Japanese Celebration Gifts for Families Welcoming a Newborn: Etiquette and Custom

Apr 17, 2024

Timing of Gifts

It is customary to send gifts within one month after the birth. Sending a gift before the birth is considered impolite. Since many families choose to have the baby in their hometown, it's a good idea to directly ask the new parents or subtly inquire about the birthplace. If the birthplace is unknown, it's advisable to opt for slightly larger baby clothes or toys suitable for around three months old. 

Price Range for Gifts

Family (parents, grandparents): ¥5,000 to ¥10,000 or more
Many grandparents also send gifts directly to their grandchildren's home, often including a variety of items in a gift bag or even purchasing large items that the young couple may not be able to afford.

Relatives: ¥5,000 to ¥10,000

Business Associates: ¥5,000 to ¥10,000 or more

Friends,Colleagues: Around ¥5,000 to ¥7,000
Neighbors and coworkers tend to gift items like colorful rattles or mugs, which are always useful. At Sophie la girafe (a french baby brand) online shop, the most common purchase price, including shipping and consumption tax, falls in the mid-¥6,000 range. Setting the price range for gifts at ¥5,000, including shipping, consumption tax, and wrapping, is recommended.

Outside of Japan, there is a system called a baby registry, where people list desired items in advance and share them with friends and acquaintances. Since this practice is challenging in Japan, catalog gifts where recipients can choose items within the desired price range are popular. Online gift cards, allowing recipients to choose their own gifts, are also favored.

Returning the Favor (Return Gifts)

It's customary to send a return gift within one month after receiving a gift. The general practice is to return about one-third to half the value of the received gift. It's considered impolite to return a gift of greater value than what was received. For gifts received from parents or relatives, consider sending a thank-you letter with a photo of the newborn. Expressing gratitude is essential.

If You Forget to Send a Gift

The time of a child's birth is a busy period for friends, who are often caught up in the demands of childcare. Many people understand delays in sending gifts, so it's thoughtful to send your congratulations with a message like "Sorry it's late." Sending a gift for the baby's half-birthday or first birthday is also a great idea.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.