30 answers

Baby Shower Etiquette?

Hi ladies,

I'm now pregnant with my fourth child, but haven't had a baby shower since 2000 when I was pregnant with my first. My best friend wants to throw me a shower, but my mom says I'm being greedy by having another one and that it's rude to expect guests to give me things. My friend, on the other hand, insists on doing one as many of my baby items are very, very old (my high chair and stroller were my little brother's; he's now 18). I need some pretty expensive things (our crib is in poor condition, we need a new carseat, etc) so my friend suggested to do a registry at stores that offer gift cards so people can go that route instead. Quite frankly, I could care less about gifts, I'd just like to get together with my friends and family to celebrate the baby.

That leads to my next question: is it rude to not invite certain family members? I'm tired of getting emails from family saying "Oh, you're having another one? Why am I not surprised?" or "You know, eventually you don't get additional tax money for them." To me, bringing a child into this world is a monumental occasion, whether it's your first or fifth. I don't want people there who are just going to bring down the rest of us, but is it rude to exclude them?

Thanks in advance,
Jess

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eh, you're not being "greedy". I'm of the opinion that each baby is worthy of having a shower thrown in their honor. And as you said, it's really more about getting together with people you love and celebrating the upcoming baby.

Is it rude to exclude some people? Yes, but no more rude than those comments you've been getting from them. I might be petty, but I'd be pretty inclined to exclude them.

Just my opinion :)

1 mom found this helpful

Every baby deserves to be welcomed into the world. A baby shower is a great way to do it. If people are put off by the thought, they don't have to come. I always bring a little something to a new baby regardless if there is a shower or not, or if it is a first born or 8th born. Life is to be celebrated and those who think otherwise are entitled to their opinion, but don't need to rain on everyone else's parade. If you want to register, do a variety of things big and small, from the new crib to diapers. There is always something you need with each new little person that comes along.

Congratulations and enjoy!
J.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom also calls it greedy but from all pregnancy websites I use most other areas in the country think that every baby deserves such celebration, everyone needs new diapers and clothes!

1 mom found this helpful

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I don't know if anyone has suggested this..I didn't want to read the nasty notes from everyone. I just had my 3rd girl and I chose to donate all the gifts to a crisis pregnancy center or a battered women's shelter. I could celebrate with my friends, but didn't feel guilty either and everyone gave lots for the cause! I could have used some things for baby but I found that I was picky about what I wanted anyway (being more experienced). People gave money in cards and gifts when they came to visit baby anyway afterward. I used that money to get the extras I needed for dipes, clothes, etc.. I used craigslist and thirft stores as well to get exactly what I needed. Everyone loved the idea of donating and we still had lots of fun! People gave both boy and girl things which were fun to show off. The gifts could be given to the charity in honor of your little one.

Just an idea, but you can do what you need to. If someone else is putting on the shower for you then let them. I don't think it is rude to let someone bless you.

3 moms found this helpful

Wow, I can't beleive some of the response you have recieved. I have three kids and had one shower and that was with my third child. I have gone to showers of parents that have four and five. A shower is a way to celebrate a new baby, so if you have family and friends that want to do this for you I say go and do it. Think of it as a birthday party I'm sure most people have had more then one.
Congratulations,
S.

2 moms found this helpful

J.,

If your friend wants to give you a shower, let her! It is her decision, not your mother's or your relatives. Let your friend decide on the guest list as well.

I am a pastor's wife. I have four children. My mother and sisters held a shower for my first son. Then our church held one for us as well. We moved before I had baby #2. That church gave me showers for my next two boys. I have nearly 6 between #3 and #4. I had passed on a lot of my items or things were just really old. By the time I had #4, I needed a stroller, high chair, carseat - all the big items. We were now in out third church and their policy was to throw a shower for only the first baby, but for me, my friends held one and then the ladies group from church did one as well. It really has more to do with the heart of those hosting the shower, not you! LET YOUR FRIEND CHOOSE THE GUEST LIST!

