I also have reservations about some of the typical games associated with baby showers (aka, sniff the diaper to guess the candy inside, drink as fast as you can from a baby bottle, etc.). I love games, but I just don’t want anything gross. When the time comes for my mother/friend/sister to throw my shower, is it totally tacky to make these requests to her? I never want to be someone who stomps all over someone’s efforts to be kind, but I also am the type of person who definitely knows what I do and don’t like. Should I keep my mouth shut entirely, or do I have a say? — Politely Picky
You know, something tells me that your mother/friend/sister whom you assume will throw you a baby shower is probably well-aware of what a “politely picky” person you are and may actually ask you if you have any preferences or opinions about said shower. If you are asked, then by all means suggest the diaper raffle game and let it be known you don’t want anyone drinking quickly from a bottle or smelling any candy. If you are not asked, I’d suggest keeping your mouth shut, being a gracious guest of honor, and saving your ideas for when YOU are a host of a party. I’d also suggest transferring some of your focus from the baby shower that is likely months away to enjoying some of the final weeks and months of freedom. Go to lots of movies! Go out to nice dinners! Spend time with friends! Take a few trips — even just some weekend getaways will be more than you’ll be able to easily manage once the baby is here.
This is such an exciting time, and it’s easy to get swept up in the anticipation and even feel overwhelmed by how much your life is about to change. But focusing on making a party perfect that you aren’t even hosting — a party that NO ONE has even volunteered yet to host — probably isn’t the best use of your time or energy (two things that are about to be hugely compromised, so enjoy them while you can!).
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bethany March 13, 2014, 3:08 pm
When I co-hosted a bridal shower we asked the bride what she envisioned for the day, and we tried to give her a party she would enjoy. If whoever throws the shower asks you what you’d like, then by all means tell them.
Hopefully your close friends and family know you well enough to know that you wouldn’t enjoy those type of games.
bethany March 13, 2014, 3:11 pm
Also, I just looked up what a diaper raffle is… It kind of gave me the ‘icks’. It just sounded a little tacky to me. Although I know in certain parts of the country it’s common to do stuff like that or a 50/50 at a shower/party, it just doesn’t sit well with me.
GatorGirl March 13, 2014, 3:17 pm
I agree. It’s a shower, not a bingo game. Skip the raffle.
muchachaenlaventana March 13, 2014, 3:40 pm
Yeah I looked it up and it just seems kind of like forcing someone to bring something they may not otherwise. Idk I sort of hate the idea of showers in general but won’t get into that here.
Northern Mermaid March 13, 2014, 4:05 pm
So, is it like, if you bring diapers you get entered into a raffle or something? Cloth diapers! (I am not actually advocating one diapering choice over another. I do not care, I just thought it would be funny to bring cloth diapers to a diaper raffle and see what happens)
Related story, Nman babysat for a friend of ours who uses cloth diapers and I couldn’t go with him like I usually do, so he put the cloth diaper in the diaper genie. Hilarity ensued.
Miss MJ March 13, 2014, 4:15 pm
I just looked up a diaper raffle, too. Not a fan. It seems a bit, I don’t know, gift grabby to me: Bring a gift from wherever I’m registered and also bring me some diapers, too, because, a gift just isn’t enough. I mean, you wouldn’t throw a bridal shower expecting gifts and have a “towel raffle,” would you? Same principle. But, in general, I think that most hostesses would probably ask the mom-to-be what she wanted and then the mom-to-be is free to speak in generalities, i.e. “super traditional with all the baby games ever imagined” or “couples” or “measure my stomach so we can all have a laugh at how big I am or make me smell something something that looks like baby shit and then guess what it is and I will cut a bitch.”
honeybeenicki March 13, 2014, 4:23 pm
I’m not sure what a diaper raffle is, but based on these responses I totally agree that it sounds gift-grabby. I’ll have to look it up now. My best friend has already offered to throw me a baby shower for a baby I’m not even pregnant with yet and she says things like “I think we should do this game, what do you think?” and things like that.
theattack March 13, 2014, 3:10 pm
It depends on your relationship with the hostess. My mom would want me to tell her my preferences, but yours might not. Only you can judge that.
I personally would not go for the diaper raffle, because as guests, people don’t like being told what they’re supposed to bring to showers. Not to mention that you don’t even know what type of diapers your baby will be able to wear yet. I guess it’s a thing that people do, but if you’re trying to do what’s most polite or whatever, specifically requesting a type of gift isn’t it.
rachel March 13, 2014, 3:15 pm
I love buying things for my friends who have kids. Seriously, love it. But diaper raffle?? Yeesh.
Sorry, nothing useful for the LW – WWS I guess.
