, but because she has always been very generous with gifts, and thoughtful.

Was the shower at least fun?

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#16 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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So annoying. We had the same prob. My shower was a waste. I got bottles and blankets and clothes... (um, I was planning to breastfeed UGH!) at least the clothes were mostly gender neutral. Luckily my family that didn't come to the shower sent giftcards so we could buy some of the stuff we needed. This was with my first and I never had another shower. You could always pack stuff away and have a yard sale in the spring with all your NWTs outfits, or even post them to ebay

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#17 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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I COULD HAVE WRITTEN YOUR POST!

I had mine yesterday, and while I am not trying to sound ungreatful at all, it was ummm...not helpful. First of all, I got two things from my registry. One was a Burts Bees gift set of baby wash which will of course come in handy, and the second thing my sister got which was a baby tub we registered for and bc she was like I cant believe no one got you anything on your registry (I checked it beforehand ). Its not that I am ungreatful (I feel the need to keep repeating this) but wouldnt you want to spend money on something the person will USE, yk? Some of the items are pricey-heck thats why we registered for them, but thats when you get 4 people together to all pitch in 20 bucks or so, yk? I love buying baby stuff/stuff for peoples showers! I have nothing I NEED as of yet except for clothes which I specifically told my MIL we had plenty of so she would tell the people she invited. Then, to top it off, my SIL (and I KNEW she was going to do this ) had to go on and on about how shes going to "meet the anesthesiologist at the door" when she has a baby and how "no one's going to tell me I have to breast feed-I mean come on! I was formula fed and I'm just fine!" while I'm sitting right there, a breastfeeding supporter and pregnant woman and a doula! Then she proceded to ask me how long DH and I tried to get pregnant with this baby, but to not 'give her any details bc its her brother and all'. UGHHHHH! Good grief!

*End rant*

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#18 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjande View Post
We ended up getting almost nothing at all that we needed, and guess what my friend gave us? The host of our shower, the one that I had told *exactly* what we needed-- a big plastic dolphin swing that attaches to a swing set.

Yes. We lived in a tiny apartment. We had no yard let alone a swing set. We had no clothes, diaps, blankets, etc. for our newborn.... and she gave us a swing set attachment. This was 11 yrs ago & it still makes me exasperated to think about.
Oh.My.Gosh. I am laughing, but not bc its funny, I just cant believe it!!!!!!!

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#19 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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i didnt bother with showers with any of my babies or my wedding. people had to call me and ask what i wanted. then i would tell them the 2 most important things i needed and how desperately i needed this one item b/c of how important it was. it worked with my family. b/c the item i told them was something they knew how to find, within their budget, and satisfied their need to help me. most of my stuff is second hand from prev babies and friends babies. and the family members who couldnt afford anything (and are good at finding things cheap) were givin ideas for stuff i would need but were real cheap. mostly i just plan on getting it all myself. everybody knows i like to be ready months before baby and usually try to help.

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#20 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, thank you ladies! I feel much less alone now. I was starting to think I was a total *b* and decided to publicly post my feelings to see people's gut reaction to me. I was totally ready for a kick in the butt if I was being selfish. And like other posters said, I DO agree that it's the thought that counts and I don't want to sound ungrateful. I truly AM grateful for the thoughts. Grateful for people showing up in support and celebration of our little girl. But I can't hide my disappointment when opening up to you all or to my husband. After all, there is very little "thought" in summer clothing for a Fall baby or infant socks made of silk.

To answer a PP, yes, parts of the shower were fun. I delighted in seeing some of my dearest friends who live a couple hours away. We laughed a lot and later my closest friends came over to see the nursery. However, the poor host was stressed out of her mind. She just married a man who is kind of a jerk, she works full time, has a total of 4 children (the youngest being only 7 months) and apparently she is not very hostess-saavy. I'm not sure why she ever offered to throw me a shower! It was obviously too much for her. So there were some really awkward things
-no chairs for people to sit on
-cake wasn't served until 5 minutes before end of party
-presents weren't brought out until 10 minutes AFTER party was to be over and people were all getting anxious since they needed to get home having hired babysitters for their kids
-I never received an invite and so I called to double-double check the time of the party that day and she told me that she actually wasn't sure what time it was....but that I shouldn't worry.

I'm actually, just really glad it's over. Sad, but true.

Now we can just concentrate on the arrival of baby girl.
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#21 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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Oh, we had the same thing at our showers. We had three of them during my last pregnancy, and since there was a 12 year gap between DD1 and DD2, we really didn't have anything except a crib and changing table (and we never used the crib, and could totally have done without the changing table!). We were registered at Target and BRU, and even though I am more "naturally" minded than most of my friends or relatives, I felt we had a good selection of items at different prices.

We got lots and lots of clothes. DD was born in August, so the NB summer stuff was OK, but we also got summer dresses in 3-6 and 6-9 months. I have no idea when she was supposed to wear those!

