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Baby Shower Q&A: Etiquette
Planning & Hosting a Baby Shower
© baby-shower.com

Can a mom-to-be plan her own baby shower?

Who should host the baby shower?

Is it appropriate to host your own baby shower?

I'm hosting the baby shower, but the mother-to-be is micro-managing, what do I do?

I hate showers, but my mom is throwing one for me regardless. What do I do?

I've planned a baby shower, but it looks like no one will attend, what should I do?

   


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Q:
Can a mom plan her own baby shower or does a friend have to plan it?

A:
Generally, etiquette dictates that a friend or family member of the mom-to-be should plan the baby shower. However more and more people live further away from their families and are unable to have family plan the shower. For this reason, some moms are taking the initiative and planning their own. The subject is still open for considerable debate.

I would recommend having a friend 'officially' plan the baby shower, but if you want to pitch in with ideas or other things, by all means do so.

(Editor's note - It's one thing to provide useful input, it's another thing altogether to micro-manage the planning process. Be careful you don't create resentment by giving someone a job that you won't let them do.)





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Q:
Who should host the baby shower? Does it have to be a family member?

A:
Anyone can host a baby shower.  I have seen showers hosted by grandmothers, siblings, friends and even the fourth cousin once removed.  Basically, it comes down to who wants to do it and who has the time, space and funds to plan and implement the shower.  Don’t hesitate to throw a shower if you are not a close family member but make sure you check with the immediate family to make certain that they haven’t made any plans themselves.  If they ask you to host the shower, then don’t worry about anything...well, except actually planning the baby shower but thankfully we are here to help :-)    For more detailed information, see our page on who should host a baby shower.




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Q:
Is it appropriate to host your own baby shower?

A:
Traditionally, showers have been thrown for the expectant mother but most people are not traditional by any means.  If you don’t have anyone offering to host a shower for you, (make sure there are no surprise showers happening) then by all means, host a shower for yourself.  No one is going to think twice about it and if they do well, they don’t have to come.  You could word the invitation that you want to celebrate your baby with the people you love before the big day.  I would suggest keeping the baby shower small and maybe cutting back on some of the planning so that you don’t overstress yourself.  Just enjoy your pregnancy and also enjoy the shower that you are planning.





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Q:
I am hosting a baby shower for a friend and she has been very pushy about all the little details of the shower.  I am beginning to feel like she is planning it and I am merely paying for it and doing all the grunt work.  Is there a way to tell her to lay off and let me plan it?

A:
That is a good question and the answer depends on what type of person your friend is and perhaps how strong those pregnancy hormones are. I would suggest dropping subtle hints about how you would like to plan the shower alone. If she isn’t getting the hint, tell her openly how you would like to have some elements of the shower as a surprise. If she doesn’t listen to your requests, all I can suggest is to simply bear with it and maybe plan something on the side that she isn’t aware of. There is nothing stopping you from sliding a note into the invitations when she isn’t looking that might alert guests to a little extra something. Above all, don’t worry too much. More than likely, your friend is just anxious about having a baby and wants everything to be perfect.





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Q:
I have never been a fan of wedding or baby showers, they are all the same and boring. My Mother and Sister-in-law are throwing me a baby shower. It is not a surprise and I have helped with the guest list and picked a date. I have let them know some of my preferences and desires. My mother has her vision of a shower, that includes many things I do not like or that are not "me". She asked me the other day, "You would rather have cupcakes over a cake your mother made and decorated?" Manipulative question! Do I let my mother throw me the shower she wants to do regardless of whether it is to my desires? Is there a way for me to express my desires without starting world war three? - Yours truly, Shower hater

A:
Thank you for contacting www.baby-shower.com with your question and congratulations on your pregnancy.  I can understand how you feel about your baby shower and I have known lots of women that don't like showers. It is not at all unusual.

In regards to your questions ... first I would say that you should choose your battles. Are you going to fight your mother on a shower or are there other things that are better suited to fight for? Trust me, you will have moments after baby arrives that you will need to put your foot down, so why not conserve your energy and just let the shower go ahead. Let it be her way, to celebrate becoming a grandmother.

That being said, I think that you should express some of your desires for the shower. If you have been invited into the whole planning, there is nothing wrong with suggesting color and food choices, although I wouldn't make it into a fight. Ignore questions that are manipulative and just state preferences. Be short and sweet to the point. If you don’t want a traditional shower, say something like; "Well, baby is definitely one of a kind, so I want the shower for her/him to be one of a kind. Less traditional planning ideas would be my preference.”

Be prepared for some things that are more traditional or more suited to the hostess’ preference, but the best advice I can give you is to sit back and relax. Think of a shower as an afternoon where you can relax, eat a bit of good food and have some great conversations with important people in your life.





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Q:
What should I do if I have planned a baby shower for my daughter's best friend, but no one is planning to attend?

A:
That is an excellent question and I have been faced with this dilemma myself. For one shower, a thousand things happened and people had to cancel the same day as the shower. What I would recommend doing is to change the format of the shower (if you can?). Instead of having a baby shower, make it a nice evening for everyone. Invite spouses of anyone who can come and tell them not to worry about the presents if it is last minute. Bumping it up to a couple's shower is something that may garner a bit more interest in your guest list.

If you still have time to cancel the shower, do so. Instead, ask your daughter if there is a group of girl's who wouldn't mind going out for a Girl's Day Out. At that point, book a day at the spa for mani/pedi's and enjoy yourself with the mother to be. Don't bring up that it was supposed to be a shower, unless she already knows, and tell her it is simply a pamper mom day.

For anyone that can't attend the shower, ask them if they would like to send a card to let the mom-to-be know that she was in their thoughts on her special day.  It is awkward, but finding a different way to celebrate the day is worth it when you see the smiles on the mom to be's face.



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