• Accepting Baby Gifts Graciously, Miss Manners approach
Accepting Baby Gifts Graciously, Miss Manners approach

We often discuss how to go about gifting, what designers to choose, how to select a basket, and what luxurious, meaningful, baby gifts are all about. Recently, we were asked to examine the other side: how to go about graciously accepting unwanted gifts.  With your first baby there is a look and a feel that you want to surround your newborn in (believe us the reins loosen by number two).  It can be minimalist calm, riotous colour, flirty frills, or sailor chic, you name it - we’ve got the baby goods for it. Some of the givers do not know your aesthetic preferences. Maybe you got owls when you were going for bunny rabbits. How do you handle such a situation and what do you say when you simply can’t stand pink? 

-Do not show disappointment in-front of the gift giver.  They have put time, effort, and money to honour you on the birth of your child.  Receiving gifts in the early weeks can be overwhelming. With space becoming a precious commodity, if you do not like the gift it can all feel like a bit much, but that’s besides the point.   Say your thank-you and remember to receive all gifts with grace.

-Don’t like the picture? Comment on the frame. It might sound like this: “I love the colour”, “this cotton is so soft”, “look at the detailing”, “this is great workmanship”. In finding the positive you show gratitude and manage to avoid an otherwise uncomfortable moment.

-Ask about its provenance and how the giver came to their choice.  These details might totally change how you feel about the gift itself.  Is it handmade? Is there a story behind it that makes you laugh? Is it so like the person who gave it to you? Not every baby outfit is insta-material, some might just make for great family folklore.

Figure out what is returnable and what, due to relationships, ought to be kept (and maybe stored in the travel bag out of heavy rotation). Babies grow so quickly that you will not be expected to hang on to early life gifts ‘till baby’s doctoral graduation.

We love trying to help with early parenthood conundrums: holiday parties with newborns, leaving your home postpartum...   It is a precious, sensitive time, in both parent and baby’s life. Feeling uncertain about something? Send us your questions.  We are taking the summer to answer what we can along with our usual roaster of designer profilers and gifting topics.  We look forward to hearing from you

With love, 


  • Susana Goldin-Douaire

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