– Ask Cheryl – Baby Gifts and the Workplace

When someone in the office is expecting, is it appropriate to give a baby gift? What if you haven’t been invited to a shower?

Dear Cheryl,

One of our coworkers is expecting, and invited one member of the staff to her baby shower.

My coworker who was invited collected money from the rest of us to give as a gift at the baby shower. I mentioned this didn’t seem right, but still contributed.

In your opinion, was it appropriate for my coworker to request a monetary gift from those of us who were NOT invited to the baby shower?


Baby Gifts and the Workplace

Hi Julia,

You were correct; it’s not appropriate to ask someone to contribute to a baby shower gift if they were not invited to the shower.

Workplace gifts can be confusing and stressful. The person collecting the money should have done some research, although she probably had the best intentions. From an etiquette point of view, your coworker who was invited to the shower should have attended, purchasing her own gift and not mentioning it at work. She didn’t consider that the mom-to-be might be embarrassed when she opened a group gift at the shower, knowing the others were not invited.

It would have been better to take up a collection for a group gift from everyone in the office and give it to the mom-to-be at a different time, keeping the personal baby shower celebration separate from the workplace celebration.

However, it was not the mom-to-be doing the collecting, and she probably knew nothing about it. On the bright side, now you’re covered and don’t have to worry about a collection or buying a baby gift later.

If you have questions or comments about this post or gift giving, bridal shower, baby shower, or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email [email protected].

Questions in this column are received from readers. They may be edited for spelling, length, and grammar or to remove sensitive information. However, we are careful not to alter the intent of the question.

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