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Is there such a thing as baby shower etiquette?

Posted by on Apr. 5, 2015 at 9:43 AM
  • 5 Replies
Hey,

I was wondering, is there an etiquette when it comes to throwing a baby shower? Lots of people have asked me if I could arrange one and that they would love to come to one, but I was under the impression that you don't throw your own baby shower, that someone does it for you as a surprise? Maybe I've got it completely wrong though as it's my first pregnancy. I heard from someone that if you threw your own baby shower it looks like you're saying "hey guys! I'm having this party so that you can bring me and my baby lots of gifts".

I really don't want that, to be honest I'd rather just have a nice ladies get together. I think that my close friends and family already have enough going on with their own lives never mind having to organise a party for me. Maybe I should just have a ladies evening with lots of food, cake and tea, like a little afternoon tea gathering?

It's not a big issue in the grand scheme of things but just looking for some opinions. Please be nice as I'm fairly new here :-)

Minnie x
by on Apr. 5, 2015 at 9:43 AM
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Replies (1-5):
JCplus1
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2015 at 10:59 AM
Every baby shower I have been to, was hosted by someone close to the-parents-to-be.

Showers don't have to be surprise.


Maybe these people are telling you, so you can give the hostess an invite list and their name will be on it.
anotherandree
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2015 at 11:44 AM
It does seem like a gift grab if someone throws their own but some people do since no one will throw one for them. You could always have a meet and greet after baby is born. Those don't seem so focused on gifts. And no, showers aren't usually a surprise.
Lgoodum
by Member on Apr. 5, 2015 at 2:46 PM
My friend threw mine..I don't see it as 'bring me gifts' type of thing. I paid sure I paid for the whole shower, with an exception of a few things my friends wanted to do for the shower. I didn't calculate or anything, but I think I paid for pretty much the same amount in gifts:) which I didn't mind at all! It was fun just getting together with my friends and family.
PinkButterfly66
by Member on Apr. 5, 2015 at 3:51 PM
1 mom liked this

Question: "I'm expecting a baby and want to know what's proper (and what's not) when it comes to baby showers. For instance, can I host my own baby shower if no one offers?"

Ask Heidi Murkoff

When it comes to baby showers, there are very few hard-and-fast rules (besides the ones that govern good manners — like being gracious when you're opening the gifts, no matter how impractical they are!). Still, baby showers are such a tradition (that's how new parents can make a dent in the slew of stuff they'll need when the baby arrives) that there are some guidelines to make it easier for the guest of honor (that would be you) and her host(s) to plan a memorable one. So here are a few tips to get the party started:

WHO THROWS THE BABY SHOWER?

Not you! The point of a baby shower is for your community of pals (or coworkers) to "shower" you with gifts, so etiquette dictates that the parents-to-be can't throw their own party (since it can be perceived as asking for gifts and that is frowned upon by the etiquette police). If you're worried that no one will offer to throw one for you (though that's highly unlikely), talk to your best friend or a close female relative and ask her to take the reins.

IS IT OKAY TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE BABY SHOWER?

Certainly! Friends, coworkers, and family are as excited about your new baby as you are, and chances are they want to shower you with gifts (who'd pass up the chance to shop for those itty-bitty outfits and socks?). Since it's up to others to throw the shower, you can have as many, or as few, as you like.

WHAT'S EXPECTED OF THE MOM-TO-BE?

Your only job at the party is to be a gracious recipient (and send out thank-you notes in as timely a manner as you can). But you may want to give your host a break and pitch in (or at least offer) with the following:

  • Party favors. No, you really don't have to, but giving the guests a few small, inexpensive trinkets is a nice thing to do. Some ideas include tasty treats (like chocolates or bags of pink and blue M&Ms) or pink or blue nail polish. You may also want to place out some disposable cameras so guests can photograph the party.
  • Refreshments. You don't want to be hungry at your own party, after all, so let the hostess know how you can help out with the food and drinks. If she is feeling pinched for cash (and who isn't these days), you can suggest that each guest can bring an appetizer or a dish to share.

IS IT TACKY TO REGISTER FOR GIFTS?

Absolutely not! In fact, most of your guests will appreciate the guidance. But there's a caveat: Don't be greedy!

  • Pick a reasonably priced store. If your guests want to spend more money, they'll take the initiative to upgrade (or get more than one item), but you don't want to put guests in the position of spending more than they're comfortable with. And for their convenience, aim for an online or major chain store (which also have online registries), so guests don't have to go out of their way finding a boutique store.
  • Request small gifts. Skip the big-ticket items. Register for onesies, bibs, socks, blankets, and baby-care essentials, but take care of the crib and stroller yourself.
  • Notifying the guests. Register for gifts before the invitations for the baby-shower are sent out, and ask the person who is hosting to include a card or a note that tells guests where you're registered.

WHAT ABOUT BABY SHOWERS FOR BABY #2 (AND #3 AND…)

Baby showers for the second-time mom (and third timers) have become acceptable only recently, but if friends, family, or coworkers want to throw showers for all your beautiful babes, why stop them? Keep in mind that it's particularly helpful to register for gifts for subsequent babies, because depending on when you had the first child, you may not need a load of supplies — only a mountain of diapers! Want to forgo the gifts this time? Just ask the friend who is throwing the party to indicate on the invitation that you want only the pleasure of their company.

For baby shower games and other ideas, check out what the WTE moms (and moms-to-be) have to say on our party ideas message board.

Have a blast at your baby shower!

Heidi Murkoff 
kmqw229
by Ruby Member on Apr. 7, 2015 at 3:05 PM
I agree

Quoting JCplus1: Every baby shower I have been to, was hosted by someone close to the-parents-to-be.

Showers don't have to be surprise.


Maybe these people are telling you, so you can give the hostess an invite list and their name will be on it.
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