Baby Shower Etiquette FAQ
It’s party time ladies! Time to let your hair down and share those intimate thoughts about love, sex, marriage, and giving birth. Can you ever take things too far when planning a baby shower though? Who, what, when, where, and how? From who you should invite to how to plan a party that everyone will enjoy. Let’s see if we can answer some of your questions in the baby shower etiquette department.
Q: Who should or should not be invited to the baby shower?
A: If both sides of the expecting parents’ families get along, then consider throwing a group shower. Not only is it a wonderful way to show how much you love the mom-to-be, but it will also show her how lucky her baby will be to grow up in such a tight-knit family. However, if the families don’t get along, then it’s in the best interest of the mom-to-be to hold separate showers. This is her day to shine and should be able to enjoy herself in a relaxed atmosphere. Having family members around who are not particularly fond of one another will only cause tension.
There is nothing wrong with holding more than one shower. As much as the immediate family loves throwing showers, friends do as well. Generally the mom-to-be’s best friend will throw the shower. This is the shower where your hair can be let down a little more. You can have the giddy; girl chats about “where my child was conceived” and playfully talks about one another’s sex lives, or lack there of, while being pregnant. Many mothers don’t want to hear about how her baby got pregnant or where she believes it happened. Keep the family baby showers clean and festive and spice up the friends shower if you want. In either case, always keep in mind what the mom-to-be wants and know if you are passing any boundaries that might make her feel uncomfortable. After all, this is her day and you want to make her as happy as possible.
Q: What type of baby shower should I give?
A: That depends on whether this is the mom-to-be’s first baby, or if she’s working on number two or more. That should be the deciding factor. If this is a shower for the first baby, you want to see that mom is pampered and given lots of stuff to help her with her new little baby. Let her know that she’s queen for the day and that whatever she wants she’ll get. Play some fun party games. No one can resist the good ole string game; cutting a piece of string long enough to see if it fits around her belly! You might even try the safety pin game; where everyone is given a safety pin when they arrive and no one is allowed to say the word baby. When someone says “baby”, they must give up all the safety pins they have accumulated. Games are always a fun way to liven up a party.
If this is baby number two or more, consider making it a craft party to enjoy with other mothers who have children. Including the older sibling into the party will make them feel more at ease with the idea of a new little person being added into the family. Have an arts and crafts area or bake some cookies with everyone invited see how much fun everyone will have.
Q: Where should I hold the baby shower?
A: If it’s not a surprise party then ask the mom-to-be where she would like it held. She may want it at her house to make things easier for her. She may receive lots of gifts and like the idea of not having to carry them all home. It may also be more pleasurable for her to have it in her own “comfort zone”. During the last trimester of her pregnancy she probably won’t want to go out for a long period of time.
Q: Why do some moms-to-be prefer to wait until after the baby is born to have a shower?
A: Waiting to find out the sex of the baby is like a Christmas gift for some mothers and they want to be surprised to find out what that little bundle of joy is after delivery. Many parents like to decorate the room based whether the baby is a boy or a girl. You don’t want to bring frilly pink dresses or dolls to a party only to find out later that the baby is a boy. If the mom-to-be wants to have the shower before she learns the sex of the baby, then it’s a good idea to stay neutral with your color choices. Soft yellows, mint greens and white are sweet colors for either boys or girls.
Q: How should I phrase the invitation to show that no gifts are needed?
A: If this isn’t the first baby for the mom-to-be, and the baby will be the same sex as his or her older sibling, then she may not need much in the way of gifts. You can simply state on the invitation that the mom-to-be hopes that you will be able to make it to the gathering and that gifts are either “optional” or “not necessary”. Many people will bring a small gift for the mom-to-be to enjoy for herself just out of love. If you want to give to the mom-to-be a gift for her own personal use, lotions or bubble bath essentials (for after the pregnancy) are a wonderful idea.
The main thing to remember about throwing a baby shower is to have fun! The mom-to-be will enjoy any type of shower that’s given in honor of her and her baby, so don’t feel that you need to go all out to impress her. Just knowing that her friends and family love her enough to throw her a shower will impress her more than anyone may realize.