Baby Shower: Top Etiquette Questions Hero Label

Baby Shower: Top Etiquette Questions

small baby wrapped up in a blanket sleeping

Encore Baby Showers

Is it proper to give a baby shower for a second baby? Some say that baby showers should only be given for the first born.

It's fine to have a baby shower for a second or third baby. Immediate family and very close friends are usually included, but otherwise choose guests who did not attend a shower for a previous child.

Shower Invitations for Far Away Guests

On several occasions I have received invitations to baby showers that are thousands of miles away. I am certain that the people inviting me know that I cannot afford to fly to the event. Is it in poor taste to send an invitation to someone who cannot possibly attend the shower?

While it may not be practical, the intent is honorable. Most likely your hostess didn't want you to feel left out. The guest list can be a dilemma for a shower host, who wants to make sure that relatives and close friends feel included, even if too far away to attend. It's fine to send your regrets, and whether you send a gift is entirely up to you and your relationship to the honoree. You might also arrange with your host to have you join the party for a little while, either with a phone call on speaker phone, or using a web cam and VoIP service, such as Skype.

Missed RSVPs

I am having a baby shower, and my invitation requests an RSVP by a certain date. However, that date has passed and some people seem to misunderstand RSVP to mean call only if you are coming. My understanding is that regardless you should still call. Is so, should I be calling the individuals who have not responded? And what does RSVP really mean?

RSVP (or, R.S.V.P. or rsvp) is the abbreviation for the French répondez s'il vous plait—please respond—whether you are attending or not. Replying is one of the basic obligations created by an invitation, and failing to do so shows a lack of consideration on the part of a guest. You will need to call anyone who has not responded and ask whether they are attending. It's perfectly okay for you to do this—after all, you need to know how many guests to expect.

Organizing Group Get-togethers Without a Designated Host

How do you send an invitation to about 10 people for a small lunch get together just to celebrate a friend having her 4th child (not an official shower, just a little intimate time as friends)? Also, how do I let the people know that we'll all be paying for our own lunch?

"Encore showers" or the small luncheon you describe can be fun for both the mother-to-be and her friends. Because no one is hosting and attendees are expected to pay their own way, invitations aren't mailed. You'll need to make it clear that the event is a group effort and that you are only the organizer, not the hostess. In this case, the phone works best. "Jess, a bunch of us were thinking of treating Carolyn to lunch before the baby arrives. It will be at noon at Chez Harry on August 4th. We're planning to split the bill and cover Carolyn's meal." The important thing is to make sure each person is aware of the payment arrangements ahead of time, as you don't want anyone to be surprised at the event.

Baby Shower Thank-you Notes

What is the acceptable length of time within which to send your thank-you notes out after a baby shower?

If possible, try to send all your thank-you notes before the baby is born or within two months of the baby's arrival, unless circumstances cause a further delay.