Jump to content

Baby shower etiquette - don't know what to do

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

My extended family live very far apart, so it takes an event for us to get together. When DH and I announced our pregnancy, i got a lot of questions about when I was going to have my baby shower. I didn't really want one, because in the last 2 years I've had a wedding and a big 30th, and we are also better off financially than most of ur friends and family, so it seemed wrong to be asking for presents. I also wanted to see the family, who we don't see often enough and I miss.

So we compromised, and are having a unisex BBQ to celebrate the imminent arrival of our child. We've invited friends as well as family. The invite just calls it a baby celebration, and there is no mention of presents. But I have now heard from mum that most people have contacted her and asked what to buy us, so I gave her a list.

Now here is my dilemma. At a traditional baby shower, one of the highlights is watching the mother to be open her presents in front of everyone, and cooing over the tiny socks. I don't want anyone to feel like their gift wasn't appreciated. BUT we didn't position it as a ban shower, and I don't want anyone who doesn't bring a gift to be made to feel uncomfortable - after all, we weren't expecting them.

I might be over thinking this, but I really don't know what to do. Any advice?

#2 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

QUOTE (Rawr @ 24/11/2012, 09:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pretend you like the gifts.

Huh? I'm not sure I understand - why wouldn't I like the gifts? I'm worried about opening presents in front of the whole group, and therefore making people who didn't bring one feel uncomfortable.

#3 baddmammajamma

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

Edited by baddmammajamma, 24 November 2012 - 09:05 AM.

#4 Futureself

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

Simple - just don't. Have a table, or designated spot, for anyone who brings a gift to place them at the bbq and then just open them later. I had a champagne brunch(with some menfolk there too) for my shower and didn't even think to open gifts there as I find it odd.

I do think it is particularly important etiquette wise to ensure you write a thank you card as soon as possible mentioning each gift personally if you go this way though. That way everyone feels their gift was acknowledged and appreciated original.gif

#5 EsmeLennox

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 24/11/2012, 07:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

This is what I would do.

#6 HRH Countrymel

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:11 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 24/11/2012, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

Baddmammajamma has it in one.

If you have their email addresses a photo of you holding said gift with the goofy "Awwwww.... little tiny socks!" smile would be good too.

#7 CharliMarley

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:19 AM

Baby showers have only been in vogue for the last 20 years or so and before that, people who wanted to buy you something, did so and brought it around after the baby was born or brought it to the hospital. This I think is better than a baby shower, which to me is a present expectation and not everyone can afford all these parties and present giving, especially if you have had big parties this year. I would decline the baby shower and just let people give if they want to and not feel obliged.

#8 wish*upon*a*star

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:19 AM

Agree with PP.
Thank you notes are lovely original.gif

#9 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:23 AM

Thank you notes it is! Thanks all.

#10 BBV

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

I would open them later, if ppl are offended because u didn't open them at the BBQ - bad luck! And coming from the point of view of someone who didn't bring a gift as the invite stipulated no gifts, it was very uncomfortable when all gifts were opened at the shower!

#11 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

QUOTE (BBV @ 24/11/2012, 12:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would open them later, if ppl are offended because u didn't open them at the BBQ - bad luck! And coming from the point of view of someone who didn't bring a gift as the invite stipulated no gifts, it was very uncomfortable when all gifts were opened at the shower!

That's what I was thinking.

#12 JustBeige

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 24/11/2012, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

This is what I would do also.

Just make sure your mum is onboard with it all so she can also answer the "when is she opening the presents" questions

#13 lamarque

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

Yep open later.  I hate it when presents are opened in front of people.  

I've been burnt though.  This couple had an engagement party and had a registry for it.  There was an $800 coffee table on the list and the party was a BBQ.  I don't mind registry for wedding but not for engagement.  Anyway ours was the third coffee maker to be opened - it was excruciating and highly awkward.  laugh.gif

#14 50ftqueenie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

Sitting around watching presents get opened is usually my cue to quaff champagne and attack the cheese board with gusto. Believe me when I tell you no one will be disappointed if you open the gifts later.

#15 elle-M

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:59 PM

Definitely don't open presents until later, it's your BBQ you can do what you want.

For our engagement party years ago we didn't want any presents (for similar reasons you mentioned in your original post) so we specifically said on the invite "please no presents". I despise baby showers for the reason that they are purely all about presents.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


How to talk about your pregnancy at work

The workplace isn't always a friendly place for pregnant women. Yet working women inclined to conceal a pregnancy from prying coworkers may be better off opening up and carrying on, according to a new study.

Tell us your story to win!

To celebrate Mother's Day this year we are giving you the chance to win one of five great prizes simply by telling us your story.

Where to get help to help your baby sleep

There is so much pressure about having a baby who sleeps 'all night' , it's no wonder you worry about your baby if she wakes in the night.

Vintage baby names having a comeback

What makes some names have comebacks while others silently fade into oblivion? A few factors come into play.

When your partner doesn't want you to breastfeed

Dads can have many reasons for not wanting their partners to breastfeed their baby, but both parents should learn more about it before making a final decision.

Model mum Sarah Stage shares post-baby selfie

Most new mums would recoil at the thought, but Sarah Stage has shared a post-pregnancy selfie just four days after giving birth.

I'll admit it: I have last child parenting fatigue

If you're a new mum and feeling ignored by the older mum/the old hand/the has-been, please know, it's not you, it's me. Blame the last child parenting fatigue.

Exhaustion is not the same as tiredness

Having a new baby isn't tiring - it can be downright exhausting.

Five posterior babies, four home births

I was on a high. I'd done it all by myself with no help from anyone.

Mum's list of birthday gift demands goes viral

We're big fans of kids' birthday parties - but this is one bash we're glad we didn't get an invite to.

Kate Middleton to receive 'loyalty discount' for second birth

Everybody loves a bargain - including the Duchess of Cambridge.

Fish & chip shop owner's sad note goes viral

A lengthy note put on the window of a fish & chip shop has gone viral due to the writer's serious doubts about the romance of travel.

Pregnant women need good nutrition advice, not judgment

Pregnant women are under pressure to do all the "right things" to have a healthy child. It results in women feeling judged about their decisions.

When your child wants you to have another baby

Giving your child a sibling when you don't want to have another baby can be a complex issue.

William Tyrrell's mum speaks out: 'We hope he is still alive'

The mother of missing toddler William Tyrrell says she has a vision that somebody "picked him up and moved him on ... that's the only way ... to explain for him not to be there".

Family comes first for 23-year-old Tommy Connolly

Most 23-year-old blokes spend their hard earned cash on fun times with mates or romantic dinners with their girlfriend, but not Tommy Connolly.

Newborn all-girl quintuplets 'doing great'

The first all-female quintuplets born in the United States were delivered last week, at 28 weeks and two days.

Model mum's big baby silences critics

He may be less than a week old, but baby James Hunter has already helped his model mum silence her critics.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.


What's hot on EB

Last chance to win a year's supply of toys

You have less than a week left to win your child one of five Fisher-Price toy packs valued at over $600 each - hurry, enter today!

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.



Win a year's worth of toys

Last week to submit a picture of your baby at play for your chance to win. Visit the Play Wall to view our recent entries.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.