Mommy Maven: Baby Shower Etiquette
Baby showers, as with Bridal showers and other semi-formal parties, they can be a source of stress and anxiety OR lots of fun and support from your friends and family community. I think the idea behind them is lovely. They are a celebration of something amazing and they also allow you to get a head start in building the library of product that can be so costly and stressful to think about, but also very helpful to you as new mom. These parties do however, often involve lots of generations and can mean combining new and old traditions. Therefore, it’s important to adopt the etiquette that is respectful to all of your guests. Here are my top 10 tips in baby shower etiquette to ensure a fun filled, very proper baby shower!
1) Neither the mother nor the sister of the mom-to-be should throw the shower. People often think it is a little tacky as it seems as though your family may be fishing for presents for you. I agree this is a tad ridiculous but best not to offend. If you don’t have anyone else to throw it for you, then ignore this rule!
2) The big baby shower should be for the first baby. You can have subsequent baby showers for baby number 2 and 3 but they should be smaller and for close family and friends so people don’t feel as though they have to invest in more gifts. If however, there are four or more years between the babies or the mom-to-be is having multiples I think this etiquette rule can be relaxed.
3) Invitations should be sent out 3 weeks in advance. Email invitations are acceptable these days but you may find that you will want to send snail mail versions out to the more traditional invitees. I am also a sucker of stationary!
4) Traditionally baby showers are thrown 4-6 weeks before baby is born. I prefer earlier however, so the mom-to-be is less stressed about what she is getting and what she will still need to purchase before the baby arrives. This helps with nerves and planning so I think 8 weeks before due date is perfect.
5) It’s completely okay to put registry information on the invite. Everyone knows that gifts are brought to showers and it makes people’s lives easier if they don’t need to inquire about where the mom-to-be are registered. Do make sure however, to include a range of affordable to more expensive items.
6) Typically bigger ticket items are purchased by family members but you can go in on them together as a group of friends. Be sure to run this by the host however, just in case the mother or mother-in-law for example has decided to purchase the item and it is particularly meaningful to them.
7) Make sure to have some real food. It is often easy to get caught up in all the candy and sweets. It does look fantastic after all. However, people, especially the guest of honor is likely to get hungry so have something savory and delicious options on hand.
8) Some people love opening gifts during a shower, while others get embarrassed and feel on a pedal stool, while others simply find it a tedious part of the party. It is necessary to open the gifts in some way, as a sign of respect to all those that bought them. However, you can do it in original ways if the traditional way is not for you. For example, sit in a circle and have everyone pick a gift and all open at the same time. That way there is a big fuss made, everyone sees and passes the gifts around and it can be lots of fun in a shorter amount of time.
9) Try and encourage guest to refrain from telling their gory birth stories. This is not the time to freak out the mom-to-be with stories from the delivery ward!
10) Address a double set of envelopes and gift one set to the mom-to-be to make sending thank you cards stress free and easy. Believe me this is such a thoughtful gift, she’ll be blown away!
Whether you are throwing the shower or going, just remember to have fun and appreciate all these people that care for the guest of honor and most of all, shower the guest of honor with love.