A question for the experts: bringing 3 month old to shower?? — The Bump
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A question for the experts: bringing 3 month old to shower??

I've lurked this board for a while and have a question that I think you all are the best people to ask.  I was invited to a shower for DH's cousin's wife at the beginning of February.  It's at a church hall.  It is her 2nd child in less than 3 years-- the first was when she was in high school with a different guy.  This is DH's cousin's first child.  DS will be 3 months old at the time and we're still BFing.  The envelope just invites me, and I don't suspect that kids are invited (though I am going to ask SIL if her 5 yo girl was invited).  DH has work obligations during the time of the shower, so I can't leave DS with him.  MIL is my go-to babysitter since she lives nearby- but she will also be at the shower.  

WWYD: Bring DS and attend the shower or skip the shower?  I would send a gift if I skip.  On the one hand DS would probably sleep in his carseat the whole time and I'm sure the aunts would love to see him.  On the other the MTB is kind of immature and might think of me bringing DS as "stealing her spotlight."  

Thanks for any advice!
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Re: A question for the experts: bringing 3 month old to shower??

  • Call the hostess, explain the situation, and ask if it's okay.  They'll probably say it's fine to bring a young baby to the shower.  The only problem will be if the hostess has had to STRONGLY declare it to be a "no kids" shower because some other doofus guest has asked to bring her entire litter.

    In that case, say that you will have to decline and send a gift with your MIL.
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    Serious question - do you like these people?  Because it sounds like you don't really want to go, which is more than fair.

    If you don't think you'll have a good time, then just RSVP no.  You've got plenty of good, polite reasons to skip it.
    100% this.  Also, while I fully agree that a 3 month old is a viable "exception" AND it is up to the hostess, even if the hostess says "Sure, bring him" - if you really think the MTB will be upset, then I'd opt to just not go. 
    aditigirl
  • Serious question - do you like these people?  Because it sounds like you don't really want to go, which is more than fair.

    If you don't think you'll have a good time, then just RSVP no.  You've got plenty of good, polite reasons to skip it.
    Yes, I do like them- especially the family as a whole.  The MTB can be a little annoying/overwhelming at times- I think due to her age/maturity.  

    Great idea to call the hostess (I knew there had to be a solution I was missing!).  I am going to check with SIL to see if my niece was invited (because if they aren't inviting a sweet 5 yo girl, they probably don't want any kids at all) and if she is invited I'll call GMTB (they didn't include any RSVP or hostess info on the invite).  

    Thank you ladies!
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  • MrsLee04 said:

    If it were me I would skip and send a gift. If Baby's name isn't on there, he's not invited. I know some people think there is an exception for nursing babies, but I don't. As a guest, it's not for me to decide who is included.

    This 100%.  I don't believe in bringing babies (even nursing ones) to showers.

    I think this attitude is a shame, doesn't help nursing mothers or support BFing. Nursing babies are the exception to the no kids rule. For a wedding I get it, but a BABY shower? Come on!
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    Joy2611 said:


    I would be so sad if someone declined to come to my shower or a shower I was hosting because they didn't have anyone to watch their three month old.  Three year old?  Yeah, different story.  But, three month old?  The child will just sit there and watch, then eat, then sleep.


    This!  I mean, I would HOPE I'd know the people being invited well enough to know ahead of time to say "Hey- just so you know, you can bring your baby!".  But... there are a million scenario's where this kind of thing might fall through the cracks. 

    SOME people really would have a problem w/ a little baby being there.  That kind of sucks, but you have to respect it. 

    But I just don't see anything wrong w/ asking  - in a way that puts as little pressure as possible on the hostess. 

  • I'm going to ask my SIL if her 5 yo is invited.  If she isn't then it means they probably don't want kids (but given that it's in a church basement rather than a fancy restaurant I think they will have kids-- they had a couple of the little girls in the family for her wedding shower last year).  If my niece is invited I will call and tell them I'd love to make it, but I don't have a sitter.  If they suggest that I bring N I will.  If not we'll stay home and send a gift.

    Thanks for all the great advice ladies!
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  • You already have your answer - your name was on the invitation, you were invited.  That's it.  Calling to "gently inquire" is nothing other than badgering the hostess and putting her on the spot.
    [Deleted User]sparklesandcreamaditigirl[Deleted User]
  • I guess I'm rude then because both showers I was invited to when my lo was small I just took her to.. I didn't ask. Everyone enjoyed seeing her and I just say toward the back so that if she fussed I could easily leave or just nurse her..