Lisa

2 moms found this helpful

NO, you should not have another baby shower!You should have planned better for the expensive things before you got pregnant again!
Having a luncheon with the girls however is a wonderful idea and would be lots of fun..without gifts though! Maybe they can pay for your meal if they want.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi J.:
Congratulations!!! Every baby should be celebrated. Throwing you a baby shower is your friend telling you she loves you and wants to celebrate with you. If family members are less that supportive don't invite them. Registering for gifts is a great idea and if the things you need are on the expensive side let it be known that it is okay if a few people pool their money to purchase the big ticket items. I have been a low income single Mom for years and when my grandchildren came along I crocheted a baby afgan for each of them (they all match) and then I purchased items that each little one needed at the time. My third grandchild is now 17 months old, I was working at a Penney's store and as soon as we found out he was on the way I started going through the clearance racks for baby clothes. I bought boy and girl outfits in many sizes, at my daughter's baby shower I was able to give her a huge bag of baby clothes in all sizes. I picked up a size 3T winter jacket for under $5 when he was about 2 months old. Don't be afraid to tell friends about this idea. Most people buy baby clothes in newborn, 0-3, or 3-6 months sizes and suddenly after a few months they have nothing that fits.
Mostly enjoy this time a new life is coming.

2 moms found this helpful

Congratulations on #4! Wow! I just had my second child and am already yearning for #3.
I don't really think there is a protocol anymore for whether or not you have a baby shower after your first child. It even sounds like the need is there for your friend to throw one for you.
I also don't think it would be rude to exclude certain family members that have obviously been rude to you or have hurt your feelings by their off-handed comments. Might be a good way to get the message across to them!

A.

1 mom found this helpful

Have the shower and enjoy it. It is up to you on who you want to invite. Your relatives who's sense of humor is like a underlying hostility, they may feel bad not being invited and feel that you took them to serious on the comments so don't invite them and accept the critisim over it or invite them and if they say a rude remark like they aren't surprised you are having another one answer with a quick wit answer such as "yes, we have such beautiful children and so much love to give, we are lucky to have another one in our lives" and to the tax credit remark answer "yes, there might be a limit on tax credit, but lucky for us there isn't a limit on the love we have to give." If you want to keep it light make a joke that you want to keep up with the Dugger family, which is a family with 18+ children and all are very healthy, polite, happy and well rounded children. Or you can just look at them and say "I can't believe you would say that" and give them one of those "mom" looks.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom also calls it greedy but from all pregnancy websites I use most other areas in the country think that every baby deserves such celebration, everyone needs new diapers and clothes!

1 mom found this helpful

It is a little on the greedy side to expect your friends and family to outfit your fourth baby with everything it needs (especially with craigslist and ebay making big items cheaper), but you don't sound like you really want a shower.

Instead, tell your friend that you would like something (a BBQ, a lunch) that would give others a chance to welcome baby and share in your joy, but not make them feel like they're expected to buy something expensive.

Congratulations on the new baby!

1 mom found this helpful

I would let your friends throw you a shower. I have two friends that we are throwing showers for. One is having baby #4 and we are giving her a couple's shower as it's been ten years since her last one. The other friend is having baby #3 after 6 years. Neither one are being greedy as we asked if we could throw a shower. However, neither one registered as they had a big shower for their first one and went that route. We as friends want to throw these showers and it is a celebration for the baby.

1 mom found this helpful

For crying out loud, I get so tired of people using this website to be snarky (good word, Anne Marie!) and judgmental to fellow moms who are asking genuine questions, and seeking honest, KIND responses. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it really makes me angry. We're all in the same boat, right? We're all just doing the best that we can, and yes, we all have different ways of doing things. Some better than others, but there is no 'one right way' of doing things! Different opinions are great, but lets try to be kind to each other, okay? Life is hard enough without us moms turning on each other.

