Baby Shower Etiquette Guide: Rules Everyone Should Follow

Baby showers are one of the great times to celebrate the arrival of the little one and give special and much-needed gifts to the parents-to-be loved ones. However, to make sure that the upcoming bundle of joy gets the wonderful welcome they deserve and the mommy-to-be has a blast, there are many rules to follow.

The history of baby showers goes back to the United States of America in the late 1930s or 40s, but these rules have not changed much since then. Instead, many new additions have been made to baby shower etiquette.

Who to invite, when to have, and what to ask for – baby shower etiquette is undoubtedly a tricky business. In recent years, baby showers have grown in popularity, but it does not mean it is a simple event to plan. For a perfect baby shower party, everyone, including the guests, parents-to-be, and even the hosts of the party, should follow the basic baby shower etiquette rules

9 baby shower etiquette rules everyone must follow

To make the baby shower memorable, everyone must follow these simple rules:

Know your audience


The type of baby shower you’re going to throw will largely depend on your guest list. If the mom-to-be gives you a guest list that includes everyone from her great-grandmother to maiden aunts, the theme will be different from a baby shower thrown for a group of younger ladies.

Family baby showers with grandmothers, aunts, and cousins ​​should follow a more traditional style. A party with games, refreshments, and gifts will make Grandma very happy. However, when the guest list includes newly married or single ladies, a bland party from days gone by can seem a bit boring.

Of course, your guests will be kind enough not to doze off on your sofa, but why tempt them? Therefore, before choosing your baby shower party theme, make sure to look at the guest list. For example, if the mommy-to-be has only suggested including her close friends and a few work buddies, you can go for a more girls’ night theme and shower the mom-to-be with gifts while having a lunch or tea party at her favorite restaurant.

Keep it simple and within your budget

Often baby shower hosts go over the budget they have initially planned or spend too much on decor and invitation cards that, in the end, they don’t have enough money to spend on food and other major arrangements.  

Doing too much is what usually kills a party faster than anything else. Guests, especially the mom-to-be, tend to get lost in the party as the decor, food, and itinerary take over the day. Therefore, the best approach is to pick a nice game or two, a simple menu, and leave time for what women really want to do – socialize and chat freely without the looming dread of the next party activity hanging over their heads.

Choose the perfect menu

Food is the heart of most parties, holidays, and family times. A baby shower is no different. Foods should be appropriate for the time of day, not necessarily tied to the baby’s themed meal. If the party coincides with a large meal, guests will expect a substantial menu. If you can’t plan a full meal, schedule the party for a time in between.

Also, the baby shower party host must keep in mind that pregnancy means no alcohol and no foods like soft cheeses, raw seafood, and more. Putting a lot of such stuff which mommy-to-be cannot eat will make her feel frustrated and annoyed.

However, it is still better to ask the mommy-to-be as most of them want their guests to have a good time and are fine with raw seafood or alcoholic beverages included on the menu. Therefore, the best approach is to always talk to the guest of honor before finalizing the menu.

Stick to the schedule

If the invitation says the party will start at 3 pm, you must be on time—hosts who don’t stick to the schedule set themselves and their guests up for a disappointing engagement. The best way to ensure that everyone goes well is to start with a buffet and then fun activities and games.

Doing so will help latecomers slip into the party discreetly without disrupting the flow of a game or other fun activity. Then, after the buffet and games, you can ask the parents-to-be to open the guests. By putting the gift opening activity the last, you will be able to help those guests who have to leave early for some reason

Location matters

Have you ever been invited to a party miles away, in an unknown house, and with an address that is hard to find after dark? Nobody likes the idea of ​​having to go out of their way and into the unknown. So if possible, make it as easy as possible for guests to attend by holding the party in a familiar location.

Holding the party in a convenient location will increase attendance, which means more gifts for mom, improving the party’s “shower” quotient.

Avoid the belly rub

Many guests share their excitement and joy by rubbing the belly of a mommy-to-be. However, not every mommy-to-be likes to have her belly rubbed, especially at a party where there are hundreds of hands reaching for it.

If one guest starts rubbing the belly, the others will follow too, which at one point may become annoying and frustrating for the mommy-to-be. Therefore, at the baby shower, try to avoid rubbing the belly no matter how excited you are. Instead, be the guest that respects the boundaries of the mommy-to-be and save the belly rubbing for another time!

Give advice for later

Some moms welcome advice, while others are tired of hearing it. Therefore,  at the baby shower, you must keep the conversations with mommy-to-be light and encouraging to help her enjoy the best day of her life.

A baby shower might not be the suitable time to randomly offer any advice related to giving birth, parenting, or even the best baby products. Let the new mommy figure out herself. Give advice only when asked.

However, some parents-to-be may feel a little clueless about doing parenting right and ask for advice from the guests at the baby shower. If that’s the case, go for it without any hesitation.

Don’t discuss breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the most controversial topic among parents. Therefore, it is best not to bring it to the table at a baby shower party. Not every mom plans to breastfeed, and that’s completely fine. Everyone has their preferences, health reasons, and much more.

Plus, it can be a touchy topic for the mommy-to-be. Maybe she wants to breastfeed her little one, but she can’t due to her health reasons. Bringing this topic to the baby shower will upset her and may ruin the day for her. Therefore, guests must keep the conversations encouraging and light-hearted!

Say a sincere thank you

People are stuck with their hectic work routines. And if still, someone has taken time out of their busy schedules to be present at the party and celebrate the new arrival with you, they definitely deserve a sincere thank you from you.

Parents-to-be often gets so busy with their doctor appointments and last-minute shopping that they often forget to send a thank you message to the guests that showed up at their baby shower party. Many parents-to-be or hosts of the party often show their gratitude to the guests by giving them little thank you notes, but it’s still not enough.

It’s like a generic ‘thanks for coming’ card. Hosts should know that that is not enough of a proper thank you for someone who took the time to buy a gift and celebrate the guest of honor. Putting “thank you cards” on the table might be a well-intentioned effort by the host to make life easier for a busy mother-to-be, but they fail miserably in the etiquette department.

Therefore, the best approach is that parents-to-be should send personalized messages or make small calls to the guests to show their gratitude. It may take a lot of time and effort to thank all guests, but it definitely will make them feel appreciated and special.

Check out our baby shower gift guide for some gifts ideas.

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