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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