Baby Shower/Registry Etiquette — The Bump
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Baby Shower/Registry Etiquette

I was excited to see that there was a board just for baby shower discussions!!

Hoping you ladies can assist me with this idea that I have:

I have been to multiple baby showers and see the same thing - everyone buys the cute baby clothes and totally misses the fact that the parents have a registry!
The most recent shower I went to, I made sure to buy the boring practical stuff, and she was so appreciative! She said she had to return almost half the clothes she got at the shower because either she didn't need them, they were the wrong size, or for the wrong season, etc.

SO - This is my first baby and thus first shower. Being on the other end of things makes me wonder if I'd be allowed to put in the invitations some kind of instruction to STICK TO THE REGISTRY!! And/or state plainly NO CLOTHES, PLEASE!
I know I'll be getting numerous full buckets of used baby clothes from my SIL and not to mention - the grandparents will be buying outfits left and right throughout the baby's life.

What do you think? Is this not good etiquette to throw that out there? Do I just have to deal with it? Or, should I just make sure to spread the word of my preference via the telephone game rather than putting it in the invitation?

Thanks everyone!!!
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Re: Baby Shower/Registry Etiquette

  • Yeah, all that is a big no-no. You never dictate what gift should be given (or not given, in this case) or how it is given. The people coming to your shower are spending their time and money to give you a fift; it is their choice.

    BTW, I'm confused at your friend having to return clothes because they were "the wrong size." Were they too small? Or does she not realize that babies do, you know, grow and could possibly wear some of those "wrong size" clothes in the future?
     
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  • mysticlmysticl
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    edited May 2014
    Yeah, all that is a big no-no. You never dictate what gift should be given (or not given, in this case) or how it is given. The people coming to your shower are spending their time and money to give you a fift; it is their choice.

    BTW, I'm confused at your friend having to return clothes because they were "the wrong size." Were they too small? Or does she not realize that babies do, you know, grow and could possibly wear some of those "wrong size" clothes in the future?
    It could be the wrong size for the time of year.  For example I was given this adorable fuzzy, full body winter outfit (by full body I mean it covered the hands, feet, and had a hood).  Well, it fit my son in about May.  It sure didn't fit by the time winter rolled around again.  I put it away in the hopes that the next kid might be able to wear it but the timing isn't looking good for that either.  

    ETA: OP like others said you can't dictate what others buy for you.  Just leave clothes off the registry and if anyone asks what you need/want point them towards your registry or give them a few ideas.  I will say that now that I am a mom I will never buy clothes as a baby gift.  

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  • No way! A registry is a gift lift suggestion not a mandatory purchase list. As a guest I would be super annoyed if I got an invitation that had something like that written on it. 

    Just leave clothes off your registry. People are going to buy the type of clothing they want anyways and if someone is going to give you clothes than they are going to give you want they want anyways.  Just remember -- it is your responsibility to buy the "essential" things your baby needs -- not your shower guests.  Be grateful for what people gave you; and at the end if you want to return half of it and buy other items than that is your choice. 
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  • Empireceo said:
    This is a new thing I've seen a lot lately. People having the balls to be pissed when guests don't buy gifts off the registry. It seems so ungrateful to me. A gift is a gift. Now it has to be exactly what you want or fuck it? The registry is a way for a MTB to keep track of the things she is going to buy for herself anyway, not a list of demands.
    @Empireceo - There is a girl who is a member of a Facebook group I am part of. She had her shower just a few weeks ago and after the shower went on a huge rant about only 3 people bought items off her registry and everyone else gave her "pointless" gifts.  She was fuming -- I mean fuming about it! She kept asking over and over how in the heck they are going to buy the rest of the "essential" items that her guests did not get her. She then went on to say that she was going to sell everything for pennies on the dollar or return it to help her buy the items she wanted in the first place. 

