More and more parents are opting out of the traditional large baby shower. Some parents might be on the fence about whether or not to have one. But if you’ve decided you definitely don’t want a baby shower, what else can you do? Are there other creative ways to celebrate? What are the arguments for and against having a baby shower?
These days, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the arrival of a new little one without the giant party. In fact, it seems there are just as many alternatives to the traditional shower as there are reasons to skip it. If you don’t think a big to-do is right for you, you might want a smaller “sprinkle,” a meal train, or even a meet-the-baby party.
Read on to learn more about skipping the baby shower, ways of having a non-traditional baby shower, and some factors you might not have thought of to help you make the decision.
To have a baby shower or not?
Although there aren’t any statistics on what percentage of parents choose NOT to have a baby shower, it seems to be trending up. As the idea gains popularity, you may be wondering if you should have a baby shower or not.
There are several reasons why new parents might feel hesitant about having a baby shower, and even decide to skip it. Maybe you’re having your second (or third) child, avoiding exposure to germs, or maybe all of your family lives far away. Perhaps your spouse is introverted, or you’d really just like to save money.
If you’re on the fence, keep reading for the pros and cons of having a baby shower, along with some alternative ideas for skipping the traditional shower.
What if you really don’t want a baby shower
Since a baby shower is for you and your family, it is totally up to you and your partner whether or not you would like to have one. This is the case whether you’re passing on all baby showers from here ‘til eternity or if you decided to host a baby shower for each of your 6 pregnancies.
While all kinds of baby shower etiquette rules can be found on the internet, at the end of the day what matters most is what you and those who support you want, need, or enjoy.
It is totally okay to skip having a baby shower if the thought of being the center of attention while oo-ing and aa-ing over pink frilly baby clothes isn’t quite your thing.
What is the point of a baby shower?
Just like with any other frivolous event, many overwhelmed moms and moms-to-be might wonder what’s the point of a baby shower.
The point of a baby shower is for the expecting mother’s friends and relatives to shower her with love, presents, cards, and advice as they anticipate the birth of a precious new little one.
It’s not just about having a party – it’s about having a shared time to celebrate the impending arrival of the newest member of the family!
Reasons to have a baby shower (Pros)
While you may assume that the best reason to have a baby shower is that everyone else has one, there are actually loads of really good reasons to take the time for a party.
- For the gifts – Let’s be honest, some of us are mostly in it for the gifts! Babies are expensive, and a baby shower is a great way to help you get all the things you need for the baby. Showers are especially helpful for accumulating the essentials like the car seat and stroller, or baby wipes and diapers.
- To celebrate – Baby showers help you celebrate that moment with your friends and family and create priceless memories. Years from now, you’ll enjoy looking back and laughing at the pictures and fun games you played.
- It’s a milestone – Especially if this is your first baby, your life is about to change in new and exciting (and tiring) ways you may not have fully anticipated yet. Besides being a great opportunity to get to see your guests one last time before you’re busy with late-night feedings, a baby shower is a great way to mark the transition in your life.
- They’re fun – Who doesn’t enjoy a party? Full of games, cake, food, and traditions, baby showers can be a fun and special event for both you and your loved ones. Of course, they may not be for everyone – or your definition of fun might change when you’re 8 months pregnant.
- For others – Some expecting parents decide to go for the shower after all because they know it is important to those around them. For example, if your mother or best friend would just be heartbroken to not get the chance to celebrate new life with you, you may decide to keep with tradition just to make your friends and family happy.
Reasons not to have a baby shower (Cons)
It’s totally okay if you decide not to have a baby shower at all!
- You live far from family – Although friends, neighbors, coworkers, and church members can help fill the gap, you may choose not to have a baby shower if those who matter most to you can’t be there. And if you just moved, you may not have made those connections in the community just yet.
- Too many potential guests – On the other hand, your social circle might just feel far too large to have an enjoyable, stress-free baby shower without having to host 5 different parties or risk accidentally offending someone who didn’t get invited. If you have a large family and had 500 people at your wedding, this one might resonate with you.
- Too expensive – Especially if you don’t have any friends or family members near you to host, it can be expensive to put together a baby shower. When you’re on a budget, it may just seem frivolous to throw a party when you can just ask for what you need (like diapers). Or maybe you don’t want to ask your loved ones to contribute a gift at all and would hate to make others feel like they need to spend money on you. In all these cases, a shower can just feel like a huge waste of money.
- Too much pressure – Many moms don’t like being the center of attention and find the idea of a baby shower unnecessary and even stressful. If you are dealing with family drama, are stuck on bed rest, don’t have the time, are busy nesting, or have other extenuating circumstances like trying to complete a big move before the baby is born, having a large party may be the last thing you want to do. And that’s perfectly okay.
- You’re avoiding germs – Pregnant women are more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, due to lowered immunity that can put both mom and baby at risk. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth the risk.
Unconventional baby shower alternatives
Thankfully, there are many great modern alternatives to hosting a traditional baby shower.
If you’re still interested in having a baby shower – just with a twist – check out this list of fun alternatives for a baby shower below.
Have a Drive-through Baby Shower
First made popular in 2020, it remains to be seen if the drive-through baby shower will be sticking around.
The adaption of drive-through parties has been a great way to make memories while staying safe – and cutting back on expenses and party clean-up too!
Instead of hosting a full-blown baby shower, you can create and share a registry to let friends and family know where to send the gifts.
If you just want the gifts without all the fuss, create a virtual baby registry and have a link to send your aunt who keeps bugging you for a wish list.
Looking for a more practical idea?
Ask for food after the baby is born instead.
People can sign up on a meal train website such as MealTrain.com and contribute groceries, breakfast, lunch, or dinner for the new parents.
Host a Baby Sprinkle
Like the idea of a party but not a fan of giant events?
Many parents choose to host a small, intimate gathering with only their closest family and friends. Baby sprinkles are also a great option when it’s not your first child and you feel weird about having another shower.
Try a “Sip & See”
Similarly, many parents choose to host a small gathering after the baby is born.
All your friends and family are going to want to meet your child anyway, so you might as well postpone the party until after the little one arrives. (Some families wait until the baby is around 1 month old and can better handle exposure to germs.)
After your child is born, you’ll have a better idea of what gifts you still need, and whether your guests should buy pink or blue. (Bonus – by having everyone meet the baby at the same time, you won’t have to deal with dozens of random drop-in visitors when you just want to lay in bed and bond with your newborn.)
Have a Co-Ed Party
More and more couples are opting for a co-ed party where dad and other male friends and family members can be involved too.
If the thought of high tea in the garden sounds a bit too “stuffy” for you, this can be a great way of having a fun and casual shower. (Should you also invite kid guests? Totally up to you!)
Having virtual baby showers can be a great way to reduce the stress and take the pressure off the planning and perfection of a big day. They’re also a great option if most of your friends and family live far away.
Whether you choose to stream your baby shower to Facebook Live, call up your friends on Zoom, or host the whole family on Houseparty, virtual events can be just as fun.