Umm, I got invited to a baby shower, but I know nothing about babies — what should I bring?

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Group Chat is In The Know’s advice column, where our editors respond to your questions about dating, friendships, family, social media, wellness, shopping, beauty and beyond. Have a question for the chat? Submit it here, and we’ll do our best to reply.

Hi Group Chat,

Help! It’s the first time a close friend in my friend group is having a baby, and I know nothing about babies! What kind of gift should I get for the baby shower?

Sincerely, Clearly Clueless

Jeanine Edwards, who has been to more baby showers than she can even remember, says: I really like the idea of helping new parents start a library for their baby. Parents are usually so focused on the actual important stuff like the bottles and nursery furniture that books are a bit of an afterthought. But they’re really important for bonding with your baby and also speech development. Some of my favorites (and my daughter’s too!) are Guess How Much I Love You and basically anything by Sandra Boynton. Oh, The Places You’ll Go is another classic that every kid should have.

I also firmly believe that the best gifts are the ones that actually get used, so there’s no shame in buying things like diapers, onesies and swaddle blankets. They’re not the flashiest gifts, but trust and believe that the new parents will be thrilled to not have to purchase these items in the first few months.

Lastly, you can’t go wrong with baby gear. Strollers, car seats and cribs are expensive, so new parents will definitely appreciate not having to buy them. If you can’t drop $250 on a car seat on your own, consider pooling together with a few friends. Each of you can pitch in $50 to help the new parents check one of the big-ticket items off their must-have list.

Big Box of Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton, $20.23

Credit: Amazon

aden + anais Silk Soft Swaddle Blanket, $48.95

Credit: Amazon

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, $289.99

Credit: Amazon

Ari Bines, who believes babies are the real main character, says: Your relationship to the parent(s) and your position in the child’s life can help you best determine where you should start in your gift search. If you’re shopping for first-time parents, they will need diapers galore. Don’t just get some from your local market, though. Be bougie about it — it’s a gift, after all. Honest Company carries these diaper cake ensembles. Yes, it really looks like a cake, and it’s made from actual diapers. If you get the large size, your soon-to-be parents are stacked with 70 diapers, bubble bath, shampoo and body wash, face and body lotion, a multi-use balm, wipes and a hypoallergenic baby laundry detergent. A little something for parent and baby is always a treat. 

Clean Conscious Diaper Cake, $99.99

Credit: Honest

Alan Lewin, who has more bags than he needs and always recommends buying more bags for people in his life, says: I value products that you can use for a long time and that can grow with you. Getting new parents a quality (and trendy!) bag that eventually their newborn can use for school is a great way to make sure your gift sticks around. This Fjallraven Kanken is the perfect blend of functionality and fashion, and I don’t see it going out of style anytime soon.

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack for Everyday, $77.50

Credit: Amazon

Nikki Kessler, who babysat for most of her life, says: I think that personalized gifts are the way to go! I recently bought my best friend who had a baby a personalized hooded towel and bibs from EGB Designs, and she says it’s the best gift she received! I know that during the time of a baby shower the baby’s name might not be disclosed, but you can get creative and use the last name. I have also gifted personalized denim jackets, which are so cute, and even personalized robes. When it comes to baby gifts, Etsy is your best friend! 

I think one thing to be mindful of when buying a baby gift is the sizing of clothing. You want to make sure that you are buying something that the baby can grow into and not outgrow immediately. I recommend buying sizes six months to 12 months because you want the baby to wear it for a while! 

Baby Robe Embroidered with Name, $25

Credit: Etsy

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