The thing that really confused me, was that these were the exact same people invited to our wedding showers, etc. We got crazy generous gifts (mostly off our registry) when we got married (from DH's side, not mine. My family is cheap all around! ), first at our showers, and then most people sent substantial amounts of money later when we got married. The thing is, we had bought a house and combined two households just a year before we got married, so we didn't NEED anything (although I did really like and appreciate the things we got). Plus, we had a small, small wedding (which my in-laws paid for) and our honeymoon was nothing extravagant (a long weekend at a B&B up north), so it's not like we had a crazy expensive wedding people felt the need to "reimburse" us for. So, I just found it really perplexing that when we were having a baby and actually had useful items on our registry, no one bought them!

I did get some beautiful handmade blankets and sweaters, and some scrapbooks DH's cousin and sister made that we could just put the photos in later. I really appreciated the thought and effort that went into those, even though they weren't "useful" or off the registry. But it was frustrating having to deal with returning clothes I couldn't use at 8 months pregnant or with a newborn. A lot of it was donated.
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#22 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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Well I have never gotten a baby shower before. I always buy people stuff. I don't know what they want then I just do a gift card. But for some reason I am on baby #4 and no one has ever thought to throw me a shower. It is very disappointing, but I guess by now I am just used to it. People don't even send me gifts. My grandma crochets a few blankets, which I looooooove, but other than that I am pretty much on my own.

But I would think that people should try to get you what you ask for. I would be disappointed if I actually got a shower and no one payed any attention at all to my registry list. I always thought the point of a shower was to get people what they needed and to help out. I would be bummed too if I was in your shoes.
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#23 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just have to update you guys! SOMEONE, somewhere, just bought us something off of the registry!:

Guess what it is?

It's a set of spoons. The set of spoons that I bought a few weeks ago and that are marked "1 Desried : 1 Purchased" on the list. So now it says
"1 Desired : 2 Purchased"

Ha! Gee, I didn't realize that registries were so difficult to figure out!!! Maybe that's why everyone avoids them? Anyway, I bought the spoons after the shower cause I just wanted to feel some progress towards some of the stuff we wanted and they were on sale. YES I did mark them off the registry right away.
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#24 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fyrebloom View Post
So annoying. We had the same prob. My shower was a waste. I got bottles and blankets and clothes... (um, I was planning to breastfeed UGH!) at least the clothes were mostly gender neutral. Luckily my family that didn't come to the shower sent giftcards so we could buy some of the stuff we needed. This was with my first and I never had another shower. You could always pack stuff away and have a yard sale in the spring with all your NWTs outfits, or even post them to ebay
Many, many breastfeeders also need/use bottles. HTH.
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#25 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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Yeah I have to go and buy bottles for my pump. I Bf'd but it is so nice if my baby takes a bottle. DD took one from a month on and I pumped milk for her. It made DH feel special to be able to feed her too, I think it is a great freedom for nursing mother and it doesn't screw up a BFding relationship, at least IME. I'm planning on doing it again at a month too with this babe.

I wish someone would buy me a couple bras and nursing nightgown off of motherwear.com, that would make me happy.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#26 of 35 Old 08-23-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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From my experience I have noticed that people tend to buy what they think they would want and what is cheapest. Onesies are huge gift items that I never could understand because one baby can only need so much of the same thing. What frustrates me most is when I try to really buy something nice for the baby and in return I get something that looks like the person put about 2 seconds of thought into it.

Tricia, married to DH. 2MC's & 4 yrs ttc...finally mom to Andrew6/06 and Benjamin 10/09. Adopted bro & sis 2002. My 2 fav. words: Spay and Neuter! I'm an Ultimate Viewer, 2010!

 

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#27 of 35 Old 08-24-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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Sounds like re-gifting to me, especially without gift receipts.

I personally buy from the registry. Nobody bought stuff from my registry, either. Oh, well.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#28 of 35 Old 08-24-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Carlito's_wife View Post
Well I have never gotten a baby shower before. I always buy people stuff. I don't know what they want then I just do a gift card. But for some reason I am on baby #4 and no one has ever thought to throw me a shower. It is very disappointing, but I guess by now I am just used to it. People don't even send me gifts. My grandma crochets a few blankets, which I looooooove, but other than that I am pretty much on my own.

But I would think that people should try to get you what you ask for. I would be disappointed if I actually got a shower and no one payed any attention at all to my registry list. I always thought the point of a shower was to get people what they needed and to help out. I would be bummed too if I was in your shoes.
No shower here either.

treehugger.gifAutistic pagan mama with five kiddos on the spectrum, learning through living life. autismribbon.gif  computergeek2.gif

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#29 of 35 Old 08-24-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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I bet it was also b/c they knew your baby was a girl - people looooove to buy pretty girl clothes, especially dresses.

If they didn't know the sex they'd be more likely to get 'useful' things b/c the clothes options would be more limited.

(At least that's how it turned out for us since we didn't find out either time)
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#30 of 35 Old 08-24-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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If they didn't know the sex they'd be more likely to get 'useful' things b/c the clothes options would be more limited.
That's what we're hoping for. My husband and I know what the gender is, but haven't told anyone. We'll just have to see how things go next Saturday at our baby shower.

I totally know that it's the thought that counts, but if you give something that you know won't really be used (like summer clothes when you know the baby will be born in Oct) or the cheapest thing you can find to gift, well then what kind of thought was put into it?
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