Planning a Baby Shower for My Brother's Girlfriend?

Updated on October 27, 2009
A.K. asks from West Bend, WI
15 answers

My youngest brother and his girlfriend, who live together, are expecting in February. What is the proper etiquette for shower-planning? She will be having two showers-one from her family and the other from co-workers/friends. I just mentioned to my mother several weeks ago about having one and where she stood on that. Come to find out, Steph, asked my sister-in-law (my other brother's wife) if she would plan a shower for her. I was a bit disappointed,even though I do not know her that well, that she didn't ask me. I'm Michael's sister. Anyway, my sister-in-law and I have agreed to do it together. Here's some more to add to this whole parent's are not pleased that they are not married and having a child, so my mother doesn't want to extend the shower beyond immediate family (only aunts, no cousins), which will make it pretty small. My sister-in-law thinks we should plan it without my mother, but I know my mom will be hurt if we don't include her. To add more to this, my husband wants to be their "judge and jury" since this happened. I like to stay neutral and be as supportive as I can. I'm not perfect so I shouldn't expect them to be either. When I asked Steph why she didn't ask me first (via a text message), she didn't answer. Should I be upset and hurt or just leave it be? My sister-in-law is the one who likes to be in other people's business, so I just let her. What do I do about my husband's opinions? Any neat shower planning ideas would be most helpful?

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answers from Omaha on

I, personally, would be thankful she asked the sister in law. Particularly with all that is involved with the family opinions. A small shower is fine since she has 2 others- don't worry about it :)
Also, I think I would wait til the baby was born- so everyone can see it

More Answers



answers from Omaha on

im not a pro live together have a family kinda girl.

BUT... the shower is to celebrate the baby. not the lifestyle the parents have chosen to live.

so i say-- throw a shower and have fun and share the laughter and love. invite anyone who also feels they want to share in the joy of a birth.

if mom is uncomfortable that is her decision to make. dont make her feel bad about. just set up the shower and she either attends or doesnt. she is a grown up and make her choices.

you can love a person , love the fact that your child loves them. love the fact that you will have a grand baby and still not love the idea of how its being "played out" without it getting in the way of being happy.

my soap box..... id rather have a grandchild out of wedlock than an aborted one...

have a happy baby shower !!!!!! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I would say to include your mom but let her know that you are including all of the family. It will be up to the individual family member to choose whether they want to come or not. If your mom has a problem with it. Ask her why the baby should be punished by it's parents supposed sins. Tell your mom that the family should have the right to choose to come or not. Maybe your brothers girlfriend didn't ask you because she felt the judgement from your husband. A baby is a blessed event no matter the circumstances surrounding it. Tell her congrats on the baby.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

YOu have lots of responses here and the theme seems to be that the shower is for the mama and baby, not for anyone else. Honor them and enjoy this wonderful gift of a child.
BTW- a shower after the baby is born is called a "sip and see"- you come for a bit of cake, a cup of tea and coo at the baby. It is fun and gives mama a break and some attention. Usually it is held when the baby is 2-3 months old.



answers from Minneapolis on

Celebrate the coming of a sweet, innocent, beautiful baby as you would ANY baby; regardless or the status of the parents. If that baby comes into the world without the best welcome you can give him or her, you might regret it later. Stick with your plan of neutrality and set hurt feelings aside for now.



answers from Minneapolis on

Set aside your feelings, follow through with the shower plans (sounds like they are already underway), invite everyone including your Mom and put on your very best hostess smile no matter what anyone says or does. We are rewriting etiquette as we go these days.

I personally like the idea of having the shower after the baby has arrived. Then everyone gets to see the new baby, people are less apt to say anything negative when the cute little thing is there in the room, and the guests will have an idea what the family still needs after the other showers. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I think it's great you've decided to work with your SIL to throw her a baby shower. I personally think there are many, many worse scenarios and life tragedies than having a baby out of wedlock and welcoming the girlfriend into your family with a shower is a gracious thing to do. No matter what happens with their relationship, this baby will be a member of your family forever.

