Ok, at first I was a little confused about everyone going on about birth & gift registries but I'm guessing it's something like what my cousins did for their wedding: they had a special gift list on John Lewis and if you wanted to get them a present, you looked it up online, bought something on their list and it was delivered to their house.
Originally Posted by lexiem
That was the only time I've seen that happen but if that's what it is, I can definitely see positives. I wouldn't have a clue what to give a couple for a wedding present and I'd love to get them something they really wanted rather giving them something they've already got. However, with both wedding & baby presents, I'd still like the surprise personally. I think some of the best presents are the surprise ones :D And I find babies and children a lot easier to buy for than married couples!
1. In my circles no one has baby showers. It is considered to be a bit too preemptive... Once a healthy baby arrives, that's when the gifts come in - privately, not at a formal party.
2. My understanding is that showers are meant for the MOTHER / PARENTS who need a stocking up of useful, helpful, and cheerful things for when baby comes. It is not "celebrating the baby" (fetus, really.) It's for stocking up and cheering up the ones who are probably overwhelmed with the unknown, and will be overwhelmed with newness of it all once a baby is born. A second, third, fourth etc. time mother doesn't need the pomp of a large party to give her pre-baby gifts, especially if she has most of what she needs already! Sure, people can send gifts over, but to make a formal event more than one time per woman? Eh, tacky in my opinion.
3. I would NEVER suggest that anyone bring any extra gift! Sure, a shower assumes that the party-goer brings a gift to be used for the expected baby, but suggesting that a guest bring an additional gift for a sibling? Or even an additional gift to the one she was planning on bringing?? Hello - what if the guest can't afford buying extra books etc. right now? As someone who constantly has friends/family having babies, there is no way I could afford extras each time. Will that make me look cheap at the shower when other people are bringing multiple gifts and I'm 'only' bringing the 'standard,' which, by the way, is a nice thing to do and should never be an expectation? I was invited to a shower like this once, and I thought the additional gift request was quite tacky. Really - I'm being invited for the purpose of bringing a gift. Now you are 'suggesting' that I bring two? Three? (Multiple times if mom is having a shower for each kid?)
End of my rant.
Pre- or post-baby? - I've never heard of a post-baby baby shower. The point of the baby shower is to "shower" the mother with gifts, necessary items she's going to need for the baby. Therefore, post-baby doesn't make sense because she'll want to have all those things ready before the baby comes.
I think it's perfectly fine to have a party after the baby comes, but I'd call it either a Christening party or "meet the baby" party.
One shower only? - I also think it's tacky to have a baby shower after the first baby. Of course every baby should be celebrated, but the point of a baby shower is to shower the new mother with gifts.
I wish people would realize that even writing "gifts are not necessary" in the invitation doesn't change anything. Most will still feel obligated to bring a gift. No one wants to look like the stingy person who didn't want to give you a gift.
To celebrate subsequent children, I would wait until after the baby's born to have a "meet the baby" party. Or, if it's pre-baby, have a "girl's day out" or "mom's luncheon." Then it's clear that the focus of the party is celebrating and spending time together, not about gift-giving.
I've heard of post-baby showers, but I've never attended one, except in one case when the baby was born 10 weeks early, so he was already born (and still in Nicu) by the time of the shower, which was about a month after his birth. Before the baby seems to be a common theme, although I think for a child that isn't the firstborn, a post-birth shower makes sense.
If any relatives do express dismay about the shower being early, particularly if they won't be able to visit again to see the babies (I'm assuming that is due to travel or getting off work reasons), tell them you understand if they'll need to choose between attending the shower and coming to visit after the babies are born. IMO, missing the shower isn't a big deal if that's the only way it's practical to come and see the babies after they're born.
I think 2nd/3rd/whatever baby showers are fine. Sometimes, they can seem a little greedy, especially if babies are all the same sex, born close together, and the family seems to be expecting/requesting or registering for unnecessary things. But even 2nd or 3rd babies need some new things (diapers, some new clothing, their own keepsakes, etc.), plus if the baby was unplanned or far apart from the last sibling, mom might have gotten rid of lots of items. For any 2nd + shower I attend, I try to bring gifts like a baby book or something practical like diapers.
Personally, if I had a 2nd shower, I'd feel kind of weird about asking for or receiving gifts, so I would probably do something like request donations in the baby's name instead, or say "No gifts, please just come to celebrate the new baby". I'd also probably have a 2nd shower post-birth, so it would be more like a welcome-baby party than a shower.
Oh I'm with you in that, I'm usually a last minute shopper and avidly buy on Amazon with my SO's prime account when I can. I tend to study the registries and then see if I can find an alternative, when appropriate. For example: my friends baby theme was "baby animals" I was going to get her crib sheets but the ones she choose we're a little boring (solid odors and stripes) I found really cute baby monkey ones that went well with the monkey wall decals she had asked for (in the same color scheme as the other sheets) and opted for those and an assortment if other monkey related things. However, becaus of the registry I already knew she had a baby bath (which had been my original idea) and we got something else. If it was a setting of silverware off a bridal registry I'd never try to get something else. And, I find it odd that my German friends are asking for money from me for their wedding to help pay their honeymoon. (Apparently this is a big trend with this crowd right now - and I find it makes it harder to actually spend what I can afford instead of what doesn't look stingy).
Originally Posted by charlieandperry1
I agree that a registry is a good idea (especially for weddings when it's big house-related things the couple's probably wanted for a long time), it's nice not to go shopping blindfolded. I however like for people to be creative and get me what they want me to have. I might be lucky though, my friends and family are amazing at getting good presents. I find money and gift certificates to be tacky though... I'd never give that, and I'd hate to receive it as well. So impersonal! And I think it's bad taste because you see the actual money people has spent. And I have to say, I want the presents we'll get for our wedding are personal and fun and things that when I look at them I think "Oh, that's from Lots (or whoever)".
Lex, I love how you went about the cot sheet thing. That's what I like. You knew what they needed, and what kind of things they like, and then you found something you wanted to give them. Very clever.