Are Baby Showers Becoming Too Bold?

Posted on 30 July 2016

Celebrations and rituals concerning pregnancy and childbirth have been commonplace for thousands of years and actually date back to the ancient Egyptians. Modern day baby showers as we know them today actually started during the 1950's after WWII during the baby boom era where it became commonplace to bring small gifts to help the new parents with infant care by lessening the financial burden.

The term "shower" is often assumed to mean that the expectant mother is "showered" with gifts.

But how many gifts does that mean you should "shower" the new mom with?


Typically, an old-fashioned baby shower would be thrown by a best friend of the expectant mother and close friends and family of hers would be invited to share in the celebration of her soon to be new baby boy or new baby girl. Lasting a couple of hours and usually given at the hostesses home, a shower event would typically include a buffet meal with cake or cupcakes for desert, a few games with prizes and end with the new mom-to-be opening her gifts. An invitation would have been previously mailed to each guest with out any mention of a baby registry. It would be generally expected that all attendees would bring a gift of some sort and it would be much appreciated by the new parents no matter what it was. Newborn baby gifts might include onesies, booties, clothing, blankets or some other type of necessity of each attendees choice.  Modern day baby showers tend to be pretty much done in the same fashion though some may be more elaborate then others but what's changed is that more and more these days it tends to be the norm for baby shower invitations to include a bold list of requested presents.  You just might be asked to not only select an item off a gift registry but also to "bring a book in lieu of a card" and/or "bring a package of diapers" to enter a raffle drawing.

For some, this type of invitation would not be considered a problem at all and they would look forward to fulfilling the wishes of the new parents without any concerns. But for others, this sort of boldness could be a turn off and viewed as demanding, rude, greedy and tacky, especially if the new parents are more financially well off then they themselves. It's now become a possible hardship and a stressful dilemma for them to even attend at all as they don't want to appear as cheapskates or feel excluded from the other guests.

So what is one to do if indeed they receive such an invite and their budget does not allow for such an indulgence on one baby shower?

You should not feel obligated to do everything that is asked of you.  Decide how much you want to do and how much you can afford to do and simply stick to your budget and what you are comfortable doing. You could always bring a book and the diapers and consider the cost of those gifts to be part of your overall budget and then choose a baby gift accordingly.

 

What are your thoughts and or suggestions on this particular situation?  Do you find it rude and tacky or do you feel it's perfectly fine for new moms to be so bold in asking for what they want?  How would you handle the situation? We'd love to know your thoughts so be sure to include your comment below.

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3 comments

  • Jillian: August 04, 2016

    First of all, I think baby showers out of control. It was always my understanding that a shower was thrown for the first child only. Now days every child gets a shower?

    Second of all, it is rude to suggest bringing a book in lieu of a card. Books are more expensive then cards. However, I would suggest the dollar store if they request a book instead of a card. Side note;They also have two cards for one $.

    Third and finally, If I didn’t receive a hand written thank you; I would not be going to their next event. Why do people think its ok that I take my valuable time; to shop for them, wrap a gift for them, and attend their special event but have the audacity to say, “well people are just going to have to realize, I don’t have time to write thank you notes.” True story. Overheard, a young mom after her 2nd babies, baby shower state the above. Unbelievable!

  • Victoria: August 03, 2016

    Thanks for your comment Ruthann, it sounds like you’ve not had a good experience as far as thank you notes are concerned…unfortunately, this form of communication and sign of gratitude may very well be considered “old fashion” by the millennium generation but I hope not. :)

  • Ruthann: August 03, 2016

    One may call me old fashion, but I totally agree with your article. I believe independent thinking women should handle an invitation that was so specifically defined as an ideal preference, but would look at my own budget and as you suggested, maybe bring the book and diapers and pick out a very affordable, within my budget gift. And then you will not be so disappointed when after the shower, there is NO Thank You Note, which I might add is a very sour lost art in this Millennium Generation.

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