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7 Things NOT To Do at Your Baby Shower

By Monica Bielanko |

Do you know how long it takes to open all these gifts? THE HORROR!

I’ve never liked baby showers. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I hate them. All the oohing and aahing and awkward conversations with people you barely know.

Most baby showers include four groups of people from the expectant mama’s life — her family, her partner’s family, their friends, and work friends — that makes for a lot of folks that don’t know each other in the same room. And unlike weddings where people are free to dance, eat and drink to ease all the blending, showers consist of games like “guess how big the belly is” or “guess the baby food flavor.” This is just uncomfortable for all involved.

And then there’s the gift opening. You’ve got to read the card and exclaim how sweet it is, open the present, oooh and aaah over whatever it is, then make sure your scribe writes down who sent what so that later you can send out thank you cards. Wouldn’t it just be easier to buy the gear yourself? And honestly, your guests don’t care to see what you got from other people, they just want to see the Oscar performance you put on when you open their gift. I’m tired just from explaining it!

I always thought I stood alone in my distaste, a Grinch of baby showers, if you will, but when I asked my Facebook friends what they liked least about them, the number one answer was “everything!” So if women don’t like baby showers, why do we continue to have them? Tradition, I guess, which means one thing: baby showers need some serious revamping.

Here are 7 ways baby showers need to change…

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7 Things NOT To Do at Your Baby Shower

Stop the games

The number one thing the women I polled hate about baby showers is all the games, so just stop. No more guessing which melted candy bar is in the diaper, no more guessing the girth of the pregnant mama. No more smelling baby food to guess which kind. No more. This isn't a small child's birthday party.

The only game I ever thought was cool was the one where my friend filled a giant, clear bottle with M&M'S candy. Guests had to write down their guess for how many were in the bottle and the winner got a gift card to Target or something like that. Totally cool.

Another fun idea, particularly if you abide by suggestion 4, is to showcase baby pictures in one corner of the room and make guests guess who's who. Whomever gets the most right wins a gift card or something. Both games are optional, which means no one gets deemed a baby-hater for not playing.

Image: Flickr.com/DanHarralson

Thinking of a good gift for a baby shower? Check out this baby shower registry guide!

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About Monica Bielanko

monica-bielanko

Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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101 thoughts on “7 Things NOT To Do at Your Baby Shower

  1. Cristin says:

    Amen. To everything. I was always chosen to be the scribe because I was deemed to have the best handwriting. Well, yay.
    One more thing: the mobile app for this site cuts off the page. I’m missing half the pictures!

  2. Nelson's Mama says:

    And please tell me when it became acceptable to give oneself a baby shower? That’s so many kinds of wrong in my book…

  3. Kelly says:

    I hate showers with a passion. I’m having a gender reveal party and people (men and women!) can bring gifts if they want.

  4. Grace M. says:

    For the first time, I pretty much disagree with everything you said. I liked my showers. I had separate ones for work and friends, and they were fun! I agree on the games thing, but my friend (because she knows I’m a trivia hound) organized a trivia game about pregnancy around the world. It was actually really fun and interesting. Several people asked her where she got it to use at a shower themselves.
    And the note-taker is for thank you notes! I got so many wonderful gifts, and I wanted to be sure to thank the right people.
    At my work shower, all the ladies gave me the one piece of advice they would have wanted when they first had children (all of them are at least 20 years older than I am). It was sweet to hear all their experiences. They may be crazy and full of old wives tales, but they sure had fun memories to share. :)

  5. Amanda says:

    Wow — total killjoy article.

  6. Kristen Jones says:

    I couldn’t agree more. My mom hosted my baby shower and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. It’s a total dread for anyone invited. Buy the obligatory gift. Eat the crappy finger food…ugh. You said it all.

  7. kajey says:

    I have a theory that women who grew up with only brothers (as you did, M, and me too–I have three brothers and no sisters) view female bonding opportunities/obligations differently than those who had sisters. I just don’t need all the drama that ensues when lots of women get together. I don’t enjoy it. I am all about co-ed events and our baby shower was just a whole lot of old pals getting together (with plenty of beer) and there were NO games. I did open gifts in front of people for that, but not for our wedding (my mother was a little shocked that we did not have a “gift opening” brunch–I could not do it!). Anyway, I might be wrong about the brother thing, but it would be interesting to hear from other women who grew up in all-boy households and how they feel about showers.

  8. Rachelle says:

    Most of the time I enjoy showers. I like the chance to celebrate with my friends, but my friends also know how to throw a good shower. I say most of the time because this weekend I’m invited to the baby shower of a 15 year old girl. The thought of hanging out with a bunch of adolescents oohing and aahing over expecting mother makes me sick just thinking about it. I don’t think she’s registered (so no pressure there), there will be boys (literally boys) and I’m sure her mom will be serving alcohol (so the adults can cope) but all in all I’m dreading the experience.

  9. Grace says:

    Amen, indeed. Baby showers are horrible, shameless gift-grabs. The last one I went to, mama registered for both her infant AND toddler carseats. REALLY? You’re registering for (expensive) things your unborn child won’t need for over a year? Just awful and tacky. I would never agree to let someone throw me a shower. I’ve decided to placate my family with a “sip and see”, after the kid’s born. Cocktails and food, no registry.

  10. Louise says:

    I had the most amazing baby shower last week. My cousin and his partner threw it for me. It was set up like a cocktail party. No games and I didn’t open the presents at the party. I was able to talk to all of my guests and everyone (including my husband and me) had an awesome time. Several people told me it was the best shower they had ever been to and wondered why more showers weren’t thrown that way.

  11. Nikki O says:

    I’m surprised no one’s already said this, but breaking out the booze at a baby shower is often not cool with the guest of honor who can’t partake herself. I know I definitely didn’t want to watch my friends and family drink up while I sat there sipping my 5000th glass of water to ward of contractions and keep my sugar down.

    I do think the focus on the gifts and the opening them in front of everyone has pretty much ruined showers in our society. I think registries are helpful when the parents-to-be use them appropriately, and I disagree with the insinuation that you must be able to fork out thousands of dollars on baby gear up front — on top of the thousands you’re already handing over to the doctors and hospital b/c insurance and the entire medical care industry is a joke these days — before you conceive. If that were the case, only the very rich would ever get to have babies.

  12. Holly says:

    I disagree with this article. If you have a diaper party, not many people probably will come. Diapers are expensive and half of the stuff on my registry was cheaper then diapers so .. why would they buy them instead of maybe a pack of bottles,or burp rags.If you don’t like them just don’t go is all I’m thinking. I liked my baby shower. I got to see a lot of my family that I never get to see. I also got really nice things, and not everything was from my registry. We don’t serve finger food in my family, we had sloppy joes, shredded turkey, veggie tray, con queso dip, taco salad..etc etc. and we didn’t play any games. It lasted maybe 2 hours. We also bought door prizes for people who came. We put their names into a hat and picked them out.

  13. Kara says:

    One of my friends had the hostesses unwrap the gifts in secret and display them on two long gift tables, but a lot of people brought them unwrapped because they were requested to do so. She hates opening gifts in front of people, it makes her feel awkward. But I thought it was a great idea and the tables with the gift carefully displayed looked great! And no awkwardness!! She opened her cards later at home in private.

    I think showers are nice and should be something that is appreciated and not expected. I agree with the games and all the awkwardness! My friends insisted they throw a meet the baby for our third child. I begged them to keep it really small and no big gifts or any gifts at all, I mean it was our third child! Plus I made sure to buy every thing I needed, which wasn’t much since I could re-use all my older kids baby stuff, so there wouldn’t be anything they would feel they needed to get me. Anyways my friends obliged and it was a very sweet very small gathering at one of my favorite cafe’s with good food, drinks, and company. For their gift they all pitched in and got me a massage and I got a few cute outfits for the baby. By far my favorite shower!

