Baby Shower Etiquette 101

Baby Shower Etiquette is not cast in stone. What is taboo in previous years is not necessarily so for today.Below are some frequently asked questions about shower etiquette. These helpful information will answer questions such as who to throw the shower, who to invite games, when and where to host the party and more...

Baby Shower Etiquette: Do's and Dont's

Who should throw the baby shower

Traditionally baby showers were put on by friends but now it has become the norm for anyone but the expectant parents to throw, such as co-workers, friends or family members.

If you are overwhelmed consider getting a co-host to break up the work as well as the cost. However do not have too many hostesses because you do not want to confuse guests or have them wondering who is in charge.

When to throw a baby shower?

Baby Shower Etiquette dictates that a baby shower usually be held before the baby is born about 1-2 months before the expectant mother's due date.You do not want to keep it too early but then again you do not want to plan too close to delivery and the mother goes into early labor.

Some women now have baby shower after the baby is born. This has certain advantages such as guests will definitely know the gender of the baby. However if you chose to have the shower after the baby is born then wait until the baby is a month or 2 so that he/she is not susceptible to illness.

Who should you invite to the baby shower?

Before deciding on a guest list you should first consult the expecting mother on who she would like to attend. some women have more than one shower whether from co-workers or close family.

Once upon a time showers were a women only celebration but these days expectant fathers are a welcome addition and they are inviting their friends as well.

If you are planning a surprise party. Make sure that you consult the expectant father and find out when is the due date and coordinate with him and other family members to get her to the party.

Where should the shower be held?

Usually the baby shower is held at the hostesses home but now you can pretty much have the party anywhere such as:

The expectant mothers home, just be sure to clean up afterward.
Reception Hall
Park, ect

How long should a baby shower last?

A baby shower usually lasts for 2-3 hours. This is more than enough time for guests to socialize with mom, open gifts and play games.

You do not want a long and drawn out event because Mom to be might tire easily and she needs her rest. Manage the time well so that you do not have lags in activities or long awkward moments. Time management is a big part of hosting a successful shower, you want to keep guests entertained and occupied.

Can you have a baby shower for a second baby?

Baby shower etiquette in earlier years dictate that you have a baby shower for the firstborn, however many women are having baby showers for each pregnancy. There is nothing wrong with getting a shower for each child since each baby is special and deserves to be celebrated. Of course it is up to the friends and family to decide if they would like to throw a baby shower for the expecting mother or not.

When to send out the invitations?

Its proper baby shower etiquette to send out invitations a few weeks before the baby shower so that guests have enough time to make arrangements. Ideally send out invitations 4 to 6 weeks before shower, no later than with 2 weeks notice. If you have a baby shower theme coordinate the invitation with the theme so that guests get an idea of the kind of shower.

Should you have baby shower games and if so how many?

Games and shower activities keep guest entertained, so you want to have 3-4 games prepared to fill gaps and lags in conversations.
Games also act as great ice breakers and get guests warmed up to the shower. Be mindful of the expectant mothers wishes and personality, if she doesn't want to have games then choose an engaging shower activity instead. You also want to bear in mind the type of guests, not all games are suitable for all guest, for example to much girly games will be counter-productive at a coed baby shower since the guys will most likely run the other way.

Should the baby shower hostess buy a gift?

The hostess does not have to buy a gift since your time and money spent on the shower is your gift to her. You can purchase an additional gift if you like and if you have the money such as a diaper cake that would also work as a centerpiece or anything else you like.

Do you serve food at the shower and what kind of foods to serve?

Most baby Shower serves food or offer some sort of refreshments. The type of food you serve depends on you. The food you decide on depends on your budget and the type of shower you are having. The theme also affect your food choices. Lots of hostesses go with buffet style with finger foods but there is nothing wrong with a sit down meal.

When should you send out thank you cards?

Baby shower thank you card etiquette means that you send out thank you cards 2 weeks after the shower no later than 3 weeks. Its considered tacky to send emails as thank you. You want to make the effort to thank each guest personally for taking the time to celebrate with you and for getting you that lovely gift.

Some other useful Baby Shower Etiquette Tips For Hostess:

  • Always greet guests at the door.
  • Never leave first, that is very rude and poor baby shower etiquette.
  • When serving food serve the mom to be first, then guests, then yourself.
  • If there is a very large group then think about having name tags for the guests.
  • Introduce guests to each other or provide an ice breaker game to get people to socialize with each other.
  • When it's time for the mom-to-be to open gifts write down the gifts and who they are from. This makes it easier for mom-to-be to send out thank you cards when it comes time to do so. If you cannot do it then assign someone the task.
  • Make sure to have enough favors for every guest. Its best to over estimate than to underestimate.
  • Make sure to provide a comfortable seat for mom-to-be and she should be seated in an area where she can see and participate in the party.

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