    I seriously was appalled by her behavior.  
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  • BC&LMBC&LM
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    I guess you really never read this board before? Most of the people above already said what I would have about being grateful and not looking a gift horse in the mouth. The only suggestion I can make is to spread it by word of mouth ONLY when asked. So if someone asks what you need, you could say that you have plenty of clothes and don't need those.
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  • kbsatrekbsatre
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    mysticl said:
    Yeah, all that is a big no-no. You never dictate what gift should be given (or not given, in this case) or how it is given. The people coming to your shower are spending their time and money to give you a fift; it is their choice.

    BTW, I'm confused at your friend having to return clothes because they were "the wrong size." Were they too small? Or does she not realize that babies do, you know, grow and could possibly wear some of those "wrong size" clothes in the future?
    It could be the wrong size for the time of year.  For example I was given this adorable fuzzy, full body winter outfit (by full body I mean it covered the hands, feet, and had a hood).  Well, it fit my son in about May.  It sure didn't fit by the time winter rolled around again.  I put it away in the hopes that the next kid might be able to wear it but the timing isn't looking good for that either.  

    ETA: OP like others said you can't dictate what others buy for you.  Just leave clothes off the registry and if anyone asks what you need/want point them towards your registry or give them a few ideas.  I will say that now that I am a mom I will never buy clothes as a baby gift.  
    Yes, exactly. Wrong size for the right season... 
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  • I put something along the lines of..we respectfully ask for no more clothes...yadda yadda yadda on our registry and got so much clothes it was crazy. Just leave it out, no one will read it let alone go off the registry. Don't get me wrong i was VERY thankful for everything i got, but i wanted to cry cause i got like 4 items off it. Personally, to be blunt i think its rude to not go off the registry. I spent 3 hours at BRU scanning items, and you come with the cutest item just to be the center of attention and get the most Oooos and Ahhhhs. THATS tacky! I was SO VERY thankful to my friends who got the boring items (bottles, carrier, matress, etc). Just my $ .02...
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  • Oh wow...such hatred! Lol. That's cool you make cute sentimental gifts, but that's not what she wanted. If she wanted that, she would register for it. I ended up buying all my stuff...from the returns from the stuff i really needed. Let's be honest, at 36 weeks (that's when i did my shower) You don't want to do much of anything. Oh and i did have an online one two...i had old people attending that don't know how to use internet...
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  • I got an invite once that straight up said "No Pooh bear, no Barney (I wasn't aware it was 1998), and no binkies." While the person who the shower was for is a no nonsense kind of gal, I was taken aback my the strange demands. 
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  • Sam Buttons Sam Buttons
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    edited May 2014
    cpfanner said:

    Oh wow...such hatred! Lol. That's cool you make cute sentimental gifts, but that's not what she wanted. If she wanted that, she would register for it. I ended up buying all my stuff...from the returns from the stuff i really needed. Let's be honest, at 36 weeks (that's when i did my shower) You don't want to do much of anything. Oh and i did have an online one two...i had old people attending that don't know how to use internet...

    Wow. You're ridiculous. Also, you're pregnant, not handicap. Most women work till their due dates, run after toddlers, etc., I think you can handle shopping.

    For what it's worth, my four year old loves her hand made baby blanket, she still sleeps with it. And she loves dressing her little sister up in all her old baby clothes. So those "off registry" items have created the most memories and I am so happy I have them.
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  • Hope you don't mind a lurker chiming in.

    I was in a similar position where I had a bunch of hand-me-down clothes from a friend with a baby 6 months older than DS.  I didn't put clothes on my registry, but I didn't ask to put any mention of clothes on the invitation either.  I got clothes from my shower and had enough to put DS in new clothes twice a day without repeating clothing items.  But I'm grateful that I didn't have to buy him a single piece of clothing until he was 6 months old.  Plus I had enough clothes to store for my next child and pass some along to the next baby in the family.

