Are you attending a baby shower and not sure what the etiquette is? Or are you hosting a baby shower and want to make sure you are doing everything right? Here is a quick and complete guide to baby shower etiquette for both guests and hosts.
What is Baby Shower Etiquette?
Baby shower etiquette is a set of guidelines that govern how to organize and carry out baby showers.
There are etiquette rules for both baby shower guests and hosts, such as who to invite, who pays for the shower, what gifts to give, and more.
While baby shower etiquette is not always followed to the letter, it is generally considered good manners to adhere to these guidelines.
Baby Shower Etiquette for Guests
How to respond to an invitation?
If you receive a baby shower invitation, it is considered proper etiquette to respond as soon as possible.
The hostess of the shower usually starts making preparations based on the number of people she expects to attend. You should RSVP to the shower and include whether or not you will be able to attend.
If you receive a paper baby shower invitation in the mail, you can respond to it by mailing back the RSVP card that is usually included with the invitation.
If you receive an electronic or online baby shower invitation, you can usually respond to it by clicking on the RSVP button or link included in the invitation.
Most baby showers are held on weekends, so if you work during the week, make sure to take that into consideration when RSVPing.
What if you cannot attend?
If you can’t attend a baby shower you’ve been invited to, let the host know asap so they can make alternative arrangements.
There are a few etiquette rules to follow when it comes to declining a baby shower invitation:
- Contact the host as soon as possible and let them know you will no longer be able to attend the shower for which you have already RSVP’d yes.
- Suggest an alternative date or time that you would be available if you are unable to attend due to a conflict with the date or time.
- Express your regrets and well-wishes to the expectant mother in your message if you are unable to attend for another reason.
- Never be rude or dismissive in your decline, as the host has put time and effort into planning this event.
- Don’t decline the invitation as much as possible if the shower is being held close to the date of the baby’s birth, as it’s considered rude.
Here is a list of suggested wording for declining a baby shower invitation:
- I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to make it to the baby shower. Thank you for inviting me.
- Unfortunately, I have a conflict with the date/time of the baby shower and won’t be able to attend. I’m so sorry!
- Thank you for inviting me to the baby shower, but I won’t be able to make it. I wish the best for you and your new arrival.
Is it rude to not bring a gift?
It is not considered rude to not bring a gift to a baby shower.
However, if you are close to the expectant mother or have already been given a gift by her, it is polite to bring a small gift to the shower.
If the baby shower you are attending is a “no gifts” shower, it is still proper etiquette to bring a card and congratulate the parents-to-be.
Also Read: Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas
What to Wear to a Baby Shower as a Guest?
When attending a baby shower, you do not want to come dressed in such a way that will draw the attention away from the mother-to-be.
However, as a general rule of thumb, it is always appropriate to dress modestly and avoid wearing anything that may be considered too revealing or offensive.
Additionally, it is important to remember that baby showers are typically quite casual affairs, so there is no need to go overboard with your outfit. A simple sundress or blouse and skirt combo should suffice.
What to talk about at a baby shower?
If you are a guest at a baby shower, it is important to be respectful of the parents-to-be and their wishes for the event. Here are some tips for what to talk about at a baby shower:
- Talk about babies in general: If the parents-to-be are happy to talk about their baby, ask them about their plans for parenting, what they are most looking forward to about being parents, and so on.
- Ask about the pregnancy: The parents-to-be are likely to want to talk about their pregnancy, so ask them how they are feeling, what they are most looking forward to, and so on.
- Compliment the parents-to-be: Take the opportunity to compliment the parents-to-be on their strength and courage in facing the challenges of pregnancy and parenting.
- Don’t give unsolicited parenting advice: Unless the parents-to-be ask for your advice, avoid giving unsolicited advice on parenting, childbirth, or anything else.
- Avoid any controversial topics: Now is not the time to air any controversial opinions you might have. This includes political opinions, religious beliefs, and so on.
- Don’t talk about sensitive topics: This is not the time to bring up sensitive topics such as abortion, adoption, or infertility. Stick to topics that will be enjoyable for everyone at the shower.
Don’t spoil a surprise baby shower!
A baby shower is a time to celebrate the mom-to-be and the new arrival. It is considered bad etiquette to ruin the surprise for the mom-to-be.
Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t spoil the surprise:
- If you know the gender of the baby, keep it to yourself! The mom-to-be may want to surprise herself when her baby is born, so refrain from sharing this information with other guests.
- Similarly, don’t share any details about the baby’s name, nursery theme, or anything else that the mom-to-be may want to keep under wraps.
- If you’re bringing a gift, don’t wrap it in baby-themed paper or include a card with the baby’s name on it. This will give away the surprise!
- Avoid sharing any photos or videos from the shower on social media. The mom-to-be may not want her friends and family to see the shower before she does.
- Lastly, just be respectful of the mom-to-be’s wishes. If she doesn’t want to know certain things about the baby, then respect her wishes and don’t spoil the surprise.
Don’t talk about breastfeeding!
The expectant mother is the star of the baby shower, and guests should avoid talking about breastfeeding in front of her. If the topic comes up, steer the conversation in a different direction. This rule applies to both guests and hosts.
There are a few reasons why it’s important to avoid talking about breastfeeding at a baby shower:
- First, the expectant mother may not be comfortable with the topic.
- Second, she may not have made a decision about whether or not she will breastfeed.
- And lastly, even if she is planning to breastfeed, she may not want to talk about it at her baby shower.
If the expectant mother does want to talk about breastfeeding, she will bring it up herself. Guests and hosts should respect her wishes and avoid bringing up the topic unless she does first.
Give advice later!
Most people believe that it is proper etiquette to give advice to the mom-to-be at a baby shower.
However, many experts believe that it is best to wait until after the baby is born to give advice.
The reason for this is that the mom-to-be is likely to be very overwhelmed and stressed during the months leading up to the birth of her baby.
By waiting until after the baby is born, you can give her your advice in a more relaxed setting.
What not to say at a baby shower?
With a baby on the way, friends and family are often eager to celebrate the impending arrival by throwing a baby shower.
If you receive an invitation to attend one, pay attention to what not to say, so as not to offend the parents-to-be or other guests.
Here are some things to avoid saying at a baby shower:
1 – “You’re so big/small for only being __ weeks pregnant!”
Body shaming of any kind is never okay, and this includes comments about a pregnant woman’s size. It’s best to avoid any comments about someone’s appearance, no matter how well-intentioned they may be.
2 – “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”
Whether or not someone is ready for parenthood is a personal decision that others should not comment on. This question can come across as judgmental and insensitive, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
3 – “Oh, I could never do it/I’m not cut out for parenthood.”
This statement is often said in an attempt to empathize with the pregnant woman or new parent. However, it can unintentionally make them feel like they’re not up to the task. It’s best to avoid saying anything that might make the parent-to-be feel like they’re not capable of handling this new chapter in their life.
4 – “Do you know what you’re having yet?”
This is a common question that people ask when they find out someone is pregnant, but it can be intrusive and nosy. It’s best to avoid asking personal questions like this, unless the person has openly shared that information with you.
5 – “Are you sure you’re not too old/young to be having a baby?”
Again, this is a personal decision that should not be commented on by others. This question can come across as judgmental and insensitive, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
6 – “Having a baby is the best/worst thing that ever happened to me.”
Sharing your own personal experiences with pregnancy and parenthood is fine, but be mindful of how your words might be received. Some people might not want to hear about the negative aspects of parenthood, so it’s best to avoid sharing anything too negative or graphic.
7 – “You’re going to be a great/ terrible mother/father.”
This is another statement that is often said in an attempt to be supportive, but it can unintentionally put pressure on the parent-to-be. It’s best to avoid making any definitive statements about someone’s future as a parent, as you don’t know what their experience will be like.
8 – “I can’t wait to see the baby/hold the baby/get to know the baby.”
While it’s perfectly normal to be excited about the new arrival, it’s important to be respectful of the parents’ wishes. Some parents might not want strangers holding their baby, so it’s best to wait until you’re invited to do so.
9 – “What are you going to do with the baby/when the baby comes?”
This question can be intrusive and nosy, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. The parents will likely have a plan for when the baby arrives, but it’s not something that you need to share with everyone at the shower.
10 – “Are you sure you’re doing this the right way?”
Parenting is a personal journey and there is no one “right” way to do it. This question can come across as judgmental and insensitive, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Avoid the belly rub!
It’s no secret that many pregnant women do not enjoy having anyone touch their belly. So, as a guest at a baby shower, it’s important to be respectful of the mom-to-be’s personal space and refrain from giving her a belly rub.
If you’re the host of the baby shower, be sure to set the tone by making it clear that the mom-to-be is not to be bothered with belly rubs. You can do this by making a announcement at the beginning of the shower or by putting a sign up that says “No Belly Rubs.”
