What To Say In A Baby Shower Card

When you pick out a baby gift for an expectant friend or couple, don't forget to include a thoughtful accompanying card.

Sending a special occasion card should be more than merely signing your name. If you take the time to select and buy a celebratory card, go the extra mile to include a message of good wishes.

If you know whether the expected bundle of joy is a girl or boy, pick a card that indicates the baby's sex. Be careful to distinguish between a shower card, sent to the mother or both parents before the baby's birth, and a new baby card, which congratulates the couple on their new child's arrival. Check the envelope to be sure it matches and fits the card that comes with it.

Never enclose cash as a gift. Bills can fall out or stick together and get overlooked. Write a check, or better yet, purchase a gift certificate. If it is too large to be enclosed with your card, seal it separately in its own envelope and hand it with the card to the recipient. If you plan to take your gift to a shower, tape the card to your gift certificate envelope.

Choose a pen with a new or recently replenished ink cartridge. You don't want to run out in the middle of your message and have to change pens, which may not match the original. Use a color that will be easy to read; neons sometimes reflect light glare or trace too lightly to be easily read.

Many people address the card even when they will hand it directly to the mother-to-be. Opening the card, you'll probably want to address the mom or couple as you typically do, by their first names or nicknames. It doesn't matter which name comes first unless the card and gift are intended primarily for the mother, for example, at a baby shower.

Write your message on the inside left where they may be more white space. Even if both sides have printed lines, save the bottom right area for your signature, which should be the name by which the mom or couple know you.

Your message should be light and yet meaningful. You may wish to indicate that the gift and card are to welcome the soon-to-appear little one, to whom you may refer by name if one has been chosen by the parents:

"Here's hoping the department store gift certificate will help you find a useful baby blanket or bath set for little Joey when he arrives."

There is no need to designate a particular use for a gift certificate, as parents may wish to buy another item that is more greatly needed. If there is space enough, add a personal comment about your friendship or relationship:

"We wish you the joy in your child that we have experienced in our friendship with you."

If your family has shared special times boating, camping, or attending plays with the expectant parents, you can add a humorous thought along those lines:

"We're praying for a prompt and safe delivery--but not at the Westpark Theater where we have enjoyed so many great evenings together!"

You also may want to include a promising reference to the future to show that a new baby will not interrupt your ongoing relationship:

"I'm looking forward to meeting little Jennifer at a mother's club meeting in a few months."

Of course, if you don't know the mother and father well, you need not write much at all. But if you do, remember that some people value thoughtful written expressions, so make yours part of a meaningful gift and a delightful future memory.

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