Baby Showers


Preparing for Baby


Six Essential Rules for a Successful Baby Shower

Six Essential Rules for a Successful Baby Shower

Who wrote the book on baby shower etiquette? Some say the rules might be a bit out of step with modern society.  

Some of the old baby showers rules of etiquette have long since been laid by the roadside, but what has taken their place? Welcome to a new liberated age of baby shower celebrations, where the mom-to-be and baby are celebrated in the way their friends and family will most enjoy!

Key Points

  • Don't overcomplicate the shower. Focus on creating an enjoyable experience for all, rather than on throwing the most elaborate shower possible.
  • Remember to take dietary restrictions into account when planning the menu.
  • Pace the event appropriately so you can fit all that you have planned into an appropriate window of time.

To really make a baby shower a memorable one, remember to follow these simple steps:

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6 Simple Rules for Baby Showers

1. Know Your Audience

The kind of baby shower you are going to throw successfully will largely depend on the guest list. If your mom-to-be hands you a guest list including everyone from her great-grandmother to maiden aunts, the theme will differ from that of a shower being thrown for a group of younger non-matronly women.

Family baby showers with grandmothers, aunts, and cousins should follow a more traditional feel. A shower complete with games, refreshments, and gifts will make Grammy very happy.  

When the guest list resembles the who’s who of a girl’s night out, a tame shower of yesteryear is bound to feel just a bit like a bore. Of course, your guests will be gracious enough not to snooze loudly on your sofa, but why tempt them? A party predominantly attended by friends can be more contemporary. In fact, why box yourself into the baby shower package at all? Opt for more of a girl’s night out theme and shower the mom-to-be with gifts while sharing a meal at her favorite restaurant.

2. Keep it Simple

Many a hostess has gone way over budget, and lost much sleep trifling with the cute, but totally unnecessary and unnoticed, details.

Doing too much is what generally kills a party quicker than anything else. Guests, especially the mom-to-be, tend to get lost in the party when the décor, food, and itinerary take over the day. Do yourself a favor: choose one or two cute games, a simple menu, and leave time for what the women really want to do, which is socialize and chat freely without the looming dread of the next shower activity hanging over their heads.

3. Food Matters

Food is at the heart of most parties, holidays, and family time. A baby shower is no different. The foods should be appropriate to the time of day, not necessarily bound to baby shower-themed fare. If the shower is timed for a major meal, guests will expect a substantial menu. If you don’t have it in you to plan a full meal, schedule the party for in-between meal times. Brunches are especially easy and delicious.

Make sure you take any food restrictions into consideration. The last thing you want is for a guest to have an allergic reaction at the shower. You also want to take dietary choices into account, such as any vegetarians or vegans that will be in attendance. Your guests will thank you!

4. Keep to the Schedule

If the invitation says the party will begin at 3pm, then it needs to be ready and set to swing into full motion at 3:05. Hosts who just don’t get enough done beforehand are setting themselves and their guests up for a disappointing engagement.

One way to ensure the timing goes well is to begin with a buffet, with games to follow. This allows late comers to insert themselves into the party rather inconspicuously, without throwing off the timing of a game or other activity. Games and chatting come next, followed by the opening of gifts. Doing gifts last helps to regulate departure. If a guest needs to leave early, they can slip out when the gifts begin.

Make sure to pace the events appropriately. Nobody wants to spend six hours at a baby shower. Generally, you can expect that guests will be willing to stick around for between two and three hours, depending on how close they are to the mom-to-be. Immediate family and very close friends will likely stick around for longer, while more distant family and friends will want to depart earlier.

Try to keep the baby shower to between an hour and a half and three hours long. Two hours is generally considered the sweet spot here. It's long enough for everyone to have a good time and to partake in the scheduled activities, but not so long that guests get tired and want to leave early. You also want to take into account the time of day that the party is taking place. If you're hosting the shower in the afternoon in the winter, for example, you'll want to wrap up the party in time for guests to get home before dark.

5. Location Matters

Have you ever been invited to a party miles away in an unfamiliar house with a difficult to find address after dark? No one likes the idea of needing to go inconveniently out of their way and into the unknown. When possible, make attending as easy as possible on guests by holding the party in a familiar locale.  

Having the party at a convenient place will increase attendance, which means more gifts for mom, improving the ‘shower’ quotient of the party. You likely won't be able to find a location that is central for everyone, but pick a place that's easy to find for most. Prioritize finding a place that's close to the mom-to-be's home, so she doesn't have to travel far in her condition.

6. The Second Time Around

There is an unwritten rule in some social circles that mom gets one baby shower; that’s it, no matter what! This line of thinking is being challenged, and downright ignored. If your social circles aren’t quite ready to abandon this rule, but you’d still really like to celebrate mom-to-be and baby numbers two-infinity, then it is time to introduce the notion of the Baby Sprinkle.  

Baby Sprinkles are a scaled-down baby shower, but the difference is mostly syntax. The party planning, theme-ing, and invitations are still the same. The main difference is in the gift department. ‘Sprinkles’ don’t generally generate the same amounts/size of gifts for mom. Gifts will tend to be smaller in nature (such as clothing only, books, bath essentials, etc.).

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