What to Do with the Gift?
The big question after thanking the giver in person and with a handwritten thank you note is what to do with the item?
If the giver enclosed a gift receipt, this is an easy choice. Cindy Post Senning, director at the Emily Post Institute, says that the gift receipt is a great invention. "It gives the recipient the message that it's OK to return or exchange the item," says Post Senning.
Jamie also received a lot of duplicates for her son. She asked around and found out that if the item was carried at Wal-Mart or Babies "R" Us, those stores would take the item back for store credit.
"As a result, at one point we had a gift card for over $300 to Babies "R" Us because of duplicates," says Jamie, whose son Jake is almost 1. "We haven't actually had to pay for any diapers until now because of the gift card balance."
It usually is not OK to ask for a gift receipt if one wasn't included, even with duplicates.
However, Post Senning says that, if you are very close to the giver and you don't think she would take offense, you can say, "I love it, but I received several. Do you have objections to my returning it to get something else?"
Handmade or Personal Gifts
If a family member or close friend makes your baby a blanket or item of clothing, remember that the gift is in the time, thought, and effort that the giver put into the present.
"My mother-in-law has knitted my son some sweaters that I don't particularly care for but I make sure he wears them around her," says Aimee, a North Carolina mom.
Christina, a mom from Massachusetts, says that her son received tons of homemade blankets, sweaters, and pillows from older ladies in her family. "They were very unpractical! Often they were made with hard, cheap yarn," says Christina. "Some had beads on them, which was scary."
She hung a pretty one on the wall and stuck a few in the trunk of her car in case she needs a blanket while out. But the rest are packed away in a closet.
Joanna from Pennsylvania faced a different problem: She named her first daughter Rose, so family and friends went crazy for items covered in sweet little rosebuds.
"I have literally a box of things that are pink with roses and say something about being a rose that I will never use and just can't give away," says Joanna. "How can you regift something that was clearly given to your child?"
Is it OK to Regift?
Ideally, say Michele Adams and Gia Russo, otherwise known as MiGi, you shouldn't regift. They make an allowance, however, for items that are good quality, never used, still in original wrapping, and cannot be returned to the store.
Also, make sure to write down who the gift was originally from so that you don't regift it back, which is not only a faux pas but could really hurt the giver's feelings.
Aimee says that she rewraps the gift fresh for the new recipient. "I am a firm believer in the regift as long as it is appropriate to the receiver," says Aimee.
Post Senning suggests talking to the person and asking them if it would be OK to give this to someone else. "It's important to be upfront," says Post Senning.