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Is There Etiquette Behind Baby Gift Giving?

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Though many many books exist regarding what to expect when you, yourself is expecting, there are very few resources that let us know what to expect when friends or family members are expecting. Many young people are unprepared, when, in their mid-to-late-20's, their friends begin to start families. What really is expected of them when it comes to showers and baby greetings and christenings and first birthdays and so on and so on? Understanding just when to purchase a gift and what is appropriate can help those new to the baby game, to play by the unspoken rules. There are generally three to four occasions where close friends and family members are expected to bring baby gifts when invited: These occasions, and the gifts you should give at them, include:

  1. The baby shower. The shower is where the new parents are "showered" with gifts that help them prepare for their new addition and supply the parents with the needed essentials. Of course, personalized baby gifts are always appreciated, just make sure that the gift is useful like a monogrammed baby blanket to keep baby swaddled in.
  2. The first visit. When baby is finally here and you've been invited to either a meet and greet or just a personal visit, a small gift is always appreciated. Though very few new parents actually expect a gift, proper etiquette does call for a small token to welcome baby with. Again, practical gifts are always appreciated but it can also be appropriate to give the new family a customized baby gift that can be kept as a family treasure. 
  3. The Christening. If the couple thought highly enough of you to invite you to this cherished occasion, remember to bring a small personalized baby gift as a sign of appreciation. Sentimental gifts are the norm at such ceremonies and monogrammed baby blankets or clothing are always a good choice.