Prev Next

A “No Toys” Baby Shower?

By Amalah

Dear Amy,

After reading basically everything you have ever written for years now, I am so excited finally to have something to ask you!!! You always always always give the best advice! So, it’s another baby shower etiquette question. I am currently pregnant with our first baby, and I have already had offers to host a shower for me. I have read your recent columns about the etiquette issued related to baby showers and registries and gift-giving and all that. So I already know that you have issues with including baby registry information inside the invitation, but as you said yourself it is getting to the point where it is an accepted, even an expected practice. Now I definitely don’t want to give any kind of impression that I EXPECT anyone to give me anything. That is not the case at all! Nevertheless, if my wedding showers were any indication, people are going to give me gifts. And, frankly, as my husband and I are both poor graduate students, I am more than happy and grateful to allow them to do so.

Here’s the issue – my husband and I both feel very strongly about keeping toys to a minimum for the new baby, and the toys that we do have we would like to be made of natural materials as much as possible. I am not much of a stickler about many things, but we have a small house and are notoriously bad house-keepers, and then there’s the environment and blah blah blah, you get the picture. A plethora of noise-making plastic rattles and toys are just not what I am hoping for. I know that I can keep toys off the baby gift registry, but as we all know, people often stray from registries. When talking this over with a friend, she suggested including a note that said something like “no toys please” with the registry information. That sounds like a perfect solution to me, and I know that I personally would not be offended to receive such a note. On the contrary, I am always grateful for information that helps me get someone a gift they actually want. But then again I am not easily offended! I have no desire or intention to give people a negative impression, nor to squash anyone’s fun in gift-giving. My friend also suggested doing themed showers, like a book-only shower, a clothes-only shower, etc. That seems like a good option too, although I hesitate to take away the option for people to get us practical things like baby monitors or bottles.

So, is there some way to respectfully guide people in their gift-giving (beyond just a registry that a lot of people will ignore anyway), or do I just have to take what I get and hope for return receipts?

Thanks SO much!!

So…here’s the thing. There are always two answers to these sorts of questions. The By The Book answer, and the…other one. The more laid-back, “go ahead and do what you want and if someone gets offended then pfft on them” answer.

Is putting “no toys, please” on a baby shower invitation the rudest thing ever? HARDLY. For all the reasons you said: gifts are at this point, pretty inevitable, most people appreciate the guidance and really do want to give you something you’ll use and love and not return. And toys at a baby shower are rarely the top choice — I’m thinking back to my showers and am pretty sure I only got two or three small toys. (Though gift cards attached to stuffed animals are popular. I’ve always just donated the teddy bear or whatever to a children’s charity.) Clothes and gear are by far the more commonly-gifted things. You would not quash anyone’s gift-giving joy. (There’s also the point that someone who decides to ignore the registry might also ignore the fine print about toys, too.)

But. The fact remains that putting ANYTHING on a shower invitation that specifically invites or dictates gifts is a technical breach of “by the book” etiquette. Sorry. IT IS. Shower invites are “supposed” to contain the who, the what, the where and the when. Guests then contact the hostess with their RSVP info and IF THEY CHOOSE TO, inquire about the baby gift registry info at that time. That’s the “proper” way to do it.

But nobody does it that way anymore!” I know! And I don’t think it’s a big deal either! The friends who hosted my showers totally put my registry info on the invites and I cringed but nobody cared! I put my first Amazon baby registry on a sidebar ON MY WEBSITE because people wouldn’t stop asking for it and it felt less awkward than responding to emails about it and exactly ONE person kicked up an offended fuss! And I haven’t been asked to host a baby shower in…uh…ever, so I’ve never even personally had to make the invite call! But…you know. You ask me to put on my etiquette cap, I’m going to have to give you the straight etiquette answer.

And now back to the real-world answer: I would not really have a problem seeing “no toys” on a shower invite. (I would have a problem seeing something like “cash gifts only” or “please buy from our registry only,” though, and I’d bet other people would too. A friend of mine was recently invited to a “Money Shower” for a bride, where there would be a “Money Tree” for guests to attach checks and cash to…and simply opted not to attend because GROSS.) I would both understand and admire your noble effort to keep the toys to a minimum, then laugh at your naiveté because OH HONEY. CHRISTMAS AND BIRTHDAYS. GOOD LUCK. But then I would absolutely 100% obey your wishes and happily get you something non-toy related, complete with a receipt regardless of whether I got it off the registry or not.

(If I may insert one little tangent in defense of non-registry gift-givers: We aren’t all willfully determined to deny you your chosen items. We’re likely just moms who have had babies recently and just really, really want to give you the things that worked best for us. The stuff that fell into the “lifesavers” category as opposed to another pack of bibs or onesies. Like, if I see that you didn’t register for a Miracle Blanket but instead went with a pack of cheaper blankets that I KNOW are too small for swaddling, I’m going to buy you a Miracle Blanket. Or the Ergo instead of the Bjorn. Presumptuous and know-it-all-ish? Probably. BUT SRSLY. I CANNOT ALLOW YOU TO HAVE A BABY WITHOUT AT LEAST TRYING THE MIRACLE BLANKET. IT’S LIKE GOING TO WAR WITHOUT A HELMET ON.)

Whew. What was I talking about? Right. I think it’s highly, highly unlikely that you will offend anyone too deeply by putting “no toys, please” in fine print somewhere. But we can conduct an informal poll, right here. Readers? What say you about getting shower invites that include caveats about gifts?


If you’re looking for ideas and recommendations for a baby registry, don’t miss our Baby Registry Checklist.

If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.

Amazon Baby Registry 1

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


  • Katie

    April 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I wouldn’t be offended if I saw no toys. And I agree with Amy, toys are generally the last thing purchased. Most people can’t help but buy all the little clothes.

  • Heather

    April 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Personally I don’t see a problem with it at all. Doing a registry in the first place is a big pain in the butt. It started out as fun, but near the end of the 2+ hours I was exhausted and sore. The fact that you’re not putting toys on there, should be an indication of what you want/need. I agree with Amy too that sometimes a person may go off the registry for the simple fact that they know something better that worked for them and that’s perfectly ok.
    Here’s a question though – for birthdays, holidays and baptism, we only want our daughter (due in June) to get a very personal gift (not a bunch of junk that will just break, etc.) and if the family/friends want to spend more then we will provide the account for her 529 savings plan. BUT, how to tactfully say/do this? Suggestions?

  • cari

    April 2, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I say I’m drooling over the cupcakes in the photo….I think that’s the pregnancy hormones talking.
    I’m of the opinion that any verbage in the invite setting gift criteria is rude. Sorry. Admittedly I’m a little Emily Post-y that way thoigh.

  • Jaymee

    April 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Want to know how many toys I received at my shower? A big fat ZERO!!! I had a registry at two different stores and toys on both of them. People just don’t want to give toys most of the time. I don’t think you will have that big of a problem with people getting you 500 rattles or anything. If you go to Target or Walmart and look at the amount of “toys” they have for newborns, it’s very slim and let’s face it, people always think about the ‘newborn’ baby. They don’t think about the newborn baby turning into a 6 month old baby that likes to play with toys.
    For the etiquette part, don’t worry about it. Lots of stores have little cards that you can put in the envelope now days and if the store you register at doesn’t, just put it on the invite. If you don’t because you think people will RSVP and ask for it. Most likely they wont. The simple fact is that most people don’t RSVP anymore. It absolutely drives me batty, but they don’t. I had exactly 1 person RSVP to my shower, but about 30 people showed up. People just simply don’t have proper etiquette on either end anymore. So put it on your invite and don’t fret about it.

  • Kate

    April 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I would also not be offended. I don’t think it’s worth stressing about either way though because I’ve never been to a baby shower where there were more than a few toys given (and I’ve been to a lot of baby showers). The five million tiny onesies that your kid will never get a chance to wear are a much bigger issue imho. Like Amy said the toys don’t really come into play as an issue until holidays and birthdays (and then they’re more likely to come with gift receipts and/or from people close to you who know your preferences).

  • Lisa M

    April 2, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I have to say that I agree 100%. I think that it’s ok to mention no toys on the invite.
    Last time I threw a shower, I didn’t include the registry information, because I think most people automatically look on-line before heading out to a store; but I wouldn’t be offended if someone else did.
    And yeah, I’m one of those that doesn’t always stick to the registry, either. I’ll always grab a couple items (like bottles, etc) and then something that I considered essential.

  • Courts

    April 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I’m sorry but I don’t think it’s appropriate to put anything about gifts on the shower invites. And I’m 35 weeks pregnant! And I haven’t had my shower yet! AND I have very specific things I want/need for my shower. But still – it’s tacky to put it down on the invitation. I have told my shower hostess about a few things I want in case anyone asks. But otherwise I will accept what I receive graciously. But then maybe we do things a bit differently where I live? For example, we have the shower AFTER the baby is born, so the event isn’t just about “showering” the new mom with presents but also a great opportunity for friends and family to meet the new baby.

  • Kate

    April 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I was screaming “NO!” at my computer screen when I saw the question. I definitely fall on the conservative end of the spectrum when it comes to the topic of registries for baby showers, but I would think very, very poorly of a mom-to-be and the shower host if I saw “no toys” on a shower invitation. Sure, if you were a close friend, the thought would be fleeting (but if you were a close friend, I would have already shared my story of avoiding noise-making toys only to find myself in love with our Fisher Price Sit-n-spin Zebra when my daughter turned one).
    I very much understand feeling like you need to control the baby clutter, but you can’t have it both ways: either you have something like a book shower (or a diaper shower if you want to be more practical) or you leave it open ended.
    I’d also second Amy’s response that people don’t tend to give toys at showers anyway.

  • Kalisa

    April 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I gotta say, if I received an invitation directing me what to give or not give as a gift, I’d be pretty fucking offended. And I’m not completely old fashioned — I’m fine with pointing someone in the direction of a gift registry. But “no toys”? Rude as hell, sorry. I’d probably skip your shower altogether. Unless I was a really close friend. Then I would call you and tell you you’re being rude as hell.

  • Eli

    April 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I can’t comment on the shower end of things other than to say that most peole won’t give you toys anyway. But we are on the same page regarding toys in general. We didn’t want a house full of plastic, noisy crap, especially now that there’s an internet full of lovely wooden, green, non-toxic, natural, quiet toys.
    Even before #1 was born, I was clear about this to all family members, especially my parents-in-law. It worked. We have received exactly one battery-operated, plastic,noisy thing (from a friend) and everything else is lovely. Our house may be full of toys, but at least they’re not horrible and plastic. So it can be done, just let people know (politely).

  • Life of a Doctor's Wife

    April 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I am a weirdo in that a) I would appreciate any guidance about what to get while b) thinking about what a breach of etiquette it was to include gift info.
    But it’s not like I would think badly of the mommy-to-be (or shower giver) beyond that.
    I long for the days when people followed rules of etiquette, but I acknowledge that sometimes you need to flout them for convenience’s sake.
    So basically I’m not any help at all.

  • April

    April 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I wouldn’t give a rip. I mean, each family makes their own decisions and why bother getting offended about the ones other people make? If everyone did that, there would be nothing but people who are offended everywhere over nothing. Oh wait, there are. Oy.

  • Therese

    April 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I’m a bit of a stickler for the “no registry info/no gift instructions” on the shower invite. I have to agree that even if people don’t use your registry, toys are low on the list of gifts given. I would also add that most stores (Babies R Us, Wal-Mart, Target…) have fairly liberal return/exchange policies. Even if you get toys, just haul it back to the store and exchange for something you do need. I did this with a ton of stuff I recieved at showers that I didn’t want and/or was a duplicate. Lastly, if you’re just really positive that you don’t want toys, then have a themed shower as others have suggested (clothes, diapers, bath supplies…). In my experience (hosting, attending, receiving) of baby showers (or frankly, showers in general), there will always be someone who pays zero attention to the invite anyway and does their own thing. That’s why I think it’s kind of pointless to add the extra info. The people that will pay attention to that are the same ones that would call the hostess and inquire about needs/wants anyway. Good Luck and Congratulations!

  • Anonymous

    April 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Gotta go with the “no toys” is just rude. Don’t tell people what they can give you. I had 4 showers – I did not have a registry (my mum and MIL are old fashioned and would have been mortified) and still did not get a single toy. People go nuts with toys on the 1st bday, never the shower. Good luck.

  • kakaty

    April 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Eli took my comment. With our first we made it VERY, VERY clear to family and friends that we didn’t want a ton of plastic loud crap as gifts – ever. And now that our daughter is 3 1/2 and I’m due with the 2nd in 12 days, I can say that it worked. We have very few plastic toys.

  • Danielle

    April 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    While I am all for people getting what they really want/need, I am also definitely one of those who hates to see the registry on the invitation even though it has become more acceptable. I personally think it is rude and somewhat ungrateful to tell people how to gift or by the same token, telling the recipient how they are supposed to use a gift. When it comes to gifts, I think both sides need to not try to “control” it.

