Whether you’ve had children before and are stocked with plenty of hand-me-downs, have limited space, or are generally opposed to the accumulation of stuff you’re not sure you’ll need, you don’t need to miss out on the support and fun of a baby shower. Rather than set up a registry to request traditional gifts, consider these four alternatives:
No matter what your financial circumstances are, it’s wise to start planning your child’s financial future early. If you have established a 529 college savings fund for your child, consider asking shower invitees to make a deposit to the account rather than bring a traditional gift to your shower. The administrator of your 529 plan should be able to provide you with information about how friends and family members can make a gift to the account.
One of the urgent concerns facing parents-to-be is whether the planet will remain sustainable for their children and future generations. Help make sure that it will be intact for your child by asking your guests to buy and plant a tree in your child’s name. The Arbor Day Foundation has an online tree store where gift trees can be purchased.
Perhaps you’ve considered cloth diapering, but have written it off because it seems too time-consuming and labor intensive. In many cities, cloth diaper services have sprung up in recent years, offering pick up and washing services. Check on service options by calling a local diaper service, and ask if shower guests can purchase gift certificates or credits toward service.
You’re blessed to be able to provide your children with opportunities that parents in many developing countries can barely imagine. If you truly don’t need any traditional shower gifts, consider asking guests to make a gift in your baby’s name to an organization like Room to Read. Room to Read, which focuses on literacy development, is a reputable organization that allows donations to be earmarked for specific causes. Would you like your guests’ gifts to support girls’ education or to benefit children in a specific country? Room to Read can work with you to do just that.