Modern Etiquette: Baby shower courtesy in the digital age

Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:26pm EDT
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By Anna Post

Burlington, Vermont (Reuters) - Baby showers bring to mind much oohing and awing (obligatory or genuine) as piles of pink- or blue-themed gifts are opened.

While it's true that the point of a baby shower is to give new parents gifts that will help them be prepared for their new bundle of joy, they are also about sharing the excitement a new baby brings with family and friends.

Whenever guests are expected to bring a gift, those expectations can start to become the center of attention, instead of the event the gifts are celebrating.

Here are a few ways to help keep the focus where it belongs: on the thrill and anticipation of a wonderful new baby.

While new parents don't throw their own shower (it's too much of a direct ask for presents), anyone else can host.

And though many people might associate baby showers with a group of women seated in a circle around a mom-to-be, it's fine to throw a shower for any expecting or new parent—single mom or dad, or gay or straight couples together—and the guest list can be co-ed.

This is also the case for parents who adopt, though if the adoption is for an older child, don't use baby-themed invitations. It's also a good idea to include the child's name and age on the invitation.

Keep shower guests to close friends and family.   Continued...

A pregnant woman touches her stomach as people practice yoga on the morning of the summer solstice in New York's Times Square June 20, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton