Am I expected to throw a baby shower? — The Bump
Baby Showers

Am I expected to throw a baby shower?

Hi there, I don't usually post, just stick to browsing the TTC community, just have a situation I could use some opinions on.

Two close friends are pregnant right now, both due within a few weeks of each other and both of these babies are not their first. However, both of my friends' babies will be the youngest by about 8 years.

My question is this: while I would absolutely LOVE to throw each of them an amazing baby shower, I don't have that kind of money and I'm not sure their families will be able to either. Do you think that it's wrong to not throw either of them a shower?
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Re: Am I expected to throw a baby shower?

  • i agree with pp if you want to get them a gift you can always do that but don't feel obligated to throw them a shower even if it was their first if you don't have the resources to do so

    Sassenach1743onefootinthebayou
  • Another vote for "not obligated at all." 

    Friends and relatives are never obligated to throw someone a shower, even for the first pregnancy.

    If you can't bear the thought of them not having a "baby #2 celebration" maybe offer to do a girls' lunch out or get pedicures.  But you're certainly not on the hook for TWO showers for 2nd time moms.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

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    Sassenach1743onefootinthebayou
  • Thanks everyone. Was just feeling guilty about it because both families haven't had a baby in such a long time they don't have any of their stuff anymore. But I just can't do two showers. And I can't do one and not the other. A mani/pedi day sounds like a great idea! Thanks!
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    ChiccoBeanzkmcc14
  • @MrsHagos Don't feel guilty. You aren't obligated to do anything, and it is understandable that you have reservations about throwing 2 showers or even a joint one. It gets really expensive quickly. Mani/pedi dates are cool and I think they'd appreciate it. 
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  • Honestly, some lemonade & cake to throw a joint shower is not going to break the bank. In this Pinterest society we are pressured into super elaborate parties.

    Invite some folks over for two hours for cake & lemonade. Grab some balloons & streamers. Boom done. You can get all of this for less than 50 bucks.

    Around here I've heard that type of party called a sprinkle. To me, it means it's not the first baby, smaller party, casual, and smaller gifts. But you do you, and you are definitely not obligated.
    prettynp01PrimRoseMamaMamabeagle
  • edited September 2015
    Linsbins said:
    Honestly, some lemonade & cake to throw a joint shower is not going to break the bank. In this Pinterest society we are pressured into super elaborate parties. Invite some folks over for two hours for cake & lemonade. Grab some balloons & streamers. Boom done. You can get all of this for less than 50 bucks.
    Around here I've heard that type of party called a sprinkle. To me, it means it's not the first baby, smaller party, casual, and smaller gifts. But you do you, and you are definitely not obligated.
    OP: I agree that you should feel no obligation and the mani/pedi day sounds like an amazing gift, but if you really want to, this sounds like a good option especially if you can make it a joint small shower/"sprinkle".

    Side Note: I think this is where some of the etiquette stuff doesn't translate culture to culture.  In my area/social circle it's pretty normal to have a "shower" for every baby, but all of them, including the first, are at the sprinkle level.  Someone invites a few people to your home or church, you have some homemade cake and punch, play some silly free games, and open presents. It's often planned (and predominantly attended) by little old retired ladies at the church or grandmothers who get excited every time there's a baby. Most people just bring a $15 outfit or a small pack of diapers regardless, so it's kind of hard to make "Sprinkles" distinct.  We just like celebrating, but keep it super cheap, small, and simple compared to what else is out there. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a nice time if you really want to have a sprinkle/shower (but of course OP, you certainly shouldn't feel like you have to spend any at all!). 
    ChiccoBeanz
  • MrsHagos said:
      they don't have any of their stuff anymore. 
    While you're heart is in the right place, this isn't anyone's job but theirs to handle.  This doesn't obligate you or anyone to throw them a shower.  I would expect that many of their friends will get them gifts regardless of a shower anyhow. 
    kmcc14
  • Agreed! Also there is something to be said for the art of hospitality and entertaining, especially to honor a friend or loved one. I love hosting showers or parties for people and using linens, silver, and Depression glass to make it memorable without extra expense.
  • May I say that I hate the distinction between Sprinkle & Shower? I still don't understand why Showers are turning into catered events that require venues? It's not a wedding! It's a little shin-dig to celebrate the MTB. It annoys me (UO) that the average shower is now slated as a big to do (50 or more people) with a full menu & bar. Anything less involved is a sprinkle? Do we not see this insanity? It's been gradual, but the shift to showers taking on the same weight as weddings is alarming to me. :|
    I've noticed that too. I was shocked when I saw it suggested that the restaurant takes care of everything and that some people insist it's rude not to provide a full meal and alcohol. Every shower I've ever seen was appetizers, punch, and cake at someone's house.
    This is interesting. I have never been to a shower with less than 25-30 people, and although they were not catered, they always had full meals served at them and they were not in anyone's home ever. But, I think it's a regional/cultural thing. At least from what I have seen, read, heard and etc.
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  • May I say that I hate the distinction between Sprinkle & Shower? I still don't understand why Showers are turning into catered events that require venues? It's not a wedding!

    It's a little shin-dig to celebrate the MTB. It annoys me (UO) that the average shower is now slated as a big to do (50 or more people) with a full menu & bar. Anything less involved is a sprinkle? Do we not see this insanity?

    It's been gradual, but the shift to showers taking on the same weight as weddings is alarming to me. :|

    100% this. People place far too much importance on showers.
  • You don't have to do anything as far as hosting a shower OP but the little get together sounds like a nice idea, with cake and lemonade, as was suggested by pp's.

    My mom had "baby showers" that would be considered Sprinkles now these days. My grandma threw her one for me and my younger sister, although my older sister didn't have one because money and they still weren't big deals; ten people at the most were there (neighbors and family) finger foods and cake were served, games played and she opened gifts.

