– Ask Cheryl – Is a First Baby Shower Mandatory?

You’re pregnant with your first baby! Congratulations! This is a special time for you and, hopefully, a time of joy and celebration.

Your friends and family will also want to celebrate the upcoming arrival. But is a baby shower necessary?

Maybe you feel like a baby shower is just another social obligation. Perhaps you would prefer to celebrate after the arrival of your little one. Or maybe you don’t want to unnecessarily “burden” any of your family or friends with feeling like they “have to” throw you a shower (which may feel awkward if many of them do not live nearby).

If you feel more stressed than excited about the prospect of a baby shower: rest easy! It is not a prerequisite to your little one’s arrival.

Dear Cheryl,

Is it mandatory to have a baby shower when you’re having your firstborn child?


Is a First Baby Shower Mandatory?


Hi Kenna,

Having a baby shower for your first baby, or any baby after that, is not mandatory, and baby showers are absolutely optional.

The primary purpose of a baby shower is to “shower” the soon-to-be parents with gifts to help them prepare for their baby’s arrival. Most expectant parents love a baby shower to help them get ready, but also because it’s a fun time to get together with close family and friends.

If no one offers to host a shower, or the mom-to-be isn’t comfortable having one, there is no reason to feel it’s mandatory.

For more information on baby shower etiquette, here’s a link to our blog post, Baby Shower Etiquette,  which covers baby shower do’s and don’ts for everyone involved — the hosts, the guests, and the guest of honor.


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

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

One thought on “Ask Cheryl: Is a First Baby Shower Mandatory?

  1. Thanks, Cheryl. I thought going for a baby shower was mandatory because my wife wanted one, but I denied her the chance because of our business, and she was very annoyed.

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