31 answers

Who Is Supposed to Throw a Baby Shower?

This will probably sound silly, but who is supposed to throw a baby shower? My sister is pregnant, due in August, and I was kind of looking forward to planning and throwing it. However, I then spoke to her mother in law, and apparently that side of the family (in particular a cousin of the MIL) wants to do their own. I don't mind, necessarily, but I am a little dissappointed. If I were to throw one now, it would consist of about 5 people...and that's a little depressing if you ask me. Plus, now she's looking at 3 different baby showers (work, MIL's family, and our immediate family). So here's the question...who is supposed to throw it?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the advice. I'll be honest, when I was pregnant with my first child I had one shower, and with my second child I had 1...so I wasn't sure how to react to the 3 baby showers...I guess it's not that uncommon! Thinking about it now, it will be nice to have a small initimate shower with just family and a few close friends. Thanks for all the advice...I really do appreciate it!

More Answers

typically it is a close friend, sister, or close relative...
If you want to throw one... Then go ahead.... :-) Perhaps doing more of a small dinner after baby comes so you guys can fill in the cracks and supply a meal and left overs for the new mom...

1 mom found this helpful

Whomever wants to throw a shower is supposed to. It is normally a dear friend or a family member. I had three showers and I loved them all for different reasons. My mother in law threw a huge one that was for entire families so it was more like a reunion for my husbands side. My closest friends threw me one that had maybe 10 people at it and it was so wonderful because they were able to share stories with me, and help put things together :) I had a small one at work that was a total shock but still very nice.

I remember being overwhelmed by all the things I had to do before the baby was born, in addition to having a normal life. If you could throw the shower of 5 close friends or family and have it at her house after the big shower you could help her set up the baby room and put things together (and take back the odd things that she doesn't need like the baby food jar warmer that Aunt whoever thought was neat). Oh and give some freezer meals to help her out when the baby arrives :)

1 mom found this helpful

Since she is your sister you could probably throw on with just her friends. If your mom or MIL is planning on inviting her friends you could tell them you would like it if they kept it to family because you would like to do one with just her friends. The mothers and MIL are pretty much always invited to all the showers from what I understand but I suppose that is up to you.
Just an idea

You certainly have a right to throw one for her, even if she has 3 others... However if only having 5 guests is depressing, then talk to the cousin in law and see if you can do it together. Its not worth fighting about for sure, so if she balks at the idea of you helping (be sure you're very nice about asking, no it's really my right to do this and you stole it - stuff) then just do the one with 5 people and maybe make it a really girly one. You know maybe have everyone help you give her a spa treatment, massage, facial, whatever. Something to make her feel special and loved. The idea is for her to know your desire to make her baby shower special, and I'm sure you'll find a way to do that, no matter what you choose to do. Just don't throw any drama into the mix, that would make your sis feel worse. Best wishes!

Go ahead and throw one for her if you want to. She's your sister and invite whoever you want or whoever she would want to be there... friends, family, etc.
She'll probably be grateful for a smaller more intimate one anyway after the others!

usually the soon to be Grandma's are suppose to give it and if they don't step up the sister does A lot of people have 2 showers one for each side now and a work one so I don't
think that it is unusual at all

You are her sister!!! Go ahead and give her a special shower! You don't need anyone's permission. I had a lot of showers when we were expecting our first...One of the nicest and most fun was an intimate gathering of close family and friends. No matter how many people can be there, you are celebrating this new life and giving her encouragement and special gifts to help in this life transition. Go for it...enjoy the shower and have a blast planning it! :)
P.S. I was given 9...yes, NINE...showers for my first daughter...it was alot of thank you notes, but I certainly felt (still feel) blessed for all those parties in my honor and all those wonderful women who encouraged me as I became a Mommy.

Hi & congradulations on your new nephew or neice. If it's not to late offer to throw the shower with the MIL, the list sounds long, if you were to include all. Hopefully their is a room large enough for all to attend. Tell the MIL, that you had initially wanted to through a shower but would love to help out with names and guest lists food, prizes, ectra, games, the bottom line here is that everyone want's to welcome the new baby, & it's a great time for everyone who will likely be in the new child's life to meet each other. Best of luck to you. Wow, just read your bio, other's probably were thinking of you, and your full life, and figured you don't have time, they have under estimated your will and the joy of being involved in planning the shower for your sister. Tell other's how you feel, & Co-Host the shower. One final thought, if their are three showers, she will likely recieve double gift's, makeing more work for a new mom, rather than a gift, now she has to return large bulky items with a newborn.

