Q&A: Etiquette guide to hosting a baby shower

Written by    Last updated: March 12, 2007

baby shower

Who should host the baby shower?

It is usually friends or co-workers of the mum-to-be who host the shower, but it is becoming acceptable for sisters or cousins to host it. There can be more than one host and often the mum-to-be may end up having a baby shower organised by co-workers, one by friends and yet another by family members.

Where should the baby shower be held?

It could be someone’s home, a favourite restaurant, a garden, a spa, place of work oreven a shopping mall! It just depends on who is attending, the numbers and the budget.

When is the best time for a baby shower?

Generally it is about a month or two before the due date, but it could also be held after the baby’s birth as a ‘welcoming shower’.  The advantage of having it about two months before the birth is that the mum-to-be will have time to buy any items not given as gifts in time for the birth.  Having a welcoming shower after the birth allows guests to bring gifts personalised with the baby’s date of birth and name and also allows for out-of-town friends and relatives to make one trip instead of two.  The one time to avoid having a shower is too close to the due date as the mum’s likely to be quite tired and there’s always a chance that the baby may arrive a bit early!

Who should be invited?

Usually it’s the close women friends and relatives who are invited to the baby shower. It’s best to check with the mother of the mum-to-be to make sure you haven’t left anyone out. As this is all about babies, you may want to include children, especially if mum-to-be has children. Increasingly men are being included, though this will depend on whether you want a ‘girly’ get together or not.

How should guests be sent their invitations?

Anything from ready-made to customised invitation cards or even via email or a phone call. The wording should include who the shower is for, the date and address, travel directions, name of the host or hosts, and their contact details.  You could also include along with the invitation: details of the theme of the baby shower, a dress code, gift registry and any special item you’d like guests to bring.

Who should pay and how much?

The host pays for the decorations, food and drink, shower games, favours and prizes.  If there are co-hosts, generally the cost will be split equally. The cost could be as little or as much as you can afford.  The costs could be kept down by eliminating alcohol (it’s unlikely anyone will be drinking since the mum-to-be won’t), getting each guest to bring along food and by keeping the favours and prizes down to small items like bags of jelly beans and chocolates.

Top tips

  • Check with the mum-to-be, her partner or close relative on her likes and dislikes beforehand. It may also be a good idea to make sure that no one has been left out of the guest list
  • Take care that the mum is made comfortable throughout the event. Maybe have a special chair for her to sit on and make sure that it doesn’t run too long.
  • As you are likely to have guests of all ages, ensure that they feel included, by involving them in activities such as baby shower games.

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