Whether you’re the dad or mom-to-be or you’re having your first grandchild in the near future… everyone may be looking around wondering exactly who is traditionally supposed to pay for the baby shower.
It makes sense that no one wants to hurt their family member’s feelings or overstep boundaries – but someone has to say it.
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When a woman becomes pregnant with her first child, one of the most memorable aspects of her pregnancy will be her baby shower.
Now, we aren’t saying that all the planning is going to be smooth as frosting. Nonetheless, it is important that a new or experienced have a baby shower if she is having a baby.
The entire point of a baby shower is to welcome this special baby into our world, and shower mom and baby with gifts to care for each of them.
I wasn’t quite sure who was supposed to pay for my baby shower when I became pregnant for the first time and I honestly started getting worried that I was supposed to pay for it.
In this article
- Figure out who will be paying for the baby shower sooner rather than later
- Baby shower aesthetics will vary from family to family
- Establish who is hosting the baby shower when you first find out about the baby
- How to make the guests aware of a wishing well at the baby shower
- You can follow the most traditional ruling of who pays for a baby shower with a modern twist
- You can go with the outdated yet most traditional route about who can host a baby shower
- Guidelines to have a successful baby shower
- How to split the costs of a baby shower up between multiple hosts
- If you don’t want to split the activities into teams you can just go with the flow
- In conclusion
Figure out who will be paying for the baby shower sooner rather than later
It’s better to break the silence sooner than later, so let’s go over all of the baby-shower needs to know below. Expecting the mother-to-be or dad-to-be, for that matter to plan or pay for the baby shower is a no-go.
You wouldn’t ask someone to buy their own birthday gifts. That would just be unacceptable and the same goes for a baby shower. You won’t be asking the family who is bringing this baby into the world, to pay for their own baby shower.
It would be impolite and inconsiderate of the pregnant mother to ask her to pitch in or pay for her baby shower. She already has all of the other baby expenses to handle already.
Even though the pregnant lady won’t be paying for the baby shower, that doesn’t make it any more clear who will be paying for it.
Baby shower aesthetics will vary from family to family
There are small baby showers, big baby showers, and everything in between. Some baby showers will come with many guests and gifts while others will be quaint and only have a few of the closest friends to help mom pick out her favorite gifts for her new baby.
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When planning a baby shower, keep one thing in mind: you can’t go wrong as long as you keep the mother-to-be’s comfort and preference in mind.
It’s likely at some point that you will discuss a baby shower with the special lady who is currently pregnant and that means she may have stated how she’d like or not like her baby shower to be.
If you haven’t discussed this with the mother or father who is having the baby, ask directly if they’d prefer a small gathering or one with more guests.
If they’d like many people to be there but don’t know that many people, ask co-workers or friends of the guests you are going to invite if they can bring a guest.
Having a small baby shower with only a few close relatives may be preferable, and that’s okay too. It won’t be fun if the mother-to-be is highly uncomfortable or overwhelmed with too many guests.
Establish who is hosting the baby shower when you first find out about the baby
According to a few experienced baby shower hosts, there are a few people to never ask to host a baby shower.
Do not ask your guests to contribute to the baby shower expenses. The only job of the guests is to have a good time and bring a baby shower gift if they can afford it.
Celia M says:
“A baby shower (much like a bridal shower) is usually organized by one or more friends/relatives of the pregnant women. The organizers pay all the expenses. The guests will bring presents for the baby. Asking them to contribute to the expenses of the party is very rude.”
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Amy Hillgreen Peterson says:
“In the U.S., the hosts pay for the shower and the guests bring gifts, which can be gifts of cash, but you do not ask for money nor specify any amount. You can have a wishing well on your guest book table in hopes guests will slip you $20’s or more.
Steve Hoffmeister says:
“No, it is not fair to expect guests to pay. Not if you expect to get any guests.”
As you can see, asking the guests to pay for a baby shower is as offensive, if not more offensive than expecting the mother-to-be to pitch in.
It can be highly offensive to request any monetary gains from guests, other than having a wishing well placed at your guest book table, but what exactly is a wishing well?
A wishing well is a table at the baby shower that the guests are made aware of – that will be sitting at the party (by writing it on the invitation or such).
It is called the well because it is intended to be filled with various gifts that aren’t wrapped and small making it have a flowing appearance.
The gifts don’t have to be baby gifts. They can be money in itself or a card with a bit of money inside. You could have an agreement with the mom-to-be that some of the money received in the well (if any) could be put toward the baby shower itself.
A wishing well to help pay for the baby shower could be an idea, but it clearly isn’t reliable and it happens after the fact, you wouldn’t want to count on a wishing well to restore dire funds you put out to support the baby shower.
In other words, don’t take from your bill money expecting to earn it back at the wishing well.
How to make the guests aware of a wishing well at the baby shower
Usually, people make write cute poems on the invitation card that will be sent to the guests.
You can include a statement written into the poem that states there will be a wishing well or you can write a ‘ps’ at the bottom of the card stating that a wishing well will be present for small gifts or funds to contribute to the baby shower.
You can follow the most traditional ruling of who pays for a baby shower with a modern twist
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The most traditional rule has all but been twisted slightly in today’s world to make everyone feel included. The rule implies that the female relatives of the mom-to-be are all meant to plan and pay for the baby shower.
This can include female relatives on the husband’s side as well if desired. It should be a fun way for all of the females in the family to welcome the new mom to motherhood and the family’s new baby or two if the mom-to-be is having twins.
Females of such could include grandmother-to-be, mom’s sisters, sisters-in-law, close aunties, and any other close female relative to the mom-to-be. This acts as a sweet welcome from the women in the family.
Many times women help a lot with new babies. Throughout history, this is true for tribes and in society.
Having the women plan and pay for the baby shower brings a sense of overwhelming womanhood, motherhood, and friendship to the party. After all, everyone has a mother, and even the men who join a baby shower find this to be a welcoming sensation.
Can men attend a baby shower if using the more modern ruling?
Yes, of course! Men such as uncles, brothers, and the father-to-be can attend a baby shower if you’re going with the more modern rules when organizing a baby shower.
Overall a baby shower can be seen as a space for everyone to attend and celebrate the new baby and the new mom.
If any men don’t want to attend, they don’t have to as it can be a more feminine space overall. But, men can certainly join in along the fun that a baby shower is capable of being.
The host/s of the baby shower can make it more neutrally fun for everyone if they know ahead of time that men are attending.
You can go with the outdated yet most traditional route about who can host a baby shower
The most classic version of who can host a baby shower goes as such; only ladies who are not in the pregnant women’s immediate family can host the baby shower.
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In other words, if you are the sister, mother, grandma of the pregnant woman – you are not to host the baby shower.
People were thrown off by and implied it to be a little rude for the family whose baby it was to request gifts and such for their new baby. Today that concept is old news, and people understand that families desire to throw a baby shower for their immediate relatives who are due to have a baby.
It makes sense in today’s world that close relatives, should and can, throw their loved ones baby showers even if they are the direct sisters or mother of the mother-to-be.
So, don’t feel like taking the more modern alternative when throwing a baby shower is out of the question. It’s perfectly acceptable to not opt to make strict guidelines of who can or cannot pitch in on the baby shower when deciding who can help host it.
Can men attend a baby shower if using the classic version of the baby shower etiquette?
Classic tradition states that men could not attend baby showers at all regardless of who they are or their relation to the mother-to-be.
Modern-day baby showers say that male relatives or friends of the mother-to-be can attend the baby shower without question. Everyone is welcome when it comes to modern baby showers and should come to celebrate the new baby.
Guidelines to have a successful baby shower
Having a successful baby shower is more than just inviting the ones you love and having a happy time.
Though that is a big part of it, there are some guidelines that experienced baby shower hosts recommend following to throw a successful baby shower.
If there will be multiple baby showers thrown, don’t invite the same group of people
You may have many people from various places who want to throw you a baby shower, i.e, a coworker and a mother or best friend. When this happens, you should not invite the same people to every baby shower you have.
Think of the guest lists as separate things entirely, though it may be okay if the mom or best friend of the mom-to-be wants to attend both baby showers with the new mother upon special request.
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A baby shower thrown by a coworker could resolve to have a guest list filled with other people known at the workplace or people whom the coworker hosting the baby showers knows personally.
People love new babies, and you would be surprised at how many people are happy to welcome a baby who belongs to a distant coworker into this world regardless of how close they are to the mom-to-be.
The coworker hosting the baby shower can invite people she personally knows or the work team to a baby shower being thrown at work. It makes it easier on the mom-to-be to keep her groups of guests contained to the appropriate party they’ll attend.
It’s not okay to invite the same group of people to multiple baby showers; it’s difficult for people to a lot that much time in their lives to attend multiple parties for the same cause and it’s difficult to pay for numerous gifts for each baby shower.
There can be one party for the moms immediate family to attend and one for dad’s side of the family
To make things a little less awkward at the baby showers there can be a party designated for the mom’s side of the family and one for the dad’s side of the family.
This is a sure way to get the most out of each baby as far as bonding time and party planning goes. Designating a party for each family makes it easier for planning where to host the baby shower and who will plan it successfully.
There are likely already family leaders on each side of the family that will step up and direct things when you throw two families together in the planning.
Things might get a little sticky when it comes to preparing for the baby shower and how intimate the games will be at the baby shower. Unless the families are naturally close, you’ll want to throw two separate baby showers.
How to split the costs of a baby shower up between multiple hosts
Depending on how many people want to pitch in and help host the baby shower for the expectant mother, you can split the baby shower decor and planning requirements into tasks or into increments with the overall cost.
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Split the cost of the baby shower into certain tasks
Instead of asking for a certain amount of money from each individual who is wanting to help host the party, you can request that each portion of the baby shower has a “team” assigned to it.
Each team can then split off to prepare for their part of the baby shower. To do this, make sure you have established an overhead theme for the party and brought samples to show the other costs involved.
It’s best to have one designated leader to reinforce the proper theme that comes to life in the end result. This should be a person who is naturally outspoken whom the other hosts can come to for any questions or concerns with their project.
After you have decided who is on teams for projects do this
Once you have decided who will be on teams together for the baby shower projects, you can split the baby shower into various projects and write the name of each project on a small piece of paper.
Throw the papers into a fishbowl and have one person from each team member draw a paper out to see what team gets what project.
After you have had team members draw out the project that is assigned to them, see if anybody has any questions about what must be done. This is a good time for people to go over any concerns they have with what is being asked of them.
Ask that each team checks in with you at least 3 weeks prior to the baby shower to show that they have all the supplies or plans to execute the baby shower successfully. The projects for a baby shower can be split into the following projects;
Games and prizes
Baby shower games are endless, whoever is in charge of this task can search online for as many games you feel will be necessary for the size of baby shower you are all planning. Games range from intimate to embarrassing to more formal styles.
Have the game and prize planners choose games that are appropriate for the guest list.
Foods and eating supplies
The team in charge of food should remember to include foods that are within their price own budget, and that offer food items that are suitable for people attending who may have the most common allergies such as; nuts, dairy, and meats.
This team may need to know the number of people on the guestlist in order to properly plan the food items and supplies needed to fuel the party’s food and drinks.
Decor and the presentation of the baby shower
This team will be responsible for all of the decorations, suitable signs regarding the baby shower, as well as any party gifts that the baby shower should be equipped with.
They can plan to have a fun baby boy or baby girl necklaces for each guest to receive upon entry and cute additions to the atmosphere of the room.
If the venue for the baby shower is rather large, this portion of the baby shower may need to be assigned to a larger team to split the cost of supplies.
The decor team will need to know where the baby shower is taking place and how big the space is to ensure it is properly decorated.
Invitation cards, the guest list, and tables and chairs necessary for the baby shower
The group leader should be in charge of selecting a date, time, and preparing the venue or location that the baby shower will take place.
This information should be selected well ahead of time so that the other team members can successfully plan their portion of hosting the baby shower.
Where the baby shower will take place is something that should be discussed with the mother-to-be ahead of time, she likely has input about where she envisions her baby shower taking place.
Good places for baby showers are determined by the weather at the time, the number of guests attending, and the funds available to rent a space or not.
A baby shower in the summer can take place at a local park under some shady trees, while a winter baby shower could be indoors at a local bowling alley or at a family member’s home in their living room.
Inviting the guests is as important as the decor at the baby shower, it should give them the general information about the baby shower and get them excited for the party.
Think of the invitation cards as extensions of the theme of the baby shower. If you’re having a Dr.Suess baby shower, you can purchase or make your own Dr. Suess-themed invitation cards for guests.
Aim to send the invitation cards in the mail, to each guest at least a month in advance. Sending the invitation this far in advance gives everyone time to request the day off at work if need be and purchase their gifts for the baby shower.
When you are asking mom-to-be about who she wants to invite to the baby shower, ask her for as many addresses and phone numbers of her guests as possible.
If you can get the guests to list 2 months in advance, that will give plenty of time to contact the guess who you still need their address, ensure there are enough invitation cards, and send them out in time.
Tables, chairs, and furniture needed
When it comes to the proper furniture to prepare the venue with – keep your guests in mind. Will anyone require a wheelchair ramp, will there be children attending, is there a table already available for food and drinks.
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There should be designated space available for everyone to eat, play games, and spend time together comfortably. Ask that the game prep team send you a list of any furniture anyone may need to play the games they are planning.
If you don’t want to split the activities into teams you can just go with the flow
Another way for multiple people to pitch in on hosting a baby shower is to just set a meeting date with everyone who wants to help host it and go shopping together.
Ask everyone what their ideas are for the venue location, theme, and other concerns – then take votes to decide the details.
When shopping, tell everyone to meet at a specific store, then have everyone pitch in on the overall cost of items.
Make sure to meet at a time that works for everyone most of the time that way no one feels left out. This can be a fun way to bond with family and grab lunch after shopping dates.
Being the host of a baby shower in today’s modern world means that you can be anyone related to the mom-to-be: uncle, aunts, mother, best friend, a coworker.
Whoever you are to the new baby is acceptable to be the host of the baby shower.
The real questions come down to the budget, how many people want to help host the baby shower that way everyone can be included in this special time.
A baby shower can have many different themes, budgets, and any amount of guests… you simply cannot go wrong when planning for a baby shower.
This party should be all about welcoming this brand new baby into the world and making sure mom and dad have plenty of supplies to take care of their newborn baby while being welcomed to parenthood.