7 Etiquette Tips for Modern Baby Showers (2024)

At a baby shower, loved ones gather around an expectant mother to offer love and material support. It’s a special celebration that helps start the growing family off on the right foot. Create a comfortable atmosphere for all attendants with these seven etiquette tips for modern baby showers.

1. Create an Appropriate Guest List

In the past, baby shower guests included women close to the expectant mother. But baby showers have evolved to include co-ed events over time. In the end, the best guest list consists of people that the mom-to-be wants around her at this special event.

Some moms want a smaller guest list, such as one that includes only close family and friends, because they want to keep the shower intimate and simple. And some moms want to include more people in the fun and share the spotlight with their partners. And some prefer to have only women at the shower. Ultimately, the only wrong guest list is the one that the mom-to-be doesn’t approve of.

2. Get the Guest of Honor’s Approval on Menu Items

Every pregnancy is different, but the aversion to certain foods is one of the most common challenges for pregnant people. If she can’t eat some of her favorite foods, then having these items at the party might not be the best idea. And if she dislikes the aroma of some foods, you want to avoid serving these.

Some moms may not want to include alcohol at the event, but others may want their guests to enjoy drinks. Ask the guest of honor what foods and drinks she wants to include or exclude.

3. What About a Shower for the Second Baby?

Baby showers are no longer only for a person’s first baby. The mom might want to celebrate the upcoming arrival of her second baby with a gathering of her loved ones.

The growing family might have some practical needs that a shower can help meet. For example, if the first and second children are close in age, they might need to share some baby care items. Friends and family can pitch in to help meet that need.

There are a lot of other reasons to throw a shower for a second baby. When a family has a baby long after the previous one, they often don’t have all the equipment they need anymore. Or if the family is a blended family, a new partner might want a special celebration.

A shower for a second baby doesn’t have to include gift-giving. And if there are gifts, they’re generally more modest than those of the first shower. But a second baby shower is always a wonderful event for celebrating a new life.

4. Select a Gift From the Registry

When parents take the time to create a baby registry, it’s usually best for guests to select gifts from that list. Doing this means you’ll give a present that the receiver wants or needs. The mom might have a color scheme she’s working with or prefer certain brands or products. The registry should include a range of gifts at different price points.

If you know the mother or her partner well and know their tastes, or if you have a special item they will appreciate, you might want to give an unregistered gift. But always include a gift receipt in case she wants to return or exchange the item. Following these guidelines benefits the giver and receiver.

5. Mingle and Keep Conversation Light

Baby showers typically last about two hours and should never go over three hours. During this time, everyone should socialize and participate in the planned games and activities.

Keep conversation light at the baby shower and avoid talking about divisive topics, as this isn’t the time or the place. Keep the focus on coming together to shower the baby with love.

Also, avoid bringing up personal and potentially touchy subjects, even if you and the mom might talk about these topics at other times. This includes subjects such as her birth plans or questions you have about her relationship with her partner. She might want to share this information with you later, but you shouldn’t bring up these topics at the shower.

6. Decide on Whether To Open Gifts at the Shower

The next etiquette tip for modern baby showers is that the mom can but doesn’t have to open gifts at the event. In the past, when showers were smaller and women-only events, it was often easier for the mom-to-be to open presents at the event.

But if you have a long guest list, you might not want to spend the time it will take to open and appreciate each present. And no matter the size of the shower, the mom might prefer to spend the entire time socializing.

If the guest of honor decides not to open gifts at the shower, let all the attendees know at the beginning. Consider telling guests that if they want the mom to open the gift at the event, she can do so with them and thank them privately.

If she decides to open gifts at the shower, make the process efficient. One person should hand her each gift, another person should take each gift from her after the opening, and one person should keep a list of who gave which item.

7. Send Personal Thank-You Notes

Finally, within two to three weeks of the baby shower, it’s time for the expecting mom or for her and her partner to send thank-you notes. Even if she opened presents and told guests thank you at the shower, this follow-up gesture gives her the opportunity to show that she appreciates her guests’ support. Send thank-you notes virtually or through the mail.

Everyone who attended should receive a thank-you note. If people pool their resources to purchase a gift, thank the givers individually. If a large group of 10 or more people, such as coworkers, coordinated to give a gift, the mom-to-be can thank them in one email.

The note can be as short as two or three sentences. The mom can thank the giver for attending the shower and tell them she appreciates their support. The guests will enjoy reading the heartfelt message, and the mom-to-be will enjoy acknowledging how much people care for her and her baby.

