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Baby Shower For Second Baby…Yes or No?

By Monica Bielanko |

Photo credit: Getty Images

I am not having a baby shower this time around. But that’s not because I’m concerned about etiquette. Okay, maybe partly. But not really. Mostly, I’m an anti-social nutter who hates going to parties during which small talk and a wide array of women’s opinions on all things motherhood will dominate conversation.

EESH.

And believe it or not, I don’t like being the center of attention.

So, it is with great relief that I waddle through a showerless third trimester. But I am strange, I think that’s been well documented here. Let’s talk about you. Are you or did you have a shower for a second child?

This is a divisive topic. Which, to me, means that if you want to throw a second shower, tread lightly. Not everyone feels the same way you do. I know, I know, there are a bunch of you out there who will tell me that women LOVE showers and really dig doting on baby items. Guess what? I don’t. And I don’t think I’m alone. Single women or women without children often share this opinion and because many of them make up your shower guests lists, not taking this opinion into account is impolite.

You might tell me that if I don’t like showers then I shouldn’t come. But not coming would be rude, wouldn’t it? Admit it, if you invited me to your shower and I didn’t come (for no good reason), you’d think I was rude. And even if I don’t want to go, the appropriate response to a baby shower invitation would be to send along a gift with someone else, mail it or hand it to you later.

You might even tell me that someone’s fancy schmancy registry isn’t a list of gifts, just suggestions, and I can buy something inexpensive on my own. Well, that’s just a bunch of crap and we both know it. A registry is a list of gifts a mom wants/needs, period. To venture off the registry trail would be silly. I would feel stupid showing up to a shower with a gift not on the registry. A gift mom may or may not need or could very well already own. If she wants/needs it, she registered for it. That’s the point of registries, right? So it almost feels rude to purchase something not on the registry.

In my experience, showers, specifically wedding showers, have gotten way out of hand. You’ve got folks in their mid-thirties, getting married for the second time, registering for elaborate gifts. What gives, man? Weren’t showers created to help struggling young couples get a leg up on married life? Maybe acquire a basic set of household items that can be really expensive? Isn’t that the same idea behind baby showers?

But now you receive an invitation and are suddenly staring down the barrel of an expensive purchase you probably can’t afford. So buy something from the registry that’s inexpensive, you’re saying. Yeah, right. Have you experienced the big to-dos made out of gifts at a baby shower? The gift is unwrapped and hoisted high into the air for all to ooh and aah over. There is usually a photo op with mom and each gift, and then someone, the designated scribe, shouts WHAT WAS THAT GIFT? WHO GAVE THAT GIFT? so she can document the items for Thank You cards. Can’t really roll up with a bib and a pack of binkies in that scenario, can you?

Women get crazy over this topic. I’ve experienced women throwing showers for a number of reasons, including I had my first baby in winter and this one will be born in summer. I need all new stuff! WHAT? If you’re throwing a shower for that, you probably can’t afford the new kid.

Yeah, okay. I can feel a bunch of you waving indignant index fingers at computer monitors saying the birth of every baby is precious and that child deserves a celebration. Even though I can’t imagine your baby at twelve questioning why you didn’t throw him/her a shower, I’ll buy that. I just don’t want to buy anything else.  And I don’t think I should be considered stingy or cheap because of it.  Celebrate your baby.  I will too.  I’ll celebrate my ass off.  But don’t go crazy at the registry. After all, second showers are generally about welcoming a new life, not getting gifts, right? Assemble a group of your closest friends and family where no registry is presented on an invitation.  Or put “no gifts, please, your presence is present enough” right on the invitation.  Classy move, that.  So classy that it may earn you some gifts, anyway.  But it’s not about gifts, right?

At the rate women give birth in Utah, if I went to every shower I’d be spending two weekends a month ooohing and aaahing and eating cake. I’d have to have a special Baby Shower account saved up just for gifts because, inevitably, some well-meaning (and slightly wealthier friend) asks if you want to go in on that $300 stroller and then you feel obligated.  Plus the whole debate about how much you should contribute to the stroller fund haunts you like that day old slice of cheesecake still sitting in your fridge. Contributing a paltry amount makes you feel as lame as rolling up to the party with a bib and a pack of binkies.

What I’m saying is, I just don’t get the mentality of women listing off stuff they need as the reason for a second shower. Celebrating the birth of a baby is one thing, but requiring your circle of friends and family to outfit you each time you get knocked up is another. With the exception of having an accidental surprise baby or a baby years after the first or, say, all your stuff was destroyed in a fire, you should have most big ticket items. I just can’t personally get behind the idea of deciding to get pregnant and then requiring all my friends and family to purchase things. But they want to, they love you, you’re saying. Sure they do. But that doesn’t mean I need to impose. And it is. Requiring people to outfit you every time you get knocked up is an imposition that has nothing to do with celebrating a new life.

Here’s something I can get behind: Have you heard of a baby sprinkle instead of a shower? Moms-to-be always need things like diapers and wipes, undershirts, bath accessories, and feeding supplies. Often sprinkles are centered around a particular theme, like, Pampering Mom or Nursing Supplies or Diapering Baby. Another option is centering it around the theme of It’s A Boy or It’s A Girl if mom is having a new gender. In many cases, they’re thrown AFTER the little one is born so all the guests can oooh and aaah as they pass the new baby around.

Still, I’m thinking less is more, in this case.

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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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41 thoughts on “Baby Shower For Second Baby…Yes or No?

  1. Megg says:

    In my group of friends (and actually just about everyone I know) registries are considered bad taste. And I’ve shown up to an engagement party with a gift not on the list. How rude to tell me what to give! But also we don’t really go in for showers of any kind, and weddings aren’t that popular either, so I guess I’m a bit of an anomaly. I’m also not from the USA. When babies come along a group of us will put in and get a nappy washing service or something similarly useful. Much better than a greedy baby shower!

  2. Reeh Rah says:

    I agree. I hate being the center of attention and I cannot imagine having another shower for a our maybe second child in the future. I am fine with going to the first shower or even a celebration for a second child but registering AGAIN for a fancy stroller, diaper bag, and various accouterments is kind of tacky. If our second child is a girl, poor thing will probably be confused for boy considering she will be getting all of her big brother’s hand-me-downs!

  3. Lynnsey says:

    I don’t know if you’re being over-the-top or if you just have shallow, bitchy friends. I really would be happy to just have people come and get together.

    We’re pregnant with number two. Both grandmas are just chomping at the bit to buy pink things if baby is a girl (we have a two-year-old son). Regardless of the gender, we will need a few small things (seasonal clothes in the proper size…#1 was a winter baby, #2 is due in July). There’s a handful of things I now realize it would be nice to have (like a second slipcover for my nursing pillow that has to air dry).

    I don’t expect anybody to buy any of these thing, but my husband is the oldest (and arguably favorite) nephew of a lot of baby-crazy aunts. They’re already planning. I’ve already stressed the “consumables” approach (diapers, wipes, etc.), but I’m not going to be ungracious about people who want to give us gifts.

  4. Diera says:

    I don’t think there’s anything rude at all about buying things that aren’t on someone’s registry. Registries are just supposed to be suggestions. Guests are not obligated to buy any specific thing, although showers are traditionally one of the only parties where gifts are actually required (children’s birthday parties being the other).

    I think second baby showers are in poor taste most of the time, although there are exceptions. I have a friend who had a third baby in a new marriage 14 years after her second was born, and she’d changed cities during that period so had a lot of new friends – technically still against the rules, but not violating the spirit of it. If your first is two, you’re not supposed to have a shower for your second, even if it’s a different gender/different season (hint: babies do not actually explode if placed in ‘incorrectly’ colored clothing). Also, your sister/mom/other close blood relative is not supposed to throw it. HOWEVER, there are lots of communities where these rules are cheerfully ignored and everyone is happy, so ultimately I think you need to be sensitive to what your guests are likely to think is rude, not what etiquette experts think is rude.

  5. Katy says:

    I didn’t have a shower for my first one because A: we didn’t find out the sex
    B: We’d gotten married about 3 months before getting pregnant and I was a little showered out at that point and C: I detest “thank you” notes(oh, the guilt an anxiety and expectation that surrounds them is all too much) so I didn’t want gifts where I would be expected to write thank you notes. It’s not that I’m not grateful because I am, i just would rather not have to write a thank you note. I still received more gifts than I had space for. I really wished people didn’t feel the need to gift me so much. The thank you notes (especially for a new mom who may not even get to shower or remember to brush her teeth for 3 days) are too much of a burden.

  6. Lynnsey says:

    @Diera “If your first is two, you’re not supposed to have a shower for your second, even if it’s a different gender/different season (hint: babies do not actually explode if placed in ‘incorrectly’ colored clothing)”

    I don’t know if this was directed at my comment, but I do realize that baby will not explode…she may however MELT in her brother’s fleece footies when it hits 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity. ;)

  7. TCB says:

    Monica -

    I’m with you on this, all the way. Other than the “not liking attention” part (God knows I love attention.)

    Maybe it’s because I grew up with boys, I generally prefer the company of men. I’m not the mom who can comfortably sit around and discuss Ginny’s gymnastics classes and Rodney’s lacrosse lessons while exchanging recipes for the world’s greatest low-cal, dairy-free, soy-enhanced black bean and cocaine dip. I’m not comfortable being… you know… phony. I have a select group of gals that I am comfortable enough to call my dearest friends and that group is getting smaller by the hour it seems. Girls annoy me. It’s terrible, but it’s true. I’m annoyed by women. Moms especially. And I’m annoyed by the “momhood is the greatest thing in the world and being a mom is a wonderful dream come true and I will never ever be happier than I am right now doing anything else” moms, doubly especially. I want to pee on them. Seriously. I want to seriously pee on their glee-ness.

    I still had so much left over from Rome’s first few years that it was downright silly to expect folks to give more. We did register for those immediate family members who insisted on getting us what we needed since she was an entirely different sex, and that worked out great to be honest, but with everyone living so far away, it was silly to do a planned gathering.

  8. Diera says:

    @Lynnsey: No, sorry if it came across that way, I was still typing mine when you left yours so I hadn’t seen it when I posted. I actually think buying pink clothes is a reasonable (although fairly small) expense, I mostly get impatient with people who think big items like strollers/pack ‘n plays/usable car seats need to be replaced because they’re too girly/not girly enough. Ultimately, if you have a bunch of aunts and cousins who are chomping at the bit to outfit you with a whole new layette for each baby, there’s no rule that says you have to say no.

  9. lydia says:

    My second is due in August, and that’ll make my 2 kids just 16 months apart (yes, I know we’re crazy, and yes, we’re crazy on purpose). I sincerely hope no one wants to throw me another shower because I have enough baby crap to last a lifetime, even if this one ends up being a girl and I want pink stuff instead of putting her in my son’s hand-me-downs. What’s going to be awkward is if someone comes to me and says they WANT to throw me another shower… especially if it’s my mother-in-law. Because then I either seem ungrateful to her or like a total babycrapwhore to everyone she invites.

    I don’t mind going to someone else’s baby showers, though… I’m the rare breed that enjoys that sort of thing and doesn’t feel any kind of pressure to buy the best or most expensive gift. I also see where it’s useful for the mom-to-be if the kids are pretty far apart, or if #2 is a big ol’ surprise and she already got rid of all her baby stuff…

  10. laura says:

    My first born is only 16 mo, so I’d feel silly having a shower. Plus…
    1) Opening gifts in front of people is SO awkward.
    2) Thank you notes are the worst. They feel so mad-lib-y and forced and not-sincere even when they totally are sincere.
    3) Baby stuff seems to expand exponentially on its own. Our house is already drowning in baby stuff. I want to be REALLY careful anything we add to the mix is absolutely a good idea/necessary/etc.
    4) I don’t want anyone judging me for having a second shower here in the South where secretly judging people is what we do best. That and pecan pies.
    5) I could go for a sprinkle with diapers and wipes and little stuff where only were really fun people were invited. Only if I knew no one would judge me.

  11. LoopDeeLoo says:

    Among my friends, second baby has meant grown-up mom’s day out instead of a baby shower. We make sure the father or someone can watch the kid(s) and take pregnant mom out for a nice afternoon or evening that includes no talk about babies. It usually includes a nice meal, seeing art shows or concerts, etc. Because goodness knows it will be a while before we get to do that again!

  12. another monica says:

    yikes! i’d heard that american traditions can be a bit over organized and over regulated, but this takes the cake. in my country (i’m paraguayan) most people have some kind of get together before the baby is born (no limit number as to how many showers you can have), usually the best friends of the future mom, alongside her mother or whatever, organize a round of coffee and cake for her closest friends, and you can bring a present if you want (like you would at a birthday party) but you can get whatever you prefer or cheap in with someone else (or many other people) for a bigger gift. all of this is done pretty spontaneously, and you can really give what you want: a little toy for the baby, a binky, some diapers, some kind of nursery decoration, a picture frame, a baby album, etc. it really doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive. we also don’t use thank you notes.
    i really see your point though. it sucks that things are so regulated and expectations are so ridiculous.

  13. Tina says:

    Amen Sister!!! I hate going to any type of shower especially for a second child.

    Well said.

  14. Therese says:

    What a great post and I agree with you on many points. The real tradition of “showers” of any kind was to shower the new couple, parents… with love, advice and assistance. This might have manifested in tangible objects or not. Over the years, it’s morphed into the types of registry fueled parties that you describe. As you point out, each child deserves to be celebrated but after the first, it really is tacky (in my opinion) for that celebration to be the “traditional” registry guided baby shower. (there are obviously exceptions — i.e., MANY years between children — but I’m speaking in general here). Your description of a baby “sprinkle” is right on with my experience in the Southeastern U.S. Generally, after the baby is born someone hosts a quiet “welcome the baby/congratulate the family event.” No gifts are specified and the event really is meant to welcome the new baby. Usually people bring small gifts (i.e., onesies, diapers, blankets…) but it’s definitely not expected and/or rude to not bring anything (other than your love and congratulations). Another option that I have experienced that seems to work well is a “diaper party.” The ladies at my church have started this for the families in our congregation having their 2nd, 3rd… child. It’s right after church with a soup/sandwich lunch and everyone just brings diapers and/or wipes to the expectant family. Obviously this wouldn’t work if the family is planning on using cloth vs. disposable diapers but otherwise, it’s a nice and relatively low key way to celebrate the expected arrival. I’m not sure what to do if someone you love offers to host a baby shower for you when you don’t want one. I do remember that my SIL clearly stated early on in her 2nd pregnancy that she did NOT want any baby showers as she felt it would be inappropriate and none where had. I guess it’s best to make your wishes clear from the start and hopefully that will help. Otherwise, maybe keep the guest list to people that you know would not be bothered by the 2nd baby shower and/or don’t have a registry so the whole pressure of gift giving is made a little easier.

    P.S. Monica, I am currently pregnant with my 2nd child (a girl) and Monica is one of our top contenders for names

  15. doahleigh says:

    My husband and I did a “meet and greet” for our families, with a bit of shower thrown in. We accepted gifts, but we didn’t make that the point. Part of the reason I wanted to do it this way is because I think too much of the burden of gift-giving falls to women, and I wanted the men to share in that a little. Only, turns out the only people we didn’t get gifts from were the few single guys in the room. They just didn’t know they were “supposed to.” In the end, it looks the like the gals took care of it, as usual.

    Also, if we ever have a baby, I’d want to do a joint shower. I do need help obtaining all that crazy baby crap, but I don’t want to suffer through a shower if my husband doesn’t have to!

  16. Jordi says:

    We’re due with Daughter Thing Two in a few months and my husband and his mother are all gung-ho to have another shower, but I’m holding my ground: NO second shower. We’re set! The only thing I can think of to ‘want’ is advice about adapting to a second child (our other gal is two and a half.) I think the only things we need in the props department would be a double stroller and another crib which we can take care of ourselves. I’d be up for if anyone wanted to come over for cake and cocktails, but not make it a baby thing. If a friend wanted to have another shower for her second baby, I’d go. It’s just not for me.

  17. Black Sheep says:

    Dissenting opinion: I think showers for every baby are appropriate. Our first was a huge to-do. The boys were already born preemie and in the NICU. It was a big co-ed shower and EVERYONE was invited. For our daughter, my friend had a low-key brunch thing just for the ladies and everyone brought girl clothes. It was nice to have a shower the second time around when I was actually still pregnant. Besides, we needed girl clothes!

  18. mbaker says:

    A friend of mine really wants to throw a shower for my second pregnancy. I don’t need or want anything especially since I now have preferences for diapers and other stuff and thus find it easier to buy them myself. If I do decide to take her up on the offer I plan to ask for new or used baby stuff or supplies to be donated to a local homeless shelter. It’s a really great organization and they never get enough baby stuff to fulfill their clients’ needs. I think my second son is just as important as my first son and like the idea of celebrating his birth. I just don’t want gifts for myself.

  19. Jul says:

    Unless there is a significant gap between babies, like 10 or more years and the baby was not really on the agenda, then I think a baby shower, if wanted and if needed (although I am of the mindset if you cannot afford a baby, don’t have one) is appropriate. I do know women who seem to want a shower for every child and to me this is just a blatant solicitation for attention and gifts. As for second marriages, absolutely no elaborate bridal showers. A small gathering of very close friends and family, sure, but that’s it. Anything more is, again, a blatant solicitation for attention and gifts.

    *I too am not a party person. I only attend what is absolutely necessary and usually with someone where an “exit” word is established and in most cases used. It’s not just the annoyance of mindless small-talk and the one-upping contests I seem to encounter in the circle of acquaintances with whom I have found myself unwillingly associated over the past few years but also a little anxiety with being in large, noisy crowds. I do not look at myself as anti-social. I would rather define myself as self-content.

  20. Dayna says:

    I’ve had 4 children and showers for each.. which I KNOW sounds ludicrous but there’s an explanation. Sort of.

    Typical shower for the first one, populated by extended family and girlfriends. The second time around was twins, different sex than the first. They were extremely premature and my mom had just died and I was a trainwreck and my family threw me a small shower, leaving girlfriends etc. off the hook. Then my boss threw me a work shower. It was embarrassing but wow… I had everything I needed and then some, and it was such an outpouring of love that I was beside myself. It really helped me through the really difficult times with those two little babies to pick up a sweet little outfit and remember that it came from Linda in Accounting who cared enough to go pick it out..

    The fourth kid came 7 years later (surprise!) and after a 500 mile move. No technical shower but my online friends banded together and bought a bunch of stuff and mailed it to a closeby friend who took me to lunch and surprised me with all these presents. Incredibly sweet.

    Each one of these felt really special and supportive and I don’t think my friends felt put out by the invitation at all. Big showers usually involve a nice meal and dessert… so it’s not like people aren’t getting something back for bringing a present for the baby. I think second showers appropriately don’t garner the same type of gifts (swings, car seats, etc) but I can’t imagine thinking it was inappropriate to celebrate the birth of a new baby with a new outfit or two.

    I hope you get some presents whether you want ‘em or not!

  21. Rebecca says:

    I think you’re absolutely right. On all accounts. I love the idea of gathering friends and family to celebrate the gift of life sans gifts. Or just asking for essentials, like diapers, wipes and newborn onsies. You’re just… you’re so right!

  22. jen says:

    I’m pregnant with my first (found out yesterday it’s a boy!), and I’m already dreading the showers that are being planned as I type. We eloped and avoided all of that junk before, but the aunts still insisted on a shower post secret wedding. I refused to register, so they made it a “gift card” shower. I guess I’m going to register for the baby stuff, but I still feel guilty and blah about the whole thing (asking for things, not the BABY BOY!) even though I don’t have an issue with other people creating a registry. I’m not a fan of showers for babies #2+. I think it’s tacky.

  23. Teres says:

    if a person DOES have a second shower, I’m in the “no gifts for a second shower” camp. I’m also down with the sip and see? have you heard of these? People come to see your baby and sip wine. Sounds waaaay more fun. Why don’t you do something like that after he is born? I wanted to do this for my soon to be born first baby but my mom issists having a shower for me . I made sure I registered for a lot of stuff under $50 and we are buying most of the big ticket items ourselves.

  24. jen says:

    i’m so having a sip and see…maybe a few of them?

  25. AmyLynn says:

    Monica

    For my second baby (17 months from my first) My friends organized a great progressive present idea for me.

    They took turns dropping off supper every evening for three weeks (in rotation of course) They brought a main course, a couple of sides and even a dessert. The best part was–they left food and WENT AWAY.

    When I had a shower for a friend a few years ago, it was a couples shower. Each couple was asked to bring their favorite children’s book and inscribe the cover. Also I asked them each to bring one large package of diapers (NO NEWBORN SIZES)

    This was maily because she already had a toddler and all of the main baby stuff she needed.

  26. Crystal says:

    My husband and I were DONE with babies. So done, that we gave/disposed of everything and I mean everything that we had accumulated after 5 years with daughter #1. Two weeks after sending the stroller off, I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. I didn’t expect a shower from any of my friends or family. It was a huge surprise when I was given a shower by some of my best friends. Very low-key afternoon with great friends.

  27. Pebbles says:

    Monica, I am like you in temperament. And I will also admit to being a little selfish. Most people I know have a far larger disposable income. I like them, ok, but I don’t usually feel like spending my hard earned money on crap they don’t really need anyway.

    On the other hand, if I know of someone who is single or a hard working but slightly poorer family, or one of my younger cousins or nieces/nephews having a baby, I’m delighted and even happy to pick out a baby gift, because I love them and want to help.

    But if I don’t get that motivation, I’m sort of a tacky giver, sorry to say. Yeah, I’ll get the cheap gift, and it may of may not be on the registry. Serves their sorry butts right for being greedy and imagining that hard working people want or need to pitch in on their $300 stroller.

  28. Heidi says:

    So here is my idea. I want to throw a party to celebrate the impending arrival of our new little one. There are so many people out there who really need diapers, wipes, simple baby clothes, toys, bottles, etc. I would like to have a shower and donate all the items to a charity. I would disclose this on the invitation and suggest a small box of diapers for example. I was also trying to think of good way phrase it that we wouldn’t be opening the items at the shower so they didn’t need to be wrapped. Any thoughts?

  29. StephanieinSuburbia says:

    I could NOT agree more! First of all, I was forced to have a shower for my first. It was a total hassle b/c the person throwing it ended up not wanting to do real work and so I was basically forced to have it at my house, thus cleaning my house top to bottom 7 months pregnant. Also? I did go through and do a registry b/c that’s what I was told to do. Only people thought the stuff we registered for was too practical, and so went ahead and bought clothes and a buttload of baby shampoo instead. We didn’t find out the sex of the baby and if I had a dollar for every grey sweatsuit we got…seriously, I could finance our 2nd kid.

    Showers for a 2nd kid are ridiculous. If someone wants to throw me one when I get to that stage, I would be verrry uncomfortable and probably say no, or insist it only be immediate family that I know would buy gifts no matter what.

    I love the idea of the sprinkle! The expensive stuff is always diapers and bottles and stuff, I would have loved to get that! I was near tears after my shower when I had everything to bathe my baby, and no baby tub to do it in!

  30. Shannon says:

    I had SIX baby showers when I was pregnant with my first child. My husband and I both worked, both were in graduate school, and both had families that all wanted to throw us a party before our daughter arrived. As a result, when we eventually had two more chldren, I absolutely was opposed to subsequent baby showers. We had plenty of stuff and we were well prepared for the other children’s arrival.

    By the way, as an American living in Europe, I never question or comment and say that local traditions are “wrong” or “bad taste” because they differ from my own. Sometimes among friends, we cheerfully compare and contrast differing practices regarding weddings, childbirth, whatever. I certainly think that commentators should think twice before writing comments suggesting that American traditions are somehow less or inferior. It is what it is, and American traditions can be fantastic. It’s up to individuals, American or not, to carry them out in such a manner that reflects the spirit of the occasion instead of a gift grab.

  31. Karen Kelly says:

    I have been known to give a gift card to the store where they request their items or I go, look at the list, and then go to someplace less expensive and buy the item at a price I can afford. I also believe that for the subsequent children showers are ridiculous – if you want to bring a gift after the baby is born GREAT. But these days it’s the shower, the birth and then the Baptism gift. I too can not afford all of that – I do what I can – whatever happened to “It’s the thought that counts”?

  32. Gina says:

    I guess it’s just a matter of who is planning this party. threw a shower every time anyone in my family had a baby. the recipient never had a say. i was just so excited about this new little person coming along that I HAD to have a cake and with that…of COURSE stuff to open and corny shower games.. No one made any lists but it was always nice.

  33. robyn says:

    I’d like to have a little second shower even though I thought it was in poor taste up until the other day. We cloth diaper and our first is only 16 mo right now so he’s wearing the diapers we have, so I’d like some more diapers made just for newborns. And some things, like the bather chair, got all gross and had to be thrown away.

    I don’t actually expect my friends to buy this stuff for me but if they’re going to spend $20-$30 on a gift anyway– which we always do for each other– why not get me something I need? I sure as hell am not passing around my little peanut at a sip and see for everyone to cough on and over-stimulate.

    My first shower was an evening co-ed catered cocktail party where everyone got drunk and ate awesome food, so it’s not like they didn’t have a good time in return for their gifts. No baby games, no opening gifts. Just music, drinks, food and conversation.

  34. Anon2cents says:

    I think every baby should have a celebration of their life, as long as the parents or a willing someone who wants to expense it does so. For subsequent babies, the get together should be noted as a celebration only. With that, I think that showers(getting free stuff) are acceptable for a first baby or subsequent children that have had at least a 5 year gap or other exceptional circumstances (miscarriage, dire financial need etc). To put it bluntly, parents throwing themselves an “event” to acquire free things is crass and is a misuse of friendship. No one except the parents had involvement with the procreation. Hence, the responsibility of expense of the child’s needs fall on them solely, not on their community. The spirit of giving and charity should be self-initiated, not demanded of people by a shower invitation. Ultimately, if it is demanded, one can always graciously decline and send a card.

  35. eal says:

    I’m having my first children (twins) soon and helping plan the baby shower a friend is throwing. I haven’t been to many showers, so all of these rules and etiquette guidelines are a complete mystery to me. Given a quick survey of my male friends, which are the majority of my friends, determined that baby showers are painful, I’m trying to be super-casual about it and skip the girlier activities. An open bar is about the only thing they agreed would make it tolerable, so we’re doing mimosas with our pancake brunch. I’ve promised them they wouldn’t have to watch me open gifts. I’ve put together a registry with both open-ended ideas (toys, books & music that are meaningful to the giver) and practical specifics (registry on Amazon) with the qualification that anything used is completely fine and they certainly don’t have to buy it where I registered. Maybe this makes me not very proper, but I really haven’t got much frame of reference. Does anybody else have thoughts on how to make a co-ed party relaxed and fun? Two babies was a big surprise, even though the pregnancy was planned. I am very grateful that people in my community have been supportive and want to give gifts. A registry is just a way to guide my mostly childless friends towards gifts that will be both useful and meaningful, and I generally get the idea they are happy for the guidance.

    Anon2cents, reading your comment is genuinely painful to me. If I can’t rely on my community in a time of great vulnerability and change, can I really even call it a community?

  36. blondie says:

    I would have loved one. Our children are 7 years apart with a country move in between…and they are different genders. We had nothing to start out with. But I am not tacky enough to throw myself one and apparently nobody here thinks enough of me to throw one, so I did without one…makes me sad, really, but what can I do?

  37. Leah says:

    I have to say, I agree with this article completely. I think that there should be one baby shower for your first child, where you get all your big ticket items that can be passed on to each other child. I have been the victim of attending friends and families showers for their 2-4th children and I think its ridiculous. I understand that if you are having your second child that is a different gender from the first that new clothing will be needed but dont throw a shower to just get people to buy you clothes.
    I am now expecting my second child. My husband and I got all gender nuetral baby gear items so that they can be used for multiple children in the future. I am currently facing 3 births this year other than mine that are going to have showers just because its a 3rd child, or there is a 2 year gap in between the other child. I hate this and will not make my friends and family feel obligated to have a shower or get me presents again.
    That said, have a small get together once the baby is born and accept any gifts that guests may bring but dont go making a registry and having a shower if you have already had a child. It’s tacky.

  38. bbabylycky says:

    In my case a second baby shower I think was appropriate only because my children are 15 yrs apart and I had absolutely nothing for a baby. As for having a shower every time you have a baby I don’t think it is necessary. Some people pop out babies every year or so, so no you shouldn’t need to have a shower for each one. I honestly think one shower is plenty. But to add to that asking for specific things well it could be good because who knows you may already have certain things and don’t need duplicate of them. Most of my baby furniture was from yard sales so I didn’t need any of that. Namely what I needed was clothing and diapers. That is what I put on my registry. I didn’t ask for anything elaborate or expensive. I had a few friends go in together and buy me a new crib which I was grateful for, but would have never have asked for one.

  39. jess says:

    I was totally on board with this article up until you started saying that you refuse to pay for someone who got themselves knocked up. I think you took it just a little too far. I agree on the important things, but your presentation rubbed me the wrong way.

  40. Kylie says:

    I have a friend who has multiple children (and had multiple baby showers) after the first one each of the showers didn’t have a registry but if people wanted to get something then they were directed to the party host who was organising funds for a maternal or new born photo shoot. I think on her 4th (and last child) she didnt get quite enough but it still made a huge contribution that she could afford this great keepsake.
    I personally think this is a great idea and something I will probably copy if I have multiple showers. I think celebrating pregnancy and birth is a great thing and while I am not an outgoing person a gathering of friends and family who know this is a special way to celebrate.

  41. Mindy says:

    I agree in the typical situation a full blow shower for 2nd or beyond is ill mannered. There are the exceptions that everyone has discussed and I have no omens in participating and buying a gift. I just want to point out that there is nothing wrong with admitting that you’re on a budget. I have a typical “gift budget” I stick to no matter who you are, it’s $30. However, if all I could afford at that particular time was some bibs and pacifiers, so be it. If the woman/girl receiving the gift snubbed her nose at my gift I say I don’t need this snotty person in my circle of friends. Most people I’ve encountered though are happy, gracious, and thankful at every and any gift brought to their shower.
    One last tid bit…I have on several occasions ventured off the registry. Not out of rebellion (I think registries are great) but rather I couldn’t decipher the odd descriptions to the items on the shelf. Babies R Us usually have “diaper gift boxes” that people just love and always end up being a hit. This has been my go to when the registry is a complete mystery to me.

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