Open House/Drop In Baby Shower — The Bump
Baby Showers

Open House/Drop In Baby Shower

This is my first baby and although I have hosted several showers for friends, I am feeling like such a newbie!  I would like to think that I am mindful of etiquette, but in this area I feel like there are so many things I don't know!  So I am coming to you ladies for advice.  :)

Because my baby is due right after the holidays, and my job has me booked through most of November, the friends and family that have asked to host my shower are planning it a little earlier than normal (around 28 weeks). The idea of a open house/drop in style shower has come up and I see lots of benefits.  There is a relatively large guest list so people can come and go, no one has to sit for 2 hours, etc.  The thought was that food would be set up throughout the time and there would be plenty of tables for people to stay and sit and chat if they wanted to, but the obligation wouldn't be there.  It was also considered to still have a few things going on like decorating onesies or something that people could do if they wanted to.  

 However - I have never been to a shower like this and don't have any idea about the etiquette for it.  What have been your experiences?  What are the pros/cons?  What should I be mindful of?  I was trying to look up some things online and it discussed opening each gift while the person was there - is this normal or do you wait until after? 

I am clearly clueless about this and could absolutely use some help.  TIA ladies!

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Re: Open House/Drop In Baby Shower

  • My take on it- I think most people would show up at the "start" time and would hang out and expect it to be like a regular shower. 

    Lets be honest- showers are about giving you gifts.  They are going to show up, give you a gift, eat, hang out, and then wait for the gift opening.  There is actually a point to a shower, an "event" people come for and expect to happen.

    "Open house/ drop in" says to me you won' tbe opening gifts, or that people may miss it, and this can put people off. 

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  • I went to one recently and it was really nice. It was very casual and there was no time line or anything, people just trickled in and out.

    They had the little girls that were there open all of the presents and display them on a large gift table with the cards so everyone could really browse and look at the gifts, that was really nice.  At a normal shower the mother-to-be flashes the gift for a second and then it goes into a pile, so it was really nice to be able to look at and touch the gifts.

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  • I think you will be spending a lot more time at the "shower" then you would at a traditional shower...just because an open house usually last longer (4 hours or more vs 2-3).  Also, I think people are going to request that you open their gift...I know I would.  I would probably come, set the gift down where indicated, chat a bit, grab something to eat/drink and then request you open my gift before I leave.  If I knew people there I might chat a bit with them.  I would certainly not like some random little girl(s) opening the gift I picked out for the mom-to-be to open.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who spends time wrapping the gift a certain way, etc.  Also, if I was the mom-to-be I wouldn't like people "pawing" through the gifts if they were opened and set out on a table.  Sorry...that just kid of skeeves me out.  Plus, what if the card was dislodged from the gift itself and you can't remember who gave you the gift?
  • We did this and it was wonderful, as gifts came in i opend them and thanked the people directly then they were recorded and set out on a table for everyone to see . It worked out really well and i got to spend time with people and talk to everyone. I think its the way to go =D
  • I agree with most of the PPs...the point of the shower is to shower you with gifts. Guests are going to expect you to open their gift (and ooh and ahh over it). If you do an open house, people will probably stay until their gift is opened.

    And I particularly agree with the PP about not wanting someone else opening the gift I bought for you. That is just rude and says that you do not care about what anyone brought...you just want the stuff. I too, take pride in what I pick out and how I wrap it...if I was invited to a wishing well type of a shower, (where all the gifts are just piled in a bin or well), I would not go or if I did go, I would definitely not put as much thought and time in to the gift as I would if the mommy to be was going to open it her self.

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  • image EastCoastBride:

    My take on it- I think most people would show up at the "start" time and would hang out and expect it to be like a regular shower. 

    Lets be honest- showers are about giving you gifts.  They are going to show up, give you a gift, eat, hang out, and then wait for the gift opening.  There is actually a point to a shower, an "event" people come for and expect to happen.

    "Open house/ drop in" says to me you won' tbe opening gifts, or that people may miss it, and this can put people off. 

    Yes 

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  • We had an open house shower for my sister. There were some definite pros and cons to it. Most people did show up at the start time, although there definitely were people who floated in and out. My sister tried to open gifts as each guest came in, but there was a back up. If anyone commented that they couldn't stay long, she tried to open theirs sooner, even if she was "backlogged." It was very casual, and a lot of the guests commented that they liked the idea and the atmosphere, but it was very overwhelming to me, the host, and my sister the guest of honor. Also, I had a hard time cutting the cake because of the fluid nature of the shower.

     

    Overall, it can work, but if I were to do it again, I'd do a more traditional shower. 

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  • Hmm, I've never heard of this, but personally, I would prefer this type of shower.  I've always found showers kind of boring.  You see one onesie, you've seen them all, so I am not so much entertained by watching someone open gifts.  The games are sometimes pretty lame, too.  I would like this kind of party even more if it were after the baby's born, because then I could meet the baby too, but then you wouldn't be getting gifts until after the baby's born.  In my experience (of being a mom for a whole 11 mo :)  ), it's really not a big deal to not get gifts until after the birth.  Just buy a few NB size onesies and stuff to last you the first few weeks.  Have visiting family wash all the clothes you get from the party if you don't have time to do it yourself.
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