A baby shower is a gathering of relatives, colleagues, and friends who come together to celebrate and shower the mother to be with gifts. With the changing times though, you might find that anyone close to the mom to be can host the celebrations.
Some mothers-to-be are so lucky to even have more than one baby shower depending on their networks.
Etiquette here demands that the parents or mother to be cannot hold/throw their party as this would be insinuated as requesting gifts from people. However, the mom to be would be involved at some point to put together her gift registry and guest list.
1. Be mindful of what you say
It would be important to keep the conversations during the baby shower light. For instance, if the mother to be is unmarried, this would not be the ideal time to find out if the father of the child is a guest or whether she will be getting married to the father of the unborn child.
Critiquing the mother to be on how big she has become during pregnancy is also not a welcome talk, but instead, cheer her on and talk positively about how good she looks during pregnancy.
As a guest during the shower, be part of the activities culminating in the success of the baby shower like the shower games instead of just sitting and watching from afar as other guests get entertained.
It would also be respectful to honour the invitation with an R.S.V.P. for proper planning of the baby shower.
If due to other circumstances you decline the invitation, please convey so early enough and you may also send in your baby shower gift even if you’re not able to attend the shower in person..
2. Who should be in the baby shower guest list
As much as the mom to be is not involved in the shower planning, it would be important for the host of the shower to check with the mom to be about the guest list, alongside the budget the host has and the venue space.
It would be good to agree on the guest list with the mom to be well in advance to make sure everyone close and important to her attends.
3. Are spouses/Partners invited
Ultimately, it is dependent on the mom to be, if the baby shower is a mixed event, then the dad to be, brothers and spouses of the female guests can attend the shower.
If it is not clear on the invitation card whether it is a mixed baby shower, then it would be good to check with the host.
Baby Showers are often thought of as a female-only operation. This is mainly down to tradition, with the Baby Shower being a ‘female bonding’ event, but increasingly men are invited also.
Dads-to-be, Grandfathers, Brothers, and spouses of female guests should all be welcome at a baby shower if it is a mixed event.
Ultimately though it’s down to the mother-to-be. If she invites men, then men can go. As an invitee, if you want to bring your man, you should ask the host first.
4. Where to hold a baby shower/venue
The venue for the shower is dependent on several factors such as the budget that the host has to work with to make the shower celebration a success.
It is also dependent on the movement restrictions the mom to be has and especially if it is being done at later stages of her pregnancy.
It would be important to check with the parents to be/mom to be as showers are held at the last trimester often one month to the due date.
5. Baby Shower Registry
Ordinarily, the mom to creates the gift list and hands it over to the host of the shower celebration.
The mom to be would ideally be guided by the host about the working budget that they have for the shower celebration. The gift list is then shared with the guests using the invitation.
The baby registry would ideally have the baby basics supplies such as baby books, diapers, an assortment of baby clothes, cribs, car seats amongst others.
This would, however, change from one mom to the other and especially if they are not first times moms as some of these big items can be re-used.
Of noting is that guests are not obliged to buy what is on the guest list but can buy something independently out of their hearts.
6. Baby shower etiquette during corona-virus
The idea of a traditional baby shower is pretty much a thing of the past. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to the cancellation of many events.
In the current pandemic, many showers have taken a new twist as the health of everyone is important.
Drive-by baby showers, Facebook live event showers, Zoom showers and google hangouts are the new normal.
We have seen these events now save time and money, as you do not have to think of booking a venue, providing meals and the travel logistics of the guests.
The idea behind the virtual showers is that the gifts of the mom to be are shipped to the mom to be before the actual shower and she opens them during the virtual event.