  14. Mandy says:

    AGREED AGREED AGREED!!!! Baby showers are painful. I was recently at one where they passed the gifts around, so not only did you have to ooohh and ahhh at the gifts as they were opened, but also as they got passed to you. My girlfriends and I started “passing” (as in not accepting) the gifts as they went around and had them passed to the next table. We were all given a pretty mean stink eye from several of the old ladies. UGH! I get it…its a diaper cream, awesome.

  15. Teri says:

    I have to disagree, I have had 3 baby showers! 1 for each kid, lol! I was 17 at my 1st one & it was at my moms house & it wasn’t horrible other then I was sick 7 overheated. There was good homemade food, no games & all my bestest people! I had my next one 10 years later, starting all over again, because I didn’t have the room to keep anything for that long. I hosted it myself in my home, with a few family & friends. Made bbq & had food & drinks. Played a few games & that was it. After a divorce & meeting my new hubby we got pregnant( 5 years after the last) it was a girl & I had NOTHING! So my mom threw me a shower with all our friends & family above a “club” the VFW! it was guys & girls, we played games, the guys drank beer out of baby bottles, the girls played the usual games, I opened my gifts for everyone to see & everyone enjoyed themselves! I personally love showers & love going to showers!!

  16. Paulina says:

    Skip the gift opening scene, and maybe come up with some better games and I’m happy. The trivia game that someone mentioned sounds pretty cool actually! We did the “guess how many candies are in this jar” game and another prize was given to 3 or 4 random guests who got a shower favor with a certain color ribbon tied to it. Both games were low-key and didn’t require grown women to sniff chocolate-poop diapers. At one of my showers, we played ‘hot-potato’ with a ‘dirty’ diaper and I think everyone involved was pretty much fake laughing about how fun it was. Oh, and serving wine is always appreciated! I didn’t care that I can’t drink, but it was nice to see my guests relaxing and enjoying themselves.

  17. Sally says:

    Sounds to me like someone has suffered from a big dissappointment in her own shower or simply suffers from lack of gratefulness.
    You could have gotten your same point accross by doing something like “modern baby shower ideas” rather than insulting every shower you’ve been to.
    Not everyone who hosts a shower is so up to date on the latest trends, and nearly every baby themed website will counter your dislike for games, finger foods, gift opening.
    When I go to a shower, I like things like so:
    *Make sure there are a variety of foods. Yep, finger foods. Because no one wants to take a heaping scoop of lasagna to realize it contains an ingredient they despise, or worse, are allergic to (mushrooms, etc).
    *Have a punch where alcohol can be added. Sorry, but you’re rude to demand alcohol at the event when the guest of honor herself won’t be drinking. Common sense.
    *Open the gifts in front of the guests. Bottom line, people do care, and most would probably think it is rude to not publically thank them for their gift. If you’re stupid enough to buy a personal gift, that’s your problem.
    *Yes, you need a scribe. Not just for thank you notes, but so you actually know and can look back at who gave you what. For instance, I now realize how useless registering for hooded towels was. But I was given them by one of my best friends. God forbid I ever said around her “we got a bunch of hooded towels we have no use for.” Catch my drift?
    *A registry IS necessary if the parents to be want any type of theme. If not, people will get the most off the wall patterned item that will match nothing. Heartfelt, sure. Until the mom to be returns it for one that matches. Awkward. Or watching the mom to be open five of the same thing. Even more awkward.
    *And sorry, but depending on the crowd, games are necessary to move the day along. There were no games at my shower. It was a crowd of over 50 people where everyone knew someone. Chatter all night (yep, evening shower on a weeknight!).
    My SIL’s was about 20 people, including men, including coworkers. Games kept the conversation from the weather.
    Bottom line, your post is more of a rant that you clearly do not like showers. Then do yourself and others a favor and don’t go. Let those of us who like them, enjoy ourselves. And celebrate the mom to be. It was never about you, anyway!

  18. Elizabeth B says:

    I agree with a lot of what you said and I think showers could definitely be way more fun if they were more like a regular party with guys allowed, good food and drinks, etc. I have mixed feelings on the games because the right ones can be fun, but then again some are awful. I went to a shower once where they played a lot of games and one of them involved being blindfolded and having to scoop up cotton balls with a wooden spoon. Ugh. I absolutely hate being blindfolded so that was not fun. I agree on not opening presents at the party either, or at least waiting until most people have left. Another option is to have a come-and-go party. You set a starting and end time, but people are free to drop in at any point and leave when they want – I love that, especially if it’s for someone I don’t know well.

    Kajey – I have four brothers and two sisters, and I don’t really enjoy girly get-togethers much, but that may be more my mother’s influence rather than just because I have so many brothers. She has always preferred the company of men and so do I.

  19. courtney says:

    this is artical makes me laugh! no men at a baby shwer? no games? no opening gifts? wow then what is it? the father to be should be there and you should let some men come so he can have people to. no games? really so you want ppl to eat and sit? what is that. its not a childs party?well it is your letting the ppl you care about the most share a new tme in your life.its not about the parentsits about the child. and if people cant inner act with eh other then maybe they shouldnt go.

  20. Leslie says:

    I hate baby showers! I am so glad I am not the only one as everyone in my life makes me feel like I’m an alien for not wanting one!

  21. Sadie says:

    Putting a registry on an invitation for anything is not proper etiquette. You wait until someone asks you where you are registered, and then you tell them. I wish wish WISH people would stop putting it in their wedding invitations.

    I hate watching the presents opened too, but at most showers I’ve been to, that is the whole freaking point of the shower (bridal or baby). People (especially little old ladies) like to watch you open the gift and ooh and ah. They just do. I don’t, I don’t care, but I know some that do.

    And if I was pregnant I’d be pissed if everyone else was boozing. We’re here to celebrate my new baby, bitches, don’t get loaded if I can’t.

  22. goddess says:

    FABULOUS tips- I’m a shower hater altogether! I think it’s the feeling of being trapped during the interminable gift-opening that is the worst!

  23. LolaK says:

    I agree with most of this and wanted to add a few points. Opening gifts the everyone has chosen from YOUR registry is ridiculously stupid. It’s like the mom-to-be (or bride-to-be) is up there faking excitement with “ohhh how cute!! Look at what she got me everyone, it’s the bouncy seat THAT I PICKED OUT MYSELF”

    I am also very against showers for every kid and/or husband. It is a very RARE situation when I think a shower for baby #2 is ok. And most of them only involve loooong spans of time between kids. A second husband though? Uh-uh. Sorry. I already gave you a gift for getting married. And actually registering for baby/husband #2? TOTALLY inappropriate. Hey bride, remember that crock pot I gave you 10 years ago that you still use? You don’t get to register for another one just because your new kitchen is red.

    And don’t even get me started on bachelorette parties for husband #2. YOU’RE NOT A BACHELORETTE!! You’re a divorcee and this isn’t your “last night out being single.”

  24. BJ says:

    Love giving my daughters Baby showers!! We do the match game where they get candy for the prizes, like m&m’s for twins, or 3 muskateers for matching triplets, everyone enjoys it!! Always can use the gifts, but gift cards are becoming a big hit!! We like to have good finger food, and we keep the party to 2 hrs at the most. My daughter’s work gave her a shower for her second one, and they called it a “sprinkle!” If you don’t like them, don’t go to them, send them a gift card when the baby is born, and take over a dinner they can take from freezer to oven!!

  25. amy says:

    I despise baby showers. I do think the parents-to-be deserve gifts however. it can be so expensive, and many of my friends-who-are-new-parents could not afford all of that stuff very easily!

    as previous commenters have said: ditch the games, ditch the gift opening part. provide food, booze, and let people just have a party. (sorry for the pregnant lady who can’t drink, but I do think wine or some alcohol is necessary, esp if a bunch of stranger have to mingle.)

  26. amy says:

    oh also– I’ve been to many baby showers where men were invited. they were super fun. but my husband refuses to go to any of them because he hates all the games and the oohing and aahing over gifts.

    so ditch the stupid girly-girly crap and just throw a party where the new parents-to-be can celebrate!