There isn't any set number of showers. It sounds like your sister is well liked by and close to many people.

Let the MIL cousin throw the big fancy schmancy one. And then you can have a more intimate one just you two, a couple other friends or whoever, like at a restaurant or coffee shop. Not that I like Starbucks coffee and not that it's good for pregnant women to drink coffee, but they do have rather roomy back rooms that you could get together for a small festive group.

I had three showers (my side, his side and then a surprise one at work). My mom, Aunt and Grandma did my side they wanted to go all out and with our families being medium sized I would of had almost 100 people at one shower so we decided on two. My family could do what they wanted and MIL could do what she wanted. They were sooooo wonderful, I was able to talk to all my guests we had such a great great time. Everyone was happy including the hosts, also my mom, aunt, close cousin and grandma were at my MIL's shower and my MIL was at my familys shower. I think a small shower is wonderful. You could really do something so nice that you might not be able to afford if it was a big to do. Invite your sisters MIL and any SIL's your sister might have from his side. This will I am sure have them invite you to their shower for your sister. Maybe have a shower for your sister at a tea house, those are so wonderful and so much fun. With a small shower it will be so wonderful, i promise she will love love it. What a great sister you are!

In your situation I would suggest calling the cousin and seeing if you could do that shower together, since your family is fairly small. If she doesn't want to do that, then I would suggest making the small shower more of a girls night out thing- go to a nice dinner, maybe mini-golf or some other activity. Whatever you do, I'm sure your sister will appreciate it.

I would still throw my own shower for her. She actually might feel more depressed if you don't throw her one, even if it is going to be small. Actually small ones are better and more personal. Also you can help her out around the house getting things ready. Like one mother said you can help her get things together to take back from her big baby shower that she really wont need. Also one idea is since you have such a small group you can get everyone together at dream dinners and make her a buch of meals for her to use so she doesn't have to cook when the baby arrives. Surprise her with it at the shower or have her involved in it if she isn't to far along.

I think it kind of depends on the size of each family. My family combined with my in-laws because of the small numbers, I think I had 10 or 11 people total at that one. However, I also had a work one (during lunch), a family one, and a friend one (for friends outside of work). I was at one shower and the mom-to-be said that she was having four or five. Talk with your sister, explain your wishes, and get her thoughts. Maybe she has some friends outside of work that she would like to have invited to one that you throw.

I think it is usually customary for the mother and maybe MIL to throw it together. That is how it has been at all the ones I have been to.

I'm in the process of throwing my SIL a shower, and when I went to a website looking for party favors, they had a list of shower etiquette. It said there that showers are actually supposed to thrown be non-family members. Friends are actually supposed to throw them.

I was surprised by this, because it always seems like family ends up throwing them. Anyway, maybe it will make you feel a little better. Just try to help out in any way that you can so you can be involved! And, enjoy.

Personally I like the smaller showers better. She will have time to visit and enjoy herself, and not get to worn out. Larger showers are so long, and I feel to overwhelming as well. Throw your shower, and don't try to compete, just have fun with it.

N.; there is not right or wrong as to who is supposed to throw a baby shower, its great that you want to, and im sure you will be invited to the other parties, if you wish, its nice to have more than one shower, its great she is gettting three, are they all before the baby comes? is there one after it is born? before and after showers are great, before you get stuff like needs, bottles, blankets, etc, after you get more clothes, and its ok to give her more, its totally fine, have you asked her what she wants? and its ok to have repeat freinds and family if they so desire to come, some may not , and they may need your help with another one too, maybe you can offer to help out, but it is ok to throw another, and its ok to not to as well, to throw one just because you think you have a right, does not always go over well, do things out of love not cause you are supposed to do it, not everyone has a sister, or the person who is supposed to do it, so ive not heard of the supposed to do it person . just be happy and dont get offended if you dont get to, you can always get her things that will still mean alot to her, we are greatful for the person who threw the shower but we are also greatful to the people bringing gifts, if you are getting offended then you are in the wrong mind set, if you want to throw her another one, make it last, so you can find out what she really needs, and get that, either way have fun and enjoy life, or you can help and attend all of them and really be a good supporter, D. s

My Mom threw mine and friends at work hosted one too. I don't think there is any "suppossed" too. If you want to host one..have your own. If you want to be involved...ask the MIL family if you can participate.