If you’re the mom-to-be, don’t be afraid to speak up and let your guests know that you’re not comfortable with belly rubs. It’s your shower and you should be able to enjoy it without feeling like you have to endure unwanted touch.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to allow belly rubs at the baby shower is up to the mom-to-be. If she’s comfortable with it, then go ahead and let your guests give her a rub. But if she’s not, then be respectful of her wishes and don’t force the issue.
Another Baby Shower FAQ for Guests
This is a common question among guests. The answer is typically yes, as baby showers are generally considered gift-giving occasions.
The average cost of a baby shower gift is $25. The range is usually between $20 and $100.
It is generally considered polite to give a gift to the expectant parents instead of cash. But, it is perfectly acceptable to give cash at a baby shower.
If you are looking for an easy and thoughtful way to show your support for a new mom-to-be, giving a card at her baby shower is a great option!
Some popular gifts include baby clothes, baby furniture, baby toys, and baby shower games.
A pregnant lady can attend a baby shower, but she should be careful not to overdo it. She should drink plenty of water and avoid standing for long periods of time.
If the husband is not the father of the baby, then he would not normally attend the baby shower, as baby showers are traditionally intended to be events for women only.
Baby Shower Etiquette for Hosts and Hostesses
Is a surprise baby shower a good idea?
Before deciding whether or not to have a surprise baby shower, consider the following factors:
- The expectant parents’ personalities: If the parents-to-be are the type of people who like surprises, then a surprise shower may be a good idea. However, if they prefer to know what’s happening in advance and like to be in control, then a surprise shower is probably not a good idea.
- The size of the guest list: A surprise baby shower can be logistically difficult to pull off if the guest list is large. It may be easier to simply tell the parents-to-be about the shower and let them invite their own guests.
- The location of the shower: If the shower is being held at the expectant parents’ home, then it’s probably best to let them know in advance so that they can prepare. If the shower is being held at another location, such as a restaurant or event space, then a surprise may be easier to pull off.
- The budget: A surprise baby shower may cost more than a traditional shower because the element of surprise adds an extra level of planning and coordination.
- The timing: A surprise baby shower is typically held during the third trimester, after the expectant parents have finished their baby registry. However, some couples prefer to have their shower earlier in the pregnancy. If the timing is not ideal for the parents-to-be, it may be best to simply tell them about the shower and let them choose when to have it.
Where should you host the baby shower?
There are many places you can host a baby shower, but the most important thing is to make sure the expecting mom is comfortable with the location. Here are a few ideas:
- The home of a close friend or family member
- A restaurant or banquet hall
- A local park or recreation center
- A baby-themed venue, such as a local baby store or children’s museum
- The expecting mom’s workplace (with her permission)
Note: It’s best not to host a baby shower at the expecting mom’s house, unless she asks. This can make her feel like her home is not “good enough,” and it can be stressful for her to clean up after the shower.
Baby shower invitations: paper or online?
The most important thing to consider when deciding whether to send paper or electronic invitations for a baby shower is the preference of the guest of honor.
If you decide to go the paper route, be sure to purchase high-quality cardstock and choose a design that fits the theme of the shower.
For online invitations, sites like Canva and Paperless Post offer a variety of beautiful templates that can be customized to fit your event.
If you decide to use Whatsapp or Facebook to send invitations, be sure to include all of the important details like date, time, and location so your guests can easily RSVP.
Where to make baby shower invitations?
There are a few different places that you can make baby shower invitations:
If you want to be traditional, you can go to a store that specializes in invitations, like a stationery store.
You can also make them yourself using a program like Canva, or you can buy them online from Amazon.
What is the etiquette for baby shower invitations?
Different families and cultures have different traditions and expectations surrounding baby showers. It’s important to ask around and get a sense of what is considered appropriate in your specific case.
That said, there are a few general tips that can help you make sure your baby shower invitations are etiquette-friendly:
1 – Make sure to include all the important details.
The date, time, and location of the shower should be clearly stated on the invitation, along with any other pertinent information (such as whether it’s a surprise shower, or if there is a particular theme).
2 – Keep the guest list limited to close family and friends.
Baby showers are typically intimate affairs, so it’s important to only invite those who are close to you and who you know will be supportive and excited for your new arrival.
3 – Be considerate of your guests’ schedules.
Try to pick a date and time for the shower that will work for the majority of your guests. Keep in mind that many people have busy schedules, so it’s important to be flexible and accommodating where you can.
