Many soon-to-be parents try to be a touch secretive with exact dates in the build up to a due date, but it's safe to assume that you'll be sending a congratulatory baby gift at some point.
However, when's the right time? Too far in advance, and the new parents will have to find somewhere to store the present for a few months. But delay too long, and the little one may have already grown out of it, especially if it's clothing.
Ask about the registry
Baby showers are the most opportune time to present a gift to the new mum, but it's not as easy as popping to the shops in the few days before the celebration. Ask whether there's a gift registry, and when it's going to be up and running.
A group of mums on the BabyCenter community forum suggested that a registry could be prepared as far as three months in advance of the shower. Fortunately, this gives you a big window in which to give the new parents the baby gift, and the list can even be a bit of a cheat sheet if you're struggling for ideas!
Before the due date
While the new parents will most likely welcome unique baby gifts any time, there are periods when they might not be able to enjoy them quite as fully. After the little one is born, much of their time will be spent tending to their latest addition.
Opening gifts – or even sending thank you cards – is unlikely to be on their agenda for a few weeks after the birth. Consequently, if you're a casual friend or a colleague looking to send a gift, a conversation on the Weddingbee boards explained that it's best to do so a few weeks before the due date.
Ultimately, it's not an exact science, but there are certainly times when your well-chosen gift will go down best with the new parents.