Baby Shower Etiquette

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby! (Well, not necessarily in that order anymore.) And while everyone loves a cute little bundle of joy, some may dread the baby shower. Love them or hate them, they’re a fact of life and if you’re a woman, you will most likely be invited to several during your lifetime.

Does What to Expect While You’re Expecting have a Baby Shower Section? I don’t think so. Here are some Baby Shower guidelines that will help you, whether you’re the hostess, guest, or guest of honor.

Baby Shower Etiquette for the Host

  • Baby showers are to be arranged and hosted by a close friend, preferably not an immediate family member. Never (and I mean NEVER) give yourself a baby shower.
  • Invitations should be sent at least three weeks prior to the baby shower.
  • Etiquette states that baby gift registry information should not be included on the invitation, but can be enclosed separately. However, it seems to be the trend that shower hosts are including it on the invitation.
  • If this is your first time hosting a baby shower, check out our Baby Shower Planning Tips to help you throw a successful event.

Baby Shower Etiquette for the Guests

  • RSVP as soon as possible.
  • If you are attending, you should bring a gift. If you can’t attend, you do not need to send a gift.
  • While it is convenient and thoughtful to buy something from their baby gift registry, it’s not required. You can find all of mom’s baby registries at If she doesn’t have a registry, may we suggest one of these baby gifts? They’re sure to be a hit!
  • Be polite and good-natured.
    1. Baby shower games may be silly, but be a good sport and participate.
    2. Say positive things to the expectant mother such as, “you’re glowing” or “pregnancy looks great on you!” in lieu of “you’re so big” or “having twins?” Women in the last months of pregnancy already feel huge; you don’t need to remind them.
    3. Don’t tell labor and delivery horror stories. It’s not the time or place.

Baby Shower Etiquette for the Guest of Honor

  • Do not ask someone to give you a baby shower. It takes a big commitment in time and money on the part of the host. If someone offered, then you can graciously accept. If not, don’t worry! You will probably receive plenty of gifts when the baby is born.
  • Do not make demands or obsess over the details of your shower. If the hostess asks for your input, give it. Otherwise, allow her to take care of the planning. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your special day!
  • Handwritten thank-you notes should be sent within two weeks of the baby shower and before the baby comes, as you won’t have as much time after the baby arrives. A thank-you note should be sent even if you have thanked the gift-giver in person at the shower. Not sure what to say in your thank you note? We have included samples in this blog post! And don’t forget to write a special thank-you to your hostess(es).

If you have any additional baby shower questions or funny baby shower stories, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

— by Cheryl Seidel, President & Founder of, who really loves attending baby showers and seeing all the adorable baby gifts.


12 thoughts on “Baby Shower Etiquette

  1. Marvelous, what a website! This blog provides useful facts, keep it up.

  2. I recently received two different baby shower invitations for the same couple. They were both family invitations, one from the mother’s side of the family and one from the father’s side of the family. I am related to the father’s side of the family. I have bought a gift but am unsure of the protocol when two invitations are received. I prefer to buy only one gift. Please enlighten me as to what is acceptable? Thanks for a great article.

    1. Hi Alonna,
      Thank you! If you receive multiple shower invitations, whether baby or wedding, you need only attend one of the showers. If you feel you should attend more than one (maybe you are a close family member), then it’s only necessary to purchase one gift and usually take it to the first shower you attend. It’s perfectly acceptable to decline one of the invitations. You might say, “I’ve already been invited to another shower and feel I should attend that one because the hostess is my cousin.” (Just an example.)

  3. Are there any “rules” about the amount of time in between a first child’s shower and a shower for the second child? For example, you have your first child and then get pregnant and have your second child all in one year… If you have a boy and your next is a girl, would it be okay to have the second shower so soon?

    1. Hi Melnee, There are no “rules” about the amount of time between baby showers. It would be fine to agree to a shower for your second child, especially since it’s a different gender. Life happens and if a friend wants to give you a baby shower for your second child, then that’s perfectly acceptable. Any mom with two babies needs all the help she can get, right?

  4. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate the articles on your site.

  5. Hi! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally decided to give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

  6. This website is… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thank you!

  7. There should only be ONE shower. This was never meant to be a way to celebrate a specific child, it was to celebrate the new parents. New generations have turned it into a “every child deserves to be celebrated” excuse to have their friends and family fund their choices in life. the baby shower given to an expectant mother and/or father is meant to start them off into the new world of parenthood. anything else, no matter how you spin it, is greed and nothing else.

    1. I agree, baby shower should be for the first baby. When the parents send a birth announcement, for the second baby you have a choice to send a gift or not. If it is ok to have baby showers for every baby, shouldn’t we have Bridal shower every five or ten years to replace towels, sheets, pots and pans?

  8. Is it appropriate to have a gift from the registry shipped to the party address?

    1. Hi Karen,

      Usually you would have the gift shipped to yourself and then take it to the baby shower. However, if can’t attend and want to send a gift, you can reach out to the hostess and clear it with them. Let her know to expect the gift and I’m sure it would be fine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Connected

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.