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Baby Shower Etiquette

It’s an exciting time when there’s a baby on the way for your son, daughter, or best friend. The joyous stretch from the announcement to the delivery is overwhelming for everyone – but in the best way possible. Cue filling shopping carts with baby clothes, bookmarking mommy-essential websites to share, and planning celebrations, including the baby shower!

If you’ve attended a baby shower before, you’re probably well-versed on how it works. There are finger foods galore, thoughtful gifts, silly games, and cute photo booths. You didn’t have to plan it, though. Now that you’re in that position, what do you do?

Here are some tips on baby shower etiquette that will guide you through a memorable soirée:

When should you have a baby shower? 

While you may be eager to throw together a baby shower right after the big announcement, it’s not the right time. Baby showers are often hosted around 4 to 6 weeks before the mom’s due date. The timing allows for the new parents to assess what they need and work up a list of must-haves. Of course, the baby shower should cater to the mom’s expectations, so it’s best to connect with her and figure out when she would like to have it.  

Who throws the baby shower?  

There’s no expectation that one single person should throw a shower. The main rule: The expecting mom gets to enjoy herself by not lifting a finger. Other than that, it’s up to any grandparent, family member, or friend to throw the baby shower. Everyone can come together to play a part in the planning, or the grandparents can tag-team on hosting a gathering. If you’re the cool aunt and you love to host a good party, then, by all means, the responsibility is yours! The new parents will be thrilled to celebrate their little one, no matter who the host is. It’s also perfectly fine to have multiple showers, so if family members want to have one and then friends and/or coworkers want to host one, it’s even better for the expectant parents.

Who should you invite? 

The guest list doesn’t have to be long. Some moms would rather it be intimate with only close friends and family members. However, if there’s a lot of people out there ready and willing to show love to the guest of honor, invite them! No matter who you want to send invites to, collaborate with the new mom to make sure everyone she cares about is included. Nowadays, it has become increasingly popular to host a co-ed shower. It’s entirely up to the parents, so make sure to check in with them.

What gifts do you bring to a baby shower?

Giving gifts at a baby shower is common. Moms have the option of creating a virtual stockpile of essentials through online registries. Most of the time, it’s for stuff they need when the little one gets here. It’s OK to let guests know there’s a specific shopping list. New moms know what they want, and even better have been told by experienced moms what they need. The best bet is to stick to a list or go with something that is going to make the new parents’ lives easier when the baby arrives. 

What do you do at the baby shower?

Although the mother-to-be shouldn’t be doing any heavy lifting, it’s crucial to check in with her to see what she wants at her baby shower. Maybe she’s not one for games, so think of some alternatives. Try keeping it unique to the new mom. Pinning the pacifier on the baby is a fun, traditional game that always ends in laughter. Bobbing for pacifiers, “Don’t Say Baby,” and a diaper change relay race are ways to get everyone giggling. Again, you can get as creative as you want to make this party-perfect for the new mom. 

Keep the planning simple for the baby shower. Check-in with the guest of honor and make sure you’re making this day as unique as possible for her. The rest will fall into place.

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