A Short Guide to Baby Shower Etiquette
Who should host the baby shower? Should you have a baby shower if you already have a child? There are many questions surrounding baby shower etiquette and we try to answer them all for you!
Did you know that baby showers came about after World War II when (you guessed it) the baby boom happened after the war? But throughout the years, this mother-to-be’s rite of passage has taken on different kinds of etiquette.
“Baby showers are filled with joy as family and friends come together to celebrate the soon-to-be mother. But there can be certain expectations or questions surrounding proper etiquette at this celebration,” says Lisa Wilson, a physician with Novant Health Providence OB/GYN.
We put together a quick little guide so that your new little one gets a proper welcome!
Who hosts the baby shower?
Baby shower tradition has said that the family of the new parents shouldn’t be the hosts of the celebration. Instead, friends of the mother should put together the baby shower. But this tradition has been mostly thrown out the window because more and more mothers, sisters, aunts and cousins are helping to host the shower for the new mother.
Basically, anyone is welcome to host the celebration for you. But don’t host one for yourself. You have enough to worry about, let your family and friends shower you with the love and plan the party.
Who should the hostess or hostesses invite to the baby shower?
Family and friends who will love the new bundle of joy should certainly be invited to the shower. Your hostesses should consult with you to see whom you want to see on the guest list.
Should the guest list include men?
It depends on what you as the mother-to-be wants. Some new moms will want the baby shower to be more traditional, with all the women admiring the cute baby gifts while spending some quality girl time together.
But coed baby showers are getting to be more and more common. This makes it more of a laid back party atmosphere.
When should the baby shower be held?
It’s best to plan the party about 4-6 weeks before the baby is due. That way you will know that pregnancy is going well, but also it’s early enough so you hopefully won’t go into labor… but it’s definitely an easy way to make it a memorable party!
If a guest can’t make the shower, do they still need to give a gift?
No, they are not obligated to give you a gift if they can’t make the baby shower. The guest can certainly send a gift and have it opened at the party if they would like. The guest may opt to give a gift when your baby makes their entrance into the world.
How much and what kind of food should be served at a baby shower?
One pro tip is to avoid big meal times like lunch and dinner. This is so you can provide some light appetizers and not a big meal. You don’t want your hostesses to go broke putting together your baby shower.
Also the hostesses should keep in mind what they’re serving at the shower. You want to be able to enjoy the food (remember you’re eating for two) so avoid items that you can’t eat like deli meats and sushi. The best bet is to go with veggie trays, pasta salads, a hot hors d’oeuvres (like mini meatballs served in the crockpot) and dips.
As far as alcohol goes, the soon-to-be moms should be the one to decide whether or not to provide an alcoholic beverage. Most of the time they allow their guests to enjoy a cocktail, even while they can’t.
Can there be a shower for a second baby?
Baby showers are a time for guests to celebrate you as a new mother and provide you with the necessary items to take care of your new little bundle of joy. But the second time around, many parents already have the necessities needed for their next child.
Instead, close family and friends can throw a “sprinkle” so that they can sprinkle you and your second child with love. This doesn’t have to be a big event. It can just be a small get together and maybe a little gift that can help make your life easier, like a cleaning service or a gift card to buy new clothes or toys.
Once the baby shower is all said and done, be sure to send thank you notes to all of your guests. You should also give a small gift or flowers to your hostesses for putting together such an amazing celebration filled with love.
We can help you from pregnancy confirmation to post-delivery care. Please call our Providence office at 704-372-4000, our Steelecroft office at 704-384-7900 or our SouthPark office at 704-372-4000. We look forward to serving you and your baby during your pregnancy.