Baby shower 101: What to expect when you’re attending

The time has come in your life when all of your friends seem to be having babies, and you know what that means…. No, not the pressure to have one of your own, but a totally different kind of pressure. If you haven’t been to one before, it can feel intimidating to do the right thing as a first-time guest. What are you supposed to bring? What is the accepted baby shower etiquette? No need to worry, we’ve got some tips to help you make it special for the mom-to-be.

The invitation

Baby showers normally happen a few months before the due date. If your friend is having a baby, a close family member or friend will likely plan the shower and send out the invitations. Traditionally, baby showers used to be for women only, but there really are no rules when it comes to planning a modern baby shower. If you’re wondering whether you can bring a guest, that information should be on the invitation, along with other essential details such as the location, time and the theme of the party. If you’re still unsure about bringing a plus one, it doesn’t hurt to ask!

What gift should you bring?

The purpose of a baby shower is not only to celebrate the coming new addition to the world, but also to help ease the burden on the new parents by showering them with items they will need to care for their baby. What makes a good baby shower gift? The baby shower invitation will likely let you know if the mom-to-be has a gift registry at a particular store. This is ideal because it tells you exactly what she needs for the baby and you can be sure that no one will bring the same Sophie the Giraffe doll. If you’re worried about spending too much money and don’t really want to spring for a Baby Bjorn or one of those space-aged strollers, registries usually have a list of gifts that range in price so you don’t have to break the bank.

If there is no gift registry, a good rule of thumb is that moms having their first child need essentials like diapers, diaper bags, washcloths, blankets, etc. If she’s an experienced mom, you can move past the essentials to things like books, toys, picture frames, decorative items for the baby’s room, and so on. You might even want to get a gift for mom, such as fancy nipple cream or spa quality bath products for when she gets a moment to relax.

Handmade gifts can also be an inexpensive, yet thoughtful, option. One idea is to buy some vintage picture frames in a thrift store or online and paint or embellish them for a personal touch.

What happens at baby showers?

Baby showers usually last a few hours and they’re all about the games (and the snacks, let’s be honest). It’s the party organizer’s responsibility to plan the games and even pay for the food, unless it’s a potluck. What about booze? Since it’s not okay for pregnant ladies to drink, the baby shower will likely be dry, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! That’s where the games come in. Games can be as simple as guessing how many safety pins are in a jar to win a prize, or as wacky as “pin the sperm on the egg”.

Now that you know the basics of baby showers, you’re ready to go! Don’t forget to make the mom feel extra special and have some fun while you’re at it.

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