    I had a friend who completely blew up her baby showers both times. The first one had probably over 50 people crammed in a family members den and kitchen, elaborate bbq, tons of gifts, almost like a red carpet even from her invitations, etc. It was just so overdone to me. And she ended up taking over with the planning and hosting through the months leading up to it because hers weren't doing the way she wanted, I'm guessing. Her second was even crazier. She threw herself one, again, and had a DJ, chocolate fountain, candy jars for the guests to make their own bags with, etc. She invited over 100 people. Fewer guests showed up the second time but Jesus. I just couldn't imagine putting that kind of pressure on yourself just to get the baby PARTY (because it was a damn party, not a shower) you want. She was having a girl for a second time in less than a year and a half after her first which was..eh, yeah celebrate every baby but must it be so blown up?? I dont know, it just all rubbed off as a little gift grabby to me especially the way she posted her registery and gave no explanation as to why there were things on there for her already two year old child as well. X_X
  • May I say that I hate the distinction between Sprinkle & Shower? I still don't understand why Showers are turning into catered events that require venues? It's not a wedding!

    It's a little shin-dig to celebrate the MTB. It annoys me (UO) that the average shower is now slated as a big to do (50 or more people) with a full menu & bar. Anything less involved is a sprinkle? Do we not see this insanity?

    It's been gradual, but the shift to showers taking on the same weight as weddings is alarming to me. :|

    It boggles my mind how elaborate these showers sound! I'm not going to say that this stuff doesn't happen where I'm from (outside the US) because I'm sure it does but I have *never* seen one. It's always been a very casual bbq/finger food deal. Games possibly, maybe some pampering etc and sometimes quite a few people in my family ones (due to being part of a large extended family).

    That said, decorations and catering, the stuff I've read on here just seems way OTT. It might be a cultural difference possibly but wow! I am kind of jealous of you lovely ladies who have someone who would put that kind of thing on for you!
    image
    Expecting Double Trouble, April 2016
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  • May I say that I hate the distinction between Sprinkle & Shower? I still don't understand why Showers are turning into catered events that require venues? It's not a wedding!

    It's a little shin-dig to celebrate the MTB. It annoys me (UO) that the average shower is now slated as a big to do (50 or more people) with a full menu & bar. Anything less involved is a sprinkle? Do we not see this insanity?

    It's been gradual, but the shift to showers taking on the same weight as weddings is alarming to me. :|

    Showers have always been catered events at venues where I'm from- multiple course lunches, etc. I don't see why it'd be "alarming".
    VegetaElPrincipe
  • teeveemom said:
    Showers have always been catered events at venues where I'm from- multiple course lunches, etc. I don't see why it'd be "alarming".
    It's a regional thing. Where I'm from a baby shower has always been at someone's house or maybe the community center with nothing more than finger foods, cake, and punch. 

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    fourtsixand2
  • Here too. Cake, snacks, apps, punch at all the baby AND bridal showers I've been to.
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  • I'm with @teeveemom on this one. If anyone threw a baby shower with like snacks, cake and lemonade, it wouldn't be considered acceptable. In fact, the reaction that many give to the, Idk "fancier", showers would be received to a cake and lemonade house party. But I guess it's a regional thing. I've never heard of such types of showers until TB. That sounds like a sprinkle or small gathering for a multiple child. Even then, a lot of people I know have showers for each kid. 

    To answer OP, I don't think you are expected to do anything. If you want to give a shower as a gift then go ahead, but you don't have to.
  • I'm with @teeveemom on this one. If anyone threw a baby shower with like snacks, cake and lemonade, it wouldn't be considered acceptable. In fact, the reaction that many give to the, Idk "fancier", showers would be received to a cake and lemonade house party. But I guess it's a regional thing. I've never heard of such types of showers until TB. That sounds like a sprinkle or small gathering for a multiple child. Even then, a lot of people I know have showers for each kid. 


    To answer OP, I don't think you are expected to do anything. If you want to give a shower as a gift then go ahead, but you don't have to.
    I've been to such a wide variety of showers. Showers at homes, tea houses, country clubs, hotels, higher end restaurants like Barton G's. Showers that were just light Hors d'Oeuvres and cake and some that were full sit down, several course meals. I can't say that I've ever walked into a shower and thought it was "cheap" or "not acceptable" because someone didn't host a catered sit down meal. That's not what the shower is about.

    I guess this is why some people end up throwing their own showers though. They have such high expectations of what really is just a gift giving event. Everyone is such an entitled pretty pretty princess anymore.
    @CharminglySouthern : right on! I want to blame it on this Keeping Up With The Kardishans type stuff where folks have to make AW of their events to feel like "somebody". They feel less than if they don't try to keep up. :-??

    Seriously, I've attended showers in DC in a damn ballroom with 200 people. Fancy shizz with full-on wait-staff. I ate the salmon puffs & mingled. Drank the champagne & went home.

    The nanny will still change the same poop-filled diapers of that kid that I did with mine. Someone will be spit up on. Meh. I think it's too much for a shower & it's pretentious IMHO.

    Some of the best showers were simple ones in someone's house. Charming, decorated simply with home made decor & food. I love those & host those. I find them to be so much more genuine & heart-felt vs. A show of power/prestige/look how much money mommy & Daddy have type thing.

    If that's the kind of shower you're into then get on with the expensive party. I'd rather put that money into a college fund or long-term investment plan for my kids. They won't know or care that mommy & daddy busted Benjamin's for their shower. They'll know & care how they will pay for college. My kids have trust-funds but I'm not saying jack about them to them until later.

    Especially for multiple children. I am firmly convinced some of the nouveau riche have more money than sense. It's painful.


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