The Ultimate Guide To Baby Shower Etiquette

It’s common for expecting parents to be excited about meeting their baby. Only, they’re not the only ones excited. Chances are that the future aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends, and all your loved ones are eager to bring home the newest family member. A baby shower is one of the traditional ways in which loved ones express their excitement at this milestone. Friends and family show up to share time with you and to “shower” you with love, gifts, and good wishes before delivery.

There’s no specific time as to when a shower should be held. But whether you’re the host, the attendee, or the expectant mom, you may have many questions about basic shower etiquette rules, and we’re here to help answer them. Read on to learn more.


Is Baby Shower Etiquette A Thing?

Baby shower etiquette
Via Pexels

Yes, baby shower etiquette has been around since the 1940s, which was when baby showers started becoming popular in the United States. Since then, strict rules such as “females only,” “the mom to be or immediate family cannot host the baby shower,” and “you’re not allowed to have a shower for any child after your first baby” were predominantly indisputable in the 1940s to the 1960s. And while some people love to stick to traditions, time has brought with it new flexibility.

So, what are the current trends? What rules are we still maintaining, and which ones have we let go of? Here are some questions we’ve answered.

Does The Mom-To-Be Request Another Person To Host Or Does She Host?

women at baby shower

There are various ways of hosting a baby shower can go: you can specifically request a close friend, family member, colleague, or group to host. A perk about letting someone else host is that they will be in charge, letting you sit back and relax. However, a typical etiquette suggests that you shouldn’t host the shower yourself.

The point of the event is for loved ones to spoil you with gifts. Still, you can either host the shower yourself or let your loved one throw a surprise shower for you. So, go ahead and host your own baby shower if that’s what you prefer. That is especially if you want some level of control over celebrating your little one.

Maybe you’ve been dropping hints or flat-out asked your loved ones to throw your shower, and if there are no takers (which is rare), then you can take things into your own hands. Just make sure you let your loved ones know that you are in charge of the shower. That way, if they were planning to throw a surprise party, they’ll tell you.

According to What To Expect, Baby showers are generally held at either the pregnant woman or loved one’s house but can also be held at a country club, restaurant, hotel, or event-specific venue. It can also be held at the park or beach, depending on the weather. What matters is that you enjoy the event.

RELATED: 5 Baby Shower Activities That Do Not Include Games

Who Is Invited To The Baby Shower?

Baby Shower With Invitation
Photo by Elsa Salinas Gómez from Pexels

Close friends and family should obviously be among those invited first. The host may also select guests who would gladly be happy for the mom-to-be and get her a gift. It is essential to consult with the mom-to-be because, ultimately, whoever shows up is entirely up to her. However, keep in mind space limitations or maybe, Covid restrictions.

Also, maybe the host wants to invite men and children too. According to Newton Baby, showers were originally a ladies-only affair, but this has changed over the years. Now men and kids are welcome too. It all depends on the vibe you’re going for and who the pregnant mom prefers to invite.

When Should You Hold A Baby Shower?

via Pexels/RODNAE Productions

Normally, baby showers a held a month or a month-and-a-half before the due date. According to Parents, showers are done once the pregnancy is far along and early enough to prevent an unexpected arrival. Also, holding the shower early enough before the child arrives allows the parents-to-be adequate time to prepare their nursery with the gifts received and get anything they didn’t. It is important to also keep in mind whether the mom-to-be has other showers, cultural practices, and how comfortable or tired she’ll be once her belly becomes much bigger during the third trimester.

In some cases, parents avoid receiving gifts until after delivery for cultural, religious, or maybe traditional reasons. In such scenarios, do some preliminary planning, but wait until after delivery to decide on a shower date. For adoptive parents, it’s also better to decide on a date once the child has reached their home.

Also, you should carefully consider when to send the invitations. A month or two earlier is okay. However, you can determine what timeframe works best for everyone. But keep in mind that waiting until the last-minute means that people don’t have enough time to get ready for the shower, and too early means that some people may forget about the shower.

Finally, whether you go for a paper or electronic invitation, make sure to include all the necessary information.

  • The moms-to-be name
  • Date and time
  • Venue
  • How and when they can RSVP
  • Any additional instructions, such as what to wear or bring (for example, gifts for a themed shower)

Can A Mom-To-Be Hold A Shower For The Second Or Third Time?

Baby shower etiquette

First, can a first-time mom hold a shower more than once? Yes. Your loved ones and colleagues are just as happy about your baby. So, they may hold showers as many times as you’d like. And sometimes, your friends may be in different places, and holding several showers in different places may be more convenient for them.

What about showers for pregnancies? Each pregnancy is a milestone worth celebrating. However, the primary purpose of a shower is to help new moms get gear and supplies. So, it may not be necessary to host another shower for the second or third kid. But if your loved ones want to go all out for all your kiddos, there’s no point in stopping them. Note that it’s especially helpful to fill a register for gifts for subsequent children because depending on when you had your first baby, you may not need many supplies.

And if you’re not interested in a shower this time around, just ask your loved ones throwing the party to note down on the invitations that you’re only interested in the attendees’ company. Or you could switch things up and maybe throw a shower designed to make moms-to-be life easier when she’s got a newborn and a toddler to raise.

Examples would be stocking the parents-to-be freezer or a both parent’s shower, where you give meaningful gifts like movie passes, spa dates, and promise to babysit and check on them once the baby is here.

Sources: Newton BabyParents, What To Expect


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