Why baby gift lists are practical – and awful

"When someone says, 'What does she want?' you don't know what they intend to spend"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.18 6 Sep 2023

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Why baby gift lists are practi...

Why baby gift lists are practical – and awful

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.18 6 Sep 2023

Share this article

Giving people a baby gift list means there is less waste and the child gets what they need.

Journalist Stefanie Preissner was speaking after she created such a list for her daughter's first birthday party.

She told Lunchtime Live the idea was new to her.


"Numerous people text me and were like, 'Do you have a baby gift list for Rori?'" she said.

"I was like, 'A baby gift list?' thinking is this 'Smyths Catalogue, page 42.'

"Apparently you register on Amazon, it's like a registry of gifts."

'Will I just make a list?'

Stefanie said she started to feel awkward about the entire process.

"When someone says, 'What does she want?' you don't know what they intend to spend," she said.

"You don't know if she wants the next book in the Usborne book that she's liking, that's €8, or do they want to spend a little bit more?

"I find it difficult to read social cues anyway, so then I was like, 'Will I just make a list?'"

An Amazon Mercedes eSprinter electric delivery van on the South Quays in Dublin in September 2021. Picture by: noel bennett / Alamy Stock Photo

Stefanie said she put the question to her Instagram followers, who were divided.

"Some people on Instagram were really annoyed with me; they thought I was really ungrateful, really American, very demanding," she said.

"I just think that not being specific leads to waste.

"If I was buying a present for somebody else's child, I would want to know [that] I'm getting something that it's not going to be doubled, that it's not something they already have.

"So, I think a list is a practical thing; but then I feel so uncomfortable sharing the link with people who ask."

'People seem happy about it'

Stefanie said she was conscious to include several options on the list.

"I have the list, and I have been very meticulous of making sure there are things of every price," she said.

"Practical, frivolous, clothing, books, toys - some people want to get a frivolous gift that's not practical, so there's some of those on it.

"I'm only sharing that link with people who are like, 'What does Rori want?'

"The people that I sent it to seem really happy about it.

"I've also said, 'A voucher is really helpful, or you could just get inspired by this list'.

"People have been OK about it, I haven't obviously sent it to everybody."

Stefanie does note one thing: "This thing on the list, she's going to play with the box of these things."

Main image: Split-screen shows a birthday baby and a wrapped gift

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