What you should know about baby shower etiquette

Worried that you might inadvertently go against accepted baby shower etiquette? If so, you’ve come to the right place! You’ll find key etiquette guidelines for baby showers presented in one place. What’s more, you’ll see that they’re simpler than you think.

What follows is an eclectic mix of pointers rather than hard and fast rules. Much of it is just commonsense guidelines for organizing these celebrations. They’ll help you avoid pitfalls and run your event smoothly.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Basic etiquette at baby showers

  • Here are two foundational etiquette rules. One, mommy-to-be’s wishes about the baby shower are paramount at all times. Consult with her often. Second, etiquette rule for baby showers – the hostess can’t be a guest herself! In other words, her job is to ensure everyone else has a great time, which will mean that she has no time to sit back and put her feet up during the baby shower!
  • It’s acceptable etiquette these days for baby showers to be hosted by a close relative. It’s done quite often now.
  • Usually, baby showers are held one to two months before due date or that much time after the baby is born. Either is fine, though traditionally, showers are held before delivery.
  • Surprise showers can be a great idea. In such cases, its good etiquette to check with mom-to-be’s close relatives about her preferences in various areas.
  • There are no hard and fast etiquette rules about who can be invited. In general, anyone the expectant mommy wants to call.
  • Whenever possible, send written baby shower invites as opposed to just informing folks on the phone. Phone invites are acceptable etiquette too, but the advantage with sending cards is that the guests have all details available with them.

More etiquette ideas for baby showers

Here are more baby showers related etiquette tips you should consider.

  • Send invitations at least 3 weeks before baby showers. Make it earlier for out-of-towners. Its bad etiquette to give insufficient notice to guests. Request an RSVP about 10 days to 2 weeks before the shower and give a specific date.
  • Greet guests at the door as they come in. Use name tags if there are many guests who don’t know each other. And the hostess should thank them and walk them to the door when it’s time to leave.
  • Register for gifts at just one place, even if another store is closer to some guests. Else you may end up with duplicate gifts.
  • When suggesting gifts for baby showers, include items at various price points. Also, it’s perfectly acceptable shower etiquette to suggest that guests can get together to purchase higher priced items.
  • Get a gift along for dad-to-be, even if it’s not a coed baby shower. Excluding him entirely is not good etiquette!
  • If there are older siblings you must get gifts for each of them. It will ease their feelings of being left out of all the fuss over the new baby.
  • During gift opening, hand gifts to mommy and take it from her when she’s done with it. This will save her the trouble of having the get up repeatedly and is definitely great etiquette at baby showers.
  • Sending thank you cards after the baby shower is essential etiquette. That’s why you should have a system for recording who gave what gift.
  • Consider the tastes of the men if it’s a coed shower. For instance, avoid sending frilly pink invitations! And avoid games that are totally goofy.
  • When planning the baby shower, run each proposed game past mom-to-be to see whether she’s ok with it. Avoid anything that makes her uncomfortable – that’s fundamental shower etiquette.
  • If some guests want to leave the shower early, have mommy open gifts while everyone’s eating. That’ll save time and will be seen by the guests as great etiquette.
  • Be sensitive to mom-to-be’s needs throughout. It’s commonsense and good etiquette to end the baby shower early if she’s showing signs of fatigue or discomfort. Keep the shower moving at an even pace and don’t get bogged down in any one segment like games.
  • What etiquette should you follow when inviting someone who’s just lost a baby or is infertile? Simple – ask her before you send an invitation in the mail. Sometimes she may not be able to handle a baby shower very easily. But on the other hand, she might be perfectly alright with it. Ask if she’d like to come and whatever her answer is, respect her decision. That’s the only right etiquette in such cases.
  • Lastly, if you’re the guest of honor at a baby shower, do give the hostess a small gift. It’s always well appreciated and makes for great etiquette.

As you can see, at baby showers, the right etiquette is simple and straightforward. Follow the above guidelines, adapt them to suit your situation and above all, have a marvelous time!