Baby Shower Etiquette

When a friend or family member announces she is pregnant, someone immediately starts thinking about a baby shower. Planning a baby shower is fun and exciting. It is easy to get caught up in all the baby shower themes, baby shower games, baby shower food planning, and gift buying. Throwing a baby shower is not just about the games and the giving of gifts. A baby shower is a social event which requires paying attention to the baby shower etiquette of the day. Getting on the wrong side of a hormonally charged expectant mom is never a good idea.

Baby shower etiquette does not involve hard and fast rules. The final decisions are based on what is appropriate for the host, the mom-to-be, and the situation. Planning a baby shower does bring with it a list of questions: who, when, what, where, and how since we already know the why. The rules of baby shower etiquette differ depending on your resources.

There are a few tried and true etiquette principles that can provide guidance:
  • A baby shower may be held either before or after the baby is born. Check with the mom-to-be to see when she has time in her schedule and if she has a preference.
  • Anyone is welcome to host a baby shower, as long as the mom-to-be doesn't have to host her own baby shower.
  • Ask the mom-to-be how she feels about shower games or ice-breakers. Some expectant moms may prefer to drop the shower games for conversation.
  • If the expectant parents have just as many male friends as they do female friends, consider a co-ed baby shower. Older generations may say it is unheard of or terribly untraditional to invite men to a baby shower. If your mom-to-be is comfortable with the idea, go for it!
  • The informality of today's baby shower etiquette accepts baby shower invitations by email, phone, or written invitations. Whichever method you choose, extend the invitation at least 3 weeks before the baby shower to ensure your guests have plenty of time to plan ahead.
  • Have a list of gift ideas from all price ranges readily available for your guests. If the mom-to-be has created a baby registry, pass along the name of the store holding the registry to give your guests additional ideas.

Baby shower etiquette tends to change with the times and varies between cultures. The baby shower etiquette FAQ provides answers to many questions troubling baby shower hosts today.

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