    I think word of mouth is the only polite way to pass along that you don't need baby clothes.  Don't tell people they aren't allowed to buy clothes, but if they ask, it's ok to mention you're probably set with clothes.  You're guaranteed to get some at the shower anyway, so roll with it.
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  • You know what's really improper etiquette in my book, is people taking the tags off of everything. My Dh's Oma does this, drives me mad. I firmly believe in gift receipts, they were invented for a reason. If you can't give a gift without the chance that it's something that won't fit or maybe the kid doesn't like, don't buy them anything then. And I don't want to hear "they will grow into it". My kids are in 2-3T and 4, and she goes and gets a 4 and 6x. I would have taken them back to get the proper size, but she took the darn tags off! So now I have 1 wearable outfit and 1 that will sit in the closet for 2 years, and then my little one gets a hand me down when she was supposed to get a new outfit. Etiquette these days seems to be thrown out the window, or everyone has very different interpretations of it. Sorry this was underlined I don't know what I did....
  • @countrylivin89, I wonder about the regional thing as well. I used to live in a more urban area, then moved out to a rural farming area Ca. I also only have a handful of close friends, not many acquaintances, does this make a difference as well. I have never attended a shower that was not for a close friend. So to me, none of this really seems like begging, and I like to stick to the list. I get the whole "too many clothes" thing too. Everyone buys clothes, especially friends that haven't had kids yet. For me, I got so many clothes that my daughter had new outfits every day for 2 months. That was a little much, not that I am ungrateful, and since I had 2 in a row they went to double good use. But purchasing stuff now for a friend, I am going on her list, and getting the things that she needs but not all people would think of without a registry.  The first baby shower I went to for a friend having a baby (before I had kids) all I got her was clothes. Now that I know better, for a summer baby who won't be spending much time in anything but onesies and a receiving blanket, that's what I am getting her. And diapers, because I know she needs them. 
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  • I definitely agree. Showers are a GIFT. It takes a village and showers represent that. Your guests have already made the decision to help in there own way with there own money/time. A few of my friends are having babies this year and we have had a couple showers. I am a quilter. I have made them all handmade quilts. Now my mommy brain had me buy something practical off their registry as well but so far, They loved the quilts even more because they appreciate the work and love put into them. My absolute favorite gifts from my sons shower were the handmade swaddling blankets my grandmother made. And I kept them, now 5.5 years later I will use them on my second child. It is up to the guests to decide and you to appreciate what is GIVEN to you. Congrats and good luck to all.

  • I can't imagine being upset by getting things off the registry.  I'm excited to see what other things ppl will think of.  Being a FTM, I know my friends/family with kids know the essential things that they needed and didn't have enough of, and would never want them to "stick to the list" because I picked out a matching PNP and swing.  As far as clothes, my SIL has already got us a couple outfits she found that I never would have seen and they are so adorable.  We live in different areas and shop in different stores.  I love seeing what others choose, although, having a girl, I know we will get some frilly/ pink stuff that's not our taste, but whatever.  My friend gave me a leopard print scarf once for my birthday that wasn't really my taste either, but nothing to be upset or cry over.  And on top of it, I can still get the stuff I picked off the registry if no one else does.  It's win-win.  It's like having another shower for myself when I order all the stuff left on the registry. :)
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  • yeah.yeah.
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    meh. I don't think it's automatically rude. I received an invite to a shower recently (thrown by the grandmother to be) that said something like "M will be receiving buckets of hand-me-downs from her brother, so no clothes under 2T will be necessary." Did not bother me one bit.
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  • Meery82Meery82
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    edited June 2014
    You know what's really improper etiquette in my book, is people taking the tags off of everything. My Dh's Oma does this, drives me mad. I firmly believe in gift receipts, they were invented for a reason. If you can't give a gift without the chance that it's something that won't fit or maybe the kid doesn't like, don't buy them anything then. And I don't want to hear "they will grow into it". My kids are in 2-3T and 4, and she goes and gets a 4 and 6x. I would have taken them back to get the proper size, but she took the darn tags off! So now I have 1 wearable outfit and 1 that will sit in the closet for 2 years, and then my little one gets a hand me down when she was supposed to get a new outfit. Etiquette these days seems to be thrown out the window, or everyone has very different interpretations of it. Sorry this was underlined I don't know what I did....
    Ugh. Entitled much?
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