Baby showers today are fraught a great way to not only celebrating the forthcoming bundle of joy but also give the mum-to-be a well-earned day of fun. The rules of baby shower etiquette have evolved over the years; in the past, what you could and could not do was cast in stone.
Today, the only indispensable code of conduct when it comes to a baby shower is that it should be about what the mum-to-be wants. Read on to discover the guidelines for planning a memorable baby shower.
Who plans and/or hosts the baby shower?
Anyone in the inner circle of the mom-to-be can throw the baby shower. That means a sister, friend, neighbor, coworker, aunt, sister-in-law, or even mom. Don’t feel limited by that outdated baby shower etiquette rule that a family member shouldn’t plan or host because it could be perceived as a grab for gifts – it won’t.
That said, it’s still generally frowned upon for an expectant mom to host a shower for herself. If you’re concerned that no one will offer to plan a baby shower for you (which is highly unlikely), consider asking your best friend or a close female relative to take the reins.
When should a baby shower take place?
There is no right time to have a baby shower, but many people agree that anytime between twenty-four and thirty-two weeks (six to eight months) is the most suitable time to throw a baby shower. This is because the mom-to-be is still feeling energetic, and the bump is manageable.
An earlier date also allows her to fill in what's missing, exchange duplicate gifts, and add all the new gear to the nursery. Your baby shower schedule will also likely depend on factors such as time of year, guests, and the expectant mum's preference for date and time.
How long is a typical baby shower?
Baby showers usually run on average two to three hours, depending on what's planned for the occasion. Factor in things like catching up with family and friends, opening gifts, and snacking. Keep in mind that the mom-to-be will likely be tired after an onslaught of activities, so you don't want the shower to go on for too long.
Where should a baby shower take place?
Popular venues include private homes, tea rooms, restaurants, and church halls. A private home allows you to keep the cost of hosting down, which makes it an increasingly popular option.
One no-go spot is the home of the mom-to-be because it's inevitable that she'll end up being the one to receive guests and ensuring that everyone is entertained. Let her feel like the guest of honor and choose to host the party somewhere else.
Is it tacky for the expectant mum to register for gifts?
Not at all! Creating a baby registry allows you to identify the items that you’ll need before your baby arrives, plus your guests will likely appreciate the guidance. Some tips to consider are as follows:
- Pick a store that offers reasonable prices on baby items. If your guests are willing to break their banks, let them take the initiative to do so, but don’t put them in the uncomfortable position of spending more than they’re willing to. You may also want to consider going for a major chain store (like Target) or online platform (like Amazon) with an online registry to save your guests the hassle of trying to find a boutique baby shop.
- You might want to refrain from exclusively requesting big-ticket items. Skip at least a couple of the expensive baby gear. Register for onesies, a diaper bag, socks, and baby-care essentials, but take care of the stroller, crib, and other pricey items yourself.
- Notify your guests of the baby registry way before the host sends out the invitations for the baby shower.
Who is invited to a baby shower?
The close friends and relatives of the mother-to-be typically make up the guest list of a baby shower. As the host, make sure you consult the guest of honor before sending out invitations just in case there are some people she wants to add (or take off) to the guest list.
While traditional baby showers are women-only occasions, co-ed baby showers are growing in popularity. However, if you plan to throw a female-only shindig and still have the dad-to-be attend, this is completely acceptable as many dad-to-be’s will want to offer thanks before guests leave.
What should go on the baby shower invitation?
Before you send out the baby shower invitations, double-check to confirm that you’ve included all the important information listed on the invite. The following details will allow guests to save the date, dress as required, and RSVP on time:
- Name of the mom-to-be and host (s)
- Phone number of the main host
- RSVP (include details on how to RSVP)
- Dress code
- Baby shower theme (if applicable)
- Registry details for the baby shower
- Specify if the baby shower is exclusive to adults
- Specify if the guests are expected to bring anything
When should you send out baby shower invitations?
Invitations should be sent out four to six weeks before the occasion. It’s important to send baby shower invites out early to accommodate friends and family who may need to travel from out of to attend the event.
What are some typical baby shower activities?
The main purpose of a baby shower is for friends and family to give baby gear and essentials to the expectant parents. However, there are many more things to do at a baby shower before the gift-giving starts.
In addition to setting up snacks and drinks, the host can also keep guests entertained by having them play fun, interactive baby shower games.
Additionally, you can set up a message wall where guests can leave congratulatory notes or words of wisdom for the mom-to-be. It’s also standard practice for the mom-to-be, host, dad-to-be, and grandparents to give brief speeches as the baby shower draws to an end. Lastly, remember to send the guests off with baby shower favors as a token of appreciation.
Many of the hard and fast rules that were associated with baby showers in the past are nothing more than mere suggestions today. To ensure everyone – including the mother-to-be – will enjoy themselves, consider following these guidelines for planning a memorable bash.