Whether it’s your first or your fifth, having a child is a milestone that calls for celebration with your closest friends and family. A baby shower is a way of honoring the birth of that child and preparing you and your family for this new bundle of joy to come into the world. However, if you’ve never hosted a baby shower before, it can be tough to figure out who to invite, what to do, how to decorate, etc. Not to worry, because I’m here to help. Here are a few of the most common etiquette questions so you (or a friend) can throw the proper baby shower for you and your little one.
When does the baby shower take place?
While this is completely up to you, most moms-to-be plan to have the event four to six weeks before their due date.
Who hosts the baby shower?
Unless you’re adamant about playing host to the event, it’s tradition to let someone else take the reigns for your baby shower. After all, you should be the one sitting back and relaxing as you prepare for the birth of your child. The host is usually a close family friend. While a relative can be in charge of the event, this may look as if the family is asking for presents from guests. But when it comes down to it, who hosts is completely up to you.
Who do you invite?
Baby shower invitations are essential for this event. But before you mail them, it’s important to have a set guest list in place. In the past, showers have typically been female only. However, this trend is changing, and it’s becoming more and more common for women to invite male friends, spouses and relatives.
Baby showers are typically on the more intimate side and guests can run from close family friends to relatives to neighbors to childhood friends. Be sure to consult with whoever is hosting your event to make sure you approve of the final guest list.
Once you and the host do figure out who you’re inviting, you should be sure to send out the invitations at least six to eight weeks prior to the date of the event. The invitations should include a title explaining what the event is for, the name of the host or hostess, the name of the mother-to-be and the date and time of the event. You may also want to mention any special details that might be necessary. For instance, if the shower is a pot luck, that should be clearly noted on the invitations.
Should you register for gifts?
Gifts are generally expected at a baby shower, so it’s OK to register for gifts. This may actually make it easier for your guests to figure out what to get you. However, it’s best to stay away from registering for big ticket items such as a crib. Instead, stick to smaller things like bibs, clothing, socks and blankets.
Where is the shower held?
This is another aspect of the event that is solely up to you. The venue of your event may depend on the size of your guest list. If you’ve invited quite a few people, your living room may not suffice. Instead, you can plan to have the shower at your favorite restaurant.
When do you send thank you cards?
Just like invitations, thank you cards are essential to have on hand for your baby shower. While you don’t have to write them immediately after your guests walk out the door, the cards should ideally be sent within two to three weeks of the shower. Keep track of the gifts that each person gives you so you can mention the presents in your note of thanks.