Lily in NYC March 13, 2014, 3:17 pm
Ha, I think a diaper raffle is just as bad as the games LW doesn’t like. LW, you don’t have a say, other than to say thank you to the host. And whatever you do, please don’t have guests address their own thank you cards at the shower – it is rude and tacky as hell (not that it was mentioned in the letter, I just hate it enough to bring it up). I’m not even going to get into the fact that it’s considered poor etiquette to have a close family member throw you a shower because I know not everyone agrees and it’s ok in some social circles.
bethany March 13, 2014, 3:19 pm
Wait– Please explain people addressing their own thank you cards. People actually do that?!
theattack March 13, 2014, 3:22 pm
I saw that on Pinterest today and wanted to vomit. The hostess sets out a stack of envelopes and a sign requesting guests to address an envelope to themselves. Vomit.
TaraMonster March 13, 2014, 3:39 pm
I’ve totally had to do that at showers before. I didn’t really think about it at the time, so I guess it’s safe to say it didn’t bother me. In theory it does seem kinda tacky, though.
honeybeenicki March 13, 2014, 4:26 pm
I’m trying to remember if my MOH did that at my bridal shower, but I don’t think she did. I wonder if people who do that also put out a stack by the gift table at the wedding and tell people to address their own and then attach it to their gift or something? Maybe even include the card with a space to write what the gift is so the bride and groom don’t even have to open it to send the card? And maybe put their own stamp on it? Ok, so that might be too far.
veritek33 March 13, 2014, 4:08 pm
I’ve been to a shower where we did that. And there was also a diaper raffle of sorts, if you brought a package of diapers you could “win” a wal mart gift card.
It was all just really tacky, and it was thrown by her husband’s sister and aunt, so I wasn’t surprised.
shanshantastic March 14, 2014, 8:39 am
I’ve had a few different friends do it. These are all people pretty close to me, so I just went with it, but it definitely leaves a bad taste in your mouth. (And leads to confusion when you get an envelope in your own handwriting a few weeks later!)
Jess March 14, 2014, 9:32 am
I’ve had to do this a bunch of times. It makes me roll my eyes but fine, whatever.
Also, I have seen showers where the maid of honor/close friend wrote them all out and gave it as a gift.
GatorGirl March 13, 2014, 3:24 pm
OMG yes to the thank you card thing. That is the worst!
But I do think the “close family member hosting” thing is going away. Every shower I’ve been two (in multiple states and regions and friend circles) has been hosted by at least one sibling. So yeah, I don’t get why it’s so “wrong” (provided the family member offers to host).
theattack March 13, 2014, 3:27 pm
Agreed. That’s an old rule that seems to be fading out in most social circles. It’s a practicality issue, and the reason for the rule has mostly disappeared anyway.
bethany March 13, 2014, 3:28 pm
Agree. Almost every shower I’ve been to was at least co-hosted by a family member. I know with my friend’s bridal shower her mom insisted on throwing it (and letting us help a little), because she didn’t want us to pay for it.
katie March 13, 2014, 7:03 pm
I haven’t ever been to a baby shower, but if someone did the address thing I’d assume that they wanted my address… Like the wedding ones I’ve seen? So the person has your address? I dunno I’d never think to think that’s tacky.
Also why are family members not allowed to have baby showers? I am genuinely curious about that. It seems to me that the first people to offer to do a baby shower would be a family member??
Imsostartled March 13, 2014, 7:15 pm
I think the etiquette rule was that the soon to be mom’s family shouldn’t host a shower because it seemed too gift grabby. I think it’s a stupid rule though. Though, I think a lot of “etiquette rules” are stupid. Like the Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname. I get all ragey when someone addresses me this way. Can we say sexist?
theattack March 13, 2014, 7:26 pm
Well presumably they already have your address because they probably sent you an invitation. But if they didn’t, then a better way to do it would be to have an address book or just a piece of paper rather than addressing the envelope for your own thank you card. That seems really lazy.
And yeah, what Imsostartled said about the hosting. I don’t like the rule itself, but it exists to prevent a member of a household from requesting gifts that are going into that household, if that makes sense. So if a bride lives with her parents, the gifts will be going into the bride’s parents’ house until the wedding, which in some universe somehow seems like the parents are asking for gifts for themselves. I don’t think people care at all about baby showers though.
snow.angel March 13, 2014, 7:46 pm
I’m confused about the “no family members hosting” thing too. I know you’re never supposed to plan or host it yourself. If you can’t plan it, and your grandma/mom/sisters/aunts/cousins or whoever can’t, who can?
