BABY showers have been steadily rising in popularity over the past decade.
And with more and more parents choosing to commemorate upcoming arrivals in an increasingly unique and lavish way, it can be hard knowing what to gift.
Here, etiquette expert Anastasia Martel speaks exclusively to Fabulous and shares the five items you should avoid giving when attending a baby shower.
Religious or Spiritual Symbolisms
A baby shower is the perfect day to celebrate a soon-to-be-born baby and future parents with warmest wishes and sophisticated gifts.
But according to Anastasia, buying presents of any religious or deep spiritual nature can be interpreted not only as "indecorous" but also "outright offensive."
She explains: "Regardless of how well you may know the future parents, you should always avoid spiritual gifts or any religious symbolism due to the delicate matter of this subject.
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"This should be reserved exclusively for parents and immediate family members."
The etiquette expert goes on to say how a baby shower is a happy and cheerful occasion which should "never be burdened with serious or delicate topics which can lead to heated debates."
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Issuing a gentle reminder, she adds: "Always keep it light and keep it cute."
Sports team logo clothes, Christmas or Halloween outfits
Anastasia points out that any fancy occasion or sport-themed outfits are the opposite of a "classy and sophisticated gift."
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"Even if both parents have strong loyalties to a certain sports team, your baby shower gift should not be overpowered by your personal or the parents’ taste," explains the etiquette guru, who often shares her tips on Instagram.
"Not only can the timing be unsuitable for seasonal celebration gowns, but they most likely will come across as tacky, chavvy and thoughtless gifts, no matter how adorable they may seem to you."
Personalised or gender-specific gifts
The vast majority of baby showers have a gender reveal integrated within the party and usually, it's a main event of the afternoon.
For this reason, Anastasia warns: "Avoid purchasing pink or blue coloured items.
"Instead, keep it neutral and pastel coloured, so that in any eventuality, your gift will not look out of place."
The etiquette guru goes onto note that it's also worth remembering that many parents subscribe to a sustainable lifestyle, which means neutral clothes and other items will be easier to reuse, sell on or donate.
And as far as personalised items go, that's also a big no.
"Even if you know the baby’s name, this can always change once the baby arrives, hence personalised items like blankets or journals should be left for parents to buy," Anastasia says.
"Wall art, glass or crystal sculptures, baby tiaras or jewellery will most likely be useful for a very short period of time, or never be used at all and be a waste of your money."
Parenting advice literature
Anastasia comments: "Any unsolicited verbal advice or literature to new parents will not only come across as outright patronising but also may offend them."
She proceeds to warn that ‘how to…’ books and journals are never a good or elegant gift.
"It implies the lack of abilities and knowledge for new parents, who if they need advice on any topic, can research or seek professional advice themselves," the etiquette expert explains.
"Remember, even if you have the best intentions at heart with vast experience in raising children, your advice can and often will come across as condescending, even from close family members."
Recycled, used Items
Even though sustainability is at the top of the priority list for many of us, you should never gift a used item, according to the etiquette guru.
That is unless you're specifically asked to gift a present that was already used by someone else.
"Regardless of any sentimental value or vintage feel, at the end of the day, if you are invited to a baby shower, you should invest in a nice, brand new, practical gift for a new baby," Anastasia says.
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"Gifting a used item will come across as cheap and tasteless, and as gifts are opened in front of all other guests, it's unlikely that the used gift will be seen as something special, regardless of elaborate gift wrapping or a back-story."
Anastasia adds: "Lastly, remember if there is a gift registry at the specific store or brand, do not substitute requested items with anything else that is cheaper or more suitable in your opinion."
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