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    Is it honesty so bad to pump a couple of bottles to leave with whoever is watching the baby?  I mean this seriously, not trying to be snarky.  My daughters will be less than a year old when my sister will be having her bridal shower.  (Okay, so I've been forced, thanks to supply issues, to be a formula mom.)  I've already told my mother that the girls will not be attending.  (She was kinda bummed.)

     
    I just don't see how dragging an infant along is fun for anyone.  It's not fun for mom - I mean, really, for me, going to Target alone is like a vacation.  It's not fun for baby, who may be scared by the new surroundings and/or people.  It's not fun for the rest of the guests OR the guest of honor if said infant starts to wail.

     

    To the first paragraph- not all 3 month olds are necessarily on bottles yet.  If the baby DOES take a bottle, then yes, I fully agree with you.  They can pump and someone can give the baby a bottle.  But if not... I think it's a shame to miss the shower without  even asking because of a nursing baby.

    Which leads to the point that there is a big difference between a 3 month old and an almost 1 year old!  If the OP were talking about an older child that, while still technically nursing, was able to eat in other ways - then no question.  The kid doesn't go. 

    To the second paragraph- eh, that's a pretty broad stroke to paint!! 

    Look - I'm ALL over "adult only" events.  I personally wouldn't ever want to take DS to a shower. I absolutely look for reasons to get out on my own.

    I just think that a nursing infant is an exception to the rule.  If the hostess/MTB REALLY don't want any kids there at all, then no - don't bring the baby.  But I know, for myself, that if someone missed my shower because of this specific issue and never spoke up, I'd be sad!  When people say "no kids", it may be more of the "kids that will get into stuff and are another set of guests that we have to entertain" line of thinking. 

    Everyusernameistaken
  • MrsLee04 said:
    If it were me I would skip and send a gift. If Baby's name isn't on there, he's not invited. I know some people think there is an exception for nursing babies, but I don't. As a guest, it's not for me to decide who is included.
    This 100%.  I don't believe in bringing babies (even nursing ones) to showers.
    I think this attitude is a shame, doesn't help nursing mothers or support BFing. Nursing babies are the exception to the no kids rule. For a wedding I get it, but a BABY shower? Come on!
    Is it honesty so bad to pump a couple of bottles to leave with whoever is watching the baby?  I mean this seriously, not trying to be snarky.  My daughters will be less than a year old when my sister will be having her bridal shower.  (Okay, so I've been forced, thanks to supply issues, to be a formula mom.)  I've already told my mother that the girls will not be attending.  (She was kinda bummed.)

    I just think showers are long and oftentimes boring events.  Little kids get bored and cranky easily.  And babies get fussy and loud.  Example - one of my twins screamed for 3 hours straight when I took them to my uncle's house for his holiday party - they were 4 months old.  I was honestly about to pack up and go home when she finally exhausted herself and went to sleep, after I tried everything humanly possible to soothe her.  (I'm thinking seeing so many new faces scared her, because she would scream anytime anyone so much as looked at her.)

    I just don't see how dragging an infant along is fun for anyone.  It's not fun for mom - I mean, really, for me, going to Target alone is like a vacation.  It's not fun for baby, who may be scared by the new surroundings and/or people.  It's not fun for the rest of the guests OR the guest of honor if said infant starts to wail.

    I really don't have anything against BFing.  It broke my heart that I was unable to do so with my girls.  I'm actually ashamed that I wasn't able to feed my girls the way I wanted to.  I just wouldn't be so quick to drag an infant (BFing or not) to a shower.

    For some women it's nearly impossible to pump enough to feed their baby--and there are babies that refuse bottles. A friend of mine tried forever to get her son on a bottle and he wouldn't take any of them. She was able to go out without him twice in a year, and both of those times she had to. One of the times, I watched him so she could do her doctoral defense. He simply refused to eat.
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  • MrsLee04 said:
    MrsLee04 said:
    If it were me I would skip and send a gift. If Baby's name isn't on there, he's not invited. I know some people think there is an exception for nursing babies, but I don't. As a guest, it's not for me to decide who is included.
    This 100%.  I don't believe in bringing babies (even nursing ones) to showers.
    I think this attitude is a shame, doesn't help nursing mothers or support BFing. Nursing babies are the exception to the no kids rule. For a wedding I get it, but a BABY shower? Come on!
    I wasn't aware that having a completely child free event isn't supportive of BFing.  Look, I nursed 2 babies (at the same time) so I am supportive of nursing 100%.  But that doesn't mean people get to bring their babies to events that they're not invited to.  When I was nursing, if my babies weren't invited to something, I simply didn't bring them.  If I couldn't be separated from them due to the nursing, I didn't go.  But as a mother, I enjoy adults only events once in awhile, even when I had nursing babies (and especially when I had nursing babies!).  So find it a shame all you want, but the bottom line is it's not up to guests to determine the guest lists of events. 


    This!  Gasp, I was able to go places for 2 hours and let DH actually feed his own daughter with pumped milk. Unbelievable that it didn't affect nursing at all for me. 

    OP, I would never bring a 3 month old to a shower.  Pump and leave her with her father.  You will both survive for an hour or two. 

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  • natalie202natalie202 member
    edited January 2014
    Joy2611 said:

    I actually find natalie202's choice very passive aggressive.  "There's no one to watch my child, sorry."  ::wait, wait wait for hostess to feel guilty, then fall all over herself saying you can come::  It just doesn't sit well with me.

    Meh. I'd argue that it's all in your execution. And in your intent and reasoning behind doing it this way.

    In my community, women come from very diverse backgrounds. There are some who follow a strict no kids = no kids way of thinking. There are others who believe that a young nursing baby is by default included in an invitation (to the extent that they would express dismay if you showed up without the little, even though they didn't put the little's name on the invite and would be upset/sad if you didn't come because you had no childcare for the little). And women all over in between. You can see answers from various points along this spectrum right here on this thread.

    My reply isn't actually an attempt to manipulate someone into letting my kid come. It's an attempt to be respectful of all the various viewpoints on this issue. I don't know where someone falls, I assume they don't want my kid there (because I'd rather err on that side than assume my kids are wanted there when they aren't) and reply accordingly and with a brief explanation (which I would also give if I was declining for any other reason), without any pitiful pause. And then I assume that if it's a situation where the hostess/guest of honor does want me there, even with my kids, they'll choose to let me know that.

    I think the whole thing comes down to this statement in my original post: "The key is to leave an opening for them to tell you to bring the kid WITHOUT pressuring them to do so." I really am aiming to not pressure someone... and if my entire attitude conveys that, then hopefully nobody would ever have cause to be guilted into anything.

    Why don't I just ask? Because I don't want to put someone on the spot. Even if I tell them I'm okay with the answer being no, there's still a lot of potential for them to feel kind of backed into a corner when I call and ask this. Also, I know women who would consider calling and asking to be very rude and passive aggressive (because if they wanted the kid there, they would have listed them on the invite).

    Meh, I guess it shows that even with the best of intentions, it's awfully easy to offend people. Perhaps that's why at least having the best of intentions is so important?
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    neverblushed
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    I love the "just pump!!" answers.  Do you all realize that this isn't always an option?  Or that some babies don't take bottles easily?

    Sometimes a nursing mothers ONLY choice is to actually NURSE.  Boob to mouth. 


  • I think if only you were on the invite then only you are invited. I wouldnt ask. They will feel obligated to say its ok. Also, I'm guessing there will be a lot of people there that have not met your baby? Other guests will want to see/hold/talk about your baby.  That takes away from the guest of honor in my opinion.


  • VOR said:
    I love the "just pump!!" answers.  Do you all realize that this isn't always an option?  Or that some babies don't take bottles easily?

    Sometimes a nursing mothers ONLY choice is to actually NURSE.  Boob to mouth. 


    Yup, I have a friend and her daughter made it through her entire babyhood without a single bottle.  My friend didn't have a lot of money to spare, so she never purchased BFing supplies (pump, bags, bottles, etc).
  • FWIW, I usually agree that if you aren't on the invite you don't go but I feel like I should share this. 

    I went to a shower when DD was like 2 months old and left her at home.  When I got there the mom to be and hostesses were all disappointed that I didn't bring her.  I didn't say it was because she wasn't on the invite but they had all assumed that I would bring my nursing infant. I think they just did the adult names on the invites to avoid people bringing their toddlers and older kids.  

