Baby shower etiquette 101: All you need to know

Baby shower etiquette 101: All you need to know


Baby showers are a festive occasion for all; however, like all parties -- the planning and expectations can get overwhelming. Fast.

Who's allowed to come? Who's supposed to host the party? What's the rule for baby showers when the couple has a second (or third) child?

If you're worried about etiquette, we've got the low-down. Here are frequently asked questions about baby showers.

Who should host the baby shower?

Traditionally, a shower is hosted by a distant relative or friend of the Mama-to-be. This is to prevent the party from appearing like a ploy to get gifts (although, let's be honest -- who doesn't like that part!).

However, the rules have changed a bit these days. It's not unusual for a close relative (sister, mother or mother-in-law) to throw the bash. Hosting your own shower, though, is a big no-no in Miss Manner's handbook.

When should you throw a baby shower?

Baby showers can be thrown any time (in some cases after the baby arrives); however, the event usually occurs in the latter stages of pregnancy (everyone loves admiring a big belly bump!). Consult with the guest of honor to work out scheduling conflicts and make sure VIP guests (such as grandparents, best friends or siblings) will be able to make it as well.

Who's invited to the baby shower?

Consult with the Mama-to-be on who she'd like to have at the shower. Family members and close friends commonly make the guest list, but ask the expecting Mama about people outside those circles (such as coworkers and church members). Keep in mind the size of your venue, as well as your budget.

Don't be afraid to have multiple baby showers -- one for close family and friends, and another for your coworkers or church group, for instance.

If the guest list becomes unruly, consider breaking the baby shower into different events. Don't be afraid to have multiple baby showers -- one for close family and friends, and another for your coworkers or church group. It's become increasingly popular for expecting Mamas to have multiple parties (an intimate one for family and friends and another for work colleagues, for instance).

Are men allowed to attend a baby shower?

My cousin recently threw a baby shower that was equal parts men and women. My mother -- a traditionalist -- thought it was strange; however, it's becoming normal to see men at baby showers.

Girls only or co-ed? Once you decide, choice of decor, activities and menu can become easier.

Again, consult with the Mama-to-be and decide which direction you'd like to take it: does she want a traditional baby shower with female bonding (and unadulterated labor talk), or does she want a co-ed experience? This important decision can help you figure a theme, decor, activities and even food choices.

Do you throw a baby shower for the couple's subsequent children?

Miss Manners says, "No sirree!" Since the purpose of a baby shower is to equip new parents, a second shower may appear that you're begging for gifts.

According to Miss Manners, it's more acceptable to throw an informal celebratory party  (sans gift registry) for subsequent pregnancies. However, modern parents are going against the grain on this tradition. And we say, "Party on, party people!" Every baby deserves its own celebration.

Gift registry rules

According to Miss Manners, it isn't proper to create a baby shower registry. Her belief is it makes you look desperate for presents, and takes the thoughtfulness of gift-giving away from the giver. However, we disagree on this one!


While it may be bad form to the strictest of traditionalists, we think a gift registry is totally acceptable for baby showers. (After all, it's a waste of everyone's efforts to receive gifts you don't really need!)

If you decide to create a gift registry, make sure to include items at multiple price points. Add sale items, like our Luxe-Mama toxin-free body wash for pregnant moms & babes (now only $16.20). You can find some great baby shower gifts for under $20, shop sales or even include gifts for expecting fathers!

Guest of honor etiquette

As the Mama-to-be, the general rule of thumb is to be gracious and appreciative for the party thrown for her. According to Miss Manners: Don't request lavish accommodations Don't demand a large guest list Don't require gifts be in a certain price range Do write thank you notes for every present received


Which rules of baby shower etiquette do you adhere to? Have you broken any of these "rules?" Tell us below!

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The Spoiled Mama

The Spoiled Mama

Dear Brian, thank you for commenting! You’re right: you’re in a tough position, and we feel for you. Ultimately, the baby shower should be a celebration of you & your wife as new parents, and should be a happy time for you. When it comes to family, it’s especially tough, and there’s no “right” or “wrong answer” — just what’s right for you. We suggest talking to your wife to decide on a decision that’s best for your growing family.

Best wishes,
The Spoiled Mama



I’m the husband.  My family (sister, mom, dad) have have shown no respect towards my wife, my decision to marry her since we got married a year and a half ago.  We have minimal contact with them, and that’s generous.  I told them more than two months ago face-to-face they’d be grandparents.  There was no excitement and my wife never was not once congratulated by any.  My issue is baby shower will be here before I know it.  My mom in law will be hosting it.  I’m definitely not inviting my sister for her rudeness over years, and I don’t want to even invite my mom cause she’s been a part of nothing.  My aunts, cousins.  I love them, but not sure their opinions are about my wife, marriage.  Since my mom is not part of hosting this party (or anything to be honest) I struggle with the decision of inviting her and my aunts since I don’t think the financial burden should fall on my mom in law for the responsibility my mom is ignoring us.  I’m in a crappy, difficult spot.  I need ‘etiquitte’ advice please.

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