It sounds like your friend is the one really pushing for this shower, so she should absolutely be able to do this wonderful thing for you if she wants to. Maybe just make it a shower with friends only, since it sounds like your family has the issue with everything? I think the general consensus here is that if your friends want to give gifts, and celebrate this new life, they should. There is no greed in that!

Good luck, and HAVE FUN!!

1 mom found this helpful

Personally, I wouldn't go to your shower if I were invited. 9 years isn't an unreasonable amount of time to have 4 children. It sounds like many of your relatives are not supportive and they probably feel the same way. My sister-in-law had a baby 15 years after her her first 2. She did not have a shower, but many of us did give her a gift since it had been so long. I would skip the shower and leave it up to individual friends/family to get you gifts. If you do have a shower and don't invite certain people those left out will be hurt, even if they don't support you. Sorry, this probably isn't what you wanted to hear.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Every baby deserves to be welcomed into the world. A baby shower is a great way to do it. If people are put off by the thought, they don't have to come. I always bring a little something to a new baby regardless if there is a shower or not, or if it is a first born or 8th born. Life is to be celebrated and those who think otherwise are entitled to their opinion, but don't need to rain on everyone else's parade. If you want to register, do a variety of things big and small, from the new crib to diapers. There is always something you need with each new little person that comes along.

Congratulations and enjoy!
J.

1 mom found this helpful

I do think you should be able to have another shower. It's about the celebration, not the gifts. However it really is a lot to ask of "your people" to buy you more expensive stuff.

I would have your friend add to the invitations: "We want to celebrate and share in the joy of this wonderful new addition! However, since this is J.'s fourth time around, the guests should not feel obligated to bring gifts. If you choose to bring a gift, we ask you limit the cost to $10 or less. Hand-me-downs are also welcome and greatly appreciated!"

I am a young single mom, and I had my sister write "hand-me-downs are greatly appreciated" for my shower because I really did prefer used items... I am all about Cheap!...and also I felt guilty because my son was not planned [I haven't even been to college yet!]. I still didn't get a single hand-me-down at the shower. I really just got a lot of diapers and wipes and hygiene products, which was fine with me because I got everything else I needed for free or dirt cheap off of craigslist. I felt better knowing I wasn't burdening them when I could easily get used stuff on my own.

1 mom found this helpful

Technically, it is poor etiquette to have another shower unless there are extenuating circumstances (natural disaster destroyed your baby stuff, there are many years between babies, etc.). Some people will think it's fine to have a shower, and others will think you are greedy. Those who think you already have too many children will think that you are expecting them to subsidize children that you can't afford.

My thought is that there's nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of a baby, it is a joyous event. That doesn't mean that presents have to be involved though. You can have a "welcome baby" party after the baby arrives. People who want to bring gifts will do so, those who don't want to bring gifts will still come to celebrate the baby.

1 mom found this helpful

I think it's rude to have another baby shower. I think if close friends and family know your in a bind for new baby stuff that prehaps they would volunteer to help but I don't think it should be expected nor should someone have a shower.

That's the things people need to think of before having children at all or having their 2nd or 6th child. Can we afford it, and can we do it? It is not your family or society's problem.

They sell alot of really really nice good quality great condition baby items at many thrift stores, consignment shops and garage sales.

I am all for hand me downs for most items, and it's a blow to our planet and Earth to keep buying brand new for every baby.I'd hate to see how much baby stuff ends up in a landfill. Baby's do deserve the best but there is no reason you can't make do with hand me downs or buying gently used.

I have a 8yr.old and 10mo.old and BOTH my girls got hand me downs. The only thing I bought new for both would be carseat/stroller for safety reasons and personal preference. They got new clothing too. But if someone was giving away or selling a swing, bouncy chair, crib etc. I took it. I'm picky I like my stuff to be newer, in style, clean, trendy, and match. I did it!

