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10 Etiquette Questions Answered


A common worry about hosting a baby shower, as with any party, is to avoid any faux pas. Many people fail to realize that times change and what once was a no-no, is now the norm.

Who Should Host a Baby Shower?

At one time etiquette stated that mothers and sisters of the mom to be should not host a shower. The reason was that it looked as if the family was asking for gifts. That is not the case today. Anyone who is close to mom, or even dad to be, may host a baby shower.

While many etiquette rules have changed over the years it is still considered inappropriate for mom-to-be to host her own baby shower. It is seen as blatantly asking for gifts rather than family or friends wanting to "shower" mom-to-be with a party.

Is It Acceptable to Host a Shower for Second, Third or Fourth Child?
Yes. However, the guest list should be limited to the closest of family & friends, or guests who have not attended previous showers.

Who Should Be Invited?
Anyone who is close to mom or dad to be should be invited. Refrain from inviting every family member for fear of insulting someone. It is also acceptable to host a coed baby shower. This means that men and women, family and friends may be invited as long as they are close with the parents to be.

When Should a Shower Take Place?
The baby shower should be held 1-2 months before the due date. This allows time for the parents to purchase necessary baby items before the baby is born.

Should I Have a Baby Shower Theme?
A theme is not necessary. However, having a theme ties the shower together nicely. Your theme can be as simple as colors (i.e., Pink or Blue We Welcome You), teddy bears, Noah's Ark, etc. Use the theme in decorations, favors or even the food.

When to Send Invitations?
You should send invitations by mail 3-4 weeks before the shower. Include an RSVP date of at least one week before the baby shower. This gives you a head count so you know how much food and beverages you need to purchase.

It is also acceptable to phone or email invitations. If you send your invitations via email, be aware that some guests may not check their email often or the invitation may be caught in a spam filter.

Should I Include Gift Registry Information in the Invitation?
In my opinion, it is no longer a faux pas to provide guests with gift registry information if it is available. It has been my experience that guests are not offended by this information and that they find it helpful in choosing a gift. A gift registry helps to eliminate duplicate gifts. If you are hesitant about including gift registry information on the invitation don't stress about it. Just spread the information by word of mouth.

Do I Need Baby Shower Games?
Showers last from 2-4 hours. You need some type of activity to fill up some time between eating and opening gifts. Baby Shower games and activities are also great ice breakers for guests who don't know each other. If you feel that your guests won't enjoy playing traditional baby shower games have them participate in another activity, such as, filling out baby advice cards for mom to be.

Should I Send Thank You Cards?
As host of the baby shower you do not need to send thank you cards to the guests for coming. You do need to thank guests for attending as they leave the shower.

Mom to be definitely needs to send thank you cards for any gifts she receives. It is important as host to have a volunteer write down what the gift is and the person who gave the gift. This will allow mom to be to personalize the thank you cards as she writes them.

A helpful hint is to print out address labels for your guests using a word processing program. Purchase thank you cards which coordinate with the baby shower theme. This will save mom to be time when she writes out her thank you cards.

Should I Invite Someone Who Has Recently Miscarried?
Do not exclude a guest because of a miscarriage. However, be sensitive to her needs. Let her know that she is invited but you understand if she chooses not to attend. If your guest has accepted the invitation but backs out at the last minute be understanding. She has been through a lot.

By: Christina Crea



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