Woman Gets Gifts Not on Baby Gift Registry. Is She Right To Feel Annoyed?

A husband and wife recently had a debate regarding unwanted baby gifts.

The husband feels that you should be thankful for any gift. He went on to share that complaining about gifts is a terrible case of entitlement. He took their quandary to Reddit to find out what other parents think. Here’s the setup:

“Ok, so my wife and I have been at odds concerning the topic of gifts received at a baby shower. This all started when we watched a FB Reel where a woman was complaining about getting gifts that weren’t specifically on her registry. She even went so far as to complain about having to return them and numerous other grievances. My wife (whom I love with all of my heart) believes the woman has a point. I, however, am absolutely disgusted by what I feel is a terrible case of entitlement. If someone takes their hard earned money and their precious time to go and buy you a gift you should be thankful! So, what’s your thoughts? (And I want to hear from dads as well!)…

A) She’s got a point! Stick to the registry! B) She’s rude! A gift of ANY kind should be appreciated!”

The Responses

With the most upvotes (so far) is this response:

“I sort of waver in between a and b. Some of my favorite gifts weren’t on my registry, but so many people did get me the “boring” necessities I had on there. The problem is when everyone goes crazy and you have 15 blankets, 60 newborn outfits, and no diapers or burp clothes you know?

Also, personally, I do a little bit of both for other people’s showers if I can help it. One or two things they need from the registry and then one or two “fun” things. It’s worked out well so far!”

Getting Out of Season Clothing is an Issue

Annoyance seems to be warranted when babies are given clothing they will out grow before the season or holiday comes around.

“Season inappropriate clothing is seriously one of my pet peeves.”

“I got an absolutely adorable 9m Christmas outfit for my November baby…I appreciated the thought but it went straight into storage”

“Seriously both my babies (midwest us) wore long sleeves the first 3 months, one was born summer, 1 winter… with air conditioning they get cold that small, why all the short sleeve onesies ?!”

A Mix of Annoyance and Gratitude

“A bit of both?

A because we have a small house and most of the people that gifted off registry gave us stuffed animals and clothes (mainly newborn clothes which he never fit in).

But also B because I am grateful for the fact that they were excited for us and sharing their love and hard earned money. And some things I found incredibly useful, but those came from moms that have young children and gave us items we could use daily rather than a stuffed animal.” – Mysterious-Ant-5985

Another popular response (based on upvotes):

“A. Personally, I was way overwhelmed and in tears at 37 weeks pregnant trying to sift through all the baby clothing we were given but didn’t need, along with scrambling to purchase practical items we did actually need. There were probably hundreds of dollars “wasted” (donated) by the cumulative guest list on onesies. I was also developing pre-eclampsia and working long hours of overtime to prepare my team for maternity leave.

I love my friends and family. Of course I appreciate their gifts. But I wish more people chose to simply celebrate at the baby shower with me and not bring any gift if they refused to purchase from the registry. The invitations included “Gifts optional” language.

This might be hard to hear, but also consider… the mom usually does all the research and inventory legwork on baby registries. You as the husband probably weren’t as involved with researching all the necessary supplies. Did you take responsibility to sort everything and take inventory? Did you write and mail any of the Thank You notes? Did you take the unneeded items to a donation center or redeem any gift receipts for store credit? If you answered yes to those questions, then I retract my criticism. But in general, moms tend to take on this work and it can feel like a genuine burden when we’re in the thick of that third trimester, in pain and emotional. Hopefully that brings some perspective as to why the 200th cute onesie can feel like an insult.”

What do you think? Should you feel grateful regardless of what the baby gift was? 

This article was inspired by this Reddit thread.

Read Next: Baby Shower Gift Thank You Wording Examples

Author: Heidi Bender

Title: Writer

Expertise: Thank You Notes


Heidi Bender is a writer and author who founded Tons of Thanks. She aims to help people write thank-you notes by providing examples and tips. She is the author of She is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes.