June 2015 Moms

How to tactfully say no kids at baby shower

I'm the last of my friends to have a baby. My mom and her bf are putting on my shower in May but we do not want any kids at the shower as it will be a distraction and my friends will not be able to enjoy it. How do we tactfully say no kids at the shower?
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Re: How to tactfully say no kids at baby shower

  • All of my friends have husbands or SO to watch their kids too or they have grandparents who live in my area, so it's not like they are lacking.
  • Hmmm this is a very hard one. I feel that you really can't. Usually people know not to let their kids be disruptive but it's a situation where someone is bringing you gifts and that is tricky. My sister was annoyed when I told her a few of my friends have to bring one of their kids/babies and I kind of told her in a nice way to get over it.
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  • edited April 2015
    I have to be honest, I've always been really turned off by showers and similar events (like weddings) that are kids free. It might be because I was one of 6 kids and we were often on the receiving end of this, even though we were all pretty well-behaved, simply because there were so many of us. I personally think including kids is way more fun (plus, I agree with PP that you're having a BABY shower of all things so why wouldn't you include them), but also, from personal experience, when you're a kid who considers herself to be pretty close to someone and then you see that kids aren't welcome at an event, it's pretty hard not to take it personally.

    If you are set on no kids, I think the most tactful way to handle this would be, as PP suggested, to address the invitation to mom only. Also, I'd plan to have your shower in a clearly adult-only setting, like a tea room, so if you do have any guests asking, you can sweetly say (possibly a white lie) that while you'd love to include the kids, your location won't allow it. If it's at someone's house then there's not really a way to come out of this without making it clear that it's your choice not to have the kids there, which, as I mentioned, could hurt people's feelings.
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  • Not sure why but what comes to mind is a baby is acceptable but toddlers are not. If I was invited to a shower I wouldn't even think to bring my kids.
  • Leave it to the hosts to break the news in the invitations. You don't need to worry about it. If someone asks why, just explain that it was their call and that should be enough. I agree with the people who recommend staying away from "enjoying" the time away from kids. Just to be considerate of friends who have experienced loss who are coming to support you. I had everyone (men, women, and children of all ages) at both my shower for my first, but the hosts and I shared that value of having the whole group of family celebrate (leaving the option for men/others to not come, of course). In the end, it is a shower honoring you and baby (and your SO, if that's how you want it) so don't be afraid to say if you have preferences. It is a wonderful gift to have people willing to host, but they should be willing to hear your input if you have it.

    Went on a few tangents, but good luck and don't stress about it, especially if it wasn't your call.
  • I have gotten invited to 2 showers since my first was born. One was addressed to both of us ( it is custom for all girls to go in my family) and then another was just addressed to me. So I knew I would just leave her at home..which was a nice stress free afternoon :)
  • Thanks. Most are toddlers and live in town and will have their dads take care of them so I don't think this will be an issue. It's my mom who's idea this is.
  • HoosOnFirstHoosOnFirst member
    edited April 2015
    I feel like a shower is different than a wedding - I would feel ok saying no kids at the latter but not the former.

    My sense is that whether someone brings their kids or not, they have a good reason for doing so that I don't wish to question - when I have this kid, I wouldn't want people to question it. If you had a friend that could not get a babysitter, would you rather them come with a kid or not come at all?

    I think for "space reasons" could be a legitimate argument but other than that I can't quite get behind a no-kid policy.

    (Admittedly, maybe it's a bit easier for me because most of my friends don't have kids yet - and the two that do and using the opportunity for a kid-free day and not bringing them!) But I definitely have cousins coming who are in their teens, because they are family!
  • I have a toddler and I am kind of wanting the same thing. Because we are having the shower at my house, it's the biggest with the most open space, (I am not hosting at all, my mom and sister are), but I don't want toddlers destroying my house. The problem I have, is, some of my friends, who have toddlers, their husbands work the same job as my husband (law enforcement), just opposite shifts, so I know their husbands will be working, and one of them only has family out of state. So I feel like if I do that, they won't be able to come.
  • mrs1374a said:

    I have a toddler and I am kind of wanting the same thing. Because we are having the shower at my house, it's the biggest with the most open space, (I am not hosting at all, my mom and sister are), but I don't want toddlers destroying my house. The problem I have, is, some of my friends, who have toddlers, their husbands work the same job as my husband (law enforcement), just opposite shifts, so I know their husbands will be working, and one of them only has family out of state. So I feel like if I do that, they won't be able to come.

    That's so hard! Could you hire a babysitter to watch the littles and clean up after them?

    I don't think there's a tactful way to say no kids. We usually only have a kid or two and it's usually a little girl around 5/6. So they are well behaved.

  • I had an adult wedding. Some people will be offended and won't come but I was ok with that. Just put "adult shower" on the invite and leave it at that.

    With that said, I don't see a problem with kids at a baby shower. It's an afternoon event about a child after all. The hassle you will have before might not be worth the hassle you'll have with kids there. Just a thought.

    It's your day. Do what you want and stick to your guns.
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  • Per etiquette, only the person on the invitation is the one invited....however, no one pays attention to that anymore unfortunately. If you want it kid free than you'll have to spread the word.
  • I had an adult wedding. Some people will be offended and won't come but I was ok with that. Just put "adult shower" on the invite and leave it at that.

    With that said, I don't see a problem with kids at a baby shower. It's an afternoon event about a child after all. The hassle you will have before might not be worth the hassle you'll have with kids there. Just a thought.

    It's your day. Do what you want and stick to your guns.

    There is a fine line between "it's all about you" and "don't be a selfish momzilla"... Yes, it is a special day for the mom to be but making guests feel welcomed and appreciated is just as important.
  • One thing that might make it difficult is that you are having it at your house. Some of friends may assume that their kids would be welcome to come and play with your kids.
  • My shower is probably the last time in my life besides my funeral that the attention will be solely on me...and now I have to compete with cute squishy babies at my shower?!?!

    I'm kidding..it wasn't even a question or asked if babies could come to my shower because I would never say no. I'm the biggest Breastfeeding supporter there is so I would never put that stress on a mom. Older kids and toddlers? Thankfully no one I know besides one or two family members has kids (and they're under 5 and well behaved) so if they come the more the merrier!
    TTC: 1/2014 BFP: 9/24 EDD: 6/8/2015 Sorry for the poor man's siggy...ticker won't load regardless of how many tips I read.
  • I also should make note that my shower is at my MIL's house and these children are not old enough to be eating the catered food, so that definitely makes a difference. At a nice restaurant etc I may have a different opinion (besides babies of course). My wedding was strictly no children and I made no apologies, and I will also be going to a no children wedding postpartum while I am breastfeeding and completely understand
    TTC: 1/2014 BFP: 9/24 EDD: 6/8/2015 Sorry for the poor man's siggy...ticker won't load regardless of how many tips I read.
  • edited April 2015

    I just don't understand people who insist on bringing their children to events where they were the only person listed on the invitation. It is perfectly acceptable not to invite children to an event and I would find it incredibly rude for a guest to foist an extra attendee on the host. There is no difference between a wedding, a shower, and a dinner party - if your children were not explicitly invited, you should not bring them. Invitations are typically sent between 6 and 8 weeks prior to a shower - that should be ample time to line up a sitter and if you cannot afford or find a sitter, then you should send your regrets and not attend.




