Baby Shower Etiquette

Baby Shower Etiquette

Baby showers are filled with joy and expectations. In order to ensure the most joyful experience will be had by all we offer some baby shower etiquette guidelines for hosts, guests, and parents-to-be.

Baby Shower Etiquette

Baby Shower Etiquette

Who should host a baby shower?

Tradition states that a shower should be hosted by a close friend or distant relative, such as a cousin or an aunt. This rule was originally meant to keep it from looking like the close family was greedy for gifts. These days many families are spread out around the country, so it has become acceptable for a sister, mother-in-law, or even the guest of honor’s mother to host or co-host a shower. The new mother shouldn’t have to host her own baby shower.

Baby Shower Etiquette:

Who should be invited?
It is natural, and often expected, to invite close friends and family members to the baby shower. Have the guest of honor let you know who she wants to have invited. Keep in mind the available space for holding the baby shower and how many guests can be invited.

Baby Shower Etiquette: What about the dad-to-be and male guests?

It’s becoming more and more common to include men — friends, spouses, relatives — on the guest list. It does change the chemistry of the party. You need to decide whether you want that traditional “female-bonding ritual,” with lots of oohing and aahing over adorable baby clothes and exchanging of labor tales, or if it is alright for a more coed experience. Even at a “girl power” party, the expectant dad often makes an appearance toward the end of the shower to thank everyone for the gifts. Office baby showers are often coed and should be planned accordingly.

Baby Shower Etiquette: When should the shower be held?

Showers are typically given four to six weeks before the baby’s due date — late enough so that the pregnancy is well along, but early enough so that the baby is unlikely to arrive before the party day does. Sometimes, for religious, cultural or other reasons, parents-to-be prefer not to receive gifts until after the baby is born (in certain traditions, it’s considered bad luck to acquire baby items beforehand). In that case, you could begin some preliminary planning, but wait until after the baby is born to set a shower date. For parents adopting a child, you might set a date once the child has arrived in their home.

Baby Shower Etiquette: Does it need to have a theme, and must there be games played?

Baby shower games often make the baby shower a fun experience, but games do not have to be played. The hosts should take their cues from the style and tastes of the expectant parent.

Baby Shower Etiquette: Are invitees who can’t attend the shower obliged to give gifts?

No. If they wish, they may send a package to the home of the host, who can have it on hand to be opened at the shower. But they certainly aren’t obliged to do so — a shower invitation is an invitation to a party, not a demand for a gift. It would be perfectly fine for the invitee who can’t make the party to wait until the baby is born, and then send a gift.

Baby Shower Etiquette: When should the guest of honor send thank-you notes?

Usually within two to three weeks after the shower — unless of course the baby’s birth intervenes. In that case, it’s fine to wait until after the hectic postpartum period is over. It’s nice to thank your hosts with a special token, such a bouquet of flowers, a batch of cookies, or a small gift.

Visit for children’s clothing and special outfits. Look through our archived blog posts for baby shower gift ideas, craft ideas, birthday party ideas, children’s clothing tips and kids activities.These are just a few rules to think of for baby shower etiquette, we would love to hear about your experiences around this subject.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop