The question of who is responsible for throwing a baby shower for an expectant mother has been a question that has followed the modern baby shower tradition since it gained popularity. Also, if no one is necessarily responsible, who else can throw the baby shower? Believe it or not, there are actually several rules of etiquette that can dictate who can choose to host a baby shower for you. However, just like in other areas of life, there are rules that can be broken, and ultimately the rules that dictate this aspect of hosting a baby shower will change depending on the mother’s family traditions.
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Who Cannot Throw the Shower?
The traditions around who should not throw a baby shower for a mom-to-be used to be incredibly strict. Originally, no relatives were allowed to host your shower, as it was seen as the family as a whole begging for presents. These rules have changed and been modified over time until only the following rules still apply.
Spouse or Partner
- This one is still pretty rigorously followed. It is considered inappropriate and in poor taste for your significant other to host your baby shower as it will be perceived as simply an attempt to grab as many presents as possible. Sometimes this rule can be bent, especially if you already have a small social circle, or if neither of you have a connection to your families. It is still better, however, to see if a close friend might be willing to throw your shower instead.
- Just like your significant other cannot throw you a shower, you definitely should not throw your own! The point of a baby shower is for your loved ones to “shower” you with love, and help support you in your upcoming motherhood. Again, this rule can be broken for the same reasons listed above, but it should only be broken if you know that your guests will not mind.
Other Etiquette Rules
- There are a few other etiquette rules that used to be followed strictly but are beginning to loosen up. Baby shower tradition states that it is absolutely rude and inappropriate for you to ask someone to throw a shower for you. Normally, you will not have to ask as several different people from family member to close friends to coworkers will want to throw you a shower, but if you are concerned about no one wanting to throw you one you can ask a close friend if he or she would want to. If direct asking is not your style, you can also try to consider whom the most likely host candidates would be and try to subtly drop hints about baby shower planning.
Who Can Throw the Shower?
So if the etiquette police dictate that you or your significant other cannot host your own shower as the expecting parents, just who can throw you a shower?
Siblings or siblings-in-law
- Yes, your siblings or your significant other’s siblings can throw you a shower! This one is still a little controversial as a sibling is considered very “close” to the parents-to-be and can step on the toes of “asking for gifts”, but this perception has been changing rapidly in recent years. Often times your sibling might very well be your best friend, and you cannot think of anyone else you would want to throw you a shower. Your parents or aunts may poo-poo on this idea, but contemporary etiquette will tell you this is just fine.
- Similar to siblings, this choice may still earn you some raised eyebrows, but not much. Parents hosting does have some extra etiquette weirdness tied to it, however. As baby showers are traditionally Women Only events, it has often been seen as more respectable to have your mother-in-law, or mother of your significant other, throw the shower rather than your own mother, due to the shower being focused around you and not both you and your spouse. However, with the uptick in co-ed baby showers, having either parent or sets of parents host the shower is becoming more normalized.
- Friends are probably the most common people to host baby showers. Many expecting parents actually prefer that their friends host their shower because who else knows you as well? With a friend hosting you will probably be more involved in the planning process, and are sure to not walk into a formal shower while thinking it was supposed to be casual. Due to the expense of a shower, it is also considered good etiquette to have several friends co-host the shower as well. (Be sure to thank each one individually.)
- If you work in an environment in which you feel friendly and close with your coworkers or your boss, do not feel surprised if they offer to throw you a shower as well! Often times these showers will not include family or friends and will only include your other coworkers.
- Believe it or not, many people have their showers thrown by neighbors. This can be more common for families that have lived next to the same neighbors their entire lives and the neighbors have watched either you or your significant other grow up. This might also happen if the neighbors are very good friends with either your parents or your partner’s parents, and the parents are hoping to avoid the perceived faux pas of hosting your shower.
Is it Okay to Have Multiple Showers?
With all of the etiquette that surrounds who can and cannot host your baby shower, you might be wondering if it is okay for these different people to throw you separate showers. Surely, that is seen as even more “greedy” than just one shower, right? Wrong! As long as you are not inviting the same people repeatedly to multiple different showers, feel free to have as many as people are willing to throw for you! It is rather common for new moms to have a family shower, a friend shower, and then a work shower on top of that.