I had three babyshowers when I was pregnant with my first (I have three babies, Camille, born in 2014, Audrey in 2017 and Freddie in 2020). I received lots of lovely gifts (books, toys and clothes). Some very helpful: a stroller from my parents and a cot from my mother-in-law. Some not so much: One of those giant giraffes —it was meant a joke and I said I'd keep it a week but we named him Harold and he’s still happily with us today. We were living in New York, and didn't know many people with babies so there weren't many hand-me-downs (other than my own baby clothes from the '80s that my mum sent), so everything else we bought ourselves. There was a lot of research and debate — I wanted to buy all the things, and my husband thought a cot and some onesies would do. The reality was, we lived in a studion apartment so we had to be really considered.
I dreamed of setting up a nursery but honestly, we were lucky to fit a cot in. A friend emailed me a very detailed spreadsheet of all the things we needed for a New York City baby and I remember feeling so overwhelmed. We went through it and prioritised what we absolutely needed and then did our research online, reading reviews and editing the list down. We had some fails — including a strange baby bath contraption that would fits every size sink, apparently just not ours — but through three babies, we've found out MVPs, and made the best investment of my life, hiring a doula.