Baby Shower Etiquette
If you’re throwing a baby shower you may be wondering about what baby shower etiquette exists, including baby shower gift etiquette, not to mention overall etiquette and manners for the occasion. First things first, take a deep breath and try to relax. Having fun and celebrating the moment is a big part of making this event memorable.
Ghost of Showers Past?
Baby shower protocol shifts with the times and with cultural influences, so what might have been absolute a decade ago has probably changed. That means that you have some flexibility here. Use common sense and apply the guidelines that follow using personal discretion as a helpmate. When in doubt, ask friends and family for some input. They’re some of the best resources available for unique family or cultural traditions.
Hosting the Shower
Nearly anyone from a mother-in-law to friends can host a baby shower without breaking baby shower etiquette. In some instances a group of women who have had babies, and who are close to the mother work together – they know from experience what she’ll need in the way of gifts. Note that whoever hosts the shower is expected to pay for it, so having a group effort eases the financial burden for everyone.
Time and Location
Experts in party planning and baby shower etiquette recommend having the baby shower between 6-8 weeks before the due date. Following the practical etiquette mantra of respect and consideration, remember that expectant mothers start getting uncomfortable in the last month. This time frame adds to her enjoyment during the party. It also gives the family time to purchase anything that didn’t come as a gift.
In terms of location, most hosts and hostesses use their home, making an intimate friendly statement. Home events typically don’t impact the budget as much as something more formal too, and you don’t have to trust the weather holds like you might for an outdoor event.
Who to Invite
The etiquette and manners for baby shower invitations
have changed quite a bit because of social transitions. You have friends and family member’s partners of all genders going to showers now. In your party planning remain sensitive to potential guests who may have lost children or have trouble conceiving. Don’t leave them out as that can make for hurt feelings. Simply place the invitation out there, and let them decide what’s best under the circumstances.
Ultimately the mother to be should have a say in who attends and the overall size of the gathering. Not everyone likes crowds.
If there’s a large number of people interested in a baby shower it’s perfectly acceptable for a first-time mother to have several showers held for her. The key here is using baby shower gift giving etiquette - make sure that potential guests have the baby registry so there aren’t duplicates.
Speaking of invitations – get those in the mail at least two weeks before the event. You want people to have enough time to plan and return their RSVP
In instances where the baby arrives ahead of schedule or before a baby shower occurs, you can plan the party for after the happy event. Just consult with the new mother about timing. The first few weeks with a newborn create numerous challenges for first-time parents. Give them a little time to settle in with the baby, and get a feel for what they need.
There are numerous other situations in which baby shower etiquette comes in handy. For example, most often a baby shower is given for first time mothers. Second, third, or even fourth babies are a reason to celebrate, but not on the same level as the first born. If a gathering occurs, make it smaller and focus on necessities like diapers instead of car seats for gifts.
Another illustration of baby shower etiquette is holding a shower for an adoptive mother. This is a lovely way to welcome a child of any age into a home and community. The venue and overall approach adjusts with the child’s age, but about a month after the adoption is final is the perfect time to host an event.
No matter the situation, take your time in planning and get people close to the family in on the act. You’ll be assembling the perfect shower in no time.
Sources for Baby Shower Invitations
Below you will find several sources for Baby Shower Invitations. If you do not find exactly what you are looking for, click on the store name to go directly to the store's website to search more easily.
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