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7 Etiquette Tips for Modern Baby Showers (1)

7 Etiquette Tips for Modern Baby Showers (2024)


7 Etiquette Tips for Modern Baby Showers? ›

Never show up to a baby shower without a gift in hand! That being said, you're not required to buy a gift from the registry. Feel free to shop around and choose any special gift for the new little one (and their mommy!).

What is the etiquette for baby showers? ›

Never show up to a baby shower without a gift in hand! That being said, you're not required to buy a gift from the registry. Feel free to shop around and choose any special gift for the new little one (and their mommy!).

Who not to invite to your baby shower? ›

The modern baby shower has no strict rules: You can invite whoever the family wants to be included. Just be sure to clearly state whether or not you're accommodating +1's.

Who is supposed to pay for a baby shower? ›

Who Traditionally Pays for a Baby Shower? The hostess traditionally pays for the baby shower and its associated costs. However, the hostess can divide up the responsibility and costs by asking a few close family members or friends to co-host.

What should you not wear to a baby shower? ›

Although there's no official dress code for a baby shower, celebrating such a happy occasion suggests wearing happy colors and prints; be mindful to steer clear of traditional blue and pink hues though especially for gender-neutral showers.

Who should not host a baby shower? ›

Can you throw your own baby shower? Typical baby shower etiquette dictates that the parents-to-be shouldn't throw their own party since doing so could be perceived as asking for gifts.

What order do you do things at a baby shower? ›

What Happens at a Baby Shower?
10:00Greeting guests, serving snacks or hors d'oeuvres, playing casual games like guessing the date of birth or gender
10:30Welcome and interactive games
11:30Lunch or desserts
2 more rows
Aug 20, 2023

Do fathers usually go to baby showers? ›

While traditional baby showers consist of women only, co-ed baby showers are becoming more and more common. However, if you're looking to throw a traditional baby shower and still have the dad-to-be attend, this is completely acceptable and appropriate as most dad-to-be's will want to thank guests before they leave.

How much should grandparents spend on a baby shower gift? ›

Average gifts from family members range from $50 to $200. A cousin might spend $50, while a grandma or close Aunt might aim for a higher priced gift. If it's a really close friend, your budget might hover around $100.

What happens if no one offers to host a baby shower? ›

Subtly mention to your mom, sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and best friends that no one has offered to throw you a shower. Sometimes people are happy to throw one for you, but they just assume that someone else has already offered. This will give them an opening to offer on their own.

Is it rude to put registry on baby shower invitation? ›

If you're having a baby shower or other celebration before your little one is born, you can simply add your registry info to the invitation.

Is it rude to go to a baby shower without a gift? ›

It is customary to give a gift when arriving at the baby shower. However, the host would prefer you attend without a gift than for you not to come at all.

What is a reasonable budget for a baby shower? ›

Unless the mum-to-be wants very specific decorations. So once you have included the venue hire, decorations, games, refreshments and number of guests. The average cost of a baby shower will be between $20 and $30 per person. And the overall cost will depend on how many people attend your baby shower.

How many people should I invite to a baby shower? ›

How Many People Should Attend a Baby Shower. Every baby shower is different, but most ladies agree that 15 to 30 is the perfect number of ladies at a typical baby shower or about 30-40 for a coed. These numbers change depending on the size of the family, number of friends, and even work colleagues involved.

What do you actually do at a baby shower? ›

The purpose of a baby shower is for loved ones to shower the parents-to-be with gifts and needs for the baby. Showers are also celebrated with fun games, fun shower themes, gift-giving and most importantly, making memories.

Is it inappropriate to drink at a baby shower? ›

Serving co*cktails at a baby shower—where, in most cases, a pregnant guest of honor chooses not to drink—may feel awkward at first, but offering a variety of boozy beverages is perfectly appropriate, say our experts.

Is it OK for a mother to throw a baby shower? ›

However, like many cultural traditions, this rule isn't strictly observed these days. In fact, it's usually considered perfectly acceptable for a sibling, in-laws, or even the guest of honor's parents to host or co-host a baby shower. It's still unusual for a parent-to-be to host their own shower, though.

Should you open gifts at a baby shower? ›

When it comes to the etiquette of opening gifts at a baby shower it's a divisive topic. Some people love the idea while it makes others stressed and uncomfortable. In the end, it's your baby shower, so do what's best for you. You won't be able to please everyone all the time.


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