I understand NEW for the first baby with the intentions of passing down to future children but I donot understand brand new for your fourth baby sounds like a waste to me since baby items are used for such a short amt. of time.

Just my opinion! I'm not cheap or jealous either just old fashioned a bit with common courtesy and respect.

I'm all for a meet and greet after the baby is born have a big celebration and show off that new bundle of joy.

1 mom found this helpful

How could this be greedy? The gifts are for the baby, not for you, and the baby has never had any gifts! If it was gracious for the first baby to accept gifts, then I think it should be seen just the same for each one.

While I can TOTALLY feel your frustration at the remarks people make (I promise that I have heard them all by now and some of them over and over), it actually is always rude to exclude someone. I'm not saying that you have to invite them. If you don't want them there, you really don't. But if you make that choice, there is nothing wrong with owning up to the reality that you are doing something that many would consider rude. In order to live our lives our own way, we all have to be rude to someone now and again. I doubt, though, that they would actually bring the party down. Many people feel the need to make the type of remarks you mentioned, but they don't actually carry a negative attitude toward the child personally. And a party is a party--they'll probably get into the spirit.

I've come back to edit this because I've read some of your other responses. I really should have left it alone, but I just can't resist. You said you could care less about the gifts--so where did the whole "burden to society, etc..." comment come from? I am getting sooo tired of people assuming that if you and I are having children it is costing THEM something! Maybe they would prefer that everyone just stop so that our society can die out completely and we can all care for ourselves in our old age. Also, for the record, there actually is no limit to the tax credits.

I missed your mention of a registry the first time and I would add that I personally feel more freedom and have more fun generosity running through my veins when there is no registry. I know it's just the way of things these days, but it sometimes does feel like asking for gifts to me. It might be good to have the shower but skip the registry. You could take back things you don't need to buy things you do. But if you have your own reasons for using it, go right ahead!

1 mom found this helpful

eh, you're not being "greedy". I'm of the opinion that each baby is worthy of having a shower thrown in their honor. And as you said, it's really more about getting together with people you love and celebrating the upcoming baby.

Is it rude to exclude some people? Yes, but no more rude than those comments you've been getting from them. I might be petty, but I'd be pretty inclined to exclude them.

Just my opinion :)

1 mom found this helpful

Oh my god, you totally deserve another shower!!! I hope your relatives stop being such jerks about it.

1 mom found this helpful

I say have another one. You can invite whoever you want and they can choose whether or not to come. They recommend not using car seats after a certain time for safety reasons. It also sounds like your crib might be unsafe as well. Besides it's not like you are giving the shower for yourself someone else wants to do it I say let the.

1 mom found this helpful

I think a traditional shower with a traditional registry, for a fourth child, would be poorly received by many people. Typically, that type of celebration is for women just starting mommyhood, where all the advice, old wives tales, and anticipation are shared. THAT SAID, even the fourth child deserves a celebration of sorts!! :)

What if your friend threw you a "shower," but it was after the baby was born. It could be positioned as "come meet the baby." Then people who want to bring gifts can, and those smart enough will ask you what you need after all these years. I like the idea of already having the baby because there will be some personalized gifts that many 2nd, 3rd, 4th babies miss out on. People love seeing new babies, and the upside for you is that you can hit everyone at once instead of coordinating all those post-partum visits. Inevitably, people will ask the hostess what you still need, so you can always give her a sort of "unofficial" registry so she can point people in the right direction. Happy Baby!

This is always tough...Generally when people give a 2nd baby shower it is b/c the babies are spaced far a part. Your children are quite young. If there are certain things that you need for this baby, you need to buy them yourself. I say that b/c you seem to be getting a lot of flack from your family. If your friend wants to do something for you perhaps she can get a few of your friends to go in a giftcard. That is what my family did for me.
If your friend does throw you a shower, I would not invite the people who seem to be offended by it! Good luck!

I don't see why it would be an issue to have another baby shower. i am due with our fourth and my friends all wanted to throw me a shower. I vetoed it b/c i hate showers not b/c i show an issue with it.

