Baby Shower season is upon us once again, so it’s time for gift givers to ponder that perfect baby gift. As a public service, we polled the readers of our Baby Bargains book to find the Worst Baby Gifts of All Time. Feel free to use this as a guide as to what NOT to buy for your pregnant friend or relative!
Scary, life-like baby dolls
Take a look at the picture below. That isn’t a real baby. Nope, that is a $130 So Truly Real baby doll from Ashton-Drake Galleries. The doll is “anatomically correct” and includes “lifelike RealTouch skin.” Just creepy. As one mom who received this gift said, “When I opened it, I simply was so shocked that I could not hide my disgust. I already had a baby and did not need a life like, ugly, substitute!”
Gifts that reek of cigarette smoke
Pregnant women have noses that could put a blood hound to shame. Hence chain-smoking unfiltered Marlboros when you gift wrap that diaper bag is a sure way to have your gift swiftly thrown in the trash after the shower. Hard to believe, but more than one reader reported receiving gifts that reeked of cigarette smoke.
As the maker describes it, the Sozo Weeblock Tinkle Tinkle Lil’ Star is a “wee-wee-absorbing sponge for use when changing diapers. Weeblock was invented by the parents of two boys who have developed a useful and fun solution to the inevitable ‘fountains of youth.'” Really? Getting peed on (not to mention spit-up) is just part of the hazard duty of being a parent. As one mom said: “Such a stupid idea, especially when I could just throw a blanket or something across him.”
A bag of “vintage” baby clothes
Vintage may be a hot trend in design and fashion—but vintage (read: very old) baby clothes are not welcome. One mom explains: “I was given a whole bag of very old (like, 100 year old) children’s clothing that was all ripped, stained, or disintegrating with age. It came from an older family member, and I’m 99% sure that when the clothes were originally put in the bag they were probably being collected for quilt material or rags (they were that beat up). The worst was that the family member apparently felt that I’d been given a very special family heirloom, and would fondly tell others in the family (like all my cousins) about how I’d gotten an amazing stash of vintage children’s clothing!”
Misspelled personalized gifts
You’re playing with fire when you decide to get a personlized a baby gift—make sure you double and triple check the spelling! More than one parent reported getting a personalized gift . . . with their baby’s name spelled wrong!
Dollar store gift baskets.
Blame it on the economy, but this gift was reported by several moms. Apparently, folks just go to the local dollar star and snap up an “assortment of no-name dollar store junk. Scary bottles, pacifiers, teething toys, no name lotion, shampoo, and baby powder all thrown into a gift bag,” said one mom on the receiving end of such a basket. While that lotion from a country in Asia with a name you can’t pronounce might be cheap, the safety risk isn’t worth it. These gifts usually end up in the trash.
Halloween costumes . . .
for babies born in February?
Just because that Halloween costume is on deep discount in November, don’t snag it for the baby shower. Or if you go this route, size the costume to be the right size when October rolls around. Here’s one mom’s story about this gift fail: “At my shower, I got a pumpkin Halloween costume, which was cute, BUUUUT it was so obvious that the couple who gave it to me bought it on deep clearance. My baby was due in February, I believe my baby shower was sometime in December. What I found so incredibly odd was that they knew I was due in February, so IF they would have bought a costume sized 9 mo, it would have been kind of ok, he could have worn it for his first Halloween, even though it was still an extremely odd gift (what parent doesn’t want to pick their child’s first Halloween costume?). Well, they gave me a 3 mo old sized pumpkin costume! Why would my baby wear a pumpkin costume around Easter time?”
Right gift, wrong age.
One reader said she received a baby shower gift of a “stuffed animal with timer—because newborns need a time out, right?” Another reader said she got a package of socks for three to six year olds. We suppose the gift giver confused the months vs. years thing!
Expired car seats.
Yep, car seats have expiration dates. So if you are angling to get rid of that car seat from the Clinton Administration that has been taking up space in the attic by re-gifting it, one word of advice: don’t. (Photo credit: NBC News).
Infant Bath Robes
As a mom put it, “Honestly, who actually puts a robe on a baby after a bath?”
White baby clothes that are dry clean only
One mom confessed to giving this gift from hell: “I will admit that when I don’t especially like the baby’s parents I have been known to give all white baby clothing. Baby Dior makes beautiful, impractical, dry clean only, tricky to put on or off outfits. I am evil.”
And the number 1 Worst Epic Fail Baby Gift Ever . . .
“A huge canvas portrait . . . of the gift giver’s child.”
Yep, this one is too strange to make up. As the mom explains, “This was from a co-worker, not a close friend or family member. She brought this massive portrait of her child unwrapped to the shower and placed it on the fireplace mantle for all guests to see.”
Have you received a baby gift so bizarre you were slapping your forehead and saying “what were they thinking?” Add a comment below with your story!