Baby showers are incredibly common events but many couples might be unable to do so because of location or cost. But if you’re not planning a traditional shower, not able to host one due to finances, distance, or other circumstances, then how can you (politely) ask for help from family and friends?
Expecting parents can get baby gifts or money without a shower by hosting alternative events such as a virtual shower, a sip-and-see, a baby sprinkle, a gift card shower, or even just a simple get together or dinner. Asking for money or gift cards in lieu of gifts is possible with many baby registries or a donation page.
The rules, norms, and etiquette surrounding most of our traditions are changing-including baby showers. It seems that at modern baby showers anything goes! If you’re not able to host a traditional baby shower, use it as an opportunity to get creative and share the news and celebrate with friends and family in alternative ways.
Asking for gifts without a baby shower
Few things are more fun when you find out you’re pregnant than dreaming about nurseries, baby names, and starting that Amazon wish list or registry at your favorite stores. However, you’ll quickly notice as you “add to cart” that getting ready for baby can become a pricy endeavor, which is why expecting parents are often thrown the traditional baby shower-especially for first babies.
A modern tradition with historical significance, getting showered with gifts at a baby shower is something that first-time moms look forward to during those nine long months. The baby shower gained popularity in the US during the 1940s and 1950s during the Baby Boom era. Much like a bridal shower helps a young couple prepare their new home, the baby shower serves to help prepare parents-to-be with all of the necessities for a little one.
Traditionally, baby showers were for women only and were hosted by a close friend of the mother-to-be celebrating the arrival of her first baby. But modern-day baby showers would make Emily Post blush. Most of the traditional rules have been thrown out in recent years in favor of quirky themes, mixed guest lists, informal events, and offbeat menus. In fact, the quirkier and more unique the better when it comes to baby showers!
But if you’re not having a baby shower event, how do you politely and tastefully ask for gifts to help you prepare for baby?
First, it’s important to remember that your circle of family and friends will be excited to celebrate the news of a baby and will want to help out! Most likely, they’ll be on the lookout for gifts anyway, so offering a little guidance will help them in their search.
In the age of virtual everything putting a damper on events everywhere, people that know you will absolutely understand your decision NOT to host a formal party or shower to welcome baby. There are many simple ways to share a registry or a request with your circle of friends and family:
- Create a registry and share it on your baby announcement to send to friends and family
- Create your own website to include a donation button or a link to your baby registry
- Create an Amazon wish list and share it (or have friends and family share for you)
- Scale down the shower and have a baby sprinkle or a simple dinner with family and close friends
- Host a Sip-and-See party in lieu of a shower with close family and friends
- Host a virtual shower
- Have a family member or close friend host a gift card shower- gift cards for gas, grocery, or restaurants are great ways to support new parents
Anything goes nowadays as long as it helps expecting parents prepare for the new baby as best they can. (Does Target offer gift cards for free naps?) Just be clear about your needs and share them with those close to you.
Can you do a baby registry without a baby shower?
You can create and share your registry via your social media pages, with inquiring friends and family members, on your baby announcement…There are many ways to do this without being rude or seeming pushy about gifts.
Baby registry announcement with no shower
If you don’t wish to host a formal shower, you can always share your registry in other creative ways. Send out a baby announcement with a link to your registry or create a website to share your pregnancy journey with friends and family including the registry link.
How do you ask for money instead of a baby shower gift?
In the age of GoFundMe and other crowdfunding opportunities, it’s not outlandish to share your preference for monetary gifts in lieu of physical items for a wedding, a move, an adoption, or baby shower with your close circle of friends and family. After all, babies are expensive! A simple monetary gift may be a welcome option for busy friends or relatives to be able to pitch in for a crib and stroller more easily.
Asking for monetary gifts for a special item or purpose for baby is all in how you position it to family and friends. If you have a specific purpose in mind to use the money for, like childcare or a medical fund, favorite charity, nursery renovation, or other major need, sharing it clearly with family and friends will help them to be understanding of your request and generous with a monetary gift.
Here are ideas, tips, and guidance for asking for a monetary gift:
- Create your own website sharing your pregnancy journey and baby needs-include a donation button sharing what you’ll be using the money for (be specific)
- Some registry sites have an option for you to request monetary gifts
- Ask for gift cards or have a close friend enlist the help of your circle to go in on some gift cards
- Use a GoFundMe page to share with your friends and family
- Politely ask: In lieu of gifts, monetary gifts for the purpose of “insert reason here” are graciously accepted.
Baby shower alternatives
If you don’t want to host a traditional baby shower, but still wish to do some celebrating with friends and family in more casual or more intimate way, here are a few ideas to help you get creative:
- Host a Virtual Shower: Take your shower online. This is a great option if your family and friends are separated by distance. The formula is similar to an in-person even, just minus the cake. Simply choose a virtual venue, like Zoom or Google Hangouts, send out invites, set up decorations (some chat apps even have themes you can use), play some games, and open gifts (or not)…A virtual shower gives you lots of flexibility to truly make it unique. Try sending out some printables for the games ahead of time and don’t forget to include some fun digital prizes, like e-gift cards, for your virtual partygoers.
- Host a Sip-and-See: If a traditional baby shower isn’t your thing or due to geographical or monetary constraints you choose to forego a traditional baby shower, consider hosting a sip-and-see for after baby arrives. Invite your closest friends and family members to drop in for an intimate gathering to include light drinks and finger food and let them get a glimpse at the new baby. Bonus: guests will likely bring you a gift if they haven’t sent one already.
- Casual, Intimate Get Together: Similar to a sip-and-see, hosting a casual get-together to celebrate the news can be either before or after baby’s arrival and can be as simple as a backyard BBQ or hosted at an event space or restaurant. Keep the guest list intimate, the atmosphere comfortable and use this as a reason to gather with your support system to share a momentous occasion! If you create a registry, share it on the invitations.
Whether you go all out or forego the fanfare altogether, there are still great ways to share your news and needs creatively and politely with friends and family. Remember, those close to you are going to want to help you prepare for baby and will be eager to snag a gift off your registry, donate to a specific purpose or need, or offer their help in other ways.
Just be clear and polite with any requests.