If you think that some family or friends might have an issue with it, don't invite them. people who make rude comments don't deserve to be a part of this happy moment.

How about throwing a "swap meet" and making a party out of it? People can bring gently used baby stuff to swap. There should be no pressure to bring or take stuff. If stuff is left over that no one wants, donate it to the homeless shelter.

Give your guests refreshments and let everyone clebrate their babies equally. Then you're not only "getting together with friends and family," but also doing a service to them and to yourself!

First of all I'm really sorry to hear that your own family sends you messages like that, what a shame... babies are a wonderful gift from God and you should be proud he has blessed you with the ability to have children and raise them. CONGRATS on Number 4!!

Okay, I have an almost 6 year old, was a single mom for 5 years and I'm due to have my husbands child in 2 weeks... and I JUST had a shower on Saturday. :) My mom had a couple comments about having one, but after explaining to her the reasoning behind it she was on board too. With my daughter I was 22 and had NOTHING, I borrowed everything except a crib which was gifted to me... so everything was already used and I returned it when I was done. So, this time around... we're having a boy and have NOTHING, so I didn't feel guilty about having a shower... and actually it turned out great! I would encourage you to let her throw you one :) Good luck!

I think it is fine to have another baby shower. We had something for each of my friends when they were having a 2nd child. We did not go to the extent of the first one. Meaning we kept it kind of small with only close friends and family. We are a close group of friends there are 6 of us and we just all made a brunch dish and had it at someone’s house instead of at a location with a banquet room like we had for all of our first baby showers. It was nice and she got all the stuff you just can't reuse. Just ignore the RUDE comments from your family. Tell them if they don't want to come then don't. You would rather them not come and be negative the entire time anyway.

Hi J.! Ignore the people saying it's "rude", "greedy", "poor ettiquette" etc. and definitely ignore the snarky response from the lady who said she wouldn't come if she weren't invited! I should hope not! People with those attitudes NEED to stay home!
This is the year 2009, not 1950. It's not rude to have a shower for more than one child. Especially if a friend is WANTING to throw you a shower. I think it would be more rude to deny her the honor and reject what is essentially her gift to you.
Ruby K is RIGHT! Every child should be celebrated and people full of love, joy and generosity will be happy to shower your little one with gifts. Let the jealous, stingy, crabby, stuck in the past people stay home.
I always have a hard time going to showers, especially the ones with corny games, but I go to show my support and welcome a baby and I ALWAYS end up having a good time! :)

Congratulations on your fourth baby! I pray that you are GREATLY blessed by people on this site who choose to be kind and by your family and friends.

Not sure what I think about a baby shower for your 4th baby. Some people may not go for that. I understand that you need some major things, but you may have to do those on your own. People usually give gifts for new babies without having a shower. But if you do have a shower, I wouldn't invite those people who make those comments. There's nothing wrong with having 4 kids! Don't worry about being rude; those comments were rude!!! Good luck to you!

If your best friend wants to throw you a shower then let her!! Have fun celebrating this child. :) I had four children in 10 years and friends and family (sisters in law!) gave me a shower for EACH one after they were born. They blessed me and each child so much. :) I didn't register for gifts or anything like that. Whoever was giving the shower gave the option if people preferred to go in on a gift card. I purchased a high chair, play pen, diapers etc. with the gift cards. It was a huge blessing! (some of the bigger things I borrowed or found at garage sales -- a friend of mine sold me her crib when she was done with it) Very few family members came to the showers, it was mostly friends from my church who came. I have also hosted a few showers for friends that have had four, five, and SEVEN children. The focus isn't about the gifts -- it's on celebrating the new life -- the precious gift that God has entrusted us with. :) Have fun celebrating your new baby!

We had a "diaper shower" for our second. People could bring diapers and wipes if they wanted. Everyone could always use those! Just an idea.

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