Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baby Shower Etiquette?

Some of my friends want to throw one for me. My family will probably also want to have one, which is fine; they're pros at this stuff. Most of my friend's are in grad school/just out of grad school. There is also a limited amount of stuff I can bring with me when I leave. Do I actually register or let people buy me whatever? Baby stuff is expensive and I feel bad asking people to buy things for me. All of this was avoided because I wasn't in the US. A card with some cash or something small like a cutting board was all we asked for. I didn't have a bridal shower. What should I let them do? I don't want anyone to go overboard, spend too much or feel obligated to do much. A potluck at a friend's house is fine by me. Since no one else in my group of friends is anywhere near getting married let alone having a baby, we're all kind of feeling around in the dark with this one. How much am I expected to do to help plan it? What's the standard program? If I think people might start butting heads over planning should I just ask for gifts? Or just tell the friends no thanks and go with the family one?


  1. Take it! And I would register, if only because people like to know what you want and need. You can register for a wide range of options, including $5 nipples, $12 breastfeeding lanolin cream, or $150 car seats. People will only buy you what they can afford - if stuff on your registry is too expensive, they'll buy you a cute baby outfit for a couple of bucks. Don't feel bad about putting big stuff on there - sometimes groups will go together and buy you your crib, or whatever. And if they don't, sometimes places have a 10% off remaining registry items sale.

    People LOVE to buy baby clothes, and love to plan parties. You should let them. Just so yo know, I had 3 showers. One thrown by friends from my hometown, one thrown by friends from my new town, and one at work.

  2. I agree - let your friends throw the shower. It's what friends do when you're expecting a baby, particularly your first one. And I totally agree with Mama on registering- do it! and do it for a large variety of stuff so people can pick what they want to spend (or go in together on a big thing). Another benefit is that pretty much every store gives you a 10% discount on all items left on your registry after the baby is born.

    As far as your involvement- it's generally limited to providing a guest list. Ask what size they're envisioning and then give them a list- or, if they already know since you're all a big group of friends, just make sure to mention anyone who you want included but who your friends might not think of. I always worry that it seems like a burden to people when they get a shower invite in the mail, but it truly seems like most are happy to go and if they're not, they can always rsvp no.

    Enjoy yourself- you'll be buying gifts for the showers of all your friends 5-10 years from now when they're having kids, so soak up your time in the mom-to-be spotlight :)

  3. Yeah, I'll try to have fun and not let the stress of others stress me out. I look forward to being able to do all of this stuff for everyone else down the line! I think a friend one and a family one might be best. Awkward would be the name of the game if we had a party together. :P

  4. I hate showers because I hate one-sided gift-receiving and I hate being the center of attention. My friends and my SIL threw me a bridal shower. Then my best friend in Law School threw me a baby shower. At first I told her not to, she shouldn't spend the money or the time on me, I felt bad because my poor law school friends were so far away from having kids, basically all the same reasons you are hesitant. I'm so glad I let her throw it... I had a GREAT time, so did everyone else, and I got a lot of great presents. Plus, you only have a first baby once, and that's generally the only time you'll get a real baby shower.

    If you feel a little hesitant, you might be able to help shape the party...My friend asked for input, so I gave her guidelines that would help keep it small(ish) and cheap(ish). Her boyfriend did all the cooking, she hosted it at her apartment. I told her no games and she obliged. People brought gifts, but I definitely don't think anyone spent more than they were comfortable with. As others said, register for a variety of price points. Some people will go rogue, but some people really like the comfort of knowing they're getting you something you want (especially when they're unfamiliar with baby products).

    Have a great time!