Basic Baby Shower Etiquette that You Should Know
The impending birth of a baby is a blessing that expecting parents are happy about.
As such, one of the things they involve themselves in is the preparation for the birth of the baby. And what better way to welcome this momentous event than having a baby shower prepared for the proud parents to be? A baby shower is a celebration of the coming of a baby. It is usually held a few months before the baby is due. In most cases, it involves both expecting parents but the expecting mother is more involved than the expecting father.
In spite of the fact that it is the expecting mother who is more involved in baby showers, basic baby shower etiquette dictates that expecting mothers should not host their own baby showers. One of the reasons for this is that events like this are very tiring and it may strain the expecting mother.
when should you have a baby shower?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on the preferences of the parents and the availability of friends and family members who might want to attend. Some couples might choose to have their baby shower a few months before the baby is born, while others might wait until after the baby is born. As a host, it is best to ask the parents when they would like to have their baby shower and then work from there. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to plan an enjoyable event for your guests!
who should host the baby shower?
The host of the baby shower is usually chosen by the expecting parents, either together or separately. This person is called the co-host of the party. It can be a friend, close relative, or employer since they are more than willing to do it for the expecting mother and the couple.
If expecting parents also want to select their guests, then it’s best that they limit this number so as not to overwhelm themselves with too much company during what could already be quite trying times for them. If having an intimate gathering is next to impossible due to family size, then they should just let go of doing any sort of selection at all. Particularly if they don’t know which friends will really come through on such short notice. In instances where a baby shower is done by a committee, the guest list is usually pre-determined.
Is it proper etiquette for a mother to give her daughter a baby shower?
The general consensus is that it is proper etiquette for a mother to give her daughter a baby shower. However, there are variations to this rule. For example, if the daughter is expecting her first child, it might be better for the grandmother or another female relative to throw the baby shower. If the daughter is expecting her second or subsequent child, then it would be more appropriate for the mother to host the baby shower. There are no concrete rules when it comes to this matter, so it is best to use your best judgment. In any case, make sure to coordinate with the daughter and get her input on what she would prefer. That way, everyone will be happy with the arrangements. thank you for your question! We hope this helps 🙂
who to invite to a baby shower?
When it comes to baby showers, the question of who to invite has come up more than once. When it comes down to it, the only requirement should be that someone should care enough about the expecting mother and her husband-to-be to attend. Whether they live in another country or state, whether they are friends with the couple, whether they work together or not; all these factors should not really make a difference when deciding on who gets invited and who does not get invited.
The host (or hosts) of the baby shower may limit themselves to just family members and close friends if at their discretion this is what they feel comfortable doing. The number of guests allowed too is something that can also be limited by simply drawing up how many invitations will be sent out. If the couple is already overwhelmed by people who want to come, they may decide to limit it themselves by sending out invitations based on geographical location or even age group (e.g., only invite friends of the same gender).
Just remember that baby showers are not formal occasions. Old rules do not necessarily apply here. The rule of thumb that has been observed over the years is that the proper etiquette for baby shower invitations includes inviting close family members and very close friends with couples invited as a pair buying two separate gifts instead of one gift for both husband and wife.
The host must also take into consideration how many guests they can accommodate at their home before setting up any specific invitation criteria, knowing full well it would be a baby shower, not a wedding reception.
Who Pays for a Baby Shower?
When it comes to baby showers, who pays really boils down to two main factors. The first factor is whether or not the baby shower is hosted by one person or a committee. If it is hosted by one person then that person should go ahead and pay for everything. If however, there are other people involved in putting the baby shower together (for example, when a committee puts together a baby shower) then what usually happens is that they pitch in the money to have the party so that no one goes into debt or gets stuck with an excess of expenses afterward.
How much each host should contribute depends on each individual case but there are some general guidelines based on tradition tossed around by various social circles. For example, what has been traditionally observed is that the host of the shower pays for all food and drinks and the guests only pay for their own gifts. If however there is a cocktail hour before with hors d’oeuvres, then it seems fair that everyone pitches in to help with those expenses as well.
The second factor has to do with respective financial situations. When someone is struggling financially they may not be able to afford to throw a baby shower (or even come to one). In such cases what usually is done is that the mother-to-be instead either has a small celebration without hosting or asks people who like them enough and want to celebrate the new arrival by simply giving them gifts and cards. There seems no perfect formula when it comes to this dilemma but ultimately whatever makes people feel more comfortable is what they should do.
Is the baby shower for the mom to be or the baby?
Traditionally it is the mom to be, however, modern trends are shifting towards celebrating the new arrival regardless of its origin. If this is the case then it would be wise for the mother-to-be to state that in the invites.
What are some general guidelines when it comes to baby shower invitations?
It is traditional to send out baby shower invitations six weeks before the party date. They should contain all pertinent information including Baby Shower, Hostess name, Date and Time of Event, Location (not necessary unless different from host’s home), R.S.V.P., Hostess address, name of the expectant mother, and her husband-to-be if married). If this doesn’t look right on the invite it shouldn’t be done but sending an insert card with more details does not hurt either. The best way to go about things is to check with the person hosting.
How should I word the invitation?
It is traditional for invitations to include words like “come celebrate” or “bring a gift.” This creates a casual atmosphere while inviting people from all walks of life without causing any tension. More formal invitations would read something along the lines of ‘please join us.’ Baby shower invitations can also be very personalized based on who is throwing it, what the mother-to-be likes, and what her preference is. For example, if her favorite color is purple then that may be included in the baby shower invitation wording, along with other pertinent information.
Can someone decline an invitation to a baby shower?
Yes, they can decline but this depends on how well they know the mother-to-be and how well they know the person hosting. If they can’t afford it or don’t have time for it then that may be a valid reason to decline but if somebody doesn’t want to come because of an issue with the hostess then that is not acceptable. Generally speaking, invitations are declined as opposed to people not showing up without any notice at all. What this means is that declining should be done in such a way as to give as much respect as possible (i.e., telling them why one cannot make it).
How much money should I spend on a baby shower gift?
This depends completely on what one can afford and how generous they feel like being along with their relationship with the mother-to-be. Generally, it is said that the hostess of the shower should provide food and drinks for everyone while guests are to bring a gift or card. However, if one cannot afford this financially then they should not feel obligated to do so.
What kind of gifts are appropriate?
Nowadays, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to baby shower gifts. It is now more common for people to give practical items that the baby will need as opposed to clothes or toys. This is especially true if the expectant parents have already registered with a store or have indicated what they need on their Baby Shower Registry. You might choose to follow this trend or stick to the traditional gift-giving etiquette. In any case, be sure to discuss this with other guests so that there is a consensus on what type of gifts should be given.
Anything from clothes to toys to household items can be acceptable gifts as long as there’s no duplicity (these rules do not necessarily apply when it comes to gender-neutral showers). The purpose of baby showers is not just about providing necessities but also celebrating those tiny little moments in life. It would be ideal for everything given at a baby shower to somehow pertain to babies or children because, at this stage, that’s what is important.
Nowadays, it is also acceptable to let your guests know what the baby will need so that they can decide which present to bring. Before, this would have been considered to be very rude. But times have changed and practicality is now the trend. So do not hesitate about this matter anymore. It is perfectly reasonable and it is also practiced widely.
When should you have a baby shower?
A few weeks before the due date of the mom to be is technically ideal but not necessarily so if more complicated circumstances are involved. For example, if someone has to travel out of town for work right around their due date this may put everything off track. If one person gives birth before another they may want to adjust things accordingly. It is really just about being reasonable with all factors that are relevant in each specific case.
How many baby showers do you have to go to?
Only one. When there are several people hosting separate showers then usually everyone gets together for some sort of celebration after the baby is born. This can either be an all-out party or just a casual get-together to share photos and stories about the newest family member. It would not do for someone to go to multiple showers for their own child as that’s giving off the wrong impression that they don’t know what to buy or that they want more than one gift.
What should you not do at a baby shower?
Do not give out gag gifts. These are just tacky and not fun at all for the other guests. Do not bring up the issue of money, especially if you are unable to attend or give a present financially. This can be taken all wrong and it is really unnecessary. The hosts would rather have your company than the presents themselves so do not feel like you need to make up for anything in this respect either.
Is it rude not to open gifts at a baby shower?
Rude, yes. However, in a private setting with a very close friend or family member they may overrule this baby shower etiquette and insist that the guests open their gifts in front of everyone. If the mom to be is planning a gender reveal party then it’s acceptable to keep the gifts hidden until later on when they find out if it’s going to be a boy or girl. But even with this rule there are exceptions so do not go getting offended if people choose not to abide by these customs at your baby shower. It may have been planned months in advance and some things cannot be avoided especially when there are other problems happening at home or work etcetera.
Is it okay to ask for money instead of a gift at a baby shower?
Not at all. Who would want to receive money instead of a present? This is the thought that usually comes to mind when people are asked about this matter so it’s understandable why you wouldn’t want other people to think like that. And besides, if someone does give you cash for your baby shower then they may not know what else to get or maybe they just can’t afford anything else which makes giving them money an even worse option. It really depends on how well you know your guest(s). If you’re not too sure about them then don’t do this because it could lead to potential problems down the road.
Can I wear jeans to a baby shower?
It’s not recommended because it is a formal celebration. But of course, this rule depends on the type of jeans that you are wearing. If they are high quality, clean and new-looking then they would be acceptable to wear during a baby shower. However, if your jeans are old, torn, dirty etcetera then just don’t bring them just in case someone else decides to get offended by this mannerism.
Do you send gifts ahead of time at a baby shower?
It’s best not to because this could be taken as an insult and it would make most guests feel bad for not having anything else planned out in advance. Just go with the flow and don’t try too hard especially when there will be plenty of time after the baby shower to get all your shopping done anyway.
Another rule dictated by baby shower etiquette is the close coordination of the party planner with the expecting mother with regards to the baby shower games, baby shower time, and baby shower favors. This would enable the expecting mother to put in her thoughts and ideas for the baby shower without unnecessarily tiring herself. This would also give her more enjoyment as the whole planning process is very exciting.
As a rule, party planners should see to it that the baby shower would be enjoyed by the guests. This is an important initiative to acknowledge the efforts exerted by the guests for the baby shower. Make sure to serve them sumptuous dishes in addition to the fun games they can play.
Lastly, expecting parents should be able to thank their guests through thank you notes or personal messages. This is the last baby shower etiquette but it is as significant as all the others. Many parents provide souvenirs or giveaways to guests to show their appreciation.
Follow all of these baby shower etiquette basic guidelines to ensure that you are going about the right way in planning an enjoyable baby shower.