The rules of baby shower etiquette are changing and being bent, but there are certainly some rules that you should still abide by. Here are some of the basic rules of baby shower etiquette:
· Who should hold the shower? Traditionally, friends or co-workers have held baby showers, but it is becoming more and more common for close family members to, as well. The rule of thumb is, if you want to throw a shower, go for it! This applies to everyone except for the parents to be.
· Should fathers and men be invited to the shower? Traditionally, baby showers have been held for women, but there is no baby shower etiquette rule that states that men cannot come, too. Fathers enjoy opening presents, too! Of course, if you do decide to invite males, try to stay away from games that are too cutesy that they may not like. Try to think of foods and activities that both men and women would enjoy.
· How should I invite guests? It is becoming more and more acceptable to invite guest via telephone or e-mail. Of course, the best method is still a written-out invitation sent via the US mail service. You can be sure that people will appreciate this method better, and the invitation itself can serve as an extra reminder as to when the special day is.
· When should I hold the shower? Baby shower etiquette generally dictates that the shower should be held 1-2 months before the baby is due. This gives the parents enough time to go out and shop for important items that they did not receive at the shower. You do not want to hold the shower too close to the due date, in case the baby comes early. You may instead decide to hold a “welcoming” baby shower one to three weeks after the birth of the baby (just make sure that you give the guests enough notice! You obviously will not know when this sort of shower can be held until the baby is actually born). This sort of shower is great for parents who did not want to know in advance the sex of their baby… guests will know whether to bring gifts for a boy or a girl. It is also good to hold a “welcoming” baby shower so that family and friends who are coming into town for the birth of the baby can attend, as well.
· Is it ok to sign up for a baby registry? Old rules of etiquette would say that it is a definite no-no to tell your guests what to bring (besides assigning a certain theme). But baby gift registries are becoming more and more useful and more and more popular. Go ahead and sign up for a baby gift registry. You can include a note in the invitation that says where you are registered, but it looks best if you can get the word around by word of mouth. Be sure that the cost of items covers a wide range. You can also propose that guests chip in for one, larger item.
· Do I still need to send out Thank-Yous? You most definitely need to send out thank-you notes for all of your gifts. While you are opening them at your party, ask someone to be a scribe and write down everything that you get as you open it. A host may even choose to print out in advance a list of the addresses of all of the guests, then the gift that each person gave can be written right next to the name, making it easier for the mother to send out a proper thank you note. Also, another benefit to getting thank-you notes out early is that a mother will be much to busy once the baby is born. Also, a thank-you note and even a small token of thanks should be given to the host of the shower.
· What should I give the guests? Part of good baby shower etiquette is making sure that the guests have a good time. After all, they deserve to have a little fun as payment for the great gift that they are giving. What you give the guests does not matter so much as the fact that you should give something. Be sure to have plenty of food and good drinks at the shower. You can send each guest home with an additional party favor as well. You can also have some lovely gifts as prizes for baby shower games.
· Should I have a shower for a second baby? It is perfectly fine to have a shower for a second baby. After all, you are going to need a few new items. Of course, proper etiquette states that only very close friends and family members should be invited to the shower of a second child. You can also invite people who did not attend any showers for the first child.
Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on gifts and baby showers, please visit Distinct Gift Baskets.
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