  27. Juli says:

    I wholeheartedly agree a gift registry is in poor taste- but I for one am on board with it anyway. I don’t want to guess what someone wants or needs because shopping sucks. People with gift registries pick what they want, I order it online and send my regrets for not attending the festivities with a happy “Enjoy the gift!” card.

  28. Shandra says:

    I don’t love baby showers but I am floored at the number of people who think gifts are tacky – the whole original point of a SHOWER is to “shower” the bride or mother-to-be with necessary items (note: this does not include a pricey stroller :) ).

  29. lokita says:

    I love baby showers…if I don’t know someone..I will introduce myself and pick at them until they laugh. I love watching the gifts getting open because baby clothes are so cute..and people have different tastes, so you may see something you have never seen before or get an idea for a gift for next time. Party games are fun..not awkward..I love it when the men come too..usually they have more fun then the women. I think a lot of having fun at a baby shower is your attitude about going. I love the finger sandwiches and snacks …every thing about a baby shower is wonderful..your celebrating the beginning of a new life. I have had several baby showers..only thing that has ever bugged me..are those women or Children who are hell bent on getting every clothes pin in the room until you hand it over just to shut them up..lol..Party On People !

  30. Cyndi says:

    gawd what the hell. My boyfriend and friend from work threw me a surprise baby shower and it was awesome. It had a scavenger hunt to reveal the gender (that my boyfriend had already known for about a month). We had a registry that had practical necessities on it, nothing ridiculous and un-usable. If the only people allowed to have babies were the people who could afford huge purchases and multiple Dr visits all within 9 months, then the only people having babies would be rich people. And booze? People drank at my baby shower and I wanted them to be comfortable (none of them had kids or were around babies much) but there’s something sad about the mom-to-be sitting at a picnic table with a bottle of Pinot Noir sitting in front of me all night while I sip water….that’s a little unfair. If you can’t go (consensus, 2 hours for a baby shower? hour and a half?) without alcohol for that long, then….um….you might have a problem. No body is more socially awkward than I am and even I can muster up sincere smiles for people that came to celebrate the future baby and myself becoming a mommy. It’s damn exciting, we’re celebrating. Opening gifts in private feels like the fat girl eating cake in a closet. How selfish and spoiled! Ever heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”? A lot of our gifts were handmade or hand-me-downs. The guests want to be a part of the experience, that’s why they showed up (unless you are one of those that ‘hate baby showers’ and supporting a friend or relative in their moment is considered absolute torture). God, that’s so rude! Suck it up and have a good time. This too shall pass. Chances are if your friend is throwing your shower, then they know how you feel about cheesy games and you don’t have to play cheesy games. There’s other stuff you can do, stories to tell, etc. Finger foods aren’t bad, for an hour and a half? I can’t stress that time period enough…. Do you always have to gorge yourself on huge meals? Have a good breakfast, then cram down some melon balls and cheese and crackers. After that, hit the gym, chances are you need it if you’re wishing you had plates of casseroles and burgers in addition to all the other food you need that day. lol that was exaggerated but you get my point, hopefully. Make showers fun, they are YOUR shower, have a good time with it. People like to know you are registered so they don’t waste their money and your time gettting you things you don’t need. We have a very small apartment and didn’t want things we really don’t need. We’re pretty simple people, and can make a lot of baby stuff on our own without buying it. We also plan to move out of this apartment when junior is about 5 months old, so things that he won’t need until after that, we requested people not worry about. That sucks ya’ll had such crappy baby showers! mine was awesome- but I guess my friends are sincere and sweet and know me and know how to throw a shower that we can all enjoy, rather than being so horrible at communicating thoughts to one another that the shower is nothing you want to do.

  31. April says:

    I totally agree with Sally! I also cant belive the amount of people that say they hate them. I think they are a great idea, a great way to get people together and I personally enjoy them, i never knew so many people didnt. Personally I disagree with everything this article says. If you dont like them, just dont go to one, you dont need to bash everything traditional involved with them.

  32. Angela says:

    I disagree with every single one of these…if you are not doing these things, then I don’t think it’s really a baby shower…call it something else then, such as the above-mentioned “gender reveal” party or something, but not a shower.” As the above poster mentioned, the whole point is to “shower” the mother-to-be with necessary items, so the “shameless gift grab” is the purpose of the party.

    #1. The Games — OK, some of these can be lame, I don’t personally enjoy trying to pull enough toilet paper off a roll to go around the mom’s belly — but I have played some games that were very cute and original. None were played at my shower, and I was mildly disappointed.

    #2. Opening Gifts — I also feel that one of the primary purposes of the shower is for all of your friends and/or family to be able to “Oooohh and Ahhh” over the cute little baby stuff you’re getting. And everyone gets to see all those cute items that you’ll be dressing the baby in on days they aren’t around, or the sweet jammies and bath towels that won’t be used in front of everyone.

    #3. The Scribe — As mentioned above, for larger showers, this is necessary so you can send personalized thank you notes. I had a small enough shower that I kept everyone’s gift cards and tags with each gift, and was pretty much able to remember who gave what, so I didn’t actually need one, but many people will in the confusion.

    #4. Including Men — Hell no. They can come to a completely different event, such as a “Welcome Baby” party. I want my shower ( and others I go to) to be a time to bond with my women friends and family. There is often talk about childbirth and everyone’s different birth stories, and I think it is a great thing to share between women without male comments or sneaking off to avoid such talk.

    #5. Finger Foods — Hell yes, that is half the fun, finding cute recipes and treats to serve at the shower! With your women friends and family! Like a tea party, with baby gear! Showers are typically given at a time that is not a meal time, such as a Saturday afternoon (between lunch and supper/dinner) or later in the evening after family meal time. The cake, snacks and finger foods or there just to tide you over and to have something to enjoy during the event.

    #6. The Registry — A very handy thing to have so you don’t have to keep answering for the umpteenth time, “What do you need? What do you want? Do you have ‘X’ item? What colors/patterns do you like?” The key is to put on a wide selection of items at different prices. Though personally, I think the high ticket items (strollers, car seats, cribs & furniture, etc.) should be reserved for personal gift giving. I think showers are better for providing cute outfits along with all of those mundane daily items we need…supplies for bathing and feeding, diapering, health, safety, teething, infant toys, receiving blankets, undershirts, and so forth.

    #7. End Time — I can’t imagine serving alcohol at a baby shower. I have never been to one like that, and since most women will also bring their children, it doesn’t seem like the right environment for it to me. As I’ve said before, it’s a time for us as women to bond over childbirth!

    I’ve also never been to a shower that ran longer than a couple of hours…if I’ve stayed longer, it’s because most of the other guests have left after an hour or two, and it’s just a few of us cousins or friends that have remained behind to hang out. If you don’t serve a whole meal with alcohol, but serve only finger foods and punch/soft drinks, it will most likely not be drawn out and will end in a timely matter. Plus everyone needs to get back home to their men and families!

  33. gina says:

    Okay, I understand how you feel about these things but I must say that LOVE the opening of gifts. No matter how long it takes. I love when they pass the item around so you can have a closer look. Not to paw over or breathe on, but just a quick pass for a gander. Besides this, after all of the shopping and wrapping, it’s nice to see your gift opened. Pride I suppose. Now I understand if you have somehow, if it’s possible, shorted the mother. Maybe it’s a re-gift or possibly some ugly thing you found on the mark down picked over table at McCrourys. Understandable. To me, the gifts are the MAIN event. And the cake. So…side story. I will never forget my wedding shower. The sisters in law to be arranged it and it was really nice. They held it at a restaurant I usually didn’t go to so I knew something was up when Al brought me over there. ANYWAY long story short….I suppose time was running short, or they felt I was spending too much time unwrapping things but they started unwrapping things and passing me the OPEN boxes and cards!!! Just so they could see and write down what it was and pass it down the line to me. WHAT THE… I could not believe it. So many people had taken time to adorn these gifts with special little touches. I was horrified. Okay so fast forward to the wedding day…we have this big old wedding, everything, well almost everything the way I had planned it…( i know this has NOTHING to do with your post but bear with me). That’s okay, life isn’t supposed to be perfect, right? So the reception has ended and our guests have left, and I walk outside to find we are stranded there. I happen to find one straggler, a close friend, who drove us home. We drop over his folks and he sticks around for a bit to take care of some loose ends, and I head to my mom’s to say goodbye to some out of towners. About an hour or so later, my new H shows up and we get on the road. I ask him for the white satin satchel which contains the cards, you know, with the giftings. The dear man hands me the satchel and lo and behold…he has taken the liberty to open them with his family, take out the cash or check and toss out the envelope. Whoever the scribe was, the amount was written on the inside. In all my years I never heard of such a thing. Eventually I got over it. Years later. It’s okay, he needed to be sure it got into the bank…but he really should have waited for me, as I take personal pleasure from opening the cards and reading the messages. It was as if I was robbed of that joy. I KNOW. Silly me. It just grates my….it’s okay. Over. Done. back to the subject…

  34. BonnieLB says:

    Gotta disagree on the registry. I’m always happy to shop from a registry. I’d rather get someone the diaper bag that I know they need, than to be one of a dozen people bringing a pack of bibs. And a diaper party sounds like a bad idea. There’s no telling how long the baby will be in each size. So you’re giving a new mom the gift of lots of packages of diapers cluttering up her house, and then making her return them to the store every time the baby outgrows a size.

  35. Lauren says:

    I’m amazed at how defensive people are…you guys think it’s any less ‘offensive’ to talk about how Monica should keep her mouth shut than it is for her to be honest about not liking baby showers? It’s not like she’s hiding the fact that she doesn’t like them – it’s in the second sentence. So if you’re going to be offended by someone not liking something you do like, I’d imagine you hide in your home a lot and don’t go online….that way you can avoid seeing anything that confronts your preferences.

    Sheesh.

    Baby showers suck if you don’t like baby showers, and they’re great if you think they’re great. End of debate.

    I for one, think they suck. As for the people saying it’s not about the mom, it’s about the kid…GREAT idea! You’re RIGHT! So have a party for THE KID! Let him or her open gifts. Maybe even on his birthday!

  36. Taz says:

    i LOVE baby showers! i love seeing all of the cute presents and getting to spend some time with the pregnant lady. now that i’m pregnant i’m sure i’ll get showered by my sister or mom or somebody. if i’m asked for input i would want a co-ed shower cause my husband and our guy friends are the best and i would love for them to be there! i am working on a registry- which i’m not the biggest fan of. i didn’t have one for my wedding. but with the baby i feel like a lot of family members would want to help with baby gear and might want to know which car seat we were thinking of. and registries are just suggestions- no one has to buy from them. anyway i most look forward to a shower because the bigger i get the less i want to go visiting my friends in other cities- a shower is an opportunity for everyone to get together and see the pregnant lady at her biggest and most pregnant and get excited about her future with her. do people seriously think that isn’t fun? i would suggest rsvping that you can’t make it if you’re not into it.

  37. Leyla says:

    for the first time in a long time i must say that i whole heartedly disagree. it’s a party and sometimes (even though the guests may be tired of the games) the GUEST OF HONOR may have been looking forward to this. i struggled with infertility for 3+ years and getting to be the guest of honor at a baby shower was the second best day of my life and we had a mixed shower because my husband felt the same way. i WANTED the stupid games……..we WANTED to celebrate our baby with our friends who had seen us cry and struggle with going to other showers and/or holding someone else’s newborn the first time we got to meet them.

    it’s all in who the party is for not the guests. if you want to skip the shower do so…..no one is forcing you to go.

  38. kiki says:

    What’s up with all the “the guest of honor can’t drink, so alcohol shouldn’t be served” stuff in the comments? What, are we 5? If I can’t play with it right now, no one can? Talk about a killjoy…
    The only thing above that I disagree with is the registry (and then only half disagree) – I don’t think it should be given to people unless they ask for it, but a lot of people like them just like they like gift lists for Christmas and birthdays for kids. But I totally agree that it shouldn’t be included in the invitation for any party – that’s just tacky.

  39. gina says:

    “It ain’t over til the fat lady gets into the closet and eats cake.” Let’s open presents!

  40. GreenInOC says:

    @Kajey – I grew up with more sisters in the house than brothers. However, we were raised by our single father. I think that we girls lean more towards the male side on certain issues. Love a good party but not with all the drama! Like to bond with a few good people. Want hysteria? Look somewhere else!!

  41. Josie G says:

    Here is a piece of advice for you. If you don’t like all of that stuff then don’t have a shower int he first place. Sounds like it’d solve all of your problems. The whole purpose of the shower is to prepare the new family for the arrival of their child by giving them (the child) things they’ll need. The games just make it more of a social interaction and a way for your family, friends, coworkers to mingle if you don’t like it – skip it. Just shoot out an announcement that you had the kid and be done.

  42. Kate says:

    It sounds like you don’t really get the concept of a “shower” – it’s not a thinly disguised attempt to collect presents, the POINT is to SHOWER the honoree with lots of gifts to help her equip herself for the next stage in life. That’s typically why it’s considered tacky for women to throw themselves showers (although this old etiquette is fading). Likewise, that is why it is traditional to open the gifts at the shower, not afterward. If you hate showers, don’t let anyone throw you one. Personally, I think the “gender reveal party” is tacky… we’re all happy you’re having a baby, but not so invested in the boy/girl question as you.

  43. breastfeedingmum says:

    I LOVED my baby shower. My husband was there, and we had a great time opening gifts and reading the cards aloud, many of which brought tears to our eyes because we have so many dear and longtime friends. I agree with the commenter who said the article could simply have been a “modern baby shower” ideas piece, rather than an ungrateful and not that well written rant.

  44. Lia says:

    What an unbelievably hostile article. “It took forever to open the presents”? Are you SERIOUS? Count yourself lucky to have so many generous friends who want to welcome your little one.

    No one forced you to have a shower — you could have easily refused one, or asked for charitable donations instead. Methinks the author is more than a little spoiled…

  45. Stoich91 says:

    o_O SHEESH

  46. Jen says:

    I totally disagree with everything but the end time. It sounds as though you are very bitter about baby showers, which is sad! They are fun and traditional is wonderful! We should not have to change how a baby shower is done because of a few people who hate the showers. If you hate the baby showers than just do not go. This advice is really, well quite awful.

    *Event Planner*

  47. Lisa says:

    I totally diagree with this article. I think baby showers are what you make them to be. I’ve attended both some I like and some I couldnt wait to leave, but my over all experience is baby showers are great.

    Lisa
    http://www.beautifulbabyshowerideas.com

  48. Mommabean says:

    bah-humbug

  49. Teresa says:

    I think it’s rude to just write a generic thank you note-but that is because I really do appreciate a well written note, and I hope that someone I thank in writing feels the same. Thoughtful, handwritten notes are few and far between these days.
    I love registries-they save me time! time! time! I’m with you on the booze, not with you on the man factor. My husband would rather die than go to a baby shower, so I would never even ask him.

  50. Denise says:

    I know some people already mentioned this but it really was pretty presumptuous to say that people shouldnt have a registry or get gifts because they should have the money to buy EVERYTHING themselves. I am assuming you have had a child so you might have an idea for how expensive it is to get EVERYTHING that your baby will need. And I am assuming you had a shower for your own children or else you wouldn’t be so adamant about why you hate them. But, I am also sure plenty of people bought you things for your baby that you would need so that you wouldn’t have to buy EVERYTHING yourself. The point of showers is that everyone has them, and when its your turn, you get to have one too. So its not just you buying everything your baby needs and its not just your friend buying all her own wedding gifts or your other friend buying everything for her baby. If everyone pitches in, its a lot easier on everyone to get what they need for those life changes. And as far as a registry = why the heck WOULDNT you have one. I have had 2 showers thrown for me for my wedding and while I definitely appreciate the gifts that were given, there were plenty that people got that werent on the registry and I didnt need them. So while I got plenty of stuff I did need because people bought from my registry – I got other stuff that is nice but was, in my opinion, a waste of money because I don’t need it. So with my first baby on the way, you better believe I have a registry and I hope people stick to it because I put on it what I need, not just what I want. And there is stuff on there for every price range – no one HAS to buy the big expensive stuff but if everyone gets the little stuff then that only leaves the big stuff for me and my husband to buy which definitely will help in the long run. I can agree to some extent on everything else on the list but the point of the shower is to get gifts that the couple needs so I really don’t understand why you would suggest that someone not have a registry or not get gifts at all.

  51. beckster says:

    I drank an entire bottle of wine at my baby shower! It was awesome! . . . . . . I was adopting :-)

  52. BEllen says:

    I, too, think that your rants are kind of out there this time. Weddings are about the bride and groom. Baby showers are about the parents and baby-to-be. I would hope that whoever throws the shower knows the mom-to-be (and dad-to-be, if he’s included) well enough that the shower includes everything that makes *her* (*them*) happy. Guests who attend should be there with happy hearts… or at least suck it up, paste on a smile, and remember it’s only 2 hours out of their entire lives. Sheesh.

  53. Donna says:

    I am all for showers!! I think it is sad to hear anyone say they hate watching the opening of gifts or the games. This is tradition and just like everything else in our society, there are the people who hate these traditions that ruin it for eveyone else. If you don’t like them, don’t go!! Don’t ruin it for people who do like showers. I also think it is really sad that there was a comment that alcohol is necessary if you have to mingle with a bunch of people you don’t know. What is this world coming to? You have to be drunk to talk to people? Well, a baby shower is not a bar. What next, baby beer pong?

  54. Emily says:

    I find this article to be in very poor taste. I’m frankly surprised and disappointed in the negativity that Babble has allowed to be spewed here. If you don’t like showers, don’t attend. But, believe me, most moms-to-be are very appreciative when their loved ones spend as much time and thought on them that a shower entails. Maybe your harsh opinions about a very standard and enjoyed tradition on the journey to motherhood would best be expressed over cocktails with your girlfriends. Leave your harsh comments off a website for happy, expectant mothers. Please. Also, people, for the love of good taste and manners (they aren’t dead, you know!) DON’T send out generic thank you cards when someone gives you a gift. Or, that might be the last gift you receive from that person. Acknowledge the actual gift, not just the sentiment behind it.

    And, Babble…really?? SO disappointed in your content!

  55. Mary says:

    hahaha OH MY GOD I could not agree more!! I’m pregnant right now and made it abundantly clear that I do not want a shower! I keep saying I want “sprinkles” (little showers), if anything. A friend of mine kept insisting on throwing me a shower (one of those people that does things for others so she can feel the gratification herself). Finally I threw my hands up in the air, and told her we can have a five person large “sprinkle.” (Ordinarily I’m not so much of a control freak as to put it a number on it, but we recently moved out of state and these five already have plans of visiting at the same time.) So this friend started inviting others to come and stay at my house (which involves me driving them from the airport, feeding them, cleaning after them, and finding a place for them to sleep) in order to “surprise me” with a “huge shower!!”
    I literally personally contacted everyone and uninvited them.
    Oh, and I’ve said since before I got pregnant that if I ever have a shower, I want my husband there unless it’s a small low key girls’ day or something. This friend apparently told my husband he wasn’t allowed.
    I wasn’t too hot on the idea of showers previously (would much rather do a bunch of little fun low key things with people I like, so no pressure all around). But now, I cannot even emphasize enough my distaste for showers!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Number 8 should be “Don’t put a baby bottle bank out as if it were a tip jar, with a note on it asking for college funds. People already bought a gift, don’t be rude.”

  57. Nina says:

    I loved all 3 of my showers :)
    They are for people to celebrate the life inside your belly that you have created! Getting toys, clothes and baby gifts when you are pregnant is so exciting. Almost like Christmas when I was a child! I feel sorry for those who can not find joy in celebrating with family, friends and co workers and LET people spoil you! For you people who do have kids know it is no longer about you once that baby arrives!! If you dont like them dont go…You will be the only one missing out.

  58. April says:

    Disagree on the opening presents part. I actually DO like seeing all the cute baby toys and clothes, etc and I want to see what you got. I also want to see you open my present. If presents are not opened then it is not really even technically a shower.

    I am with you on the games though. I threw a baby shower for my best friend and there were no games period. Just eat, mingle and chat and then watch her open presents. Short and to the point.

  59. April says:

    Ooo and yes you need a note taker. Etiquette says that in a thank you note you must mention the gift by name so you need to know exactly what each person gave. Some of your complaints here are your personal preferences and that is all fine and dandy, but etiquette is what it is and you cannot just decide to not abide by it without offending some of your guests. I don’t want a generic thank you note. I want you to thank me personally for my gifts by actually letting me know you remember exactly what I gave you.

  60. Candy says:

    I don’t see what the big fuss is about. The point of a baby shower is to celebrate a baby arriving, which should be a happy occasion. So what if it’s a little awkward being around people you may not know? Make the best of it and don’t have such a negative attitude over something that is supposed to be a positive experience. Just saying…

  61. April says:

    On behalf of my husband, no men do not want to be involved. If a man says he does, he is lying. Men don’t care about the cute baby stuff whereas at least some women do care. My husband had zero desire to attend my baby shower and the same with my best friend’s husband when I threw her shower. They hid at home with beers.

  62. Lindsay says:

    Sooo… What would you do at a shower? If you don’t like them, you have two choices:
    1: Don’t Go.
    2: Don’t Have One.
    The End.

    Quit being such a hater. I pretty much disagree with this entire article.

  63. April says:

    Do agree with you on the having some alcohol and decent food (although finger foods can be decent and filling depending on the type and amount, at the shower I threw my mom did the food and that lady made tons of food and no one left hungry). I also agree with an end time. All showers should have about a 2 hour time limit in my opinion.

  64. Bonnie says:

    I have never been to a bad a shower. When I had my baby, I had two showers (one for friends and one for family) and a gender reveal party. My friend wanted to throw one of them, but I ended up planning everything for both. I loved being able to get together with all my friends and family. I didn’t have a single thing and I really depended on the generosity of my friends to get me the things I needed because I am a single unemployed mother. I had a registry (from two different stores), but did not expect to get everything on it. It was more of a guide as to what I was looking for like colors and patterns. We played games, I opened presents in front of the guests (at their request by the way, and I was happy to oblige) and we wrote down everyone who gave me what. It didn’t take forever, and the people who had to leave early were not held to account. I even had men at my shower. Everyone had a really good time. I was able to mingle and chat. and see people I hadn’t seen for a long time. If you don’t like showers, politely decline and don’t have them yourself. Don’t put down the people who want to celebrate with genuine joy over a new arrival.

  65. Camilla says:

    I agree with some of it, like inviting men, skipping the games, and having awesome food and no registry, but I don’t think not having a shower is that great of an idea. Getting gifts for the baby is super helpful and goes a long way in helping out the expecting parents. And as far as a charade on every gift, I didn’t mind it. I wanted people to know I was grateful they had taken the time to get a gift and come. As well as the scribe, its way helpful to know who gave what after the shower, as I did send out thank you’s for the before mentioned reason. :) Most of my ‘showers’ were actually open houses, where they could come and spend as little or as much time they wanted in the designated time frame. It was great because I got to see family and friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. It may be traditional, but the majority of people enjoy them.

  66. Lissa says:

    Um, opening gifts is one of the most fun parts about a shower!
    “Shower” the mom-to-be (or bride) with love and gifts… that’s what it’s about. Do you think it’s ok to have a bridal shower then?

    I agree start/end times might be beneficial but I can’t imagine having had a baby shower where I didn’t open presents. I had one at home and one at work and both were wonderful. I guess I don’t “get” the hostility towards this practice. I hate being the center of attention but it was fun for that one moment (or two) to be cast into the spotlight … probably the last time for a long time!

  67. Jen says:

    I went to a shower last year where the hosts requested unwrapped gifts to be added to a table as you came in – less mess, and there was no gift opening portion, which left more time to chat and play games (no, really – fun games!) and hang out.

    Some friends threw me a shower yesterday that was an open house style brunch and did something similar. I didn’t open gifts in front of everyone because people came by at different times and dropped things off, chatted, got some food and favors, then left. People who wanted to stay the whole time did, people who had wiggly kids or didn’t want to talk about babies didn’t stay long. It was low stress for the planners and for me.

    I will say that it was a little easier to do it this way because I’m on bed rest and can’t sit up for long periods of time, but if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any different.

    The thing about parties thrown in someone’s honor (so, you know, any kind of shower ) is that they should be about what that person wants. I had a horrifying wedding rehearsal dinner because the person who volunteered to plan it created what she wanted and refused to acknowledge anything I was interested in, down to my father needing an elevator because he can’t walk up stairs (didn’t happen, and he spent most of the dinner trying to catch his breath after it took him 20 minutes to walk up the stairs.) If you’re throwing a shower from someone, ask them what they want. If you’re going to a shower, bite your tongue and make note of the things you’d never want done yourself. Or don’t go. But for heaven’s sake there’s no right or wrong way to do it, and don’t you think we as moms and women judge each other enough over piddly crap, let alone how we like to party?

  68. Nicole says:

    I’m rather saddened and appalled at the sentiment expressed that booze is MANDATORY for people to feel like a gathering is a party and that they can then be able to mingle with others.

    When did alcohol become a necessity of life? Many people never drink their whole lives and yet still somehow manage to enjoy parties and mingle appropriately in awkward situations.

    Show a little respect for the not-currently-drinking-mother-to-be. Recognize that mingling sans booze for a couple hours will NOT indeed kill you, and put the focus on someone other than your own self for a change, please!

  69. Kirsten says:

    Yeah, I think that is the dumbest list I have ever seen. Some of it makes sense. The rest? Stupidity.

  70. Ashley says:

    Seriously? I’m going to echo a lot of the previous posts by saying that if you hate showers that bad, don’t go! Showers, after all, aren’t about the guests, but the guest of honor. And since she’s usually involved in the planning of the event, you could probably assume that most of the things are the way she wanted them. If she wanted your opinion, I’m sure she would have asked. Traditions exist for a reason, and although they aren’t all great, there is something to be said for keeping some of them. In fact, a lot of them are etiquette-related, anyway…like having someone write down who gave what gifts. If you’re going to have a shower, you should definitely make an effort to thank everyone in a personal manner.

    As far as showers being a “thinly veiled charade to collect gifts,” duh…It’s a shower, what do you expect? Having a diaper shower isn’t the greatest idea either, because how are people supposed to know what size and/or brand of diapers your baby will need/be allergic to? I personally wouldn’t want to end up with 20 boxes of diapers that my baby would outgrow in a month and would give them a horrible rash! Also, putting your registry info on a shower invitation isn’t the same no-no as listing it on a wedding invitation–for a shower, it’s expected (and generally appreciated); for a wedding, a faux pas. The only baby shower etiquette violation I’ve noticed in recent times is having showers for second-or-later babies. I’m sorry, but where I come from, showers are reserved for your first child only; having them for subsequent children is considered rude and in poor taste, no matter if there is a large time gap or if the next baby is of a different gender than the first.

    Registries provide a great starting point for people to use to guide their gift-giving, which I personally appreciate because I would hate to spend $100 on something that the family-to-be already has or has no use for. Plus, I’m sure that most everyone ends up registering for things they end up not “needing” or using, but isn’t that part of the process? Not everyone has the same definition of “useful”, either-one person’s trash is another’s treasure! (i.e., wipe warmers-some people hate them, some love ‘em) My husband & I have already bought most of the big necessities for our baby, so I feel it’s pretty reasonable to register for the “extra” things we may not otherwise buy for ourselves.

    Finally, to touch on a couple of other things: I don’t know of any man who would WANT to be present at a shower. Honestly, not one. Furthermore, who wants to be the only sober one at a party, much less THEIR OWN party?! I, for one, do not. Like previous commenters have said, sitting in the corner with my water while everyone else is drinking it up isn’t my idea of a good time. And, as others have suggested, if you can’t be bothered to socialize with strangers without being liquored up, maybe there is a bigger issue at hand!

  71. Beth says:

    Wow… this author is really angry. If she hates baby showers so much, then she just shouldn’t go to them.

  72. April says:

    Sorry but I won’t attend a shower that mandates to me how to do things. I was invited to a shower recently that asked for just money or gift cards. I planned on going but brought an actual gift and included gift receipts. I get no pleasure out of just buying a gift card or writing a check. I like to pick things out and wrap it all cute.

    If you tell me to just bring an unwrapped gift or just bring money, etc then I will either not come and give you a gift at all or come but totally do what I want to do and ignore your demands. You can’t demand anything when it comes to gifts. You should just be grateful for whatever they do for you.

  73. Mary says:

    I tried to host a co-ed shower for my sister-in-law, and the only guys who came were the husbands who were unwillingly dragged along, and they sat out on the porch the whole time. Yes the games were silly, but everyone really did have a good time laughing and talking and cooing over baby gifts. I loved my traditional shower, and my husband happily stayed at home.

  74. Beth says:

    This is exactly why I threw my own shower and it was a barbeque in my backyard. There were men and women and kids and ribs and cheeseburgers and potato salad and beer and wine and NO GAMES. If guests chose to bring a gift they brought it unwrapped so everyone could see the gifts if they wanted and I didn’t have to sit there and open them in front of everyone. Everyone said it was the best baby shower they ever went to.

  75. Lisa says:

    I love this article, though I’m not surprised there are so many cranky comments. There always seem to be two types of shower people. I personally don’t see anything wrong with making the event more adult and not making it all about staring at the mother-to-be while she opens gifts.

    There are plenty of pregnant women who would prefer to have alcohol at their showers. How about asking her if she wants alcohol at the shower and letting her have her way.

    FWIW, co-ed showers can be great and not all men hate them.

  76. Megan says:

    Hmm, mixed feelings on this article. We don’t do ‘registries’ in the UK (or at least I’ve never heard of that) but I liked that my friends could give gifts to me and see me open them – I like seeing friends open gifts from me and they’d have got me something anyway. Also, my belief is that if you say thank you to someone’s face as you open their gift you don’t have to write a thank you – if it comes in the post you do. I’d never have expected any big items and already had the essential things (mostly second hand from sisters in law) so mine wasn’t really all about the gifts. My friend had a shower in August and she was embarrassed about the gift situation so asked if instead we all could take a favourite book from our own childhood or that we love to read with our own child – really lovely touch and she had a decent library of children’s books – not an expensive gift either. That said, me and my school friends still clubbed together and got her a baby bouncy chair and a box of new mummy essentials (from my own experience – this included nipple cream and under eye concealer) – rather than do this at the shower we instead surprised her (none of us live in the same city as her) and had a meal out in a lovely bar with live music – pie and mash and gossip all round (no games!). I hated having alcohol at mine – why rub it in?! I like the diaper (nappy!) party idea – my sister made a nappy cake for mine… which reminds me of her husband’s friend’s wife’s shower – her sister was collecting money off everyone who was going to get something specific this girl wanted. My sister wanted to make her something – maybe a nappy cake again (which would have taken more thought and energy but would have all been usable stuff)… in the end my sister didn’t go as it all became too mercenary. I like the idea of involving guys – I hate this idea that women get together for a quiet giggly pre baby present party while guys just go and ‘wet the baby’s head’ after the birth. My husband would totally roll his eyes and humph about coming to a baby shower but if it’s just a pre-baby party then why not – it does seem a tad old fashioned to treat motherhood and birth as an ‘only girls allowed’ event. Plus I like the milk chugging idea. I think baby showers should never be held by the pregnant lady and should ideally be a surprise so it’s a treat and a ‘we know you’re knackered but we love you and we’re really excited for you’ kind of thing. I also like the suggestion of imparting advice… not really an option at my baby shower as only my mum and mother in law could have contributed! Biggest let down presents were the baby toiletries – all the lotions and potions that smell divine but we couldn’t use on our eczema blighted baby – a bag of cotton wool and a bottle of olive oil would’ve been more useful! My favourite present was after the birth – the day after we got home was a Sunday and my mum brought over a roast dinner for us – amazing!!!

  77. Nicholek says:

    YES. Thank heavens I’m not alone on this. I HATE baby showers, and I have two kids. The games (especially the guess-what’s-in-the-diaper and guess-the-waist-circumference) are disgusting and mortifying, respectively. Opening presents one by one in front of an audience is a special kind of hell. I feel like it’s awkward for the gift givers that their present is being judged by a group, and I feel like it’s unpleasant for the recipient, who has to come up with an equally enthusiastic, adorable, unique thing to say about every.single.present, which is just horrible. And really? No men? If there were no men, there would be no showers. It seems silly to not include them. They probably wouldn’t mind going if they didn’t have to stick their noses in baby diapers and coo over 7,324 onesies. For my own showers, I begged that these antiquated rules be waived, but no dice. I was told that I was crazy and no fun and despite my pregnancy, “not a woman.” Really?!

  78. Meg says:

    You need real friends. Our baby showers are get togethers to celebrate the new niece or nephew-of no blood relation. It’s an excuse to hug, shout, get silly with the games and compare what we had to what kids have today. And anyone who attends is made part of the family.

  79. Addora Live says:

    Baby showers are like bluntly asking your friends for gifts. People are just polite to say no if you invite them to one.

  80. Snoozystarfish says:

    My showers in a few short weeks, we call it a soiree though because EVERYONES invited, man woman child. It’s in the evening, no games because I hate them, real food so people can enjoy dinner, beer & wine for those who partake & no opening presents simply because it takes too long. I did have some requests (giant cheese & fruit selection) just due to the fact that this will be the last time I ever have a shower… In my life. I honestly just want everyone to have fun! We only registered because were having twins & needed specific items & hope to deter the matching outfits…

  81. megan says:

    I don’t care for baby showers myself, but my husband and I both have a bazillion cousins who are baby making machines so I go to a lot of them. However, I’m glad I did now that I’m having my own kid. I see them as a necessary evil. Yeah, it might be easier to buy the stuff yourself, but babies are really expensive and every little thing I don’t have to buy myself at the cost of a thank you note and some appreciation is worth it to me. And, sometimes you get really special things that someday you can tell your kid, look, your aunt gave this to you, blah blah. Plus, my sister is throwing me a book themed shower where she’s asking people to inscribe a short message to the baby (like welcome Isla June, love Aunt kathy or something) inside the book. I still have those books from when I was a baby and love them. I’m having three showers though, so my relatives don’t have to travel 8 hours, and because both of our families are enormous so they each get their own and my friends can come to the one hosted by my sister so they don’t have to deal with giant families and all the screaming kids, etc. they really don’t know. That way, each shower should last about 2 hours tops and everyone’s happy. No one wants to sit through a 6 hour shower (I did once, it was beyond awful, and by the time the mother got to my handmade gift she just looked like she didn’t want to unwrap one more thing unless it was a nap). So yeah showers can be a drag. But, if I ever instituted half the stuff this author suggests, my mother and anyone older than me would call me an ungrateful witch. Not opening gifts in front of people? Sending general, generic thank you notes just for coming and not mentioning the gifts (not to say you need to do a laundry list of onesies and pacifiers in a note, but at least mentioning the gifts in general and maybe one thing specifically is a must)? Telling people when they have to leave? Not a good idea if you’re including anyone older than 35. Of course the shower where it’s only a half hour long and I could bring my husband (who in any case would not want to go- he’s perfectly content to go watch sports with the other husbands while I’m at a shower, in fact he looks forward to it) sounds nice in theory, but it’s really not practical. Dunno, that’s just my take.

  82. Liz says:

    Wow, you really are a shower hater. I do agree with some things- getting rid of the games, serving booze, etc are good things! I have a shower coming up and I’m not looking forward to the present opening part BUT I also know that most people want to see, what they DON’T want to see is hours and hours of present opening and that sometimes happens. I think the mom to be needs to power through the gift opening part and keep it short and sweet.

    I don’t agree with the registry/gift giving part. Most people ask where you are registered because they don’t want to play a guessing game. And from what I can tell, people want to get you things. I had many friends and family who said they coudln’t make the shower still send gifts.

  83. Jewel says:

    I cannot get over the complete SELFISHNESS of this article! I’m sorry, but baby showers are a time to celebrate the birth of a new life. It’s not about what games the guests hate or do not hate. It’s also not about making sure the guests get their free alcohol fix. If you hate baby showers that much then here’s an idea…..don’t go!

    Having a registry is a wonderful idea. Some people do not have a clue what the expecting parents need or already have. The only people who complain about registrys are the cheap skates who want to get their gifts from the dollar store.

    This is a sad article with cheap and selfish people. It’s a shame that you think baby showers are all about YOU instead of the precious new baby to come.

  84. Janet says:

    Wow, I’m shocked at all the hate. In my culture, baby showers are completely different. It’s similar to a wedding. The hosts go all out with a catering hall, food, DJ, and decorations. There is alcohol and lots of dancing and fun. We don’t typically open presents in front of guests because we see it as putting the gifter on the spot. Lot’s of money is spent and it is held at nighttime. Guests come dressed up in their best and it’s always co-ed. The next day, the presents are opened with close family and friends. This is when the girls get together and ooh and ahhh over the gifts. There is no absolute right or wrong way to do a shower. As long as you’re not telling ppl what to give you or being bad hosts, the possibilities are vast.

  85. samantha says:

    This article completely disheartened me. I am very uncomfortable with the entire idea of having a baby shower for myself (but I love to attend them for someone else) My mother and sisters are throwing it (which I didn’t know was considered bad form until now, none of my friends are in any position to throw one, geographically or financially.) Thus, my family did NOT let me have a say in any part of the process. I now feel, after reading many comments and your article that my loved ones will think I’m a spoiled, narcissistic brat. My registry was included on the invites, alongside my preference for color/pattern and type of personal care products for baby (not tested on animals). I told them no games but they insist on playing the traditional ones. I told my family I was not comfortable opening gifts or making people feel obligated to bring them but they said I would open them anyways but assured me they would put ‘gifts are not required but smiles and good vibes are’ on the invites. I temporarily was feeling excited about it (10 days away) and now I just feel sick inside and guilty. However, as a 24 year old, first time mom, my fiance and I are just getting out of college and could use the help with buying all the necessary supplies and people DO keep asking what we need for our baby. I guess for someone who feels this whole shower thing is completely out of my hands, I feel really saddened that people will think such awful things about me based on the fact that I’m having a ‘traditional’ shower at all. All that being said my family is gushing with genuine excitement for the occasion and if anything it makes them VERY happy to do this for me, so much so that I realize its really not about me but about the people who love me and want to show their love in this way. SO I’m going to grin and bear it and open the gifts and wear a stupid hat and smell fake poop because it makes THEM happy…

  86. Jessie says:

    I’m not having my shower until after the baby is born mainly because we have a lot of family who live an hour or more away. My shower is going to be co-ed because i have a lot of male friends who really want to come, have booze, and not have any of the traditional games that are played at showers. That being said, my best friend is organising the shower and planning the food, drinks, games and guest lists, but she has been out of the country for 2 years and won’t be back until just before the baby is born so she is relying on me and a couple of other friends to help with the guest lists and food.

    As for gifts, I have a couple of registries, mainly because people have asked me about where I’m registered already (because of Christmas). Showers are supposed to be about helping the new mother begin her nursery and add to her stash. Nothing on my registry is over $30.00.

