Whether you’re hosting a baby shower for the first time or not, chances are you’ve got some questions regarding the right baby shower etiquette. You want to create a truly special time for the guest of honor without any unintended faux pas. This guide was specially created to help you do exactly that.
The real basics
- Take the wishes of the mom-to-be into account at every stage. That includes the games, food, invitation list and all other aspects of the baby shower.
- You can have baby showers either before or after the baby is born. Generally, they’re held 1 or 2 months before due date. But they’re also held after baby arrives because of medical or other reasons.
- These days, it is perfectly OK for a close relative or even the couple themselves to host a shower. Those “rules” about only non-relatives hosting a baby shower are quite dated now.
- Before deciding on the kind of baby shower you plan to have — girls-only or coed, theme or no theme and so on — consult mom-to-be and find out what she prefers.
- Who can be invited? Generally, anyone the mom-to-be feels she should call. She’s the best guide here.
- Do you always need to send written baby shower invitations? It is usually the better choice. With a written invitation, guests have all details at their fingertips and need not rely on memory. Plus, you can (and usually should) include directions on how to get there.
- At the same time, it is fine to just inform people on the phone. Do tell them well in advance, though. So they have enough time to buy gifts, arrange for a baby sitter, etc. And leave your contact numbers with them so they can reach you easily if they need any clarifications.
- Can you hold a surprise shower? Sure. It can be a wonderful feeling for the expectant mother. But do consult someone close to her (mother, sister, etc) to know about her likely preferences in all areas.
The devil is in the details
Here’s additional information on baby shower etiquette that’ll help you host a truly great party.
- Send out shower invitations at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance. Send them even earlier for out-of-town guests. Request an RSVP by a date 2 weeks before the baby shower.
- If you’re having a coed shower, you might turn the guys off if you send frilly baby pink invites full of baby talk. Stick to attractive, stylish invitations.
- If you’re planning a formal baby shower, avoid totally goofy games. At coed parties (or even at all-girl events), be wary of playing shower games that focus on expectant mom’s tummy — she may not be comfortable with them. Check with her about choices of games and ice-breaker activities.
- Greet all guests at the door as they walk in, provide them with name tags (if there are many guests) and introduce them to others to get conversations going.
- Lots of women have very different food preferences