    I agree with others that I would be upset if a friend or relative didn't come to my shower because they couldn't find childcare for a very young baby.  I would just call and ask. 
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    VOR
  • How did this turn into a nursing debate?  FWIW- I see both sides of that coin.  It's not IMPOSSIBLE to make other arrangements for *most* BF babies (if not pumping, then maybe only go to the shower for an hour or two and then go home).  On the other hand, it's presumptuous to say that it's just "that easy".  For me, it wasn't even a matter of DS taking a bottle of pumped milk- it was my oversupply that forced me to take my pump with me, if not my kid, and all it's parts and coolers, so that I could spend 40-50 minutes in a public bathroom or car parking lot expressing my milk if my DS couldn't come somewhere.

    OP- I think the answer is just simply to call the host, as others have said.  A simple and polite, "I have a 3 month old so I'd love to come if he's welcome too, but I would totally understand if it's not a kid-friendly event... I'll send my gift along with my MIL."
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  • sschwege said:
    VOR said:
    I love the "just pump!!" answers.  Do you all realize that this isn't always an option?  Or that some babies don't take bottles easily?

    Sometimes a nursing mothers ONLY choice is to actually NURSE.  Boob to mouth. 


    Yup, I have a friend and her daughter made it through her entire babyhood without a single bottle.  My friend didn't have a lot of money to spare, so she never purchased BFing supplies (pump, bags, bottles, etc).

    So go to the shower for 1 hour and then go home and feed her again.  I don't get why this would be so difficult. Showers are not all day events. 
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    aditigirlPrimRoseMama[Deleted User]
  • Seriously? Is this mother-to-be that much of a child that she will: 

    a) not understand that nursing infants sometimes can not be away from their mothers and

    b) pitch a fit that an infant will upstage her? Really? 

    It's an event welcoming a woman to motherhood. I find it ridiculous that an infant would not be welcome to attend. 
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  • Can you not look into getting another sitter? You have a considerable amount of time. That way, you have a back-up sitter for anything you might need in the future.

    I would advocate putting aside some $ & hire another sitter. Bring your pump. Take a little break to pump during the shower.

    Prior to the shower you can pump three or four bottles to freeze. Bonus: you get some time to yourself & you have another sitter that you can get to know.


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  • sschwege said:
    VOR said:
    I love the "just pump!!" answers.  Do you all realize that this isn't always an option?  Or that some babies don't take bottles easily?

    Sometimes a nursing mothers ONLY choice is to actually NURSE.  Boob to mouth. 


    Yup, I have a friend and her daughter made it through her entire babyhood without a single bottle.  My friend didn't have a lot of money to spare, so she never purchased BFing supplies (pump, bags, bottles, etc).

    I fail to see how this is the responsibility if the host and why it makes someone an exception. If that's what you have to or choose to do, that's fine. However, it doesn't mean others need to change how they want to do things to suit you. Also, OP, even if the SIL is bringing her baby, I still wouldn't then make an assumption that kids are ok. The niece of the guest of honor is different than a cousin.
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    aditigirl[Deleted User]
  • I hosted my BFF's bridal shower and simply didn't think to put an infant's name on an invitation. She just brought her and no one thought anything of it.  Maybe the host just didn't think of it.  I'd call if you're that concerned about it.  
  • I'm not sure how this turned into a nursing debate, but my issue was solved.  I asked SIL if my young niece was invited- and she was- so it obviously isn't a "no kids" shower.  My MIL actually bumped into the grandma-to-be (DH's aunt) at the grocery store and she mentioned (without any questions or prompting or any discussion about it because my MIL didn't know I was still debating what to do) that she can't wait to see Noah (my son) at the shower.  I guess that answers my question.  
     
    FWIW I think this was a situation of the hostess just assuming I would bring him.  
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  • Can you not look into getting another sitter? You have a considerable amount of time. That way, you have a back-up sitter for anything you might need in the future.

    I would advocate putting aside some $ & hire another sitter. Bring your pump. Take a little break to pump during the shower.

    Prior to the shower you can pump three or four bottles to freeze. Bonus: you get some time to yourself & you have another sitter that you can get to know.

    Personally I think it is way less weird to bring your baby and nurse then it is to bring your pump, but maybe that's just me?!? I wouldn't feel weird at all throwing on my nursing cover and nursing but leaving the party and finding a separate place to pump seems even more obtrusive to the hostess!
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