When my sister was pregnant I got with the in laws and we threw one together turned out nice. I just recently had one for my best friend, the mil and another friend and I put it on. I would suggest to the mil that you all do it together then your sister wont have the stress of 3 baby showers.

Not really sure who is supposed to throw the shower but this is my expierience. I had just one shower with about 50 people - both my family and my inlaws. My sister does not live where we do and she had one shower thrown by work, one thrown by his side of the family, one thrown by friends where she lives and we threw her one at home (where we grew up) with our side of the family and old school friends - I think we only had about 11 people at the one here at home. She was thrilled with each one - she loves being social and loved being pregnant. She also got A LOT of gifts. I think my nephew's closet was packed full of clothes before the 3rd and 4th shower. I would talk to your sister and see what she is comfortable with. I would have hated 4 showers and made sure it was done and over with in one shot but to each their own. I think that if you want to throw your sister a small intimate baby shower for your side of the family and close friends then do it. My advice: talk to your sister and see how she feels about it and nevermind about what is proper just do what she is comfortable with - she and that baby are the ones who matter.

When I was pregnant with my son I was given 5 seperate baby showers. One from my coworkers, one from my best friend, one from my MIL, one from my Aunt and one from my cousin. Would it have bee easier to just have one, sure... but it would have been impossible because of the way people's schedules worked out. In the end it was a lot of fun and I was grateful. So throw one if you want and having a small group is not depressing, it's actually more fun to be able to hang out and interact with a smaller group.

My mom, sister, aunt and friend gave me mine...it was great.

It's very common for each side of the family to throw their own shower.

What is also common is for the shower to consist of both family and friends. So, if your immediate family is small then you could also invite friends of the family and maybe some of her friends that are not work people. The work shower will just be work people.

The other option is give her a small intimate shower. There's nothing wrong with just a handful of people. You could focus more on mommy. Things to help mommy after the baby is born. www.earthmamaangelbaby.com is a great site for balms and such to help mom!

Have fun with it!

The mother in law to your sister is suppose to through it. Thats how mine went.

I think that it is awesome that she will possibly have 3 different baby showers. I know a few people who had more than 1 shower and they loved it. Just make sure that they are all on different weekends. I bet she will love the extra attention, fun and gifts. J.

I had 3 showers. I had my In Laws, Church, and my family/friends. If you do family and friends you will have a bigger turn out.

If the 5 people (you mentioned there are only about that many left) know eachother/would enjoy each other's company...have a small dinner out in her honor. More intimate gatherings are usually much more enjoyable for the mom-to-be anyhow. Check their schedules, send them invitations, and set it at a nice restaurant. because it is a smaller gathering, it can be nicer (more affordable on a small scale). I bet your sister may enjoy this kind of celebration even more...not as much pressure, and a gift she will always remember.
By the way, it is common for the MIL to throw a shower. It is also common for people to have those different types of showers (husband's side, family side and work)

HI,my name is J.,I'am a work at home mom. I have 3 daughters, all whom have had babies, I've given all 3 of them baby showers. Two of them also had showers given to them by co-workers. I really never thought it mattered who gave it, as long as they got one.

Hi N., I'm not sure about the ettiquit(?) of the thing but I have my own experience. when my son's girlfriend was pregnant with our first grandson I planned a shower for her because I had room for everyone on both sides of the family. She was embarrassed to have her family attend so her sister threw her one too. I never understood why she felt that way because we had all met and got along well and we are not rich by any means so that wasn't the reason. Anyway she ended up with 2 showers but she got everything she needed. So I say so what if she has 3 showers? She'll get everything she needs right? If the numbers bother you you could see if you could combine either the one w/ the inlaws or the one at work, but I sense that you really want to plan it--so plan it why not? I hope all turns out well. Celia C.

I think etiquette just states that she can't throw her own shower - other than that it can be anyone. I would tell your sister just what you said - that you really wanted to give her one and does she think you should try to help out with the in-law's shower or have a separate one. She may have some additional people she would like to invite to a shower that you throw.

I thought I'd throw in an idea even though it seems like you've solved your problem... My mom planned a small brunch for me and my cousin (who was also pregnant, babies are two weeks apart) and invited the female members of the family who have children. (All five aunts, both of my grandmothers plus a close family friend.) They gave us advice and told their birth stories. It was fun!

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