As for "rewarding" their poor decision by giving them things they need for their unborn child, I find that a little preposterous. I'm sure they can use the help (like we all could with the huge expense of baby items) and I think that is the Christian thing to do.



answers from Minneapolis on

I celebrate your intention of staying neutral and being supportive. Stay clear about what's important to you, and make your other decisions around that. With all the drama swirling around, you can be a good listener. Keep the things that people tell you to yourself. Love ALL of your family, both in your heart and in the things you do. Sometimes it's messy, being in a family--but if you can step back and be grateful, there's so much joy you can find there too.



answers from Minneapolis on



answers from Milwaukee on

it's no one place judgement on the unmarried couple. my husband andi had our son and finally married 7 years late. isnb't more important for a child to grow up in a loving home where both parents are working together to raise a child. why not wait until the baby is born and have a shower for the child. that way you can see what the baby still needs!!



answers from Minneapolis on

If you don't know her that well anyway, I would just let it go. It doesn't really matter who she asked if you are able to be involved in the planning. The mom-to-be shouldn't be the one asking in the first place. Usually someone offers to hold a shower. So, if no one was offering, it was probably a very awkward situation for her and difficult to bring up...maybe it was just easier to ask your SIL. When I was pregnant, no one was offering from the family. I waited and waited and finally I talked to my mom about it and she asked my aunt to hold one. I would have never felt right asking myself! I probably just would have let it go and gone without a shower. So anyway, don't be hurt. Just move on and have fun with the planning!

Here are a couple of is on shower etiquette, and the other is a baby shower planning site which also has an etiquette section and shower games, etc:



answers from Des Moines on

My husband and I had our daughter before we were married and if the family can't support that...that's too damn bad. I grew up in a pretty catholic family...especially my grandparents...and everyone was extremely supportive. They all got together and threw me a huge baby shower. The shower is for the baby and the mother to be, no one else!

That's what families no matter what. Invite's not your mother's day.

Sorry, this does seem a little harsh! I'm usually very nice and don't say what I'm feeling to others I don't know, but having a baby before being married is something I know and want to talk about!



answers from Minneapolis on

According to etiquette, family members are not supposed to throw a shower. Perhaps she asked the sister-in-law to plan it, because a SIL is one step removed, compared to you, the sister.

And since there have been so many complications, maybe it is better for family members not to throw showers!

Try your best to keep the drama out of it, and make the party a celebration of the new baby. Good luck!



answers from St. Cloud on

In my opinion it is very RUDE to ASK for a shower...... Especially since she's already getting TWO other ones!!! Babies don't need all the stuff they get at showers, it's really for the parents. A baby needs a stable loving home!

So, that being said. Since you already agreed to co-host a shower, I suggest you just comply with your mother's wishes. She is FAMILY. You just don't know if this girl will be around for a week or a year or forever.

Have a small shower AFTER the baby is born for the aunts. That way they will actually get to see the baby. My family had our shower (ONE-included both my side and my husbands) when our daughter was 2 weeks old. I had a c-section after a long hard labor and I felt fine for the shower. Plus this gives more options for them to bring either an outfit OR another idea is to make it a frozen meal shower. Have each guest bring a frozen meal with instructions on how to heat (AND THE RECIPE)!

As for what to do at the shower. If you host if after the baby is born everyone will be excited to meet and hold the baby. So while the mom is opening presents/thanking people for their frozen meal, the baby can get passed around. You could play a couple games too. Fill in the blank nursery rymes. You have a phrase from a rhyme and leave a word or small phrase out. Word scramble. The safety pin in rice game. My sister threw a small shower (5 guests) for her friend and they all painted onesies for the baby! And then have a small meal and cake.

And I agree that you should try to stay nuetral. It is NOT our place to judge. God will do that on judgement day. However, we don't need to condone their behavior either. Love your niece or nephew and stay friendly with the mother. My sister is living with her boyfriend of 10 years and my husband and I refuse to let them babysit our kids. We feel it is our job to raise them following God's rules and don't want to expose them to that lifestyle and the way of thinking that it is okay. My sister is always asking for our daughter (her Godchild) to spend the night and I told her straight out why it will never happen.... She says she understands but doesn't agree with us. What is important to us is that WE follow God and demonstrate that to our kids. Not what others think.

Good luck!



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

You got some great advice! Be the bigger person and help throw a lovely shower! Invite people that love your brother and are happy that he will soon be a father!

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