Is it Rude to Return Baby Shower Gifts?

Baby showers are a joyous occasion where the friends and family of new parents come together to show their support. Oftentimes, gifts are given by the guest of baby showers as well.

Most of these gifts are exactly the sorts of things you need for your new baby and life as a parent, but, sometimes, the gifts just don’t cut the mustard.

But, is it rude to return baby shower gifts? Even if you can’t or won’t use them? Find out below!

Is it Rude to Return Baby Shower Gifts?

Returning a gift given to you at your baby shower is not a cardinal sin, or even a little one, truth be told. If you can’t use it or don’t like it, feel free to return it.

The most important part about returning a baby shower gift is thanking the gift giver, and giving them no reason to feel bad about the gift they gave (or that you will return it).

Tell each gift giver thank you and express your gratitude, then when everyone is gone, you can choose which gifts to keep and which ones to return or exchange. 

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, returning baby shower gifts rates a lowly 1.

There is nothing rude about returning a gift that does not fit you, your baby, your nursery, or your lifestyle. 

In other words, if you can’t use a gift from your baby shower, or you don’t like it, you should feel no guilt about returning it to the store it came from (or exchanging it for something that better suits you).

Why is it Not Rude?

A gift is just that, a gift. It is not a mandatory purchase or an expected one for that matter. 

With that in mind, if you can’t use a gift, or simply don’t like it (or want it) there is nothing rude about returning it to the store for cash, credit, or exchanging it for another item.

The fact of the matter is, without a baby registry, detailing exactly what gifts you need, it is hard to guess what new parents have, need, want, and don’t want. 

Just remember, it is the thought that counts when someone comes to your baby shower and brings you a gift. Thanking them, and showing your appreciation is what’s important. 

You can go ahead and return it or exchange it later (without telling them about it).

Common Questions

Can you return baby shower gifts?

Yes, you can indeed return baby shower gifts if they are not the type of gifts that you can use or want.

However, keep in mind that returning a gift may be somewhat offensive to the gift giver. 

For that reason, simply thank everyone for their gifts and discreetly return the ones you don’t want or need.

What is baby shower gift etiquette?

There is no solid baby shower gift etiquette. In other words, it is completely up to you whether you bring them a gift or not. 

If you do choose to give a gift, make it something useful such as things for the baby, the new mother, and the father, gift cards, or even cash.

Is it rude to go to a baby shower without a gift?

It is not rude to go to a baby shower with no gift for the parent-to-be, though it is often expected that you bring one. 

That said, guests are technically invited to baby showers to show their love and support for their pregnant friend or family member, not to give them a gift. 

Further, you can always offer them a hand with someone rather than bring them a gift.