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Baby Shower Etiquette

Concerned about baby shower etiquette? Wondering who to invite or where to host the bash? Then you're in the right place - keep on reading for all your baby shower questions and answers!

What is a Baby Shower?

A baby shower is a way to celebrate the upcoming or recent birth of a child by presenting gifts to the mother at a party.

When should I host the baby shower?

Typically a baby shower is held 1-2 months before the mommy-to-be's due date. After all, it's only perfect if her belly is big! Yet it's becoming much more popular to throw the shower after the baby is born too.

Should I send invitations?

Although modern technology allows us to send invitations via email, most hosts still mail a formal invitation. Baby shower invitations do not have to be over the top; you can even print your own out from a computer.

When should I send our the baby shower invitations?

Send baby shower invitations about three weeks prior to the event. If your baby shower includes out-of-town guests, you send invitations a month in advance to ensure that they arrive with plenty of time for guests to prepare.

Who throws the baby shower?

The only people who shouldn't throw the baby shower are the expectant couple. According to Wiki, Miss Manners claims that a relative should not throw the party, as it's rude for family to ask for gifts for another family member. This formal rule is rarely followed; often, it is the grandma-to-be who throws the shower.

How long is a baby shower party?

A baby shower usually lasts 2-4 hours. Budget about 30-60 minutes at the beginning for guests to arrive, socialize and eat, before the games begin. Spend the next 30-45 minutes playing games. And the rest of the time having cake and opening gifts.

Who should I invite to the shower?

Traditionally only female family members and friends are invited to attend the shower, but today it is not common to host a co-ed baby shower and honor both the mommy and daddy-to-be together! Coordinate a guest list with the parents-to-be prior to planning the shower.

Where should I have the baby shower?

Any place that can accommodate your number of guests! A restaurant, a VFW or even the home of a friend is suitable.

Should I serve food?

Refreshments should always be provided, but there is no rule that says you absolutely must serve a full meal. Often showers are held earlier in the day between brunch-lunch or lunch and dinner time, so any food you do serve shouldn't be too heavy (think salads, sandwiches, snacks and finger foods, and lots of drinks and desserts). Another great idea is to organize a pot luck and have every guest bring a dish.

Should the baby shower be a surprise?

This is entirely up to you, the host or hostess. There really is no tradition or rule regarding a surprise shower; it depends on whether or not the mommy-to-be wants to be surprised and what's most convenient.

Does the mommy-to-be have to open her gifts at the shower?

Most of the nature of the baby shower is to watch the mommy-to-be open her presents while guests "ooh" and "ahh" over every little thing. However, this often ends up involving a lot of time and clean up. The best solution? Ask guests to "be a dear and wrap in clear" on the invitations to speed up the process and avoid a mess. That way guests can see the gifts, and you won't be considered rude.

Looking for a unique baby shower favors for guests? Check out our baby shower favors for some inspiration!

© 2012, Updated 2015 Kelsey Bowen, Little Things Favors


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