  87. Sarah says:

    I completely agree with this article, especially the part about baby registeries: Tacky, Tacky, Tacky!

  88. Chelsea says:

    Wow…what an article. If it weren’t for your total hatred and strong opinions I would swear you had never even BEEN to a baby shower, because some of your suggestions are awful. I agree that it is cool to include the men if that is what the MTB wants…but as for the rest of it, give me a break! I hope some poor young girl about to embark on her first shower experience doesn’t read this and pay any attention to you! Next time you recieve a shower invitation, instead of being (and I’m sure ACTING) misearable, do as someone else suggested and STAY HOME.

  89. Sjazmin89 says:

    Hey theres nothing wrong with throwing your own baby shower in a way its better my opinion because then you get to pick the theme the food the games so when people come to the shower you are happy and they are happy and no ones having akward moments in fact family and friends can give ideas of whats good and bad =) My opinion

  90. patti says:

    Our daughter in law did not want a traditional baby shower so we did a picnic at a great park by our house.”Bun in the oven, burgers on the grill.” Was our theme- it was a friends and family party– games and bubbles for the kids, satellite football for the guys and the mom and dad-to-be had a blast visiting with everyone. No alchohol, but we did have home made lemonade and a professioal photographer (a friend of the mom a d dad)taking pics of attendees and family photos. Party favors were a little oven with a cinnamon bun inside and the family photo. We did have a scribe because we believe in saying thank you when people give of their time and hard earned money. No silly games- but the park hard everything from putt putt to mining for gems-everyo e one had a great time!

  91. Mary says:

    Ok… I’m going to say it. You’re really dumb and spoiled. Not only are you a horrible writer, but also an ungrateful bitch.

  92. Kristina says:

    I’m with the people labeling you a killjoy. I wouldn’t WANT you at my shower! If you don’t want to come to a baby shower, then don’t. It’s not that hard to decline. Don’t go and complain about every part of it, people aren’t obligated to have celebrations that you approve of just like you’re not obligated to attend. Having a kid is a joyous time and showers are for people who want to celebrate with the parents and buy things they need for the baby. Registries are for knowing what people need, not a must buy list. You just sound like a negative bitch to be honest. This article just seems to want to make those about to have a baby shower feel terrible about it. Good job!

  93. Anon says:

    This is boring and ridiculous. Don’t want to play the stupid games? Don’t like watching someone open gift items? Or talking to people? Oh, and god forbid someone offers you food…you go to baby showers expecting a 7 course meal? My suggestion to you, if you find yourself at a cringe-worthy baby shower, is don’t participate in the games, sit at the back of the room when gift giving is happening, and get yourself a meal after the shower. You won’t starve to death in 2-3 hours. You can choose to be the party-pooper or maybe choose not to attend the showers if you hate them so much.

  94. Jus says:

    I’ve gotta say it, I completely agree with you. You’d think a hormonal 14 year old who hates everything wrote this… It’s a baby shower!! It’s supposed to be tacky. It’s also meant to celebrate the pregnancy and to see the mother before she gives birth. Lighten up, people!

  95. Maggie says:

    I totally disagree with this article. What a downer. It was so depressing and negative I had to stop reading. Not good advice to give anyone inquiring about baby showers.

  96. I agree with Kristina above. Baby showers are about the mom-to-be. NOT YOU!!! If you don’t like showers, don’t go to them. But don’t try to turn them into a coctail party and complain that they are not feeding you enough for a meal!! I for one love looking at ALL the presents the mom-to-be receives, not just the one I got her. You strike me as a very bad friend and a bad writer!!

  97. A.P. says:

    I agree that there are certain “traditional” shower things that can be left out by the hostess, but it’s really kind of a bummer article, to be honest. I just had my baby shower (my mom threw it) and honestly there are just some things people come to expect.

    As far as registries are concerned, it’s just like a bridal shower – you are asking for the things that you need the most. People want to know what you need and what you want. The people who don’t care what you want will bring whatever they want to bring and that’s fine too.

    I don’t think baby showers are a “thinly veiled” anything – it’s a “SHOWER” where people shower the mom-to-be (or bride-to-be) with gifts. It’s kind of the whole point. If you think there shouldn’t be gifts or registries, opt for a cocktail party or pub crawl with your friends. Then there’s no confusion.

    It’s way more tacky to complain about having to hang out with people you don’t know for a couple hours or endure someone’s great aunt than to just opt out of the shower entirely. Just don’t go! If anyone with your attitude was at my shower, I think I would rather they stayed at home.

  98. J says:

    I DISAGREE with most of what you said. I usually do not like baby showers either, but if you do have one, I do believe that things should be done tasteful. 1) If I take the time and money to purchase a gift. I would like the mom-to-be to open it in front of me. 2) I also do not like games. But I had 3 short games at my baby shower, because most older people like them. I don’t think you’re taking account that some people would like for their older family members to enjoy themselves. If you want to have a baby-themed “girls night out” or cocktail party. You should probably do that separate. Its only considerate. 3) As for the registery. It actually ends up being a good idea. So that you don’t end up with duplicates or ppl buying things that you do not need. I don’t believe that you should register for expensive or silly things, however. Plus, some places will actually give you a discount of items not purchased off of your registery (after the shower date has passed). It was also very helpful. ***If you feel like having a shower (which most loved ones will hound you to have) is only a way of “getting gifts”, instead of a more positive view of a “celebration” then don’t have one.****

  99. raechel says:

    I hate babyshowers here in our place.In our place it is the most tensed and hated time in a girl’s pregnancy period. It is the opinion of all my friends here in Kerala, India.
    Here during baby shower the girl’s parents has to bring a lot of sweets say each items in 500 number.
    And they have to also bring money or gold when they come to boy’s family. If the culture between the two places are different it again causes issues as the boy’s family may expect more. And if the girl’s family is not providing as much gold or money , she and family may be humiliated . And it is the girl who is in middle of her husband, husband’s family and her family. She doesn’t wants to be a burden to her family due to all these expenditures and she doesn’t want to be humiliated by husband and family. So i totally hate this stupid function and it never makes a pregnant girl happy in kerala but gives an adverse effect on mother and child. Thank God it is only for the first child.

  100. Pamela says:

    Oh I totally agree, I love babyshower games, I’m pretty cometative anyways..lol and babyshowers exist because baby shit is expensive, and it helps the mother and father to be with expenses on buying crap. that is why showers exist, but if your rich enough to not have one thats your choice, but not everyone can afford to do that

  101. JP says:

    It’s a shower, you’re there to shower the mom with blessings for her new baby, be it good advice or diapers or baby clothes. A shower is predominantly about the gifts, it’s no secret, and there’s no point in hiding a registry. If a registry exists and you expect someone to ask you about it, what is the freaking Dear Abby point of not putting it in the invitation to begin with? As a guest, I’ve always appreciated having a list to pick from and have been thankful a mom took the time to do that (btdt, it’s not that much fun, I like surprises!). It does, however, make the opening gifts part more boring, for moms and guests. She knows what she registered for and guests have seen the list. I totally wouldn’t mind her opening the gifts later. I know someone’s Aunt Ethel would be offended, but the shower is for the mom, not Ethel. Sorry, old girl. I had a wonderful baby shower! My huge family, some old friends, great food, lots of gifts. I was on bedrest (blessed excuse for no awkward shower games) and it was the best part of my pregnancy I think. But we did the open gifts and pass them around thing. I felt rushed so I wasn’t boring people and I barely saw what I opened. 5 days later my daughter was born, sent to a NICU and my sister in law had to open, put together, and arrange my things for me. I didn’t get to “play” with them, as in enjoying opening and looking at them, and just prayed that my scribe wrote down things correctly so I could properly thank all the wonderful people who did so much for me. Bottom line, the shower is for the mom. The day should be designed for what she wants, dorky games or finger foods or whatever. If a guest doesn’t want to come eat the finger food and sniff candy bar diapers, then don’t go.

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