There are a few celebrations still practiced today that remain governed by etiquette. Baby shower planning and etiquette have evolved over the years, though some rules remain consistent.

The Basics of Baby Shower Planning and Etiquette

Taking on the task of planning a baby shower means following basic etiquette rules while attempting to give a personal touch to the party. Invitations should be addressed and mailed, though calls and emails are acceptable in addition to paper invitations. Always include the party theme on the invitations and add a list of possible gift items that mom would love to receive in bulk – think diapers, wipes, onesies, and cloth diapers or burp clothes. Never list gifts that parents only need one like a car seat or crib.

Food and refreshments should always be offered to guests. Alcohol can be included in the party, but only if approved by the guest of honor. Favors are common, but many newer baby shower plans include giving gifts to prize winners as opposed to providing favors for all guests.

Who’s in Charge of the Baby Shower?

  • Old Etiquette: Old etiquette states that anyone outside of the immediate family can plan and host the baby shower. Keeping the host outside of the family prevents guests from assuming the family is asking for gifts.
  • New Etiquette: Any family member, including the mom-to-be, can plan the baby shower. Typically, a close family member works with the mom-to-be’s best friends for a collaborative effort.

What Date is the Perfect Date?

  • Old Etiquette: The baby shower can be held any time after the pregnancy is announced.
  • New Etiquette: Baby showers are perfect for the end of pregnancy when a pregnant woman needs a little distraction. It is becoming more common to hold baby showers after the baby is born as a combination introduction party and celebration of the birth.

The Invite List

  • Old/New Etiquette: There are no significant changes between old and new etiquette when it comes to choosing the guest list for a baby shower. The planner typically starts a list, but that list should be approved by the guest of honor. Men are allowed, based on baby shower planning and etiquette, but only if the guest of honor is comfortable with men at the party.

Throwing a fun and relaxing baby shower for the expectant mom is the end goal of baby shower planning and etiquette. While some rules can be bent or broken, others provide solid advice to ensure the party leaves no guests uninvited and no awkward moments when two of the same high-priced gift are received.

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