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So, you are a loving friend or family member who has been invited to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new baby. Lucky you! This very important ritual is called a baby shower. Most guests are happy to be invited to attend. Most guests keep their heads down and go with the flow by sticking with the registry.

Some clueless vigilante guests do quite the opposite. These guests may have been waiting their entire life to “stick it to the man” and “do what they want” by purchasing a totally random baby item that no one has ever heard of or ordering a very strange baby shrine off Etsy.

If you think you can slip under the radar by buying whatever you damn well please for an upcoming baby shower, you are dead wrong. Someone will notice, as described on this forum thread:

When my SIL had my neice the same thing happened…no important registery items were bought (sheets, nail clipper set, bottles, etc)…just millions of baby clothes. My neice had a closet full that never got touched. I feel some guests are selfish. I hate when people ignore the registery to get items they think are good ideas or items that catch their eye. If you want to get a baby gift of something cute fine. But showers aren’t cheap to put on and you’re invited to help out with the cost of having a child. If the parents still have to go out and buy their entire registery because you think a newborn sized easter dress is a good idea what did you contribute?

There is much debate surrounding the do’s and don’ts of baby shower etiquette. Many guests rightfully argue that they are being kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule and attend a shower, so can’t they buy whatever they want to “bless” the expecting parents?

As you can see from the thread above, most new parents disagree. I’m willing to bet that the majority of parents appreciate anything and everything they are gifted at a baby shower—not looking a gift horse in the mouth and all of that. But really, what are you supposed to do with a bunch of useless, albeit cute, trinkets that do absolutely nothing to prepare you for a baby?

When in doubt, stick with the registry. As a baby shower guest, it may ruffle your feathers when someone tells you what to do and downright refuses your beautifully handmade baby afghan. Even though the thought counts, trust me on this one—when you go rogue and go off the registry, you’re creating more work for the expectant mom in the long run.

(Image: Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock)