Proper baby shower etiquette may seem a bit daunting for those who haven’t been to very many showers. However, as long as you put your heart and soul into organizing your shower, there’s really no way of getting it wrong. Any part of a baby shower can be reorganized to suit your mom-to-be or her guests. It all depends on what you’re looking for. That said, it can be useful to know about common customs concerning showers, so here are the answers to several frequently asked baby shower etiquette questions.
When should you have the baby shower?
Normally, the baby shower is six weeks before the due date, so to work out the best time to hold it you’ll need to speak to the mom-to-be. It’s becoming more and more common for the baby shower to take place just after the birth so if your mom to be prefers that it’s not a problem. In terms of picking the right day, check with important guests (close friends or family to the new mom) and make sure they are free on your suggested date before sending out invitations. Weekends tend to be a good option (Saturday afternoon is a favorite) as kids can be left with dads or other relatives and most people don’t have to work.
Who organizes the baby shower and who pays for it?
Anyone can organize a baby shower. It could be a close friend of the mother-to-be, a sister or mother, or in the unusual situation where a mom to be has moved somewhere new, a kindly new friend! The host will usually pick up the cost of the shower, which is why it’s a good idea to co-host. However, most baby shower guests will be happy to help out with contributions of food, time and effort; and will even chip in a bit of cash if asked.
What schedule should a baby shower follow and how long does it last?
Again, this mostly depends on how you want the shower to proceed, but typically showers are around 2 hours and run like this:
Welcome your guests and get them settled, then ask the mom-to-be to introduce everyone and, if she likes, explain how she knows each of them.
Serve drinks like punch or wine (non alcoholic options for the mom-to-be!) and finger food.
Try out some fairly gentle baby shower games – nothing too lively, just games that will get people laughing and interacting.
Bring out the cake or serve up the food if you are having a main meal.
Gather everyone around to watch the mother-to-be open her gifts.
Keep everyone’s glasses topped up, serve up some deserts and sweet nibbles, and let people chat until they are ready to leave.
As everyone is leaving, hand out the baby shower favors.
(This is one of the questions I ‘m most often asked in the baby shower etiquette section.)There is a trend towards having baby showers just after the birth right now, so if the baby comes early then your shower is bang up to date! It’s also a nice way for the mom to introduce her new baby.
Do you have a baby shower at the birth of every child?
Traditionally a baby shower is thrown for the birth of the first child. One of the reasons for the baby shower is to make sure the mom to be has all the equipment she needs (stroller, etc.) so after the first one, you should have it all. But pregnancy is worth rewarding so if you want to throw your friend a shower for each birth, go for it!
Is a surprise baby shower a good idea?
That really depends on the mom-to-be. If she’s very sensitive or easily shocked, then perhaps not... If you are going to throw a surprise shower then your planning needs to be spotless – make sure you keep your guests informed so they don’t spoil the surprise!
Is a baby shower women only?
Traditionally yes, but couples baby showers are becoming more commonplace. If you are inviting the father then you can consider inviting the other halves of the women attending.
What is a baby registry?
A baby shower registry is really a list of things that the parents to be would like to have to be prepared to welcome their new baby into the world. It’s not a list sent through the mail tucked into a baby shower invitation. The expectant parents go to a store and choose items they want for their child. These items are entered into a computer. When a party guest comes into that store to shop for a gift they can access this list. It is a good idea to mention where the mothers to be are registered on the shower invitation.
Do guests always expect baby shower favors?
If you don’t have the biggest budget in the world no one is going to go home disappointed if they don’t get a baby shower favor. If you want to give the guests a reminder of the day or a small thank you for coming then they are a nice idea. This is key when it comes to baby shower etiquette, as each guest and contributor should be acknowledged in some way.
Can you have a baby shower for an adoption?
Yes, absolutely. The only thing to bear in mind here is that there is always a chance that adoptions can fall through at the last minute so an adoption baby shower is best planned for after the ‘due date.’
Hope you enjoyed our section on baby shower etiquette. Check out our other sections on the left hand navigation bar for more ideas and inspiration.