GatorGirl March 13, 2014, 3:19 pm
Also, don’t assume anyone is going to offer a shower. It would suck to get your hopes up. Wait until it’s been offered and let them plan the party they are comfortable hosting.
iwannatalktosampson March 13, 2014, 3:22 pm
When it’s a question about shower games the answer is always no shower games.
bethany March 13, 2014, 3:26 pm
I know I’m a weirdo, but I love playing games at showers. Only if it’s a small group though. For big showers, forget about it. But I’m also the weirdo that likes all those stupid “ice breaker” games, too.
theattack March 13, 2014, 3:29 pm
Me too. I consider myself an expert in those type games, but no one appreciates my talents. haha How is it not fun to play baby charades though? To watch your mom act out getting peed on is amazing.
rachel March 13, 2014, 3:32 pm
Baby charades? That’s a thing?
theattack March 13, 2014, 3:38 pm
Omg yes! You put different baby related things on cards. Some of them are obvious, like giving birth, but it’s still funny to act out.
rachel March 13, 2014, 3:43 pm
That sounds horrible. Haha. Sorry, I just don’t get shower games. I mean don’t get me wrong, if I were invited to a shower where this happened I would play along and like, pretend to breastfeed or whatever. I just don’t get the appeal.
LlamaPajamas March 13, 2014, 3:37 pm
I’m so glad you didn’t ask us to play “ice breaker” games at the meet-up!
bethany March 13, 2014, 3:43 pm
Next time we’re playing “2 Truths and a Lie”. That’s my favorite one.
LlamaPajamas March 13, 2014, 3:48 pm
Hmmm, that actually sounds like fun – maybe I’ve been doing ice breakers with the wrong people. I’m standing firm on hating baby and bridal showers though. Unless someone wanted to take me to a llama/alpaca farm or a cake store for a shower. I’d be all over that.
GatorGirl March 13, 2014, 3:53 pm
Oh oh you might have liked our wedding showers! One was a kegger and the other was a wine and desert pairing thing! No games at either.
LlamaPajamas March 13, 2014, 3:55 pm
I would have loved those! You all are way cooler than my IRL friends.
bethany March 13, 2014, 4:15 pm
We are IRL friends now, so I take offense to your comment 🙂
Jess March 14, 2014, 9:34 am
My wedding shower was typical (and lovely) –like an afternoon tea. It was at my mom’s house but my friends planned it and did most of the cooking, decorating, games, etc. My bachelorette party was a wine tasting for my 8 close friends and that was the BEST.
honeybeenicki March 13, 2014, 4:30 pm
I haven’t made it to a meet-up yet, but I think I’ll invite all of DW to my baby shower and then have ridiculous games and ice-breakers and a diaper raffle and a bottle raffle and make everyone make out their own thank you card envelopes.
GatorGirl March 13, 2014, 3:31 pm
Some really is wrong with this week, we’re all agreeing on something etiquette related!
muchachaenlaventana March 13, 2014, 3:37 pm
agreed, oh how I hate shower games. My sister straight up told us no to them at both her wedding and baby showers and honestly it made our job a lot easier. We could just focus on food and booze instead.
Lily in NYC March 13, 2014, 3:26 pm
A host or bridesmaid will hand out blank thank you card envelopes for guests to fill out with their own address to save the new mom work. My mom just handed the blank card right back with a look of bemused contempt. It was funny. – edited – this was a response to bethany – not sure how it ended up down here.
Sarita March 13, 2014, 3:33 pm
I would have chewed my own leg off to escape traditional baby shower games at my own shower – but thankfully the people throwing me one assured me there wouldn’t be any (and gave us a Mexican-wrestling themed co-ed shower with beer, which I’d highly recommend as a tolerable baby shower). But I maybe would have dropped a hint or two had I not heard anything from them beforehand. No one wants you to be miserable, right?
And I’m just going to put in two sanctimonious cents in favor of cloth diapers. They’re super cheap! You get to save the environment! Go, team!
Naps March 13, 2014, 4:08 pm
Right on Sarita! Love x a million our cloth diapers!
Northern Mermaid March 13, 2014, 8:33 pm
Man. No one saw my hilarious post about my boyfriend putting a cloth diaper in a diaper genie.
kare March 13, 2014, 3:48 pm
I hosted a baby shower for my friend in October. I asked her what she wanted to do for games, and she said “nothing that makes me feel fat or involves anything resembling poop”. I respected that and got her input on the games. We had five games total, but the none of them were time consuming. The easiest was set a timer during the gift opening and whoever’s gift is being opened at the moment wins. We also did a music game which was awesome if you like 90s music that includes the word “baby” at some point.
iwannatalktosampson March 13, 2014, 3:58 pm
One more gripe about stuff like this, I hate that so many showers are females only. I have no proof of this but it seems really sexist, like the women in the family are going to be the only ones caring for and about the baby because the men will be out smoking cigars and bringing home the bacon.
kerrycontrary March 13, 2014, 4:03 pm
I mostly think it’s because men would be bored out of their minds at traditional baby showers. Plus a lot of women take it as their chance to “share their story”. But I guess it doesn’t have to be that way since you could just throw a normal party. A lot of couples I know do joint wedding showers instead of bridal showers now.
iwannatalktosampson March 13, 2014, 4:07 pm
But I’m bored too!! Why does no one care about the females that also think traditional showers are dumb? Why do they get a pass.