4 – Send out the invitations in a timely manner.
Ideally, you should send out the invitations 4-6 weeks in advance of the shower. This will give your guests plenty of time to clear their schedules and make any necessary arrangements.
5 – Be mindful of any dietary restrictions.
If you know of any guests who have dietary restrictions (such as allergies or religious restrictions), be sure to take this into consideration when planning the menu for the shower. There are many delicious and accommodating options available these days, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something that everyone can enjoy.
6 – Include a RSVP card with the invitation.
It’s important to get an accurate headcount for the shower, so be sure to include a RSVP card with the invitation. This will make it easy for guests to let you know whether or not they can attend, and will make your planning process that much easier.
7 – Plan ahead for any gifts you need to return to the registry.
If you know that any of your guests will be gifting you items from your baby registry, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for returning any items that are duplicates or that you don’t need. This will save you a lot of time and hassle down the road.
What do I write on a baby shower invitation?
The following are some general tips for what to include on a baby shower invitation:
- The name of the person hosting the shower
- The date, time, and location of the shower
- The name of the guest of honor
- RSVP information
- A registry or wish list, if applicable
- A note on any special theme or dress code for the shower
Should the baby shower have a theme?
Themes are not required for a baby shower. However, some people believe that a baby shower should have a specific theme in order to be more cohesive and memorable.
On the other hand, others believe that a baby shower should be more low-key and relaxed.
Here are some of our favorite themes for baby showers:
This is a cute and classic theme that is perfect for a baby shower. You can use yellow and green decorations, and serve rubber duck-shaped cakes or cupcakes.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
This theme is perfect for a baby shower that will be held at night. You can use star-shaped decorations and serve star-shaped cookies or cake.
This is a fun and festive theme that celebrates the mother-to-be. You can use yellow and black decorations, and serve honeycomb-shaped cookies or cake.
This is a cute and playful theme that is perfect for a baby shower. You can use a variety of different animal-themed decorations, and serve animal crackers or cupcakes.
Are baby shower games necessary?
Baby shower games are not required, but many hosts choose to include them as a way to entertain guests and break the ice.
If you do choose to play games, be sure to select ones that are appropriate for your group and that everyone will enjoy.
Some popular baby shower games include guessing the size of the expecting mother’s belly, guessing how many diapers are in a jar, and predicting the baby’s gender. Other fun games include opening gifts and eating contests.
Additionally, the host should make sure that there is enough time for people to play the games and that there are prizes for the winners.
Should the mother-to-be open gifts at the shower?
There are a few different ways to handle gifts at a baby shower. One option is for the mom-to-be to open gifts as they are given to her. This can be a good way to keep the shower moving along, and it can be fun for the mom-to-be to see what everyone has gotten her.
Another option is to have the mom-to-be open all of her gifts at the end of the shower. This can be a good way to build anticipation and excitement, and it can also give the mom-to-be a chance to really take in all of the gifts she has received.
Ultimately, it is up to the mom-to-be and the hosts of the shower to decide how gifts will be handled. So it is important to do whatever will work best for the group.
Should you give party favors to guests?
If you are the host of the baby shower, you may be wondering if you should give party favors to the guests. It is ultimately up to you, but there are a few things to consider.
First, think about the theme of the shower and if party favors would fit in with that theme.
Second, think about your budget and how many guests you will be having. If you have a large guest list, it may be more cost effective to skip the party favors.
Third, consider what type of favors you would like to give. Some popular options include a bottle of lotion, a bar of soap, candy bags, or little trinkets.
Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not to give party favors to your baby shower guests.
Another Baby Shower FAQ for Hosts
The best time to have a baby shower is usually around the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy. This allows the mother-to-be to enjoy the event without being too close to her due date.
A baby shower should last around two hours. If you are having a drop-in baby shower, then it should last no longer than four hours.
A baby shower should ideally start around 11 a.m. and end around 2 p.m. This gives guests enough time to arrive, enjoy some refreshments and games, and still have time to get on with their day.
The general rule of thumb is to send out baby shower invitations 4-6 weeks in advance. This allows guests to save the date and ensures that the majority of invited guests will be able to attend.
The price of baby shower invitations generally ranges from $0.50 to $5.00, depending on the style, design, and material of the invitation.
If you are the host of a baby shower, you should invite people who are close to the expectant mother.
Hey everyone! We’re having a baby shower for [name] on [date] at [time] and we’d love for you to be there! Please let us know if you can make it so we can plan accordingly. Thanks!