    While I am a "kids are always welcome!" advocate, I do agree with this. Only those whose names are on the invitation should attend - which is why, in my comment, I made sure to say that if you do decide to have a kids-free shower, the best way to tactfully handle it would be to only address the invitation to the mom. I do feel that writing on the invitation "No kids allowed" or the equivalent is unnecessary and, again, hurtful if the kids in question are old enough to read and come across the invitation. Thinking back to these situations when I was a kid, if an invitation was just addressed to my mom, I usually wasn't upset by it (if it had been a cousin I definitely would have been, but for Mom's friends I wouldn't have cared), but the explicit statement that kids weren't welcome did hurt my feelings - it made me feel as though those adults didn't like me and my siblings. Again, this would apply to kids who are old enough to learn how to read. Toddlers wouldn't care either way, but I do think that if you only address the invitations to the mother, that should be enough of a hint to her that the kids should stay at home.
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  • Yeah i mean to each their own but i have had to sit out showers ect because it was a big deal for me to even ask to bring my son when i couldnt find a sitter. I am a 'kids make the party' kind of girl so i requested having my shower at a park so the kids have ample room to play and us adults can hang out and do adult things. Granted this is also a co ed shower seeing that most of my family are men and i wanted them there :)
  • Funny , I'm pissed that there will be kids at my shower .... Sooooo irritating , eating all my fruits , helping theirselves to my sweets table , luckily my hosts are assholes like me so I'm sure they will nip any unwanted behavior... Still pissed tho #evilPregnatLady
  • People who don't want kids at the shower for reasons other than catering:
    Have you had experiences with screaming, unruly children? If so, I can understand wanting a ladies-only afternoon. There was a little girl (8 or 9) at my barbecue baby shower this past weekend and she was very well-behaved. Then again, it was an informal
    event at home and not catered.

    If the hostess and you (the honoree) set the expectation of a ladies event, there's no reason why people should have their feelings hurt should it not be appropriate to have children there.

    But if you're in a park or someone's home, or in a situation where children would thrive, would it be harmful to the success of the event to have them there? Entirely up to you. :-)
  • @frankengibbs those kids sound like sooooo much fun! ..... Yikes. I feel for you.
  • klkonwi said:

    @frankengibbs those kids sound like sooooo much fun! ..... Yikes. I feel for you.

    Oh yeah! They are such joys! ;)
    I cried a week ago because it was my last day off and I didn't want to go back. Don't get me wrong, I love children, I really do but I now I get why people say they hate kids. I didn't even know it was possible for something so little to be so evil and I've watched The Omen lol
  • I COMPLETELY understand not wanting kids at your shower... or any event for that matter. I feel like nowadays parents turn a blind eye when their kids act up in public and I would have an adults only shower myself if I could get away with it (there are a few kiddie cousins in my family). 


  • I love kids! I don't mind. I had kids at my last baby shower. We had the adults play games and had kids playing games too. As well as all together. However if you dont want to invite kids most people are understanding and can respect your wishes. For the bad kids..... Find a baby sitter.
  • hoodoll82 said:

    I think there's a difference between inviting kids and tolerating them. At my shower we are not making any extra accommodations because they are children, so while they are more than welcome, they will probably be bored!

    I agree with this!
  • If you don't want kids at your shower just say no kids. Stop dancing around it. Just remember that you are having a child and one day it will be you the one that's getting an invitation saying "no kids".

    Also, I think people need to stop getting all butthurt when people say they want the mom to enjoy time without their kids. Nobody thinks you dread being with your children and no one says you can't have fun with them, but I think you can agree that you are more relaxed when they are not around. You don't have to keep looking over your shoulder to make sure they aren't getting into anything they're not supposed to be, you don't have to look around before you say grown up words, you don't have to clean up after them. Geese Louise, people.
  • KaLikeAWindKaLikeAWind member
    edited April 2015
    I agree with @mccall35 in that childcare is not so quick and easy for everyone. My DH works two days on, two days off. We have NO family nearby. I have basically ONE friend. Who works full time at a bar with a kitchen. So, should I be invited to a shower on a Saturday that my hubs is on duty, I know my one friend will be working, I either can't go or must bring my kid. Hubby can't just request the day off, its a duty rotation, they won't give it to him just so he can watch his kid so his wife can go somewhere. Its a super small town, so its not like I can just go to Care.com to find a sitter, they would have to travel probably an hour from the nearest 'city'. Or I would be faced with finding and using a sitter I've never had experience with before, and don't know well at all.
    So, bottom line - don't expect that lining up childcare is easy for everyone.

    ETA - should I decide to hire the unknown babysitter, I most certainly would NOT be enjoying myself more because my kid wasn't with me, because I would be super stressed out that I have left my kid with a stranger who could be smoking crack and making out with her boyfriend on my couch (or in my bed! Yuk!!!) while my kid cries with a dirty diaper for an hour.
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