– AskCheryl – How Late Can I Send a Baby Gift?

Today’s reader is embarrassed because she is late sending a baby gift. We’ve all been there – maybe we forgot, procrastinated, or had an excellent reason. Read on for my advice to her.

How long after a baby’s birth can we send a newborn gift? We intended to do so and even bought the gift, but due to immediate family health issues it did not get mailed!!

Now we are approaching the child’s first birthday and are more than mortified. We are also tongue-tied! How do we send the gift in a positive, welcoming way without offering (what may appear to be) a weak excuse?

– Erika


Hi Erika,

Please don’t feel awful or embarrassed. This happens to almost everyone, including me. The phrase “better late than never” truly applies to gift-giving for weddings and babies.

I’m sure the new parents will understand, and family health issues don’t seem like a weak excuse. Simply be honest and offer your apology for the gift being so tardy. The important thing is that you make an effort and send the gift as soon as possible.

Of course, ensure the gift is appropriate for the child’s current age. The gift you previously purchased may not work now, and the baby registry may not be current. If you’re looking for gift ideas, check out our blog posts: “11 Perfect Toys for Toddlers”, or “Gifts We Love for a One-Year-Old.”

And please be sure and include a gift receipt. This will allow the parents to exchange the baby gift if it isn’t exactly what they need right now.


If you have questions or comments about this post or about etiquette related to gift giving, weddings, bridal showers, or baby showers, please comment below or email [email protected]. Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length, and grammar or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.

Cheryl Seidel is an etiquette writer and the founder of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations, and more.

One thought on “AskCheryl: How Late Can I Send a Baby Gift?

  1. It is my opinion that it’s fun to receive baby gifts any time. At first they receive soo much and I think it’s fun to get gifts later when all the excitement has worn off a little bit. Probably before they turn one.
    I like to include a gift for mommy and daddy too.
    It’s just fun and unexpected ❣️‼️

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