GatorGirl March 13, 2014, 4:09 pm
Yeah, I’m bored at showers too usually. They are typically boring. I’m all for co-ed functions.
bethany March 13, 2014, 4:17 pm
You don’t have to go if you don’t’ want to.
iwannatalktosampson March 13, 2014, 4:25 pm
Yeah but then you’re an “unsupportive friend” or whatever. Apparently just sending a gift makes you a dick. I like when my friends have babies, because those boring babies turn into hilarious little kids. But baby showers for the most part suck. I’ve been to one that didn’t suck, and it was co-ed and had a keg. So really it was a party. during the day. And everyone loves day drinking.
WAPS March 14, 2014, 2:20 am
I’m with you, IWTTS. All the people who are saying, “Just don’t go!” are being really disingenuous, because I’m willing to bet that if all of their friends who disliked baby showers opted out of their baby showers, it would hurt their relationships. So yeah, I hate hate hate baby showers but I’ll go because in the end, the relationship is usually worth more than my hatred of that kind of party. Also, I’ve been to exactly one shower that I liked – it was my sister’s, and it too was a co-ed kegger. No presents, no war stories, no games – just BBQ, hanging out with my awesome sister and brother-in-law, and having one last big party that didn’t have to end early!
AmyP March 14, 2014, 1:26 am
Some of the birth war stories told would make the guys queasy or the women might feel inhibited about telling them.
I heard some very funny stories at my shower from a woman whose husband said some hilariously dumb things while she was having their babies (he was pointing out to her the peaks of contractions on the hospital monitor–as if she couldn’t feel it). I might have missed out on that if it had been co-ed.
WAPS March 14, 2014, 2:15 am
Sure, but the point is, women don’t necessarily want to hear it either. I certainly don’t, so why are men given a pass on that? I don’t see why the gruesome details of birth need to be told in a party-wide format, either. I just feel like it’s so rude to push that kind of talk on other people when all some of them wanted to do was give a present and show their support for a life-changing event. Why on earth should I have to sit there and listen to some person talk about their birth stories just because I’m a woman?!
Breezy AM March 15, 2014, 4:47 pm
But you’re a woman, this is normal. It’s sort of like how we all have periods. It’s a part of life and our biology. I don’t want to talk about my boobs or childbirth in front of men not my husband. So no I’m not super interested in men at babyshowers. BUT… I’m also not interested in super sex segregated showers either. The women who want to talk girl stuff can go off to the kitchen. And I’m an adult; I don’t go to parties without alcohol. Before anyone says OMG WHY DO ALL ADULT FUNCTIONS INVOLVE ALCOHOL? I’d like to mention I feel the same fucking way about coffee. Seriously. Why does EVERY morning adult activity ALWAYS have to surround COFFEE? Why doesd EVERYONE assume we ALL drink coffee/need coffee/can’t live without fucking COFFEE. And does anyone ever consider maybe it’s not so fun to be around a bunch of wired ass people ranting about various roasts and blends? Blah. Can’t we just like. be SOBER for once? (this was 1/4 tongue in cheek).
mandalee March 13, 2014, 4:12 pm
Yeah, I don’t see why men can’t be at showers. I mean the dad of the baby is becoming a father, why does he get left out? My dream baby shower, if someone ever really dreams about such a thing lol, would be a beer fueled co-ed BBQ (where the beer is for everyone else, obviously) where the main point is to just get together and celebrate and not watch me open presents for hours and play the traditional shower games. If someone insisted on games, maybe change it up and steal from one of my favorite episodes of HIMYM and do a “Drunk or a Kid” Game or old school kid’s TV/movie trivia.
bethany March 13, 2014, 4:18 pm
I think a BBQ baby shower sounds awesome! I’d love to do something like that.
Portia March 13, 2014, 4:18 pm
I’ve been to a total of three baby showers, one of which was women-only and two of which were co-ed. I gotta say, I enjoyed the co-ed showers much more! There weren’t really games (the only one was guess like height/weight/gender/name and they read out some of their favorite responses) and it was much more chill. Well, and one was at a bar…
The women-only one was kind of awkward because it was my boyfriend’s sister, so it was really just her friends and me. And being there without my boyfriend was a little weird, plus there were a lot of games. Jury’s still out on whether I like these events in general, but the co-ed one was much better.
theattack March 13, 2014, 4:22 pm
I like having a space that’s always only women. It feels more comfortable to me. Men don’t want to go either way, and for the most part, they don’t appreciate the fine details that I like at these events.
Northern Mermaid March 13, 2014, 6:21 pm
I am a big fan of women’s only spaces for many things. But I’m a girl’s girl and don’t really have many friends who are dudes. I am all about having lady time. I live with a guy, my field is primarily men–if there is ever a party that is like “Girls only, boys drool, stay out of our clubhouse” I am sooo there.
On the flip side, co-ed functions are fun too.
katie March 13, 2014, 7:32 pm
What do you mean by “appreciate the fine details”? Like coordinating napkin holders? Or like fine details of birth and carrying a baby?
theattack March 13, 2014, 7:50 pm
Yeah, like the coordinating napkin holders kind of details. I’ve noticed a difference in how much effort people put into those things when it’s all female vs. when it’s co-ed, because I think they know it’s usually less appreciated when it’s co-ed. At least in my social circles, the presence of men usually means something becomes really casual. Decorated cakes turn into bowls of Cheetos. Punch turns into cokes. I just like those nice things at these events. Men probably don’t like hearing gross details about childbirth as much either though.
But mostly I just enjoy having a space that’s all women at least a few times a year. People should definitely have co-ed showers if they want to though.
Portia March 14, 2014, 9:35 am
I was thinking about why I’m not a huge fan of these events despite the fact that most of my friends are female, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m not a fan of the traditionally-girly and I don’t like forcing excitement about things. I ask about people’s engagement rings because it’s a thing you do and a social contract for other women to ooo and aaa over it, but I wish I had an out like guys do. But being involved in women-centered crafts (knitting, etc.) I end up in female-only situations all the time and it’s nbd. I don’t know, I think it’s more of this feeling that if I don’t like pink and shopping, other women think there’s something wrong with me or I’m faking (and this isn’t just a feeling, I’ve been told things like this before).
Banana March 14, 2014, 9:49 am
That’s a bummer. I’m not a pink-and-girly girl either, but I can’t recall a single time someone has told me that’s a problem. I’ve had pink-and-girly friends act a little disappointed when I don’t do something ultra girly with them..but I think it’s mostly because they wanted my company, not because they think there’s something wrong with me. If you get that a lot from friends, please change friends! Ugh.
Portia March 16, 2014, 12:10 pm
I think this was mostly when I was younger and some friends wanted to go shopping and I was like, I don’t really want to… Teenage girls can be the worst. As an adult, I think the only people who have insinuated or said this are acquaintances or people I’ve just met, although these days it’s mainly confined to the idea of not wanting a wedding. On the plus side, it’s actually been a pretty good indication of whether or not I should pursue a friendship with these women.
katie March 13, 2014, 7:30 pm
I just found this history, it’s kind of interesting. http://www.randomhistory.com/2008/11/01_baby.html
There used to be rituals for men and women, but then baby showers became only associated with women. The modern ones are only about capitalism. The turning point where they went from rituals to the more modern day shower was in the Victorian era, and the reasons it was all women was because pregnancy and birth were obscene topics. So i would guess that the answer to your question is just good ol’ sexism. Us disgusting women with our disgusting bodies, you know?
katie March 13, 2014, 7:39 pm
Oh yea I’ll say too I think it’s offensive to fathers that they aren’t “allowed” or whatever. I think that our baby shower traditions being what they are have contributed to the fact that our culture thinks that fathers babysit their own children/all the other stuff like that.
Bossy Italian Wife March 13, 2014, 3:58 pm
I have to disagree. I HATE games at showers of any kind, and I made this clear when I got married. And yet, they did these games that I thought were a waste of time, cut down on me seeing guests who were there from out of town, and ultimately made me feel annoyed.
So, when I got pregnant and I knew there would be a shower, I made my requests. I told my mom/mother in law/ best friend (our baby’s godmother) to please not do ANY games. I also asked for a taco bar. The rest is a surprise. (It’s this weekend.) They were glad for my input and relieved that they didn’t have to do any games because honestly, NO ONE LIKES THE BABY SHOWER GAMES. THEY ARE SO FREAKING GROSS. Not that we are exactly traditional…my husband and I are having a joint shower, there will be booze, and the guest list is enormous because we very much see this as one of our last hurrahs before the baby gets here.
When my girlfriends from my Zumba class threw me a surprise shower, they didn’t include any games, either and instead opted to do a yoga class, which I thought was awesome. I’m pretty vocal and my friends know me well. But I don’t see anything wrong with making your wishes known well ahead of time as long as you aren’t obsessing over it.
Addie Pray March 15, 2014, 8:39 pm
Congrats, Bossy! And let us know how the shower went.
kerrycontrary March 13, 2014, 4:02 pm
Ok in terms of showers….Is it totally tacky then that I told my sister “NO MALE STRIPPERS” or “No peer pressure to binge drink and embarass myself” for my bachelorette party? I mean she’s the one throwing the party…but I should get a say if I DON’T want to be exposed to nudity, right?
theattack March 13, 2014, 4:03 pm
Yes. You definitely get a say in that. People can get over a dumb shower game if they don’t like it, but a stripper is kind of a big deal that really changes the whole event.
GatorGirl March 13, 2014, 4:05 pm
I think you’re well with in your rights to say no nudity. I firmly said it before mine, because I was highly uncomfortable with the idea/it crossed some of my personal boundary (and relationship boundary) lines. Games most like aren’t going to cross anyone’s boundaries (unless it’s binge drinking which I also think you get a say in). IDK if that makes any sense haha.
TaraMonster March 13, 2014, 4:05 pm
I think that’s a lot different because on the one hand you have baby shower games which are at worst awkward and annoying, while on the other there is the totally reasonable desire not to have a stranger’s crotch shoved in your face in a metallic thong.
Miel March 13, 2014, 4:14 pm
The only shower game I ever played was that we weren’t allowed to say the words “baby” or “kid” or “child” or things like that. Everyone had a ribbon around their wrist and if someone caught you saying one of the forbidden words, that person would get your ribbons. At the end of the party, the person with the most ribbons wins a gift or something.
That was fun to do, because it forced people to have conversation about something else than the baby.
I just can’t imagine playing with diapers. Aren’t diapers the most hated thing in the world? I don’t want to touch diapers more than the bare minimum, meaning, when my future kid actually poop in it.
ktfran March 14, 2014, 9:31 am
So, I’m co-hosting a baby shower for my good friend in a few weeks. Her sister-in-law and I aren’t so much into games. I LOVE this idea and am suggesting we do the ribbon thing. So low key and easy and will satisfy those who are into games.
Banana March 14, 2014, 9:52 am
I LOVE THAT IDEA. That reminds me of when my SIL was pregnant, and my (somewhat adorably awkward) family seemed to struggle to find things to talk about with her, so everyone just asked her about the pregnancy, all the time. I tried to go out of my way to ask stuff like “Read anything good recently?” because, you know, she’s still a person, not a tupperwear.
lets_be_honest March 14, 2014, 9:57 am
I could be totally and completely wrong here, and maybe it just depends on the person, but I feel like this could almost be insulting to the woman who is about to have the baby and having a party to celebrate the baby. Like, I would presume I would actually want to talk about me having a baby at my baby shower. I feel like that’s the whole point of a baby shower. Why would she enjoy watching everyone get drunk of kegs when she can’t? I’m starting to think I’m the crazy one since no one seems to agree with this though. haha.
lets_be_honest March 14, 2014, 9:58 am
I guess maybe some soon to be moms are sick of talking about the baby? Idk. I seriously don’t understand this though.
Banana March 14, 2014, 10:07 am
I don’t think you’re crazy! I think you’re right — some people are into talking about the baby all the time, and some people aren’t. I guess whether you play a game like that, or not, is all about what the mother being celebrated wants. I totally get your point of view, though. I could see this being a nice, and considerate, game though for a mother who doesn’t love tons and tons of attention (my mom told me that her baby shower and bridal shower were very uncomfortable for her because all the attention aimed directly at her was nerve-wracking) so if the mother just wants the company of her friends and a nice time without fielding a ton of highly personal questions, that might be a nice “out” for her.
lets_be_honest March 14, 2014, 10:17 am
I’m probably just jealous of all these people getting baby showers, haha. But you’re right, if that’s not what someone prefers for their shower, yea, don’t do the typical shower.
My only other comment though is I would HATE having a kegger baby shower. After 9 months of missing booze, I don’t want to watch everyone else enjoy it.
Breezy AM March 15, 2014, 4:53 pm
You maybe live in a culture where women who are pregnant and politely and slowly sip white wine are crucified. Some of us live places having a glass or three at your baby shower is expected and normal. And no our rates of FAS are not high. Research done on FAS is like… an absolute 180 from what stereotypical US culture preaches.
Lyra March 15, 2014, 9:38 pm
In my opinion FAS is very real and SHOULD be taken very seriously. I have a student with FAS and he struggles so much. It’s heartbreaking because he deals with this every day — and will deal with it every day for the rest of his life — all because of a choice he didn’t make.
Portia March 16, 2014, 12:36 pm
But I feel like abstaining entirely from alcohol to prevent FAS is like abstaining from sex to prevent pregnancy. It may be true that it’s 100% effective, but it’s kind of an extreme model.
TaraMonster March 13, 2014, 3:48 pm
Sooo I’m co-hosting my stepmom’s baby shower in a couple weeks and my aunt tasked me with coming up with some games. I’m sorta surprised at this letter. Caring about the games that are played is an actual thing?
I was going to do the candy-bar-in-diapers thing. Maybe hand out some jumbles? It did not even cross my mind that any of these silly games could possibly offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities. I doubt they will. And if they do, I just absolutely do not give a shit TBH. My stepmom is one of the most laid back people ever so I know she’ll just be happy to be around everyone and get stuff for the baby. The shower is pretty nontraditional already because the baby is here since he was premature at 34 weeks. He’ll be at the shower too! It’s really just going to be a big party with extended family, men included.
I’m more annoyed than I should be at this LW for making a pretend problem up. Not enough coffee today, I guess.
Kicia March 13, 2014, 4:37 pm
I normally hate games at showers but two that I actually enjoyed at the last baby shower I went to were Baby Shower Bingo, where you hand out empty bingo cards and people fill them in with possible presents that the mom could get and then mark them off when presents are opened, and a trivia contest where you were given a list of celebrities and a list of weird baby names and you had to match the celebrity to the weird name they gave their kid. That was entertaining because I didn’t realize how crazy celebrities had gotten with their kid’s names.
Lindsay March 13, 2014, 5:36 pm
I don’t think it’s necessarily to resign yourself to not saying a word if you aren’t asked. I hosted a bachelorette party for my friend and was happy to take request from her. Of course, those were more about what traditional things she wasn’t comfortable with, and not an itinerary, but I wouldn’t be offended if someone said they didn’t want a certain type of party. However, actually planning events for it, especially since no one has offered to host yet, is a bit much. So, I’d stick to general requests. I know I wouldn’t want to host a party that is the opposite of what someone wanted while they just sat there and watched.
lets_be_honest March 13, 2014, 6:08 pm
I dont get why you guys who despise showers so much go to them. Games to never mention babies? At a BABY shower for someone who is excited to have a baby? All games are like torture? Don’t play them then. This sounds like oh em gee I’m wayyy too cool to participate in silly games about diapers…while sitting at a party specifically held to celebrate someone having a baby.
Trust me. Your friend would much rather you just send a gift or rsvp no then have you attend something they really enjoy only to have you bitch and whine about how lame it was after.
lets_be_honest March 13, 2014, 6:12 pm
And even the thank you card thing. The pregnant friend isn’t having you do that. Her friends who are trying to make her life easier are.
theattack March 13, 2014, 6:40 pm
Totally agreed, especially about being too cool to participate in things. These are situations where you can choose to have fun, or you can choose to be miserable.
bethany March 14, 2014, 9:11 am
I’m 100% with you. I would rather my friends not come if I knew they were going to hate being there. I’ve said no to showers and weddings I didn’t want to go to, and it wasn’t the end of the world. I have a very close friend who hates this kind of stuff. She was actually my MOH at my wedding, and I 100% would not be offended if she didn’t come to my baby shower. Actually, I was expecting her to now want to come to my bachelorette dinner or bridal shower, but she was oddly excited about those things.
lets_be_honest March 14, 2014, 9:30 am
I really feel like if you ARE good friends, this is how a no reply on an rsvp would be received. Idk, when I think about my friends, that’s how it would be, but I’d also be happy to provide them with a cheap bag of diapers too, because, ya know, they’re my friends.
GatorGirl March 14, 2014, 9:33 am
See, I think you can not *like* an event and still go because it’s supportive to the friend/family member. For example, I don’t like going to academic functions with GGuy, but sometimes it’s appropriate for me to be there in support but it’s not like I have a great time. Just because you don’t love something, doesn’t mean you can throw your family/friends feelings out the window.
And re the diaper games, it’s not that I think I’m “too cool” for them. It’s that I think it’s disgusting to either a- melt candy bars to mimic poop (who the hell came up with a poop smelling game???) and b- have all kinds of people handle diapers which the kid will then wear (diaper decorating thing) who knows how clean their hands are?? And the “measure the mom’s waist” thing I think is just cruel.
