Baby Shower, a Controversy

Alright, how about our first controversial post?  I hope everyone will keep things civil (I’m sure y’all will) in the comments. The purpose of this post is to explain more about the “why.” It is NOT to make anyone feel bad or angry.

Ok, now that that’s settled: baby showers. I’m going to explain the WHY behind having only one. Unlike other etiquette lovers, I will give alternatives.

This post will also be followed up with a wedding shower etiquette post. If you can’t tell, I’m hesitant about writing this, as I truly do not want to offend anyone. However, I’ve had a lot of messages asking me to write about this, so since you asked, I will deliver.

Many people simply have never heard you do not have more than one baby shower, per etiquette. Why? Mainly it’s because they mistakenly think the shower is for the baby, so each baby should be equally celebrated. However, the shower is for becoming a parent. But don’t lose hope! There are other opportunities to celebrate a child’s birth, an occasion most deserving of celebrating.

The shower itself, for starters, should always be given by friends, not family. The reason behind this is the same reason as why you only have one: it looks as though you’re simply asking for gifts. Also, the shower should never cost the guests to attend, so consider this when planning one at a restaurant. The hostess(es) should cover the tab. PLEASE keep in mind that regardless of number of babies, if you want to do so, it is ALWAYS appropriate to get a gift for the baby. To help us move away from this trend, I would LOVE to encourage
you to do so. This is definitely an appropriate way to celebrate the baby.

Speaking of gifts, many etiquette experts say to not register, as it’s also asking for gifts. As I’m just a lover of etiquette, not an expert, I disagree on this one. I think it can make selecting a gift easier. Of course, this does NOT mean you have to follow the registry when purchasing a gift, and people should not be offended when someone purchases a gift not from their registry list. Some people love picking out a gift withoutbaby shower the help of a list, and that is just fine. It’s truly the thought behind the gift that matters.

If you want an alternative to a shower, consider a “sprinkle.” This is also debated in etiquette, and I elected to not have one, as this is too similar to a shower for my comfort. Essentially, this would be a get-together for only family and very, very close friends. Think, 10 people. There is usually a theme, such as diapers and wipes. Or some other usable good that you likely do not have left from your first child.

If that doesn’t suit you, a “Sip and See” is also an acceptable alternative for a second child. This would take place after the child’s birth. Generally, tea, coffee and suitable food is served. Everyone has the opportunity to see the new baby and celebrate him or her being born. Most people bring a gift for the baby.

Additionally, groups of friends can also get together and bring several meals for the freezer or go in together for a larger item, no party needed.

Another reason I have decided to write this is I have witnessed and heard murmurings about people having second showers. No, etiquette cannot make someone not have a shower; however it can enlighten you on why people may elect to not attend a second shower, should you have one.

Regardless of it’s a shower or a gift dropped off at the house, any gift should be accepted graciously and considered just that: a gift. Also, anything you receive is worthy of a thank you note!

 

Author: eglass

I'm a wife to Garrett, mother to two littles and a lover of etiquette.

2 thoughts on “Baby Shower, a Controversy”

  1. What about different groups, possibly in different locations, who want to give the new parent a shower? For my first pregnancy (twins), friends at our church in Arlington gave us a shower. Also, my home church in Sulphur Springs did a sweet little tea locally, and people came to enjoy but also brought gifts. Some friends in austin also threw us a shower, because most could not make a Sulphur Springs one. Both friends and family attended.

    For my second baby, no I did not have a “shower,” but many friends got together to get a big lot of diapers for the new baby. Some also gave a few boy outfits for fun, because they knew we had only girls the first time.

    Yes, I’m a fan of registering and having a shower the first time around, then either nothing or else very intimate, limited things for the next baby, sans shower. I knew this was part of etiquette, just from being raised this way.

    1. Thank you for reading!! I think multiple showers the first time around is completely appropriate, just like wedding showers for different groups of friends is fine, too. I think that what your friends did for your second pregnancy is also perfectly appropriate. ☺️ I want people to feel comfortable getting gifts for second and subsequent pregnancies!

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