With wedding season in full swing, it should also be noted that baby shower season is as well. With this knowledge in mind and our love of celebrating a family bringing new life forth, we wanted to find a fun resource to share with you to help navigate the do’s and don’ts of a baby shower! We searched and found this great article and thought that you would enjoy it as much as we did!
These days it feels like my mailbox is filling up with more tiny elephants and pastel-colored bunnies than wedding bells and cream-colored lace. And since I know I must not be alone, I wanted to tackle the topic of baby shower etiquette today.
Many of you might be new to “baby shower season,” and are blissfully unaware that there is an entirely different set of rules when celebrating a mama-to-be. Luckily, I’m here to help you to avoid all the baby shower faux pas’ that I made the mistake of making (over and over and over again).
Today’s modern family isn’t necessarily traditional: it can be a two working parent household or have a stay-at-home dad; it can be two moms or two dads; it can be adoptive parents or a surrogate pregnancy—and everything in between. That being said, the rules that applied for your mother and grandmother’s baby shower aren’t the same ones we use for modern parents. Check out my updated etiquette guide below, whether you’re a host, guest of honor, or a party guest…
For the Host or Guest of Honor
1. You Brought a Boy…to a Baby Shower!
More than ever, many dads-to-be are taking active roles not just in the caretaking of a new baby, but also in the pregnancy and delivery. When I was pregnant, my husband was incredibly hands-on and eager to celebrate our baby, so we decided to invite all our friends and family—men and women—to the shower. New parents should be surrounded by the people they love…regardless of gender.
While we’re talking guest lists, I have to mention that baby showers should be kid-friendly events. Once your new little human comes into the world, you too will know the pain of finding a babysitter. Plus, asking parents to leave their baby at home so they can celebrate your baby may not go over so well. I waffled myself on whether I wanted an “adults only” shower, but ultimately I decided that it had be family-friendly. It can seem like a drag, because you may need to alter the event to accommodate children, but just trust me on this one.
2. To Register or Not to Register…
People have strong opinions about a baby shower registry, so here’s mine: Every new parent should create a baby registry and put absolutely everything on there. I used to be appalled when I saw a friend who had registered for a breast pump or nipple shields—like, really?!?—but what I didn’t realize is that most stores offer “registry completion” discounts after the date of the event. Traditional etiquette dictates that parents-to-be leave off big-ticket items as not to offend gift-buying guests with the suggestion. But strollers are expensive—and 20 percent off can be a real savings. In my experience, people know their gift-giving price range before wandering on to a registry, so it’s safe to assume they won’t be guilted into purchasing a $300 crib mattress.
If you’re hosting a baby shower, my advice is to ask the guest of honor if she (or he!) has a preference on whether the registry info should appear on the invitation. Nowadays registry information is usually just a Google search or a phone call away, so I think it’s safe to leave it off. No one will get offended if you don’t include it, while some guests may bristle at seeing it printed on a card or listed on an e-vite. Keep in mind that baby showers are celebrations, and not required gift-giving events.
3. You Can Serve Sushi…and Wine!
If the shower is celebrating an expectant mama, it’s important to keep in mind the laundry list of foods that pregnant women are advised to avoid (deli and cured meats, raw fish, soft cheeses, runny egg yolk, etc.). While you should plan on serving lots of pregnancy-friendly fare, that doesn’t mean you can’t also offer guests a beautiful artisanal cheese and charcuterie board, or a platter of fresh sushi (including a few veggie rolls). The point is… don’t feel beholden to any one rule. In that same vein, just because the mama-to-be may not be drinking, that doesn’t mean your guests wouldn’t enjoy a glass of bubbly. Perhaps skip the full bar, but offering wine and beer (in addition to a festive mocktail) is a nice touch. Some expectant mamas may even want to indulge on a few sips of champagne! I know I did.
4. Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Baby Game.
For the host, my only advice is to be considerate of your guest of honor as well as your guests. Before I had a baby, I never knew what to offer as “advice to the new mom” and would end up writing something like “enjoy every moment!” As an expectant mama, I did not want anyone cutting a string to guess how large my stomach was (I was already self conscious enough). And most importantly, I have yet to meet a party guest who loves the idea of eating chocolate out of a diaper.
If you’re like me and not a fan of the standard fare, you can opt for a less traditional game (in Celebrate, we offered guests an opportunity to make fresh flower hair combs) or even skip the game altogether—you’re by no means obligated to have one, and I have a feeling no one is going to be that bummed.
5. It’s Your Party…You Can Unwrap if You Want to!
While I usually have no problem being the center of attention, when it comes to showers, I get anxiety just thinking about a room full of people watching me unwrap a heap of glistening presents. During my bridal shower, I spent the entire time panicking about my reaction and whether I seem excited or grateful enough, and then ended up overcompensating with a crazy smile. Needless to say, for my baby shower, I chose not to open presents in front of guests. (It didn’t hurt that half the guest list were men who didn’t necessarily want to coo over baby onesies.) A handful of friends asked me to open their presents with them because it was something special or humorous, and we were able to enjoy that little moment together…without a roomful of onlookers.
For the rest of this article go to laurenconrad.com. If you are a mom to be and are looking for a fun venue for your baby shower please be sure to contact us so that we can schedule a tour of our beautiful Gifford Barn and facility grounds!