IDK, I just think you can go to celebrate the mom (or bride or whatever) and not super enjoy yourself at the same time and that that is OKAY. I’d rather get a chance to visit with someone than have them mail me a package.
lets_be_honest March 14, 2014, 9:50 am
I’ve actually never heard of this ‘make chocolate look like shit in a diaper’ thing, so I’ll give you that haha.
katie March 14, 2014, 10:21 am
really? lol ive never even taken part in a baby shower and i know about that!
lets_be_honest March 14, 2014, 10:24 am
Yea, I guess this is weird since all of you guys know about it, but I’ve been to a ton of showers and never had to play with pretend human shit.
Kaluu March 13, 2014, 6:22 pm
I think it’s really rude to ask the guests for AnYtHinG at all. I mean you could ask for them to wear a costume, that’s abou lt it. If they need to bring their own drink or food, you can’t act like its a formal event, call it a byob or a potluck. I also want to vomit about this diaper raffle thing, I’m glad you all feel the same but it makes me feel weird that this has become a thing. There’s one idea I kind of like, a dad told me he’s been to a kids party like this, and was thinking of doing it too. Parents who host ask guests to bring $10 if they want, half goes to charity and the kid can buy something if they want. If way rather that then buying a toy or giving money. When I give money I never give only $10 so this kind of party would be a good deal for me.plus the kid could get something they really wanted. Back to the question, LW, I’m worried you’ll start to make your friends resent you. Unless they all had this diaper raffle too, then I guess your manners are a-ok, it’s just not a thing where I live.
lets_be_honest March 13, 2014, 6:31 pm
You like the idea of telling guests to bring cash (onky if they want?? Suggestion is still rude) but its horrendous to suggest bringing a cheap ass bag of diapers for a game?
No Pants March 13, 2014, 7:50 pm
I hosted a baby shower for a good friend last year and we decorated onesies. I also had a baker friend decorate cupcakes with fondant beer bottles, margaritas, etc. because my friend was super excited to drink again once baby arrived.
I think she may have had a more traditional shower with her family back home, but ours was so fun. I didn’t know many of the other girls there and making onesies was a fun way to relax and chat and get to know each other. Plus, my friend had about 10 – 15 onesies for her baby.
I do like the idea of baby charades. But my family is big into charades, so maybe it’s nerdy and I don’t know it.
Lyra March 13, 2014, 8:50 pm
I LOVE the idea of decorating onesies! That sounds like an interactive and fun way to celebrate but not one of the horrendous diaper games. I think it would be cool to have activities where you can sew/make homemade toys too. I’m sure there are directions on Pinterest for DIY toys or stuffed animals. Of course I love crafty things so that would be right up my alley.
One of the big reasons why I kind of hate baby showers in particular is it seems everyone wants to give advice and they start talking about childbirth. Like, gruesome, icky details that I don’t want to even think about until I’m pregnant some day. I mean yeah it’s good to give a future mom advice about it…but at the shower??
Sara March 13, 2014, 10:33 pm
I saw one shower game that I thought wasn’t too bad (only one!), and I’ve used it since.
The hostess had blank pieces of paper on which you wrote either why you thought new mama would be a good mama, a piece of advice that your mother had given you that you would like to share with the new mama, and there was a third one I can’t remember right now.
The hostess read them all aloud midway through the party. The responses ranged from very sweet to hilarious. People mentioned how she would share her love of art with the kid, would teach him to find humor in the bizarre, etc.. The “advice” was the best…it’s amazing what kind of crackpot things our parents have told us over the years. For example, my advice (from my dad, not my mom actually) was to “eat your onions! They’ll put hair on your chest!” As I already hated onions, this was certainly not likely to get me to eat them.
Katy March 13, 2014, 10:38 pm
I recently had my baby shower and the best game was one where there were 50 baby socks and you had to see how many you and a partner could match up. It was clean, easy and I got the socks afterwards – still haven’t had to buy any! 🙂
Spark March 13, 2014, 10:48 pm
I get it, LW. You’re looking for a tasteful way of saying, “Thanks for throwing me a shower! Instead of the guests playing silly games that they might enjoy, have them to bring me extra goodies! It will be fun! And I know you’ve spent a lot on my party already, but part of fun of this game is that you get to spend extra money on a raffle prize to incentivize the guests to bring me extra gifts! It will be fun for everyone! And by everyone, I mean me! And the baby!”
artsygirl March 14, 2014, 9:48 am
At my sister’s baby shower my mother and I stayed away from the ‘ick’ games and instead did a race of folding onesies and baby socks and then a guess how big the bump is with string. Both were fun.
Taylor March 14, 2014, 9:52 am
I think it depends on your relationship with your family. I have thrown several baby and bridal showers, and always ask for input from my friends. They Have also volunteered their preferences on multiple occasions. When I had a baby shower, I asked for no poop games cuz I think they’re gross. My friend that threw it had no problem with that. I think if you keep the conversation casual, it’s fine.