Baby Shower Etiquette for Mom-to-be
What Should Be on Your Registry?
A baby shower registry should include items that will be useful to the parent or parents-to-be. Some common items that are typically included on a baby shower registry are:
- Baby clothes
- Baby bottles
- Baby formula
- Baby food
- Baby toys
- Baby furniture
- Baby care items such as diapers and wipes
Is it appropriate to have a baby shower for the second and subsequent children?
If you’re planning on hosting a baby shower for a second or subsequent child, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, consider whether a sprinkle or a full-fledged shower is more appropriate. A sprinkle is typically a smaller, more low-key affair than a shower. It may be more appropriate if the parents already have most of the big-ticket items they need.
Second, think about who you’ll invite. For a second child, it’s generally considered appropriate to invite close family and friends only, rather than extended family or acquaintances.
Finally, keep in mind that the focus should be on the parents-to-be, not on gifts. While gifts are always appreciated, they shouldn’t be the focus of the event. Instead, focus on celebrating the parents and their new arrival.
How late do you do a baby shower?
It is considered proper etiquette to host a baby shower 4-6 weeks before the baby is due. This allows the parents time to get the nursery set up and organized before the baby arrives.
If you are the host, you can check with the parents to see if they have a preference on when to have the shower.
Some parents may want to have it earlier so they can get everything ready. Others may want to wait closer to the due date so they can be sure the baby arrives healthy.
Ultimately, it is up to the parents and the host to decide when to have the baby shower.
What should baby shower thank you cards say?
When it comes to baby shower thank you cards, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
First and foremost, be sure to personalize each and every card. You can do this by hand-writing a note of thanks, or by using a pre-printed card that simply has your name and address on it.
Secondly, be sure to send out your cards as soon as possible after the baby shower. It’s best to aim for within two weeks, if possible.
Finally, when it comes to what to say in your baby shower thank you cards, keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
Here are a few examples of what to say in your baby shower thank you cards:
- Thank you so much for coming to my baby shower and for all of the lovely gifts!
- I am so grateful to have such amazing friends and family who support me during this special time. Thank you all so much!
- Thank you for helping to make my baby shower so special. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.
Should You Give the Host a Gift?
If you are unsure whether or not to give a gift to the baby shower host, consider these factors:
- The relationship you have with the host: If you are close friends or family, a gift may be expected. If you are less close, a gift may not be necessary.
- The level of effort the host has put into the shower: If the host has gone above and beyond to make the shower special, a small gift may be appreciated.
- Your budget: If you are on a tight budget, a gift is not required. Focus on giving a card or words of thanks instead.
- The preference of the host: Some hosts may prefer not to receive gifts, so be sure to ask before assuming.
In general, giving a gift to the baby shower host is not required, but it is always appreciated. If you decide to give a gift, consider something small and personal that the host is sure to love.
Another Baby Shower FAQ for Expecting Moms
A baby shower is usually hosted by a close friend or family member of the mom-to-be, and not by the mom-to-be or her partner.
A mother-to-be generally doesn’t need to help plan her own baby shower, as it’s typically organized by friends or family. But, it is acceptable for the mom-to-be to give her input on the shower’s theme, decorations, and menu.
Because the shower is supposed to be a surprise for the mom-to-be and her partner, it would be difficult to keep the event a secret if they were involved in the planning.
There is no set rule for who pays for a baby shower. It is typically either the host or the close friend or relative of the expecting mother.
A corsage is not a necessity at a baby shower, but it is a nice tradition. Corsages were originally given to the expecting mother and any women along her maternal line of heritage, like her mother and grandmother.
It’s time to put all of the baby shower etiquette knowledge you’ve acquired to good use! Here are some final tips to help you make the most of this special event:
As a guest:
- Bring a gift that the expectant mom will love and appreciate.
- Make sure to arrive on time and stay for the duration of the event.
- Participate in all of the activities and games that are organized.
- Show your support for the expectant mom by offering words of encouragement.
- Avoid giving unsolicited advice or trying to take over the event.
As a host:
- Plan ahead and delegate tasks to make the event run smoothly.
- Choose a venue and decorations that will make the expectant mom feel comfortable and special.
- Create a guest list that includes only those who are close to the expectant mom.
- Prepare tasty food and drinks that will please all of the guests.
- Keep the event fun and lighthearted by avoiding any controversial topics.
By following these simple tips, you can make sure that everyone enjoys the baby shower and that the expectant mom feels loved and supported.