  • Liz

    April 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Or, ok, look at it this way: don’t register for toys. Most people will either go off the registry OR get you, as mentioned, whatever lifesaving thing they think you need. The very few who get you toys will mean…that your kids have like, one or two toys. That you didn’t personally have to buy. And trust me. You are going to someway, somehow, end up with toys. This is inevitable and will suck for you until you realize your kid is occupied and happy.
    So maybe it’s just ok to know for yourself that “hey man, we’re not big toy people and I don’t want a lot” and just let the baby shower gifts fall where they may. Who knows, you might get one toy you really like, that you wouldn’t have ever had thought to buy for your kids. And if not, or you get more than that, than, woo, store credit for stuff you really need.

  • heidi

    April 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I wouldn’t even think twice about seeing no toys on the invite. Any more specific and I might be annoyed. And, as a married mother of 4 children I have to say, I’ve never had a registry for anything. I wish I had. Of course, I was the first of my friends to have kids and get married so I didn’t even know what I needed. A registry would have been nice though. And as a guest? I like registries to give me ideas but I don’t always buy from them. That said, the less I know the person the more likely I am to buy from the registry.

  • Colleen

    April 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Just remember what Amy said, some people will ignore your requests. We asked our families to not give us battery operated toys. And Christmas, a couple relatives deliberately gave our son noisy, flashy battery toys.
    Sometimes you just can’t win.

  • Diana

    April 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I would leave it off myself. I would personally be kind of annoyed by the note and very few people buy toys for showers anyway. I didn’t register, because we only had about 15 people coming. I gave the hostess a list of things we wanted and told her we did not need any clothes (due to 10 boxes of hand me downs sitting in the garage). 99% of the people attending my baby shower asked her what we wanted when they RSVP’d, and I think only two people gave us either clothes or toys – it was all gear and books.

  • MommiePie

    April 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t think it’s necessary to put “no toy gifts” on the invite, because you probably won’t get any. Maybe just a few stuffed animals or a rattle or two – which you WILL want anyway. You will need something like that.
    Besides, if you get something you don’t want, like toys, you can always take them back and exchange them for what you do want or need.

  • Julie

    April 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I wouldn’t be offended at “no toys please” on the invitation. I don’t think it is very great etiquette, but I also wouldn’t be offended by it. I would appreciate the guidance it offered (although since I don’t have kids I am a strictly ‘by the registry’ shopper for baby showers anyhow).
    I WAS offended when a friend listed on her shower invitation “we will accept gift cards from x store, x store, etc.” I’m still not sure if it was just a bad choice of wording or what, but I COULD NOT believe they put it on there. So…don’t do that. 🙂

  • Bethany

    April 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I would have no problem seeing “no toys” I’d be more surprised the invite was paper and not electronic. The baby showers I’ve been to (and bridal) have all been evites and because they’re not being thrown by the honoree (technically) I also don’t mind the registry. I do mind it a little in wedding invites even though I understand the usefulness. I’d rather find a link on your website.

  • Nicole

    April 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    So I specifically told everyone that We Really Don’t Need Any Stuffed Animals Because I Kept All of Mine Thankyouverymuch.
    I still got stuffed animals. Just a couple, but still. People will do what people will do regardless of what you tell them.
    The donation route works well. Or if there’s a gift receipt, then you can return/exchange it.
    Although, I suppose this doesn’t answer the question. I’m a pffft On Them If They Don’t Like It That’s Their Problem, but I am an Only Child. I think that the only answer is one to a question you have to answer yourself: “Will the people being invited be offended if we put “no toys” on the invitation?”

  • Stephanie

    April 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Eh – I don’t like the idea of saying “no toys.” It just seems a little gift grabby. We didn’t register for any toys, and we got very few – a couple rattles, a few toys to attach to the car seat, some stuffed animals, etc. And I was of the mantra my child doesn’t need plastic toys. BUT. She loves her toys. She LOVES her little plastic rattle that is easy to hold onto and grab and shake. The expensive wooden one from Germany or wherever? Not so much.

  • Stefanie

    April 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I think you should skip the “no toys” on the invite. I’m not bothered by registry info being included–in fact, I find it helpful, but I think telling people what not to buy you is kind of off-putting.
    Something to consider is that a guest is not going to be deciding between purchasing you a baby monitor or stroller or a $5 rattle. There is just too much of a disparity in price. So, if you get toys, attempt to return them. If you can, take the money and go out and buy yourself a Miracle Blanket, because, Amy, you are so right that they are the best things EVER and every single person I buy a baby gift for is getting one. If you can’t return the toys, donate them to charity. No breach of etiquette and someone less fortunate gets brand-new toys. Win win!

  • kia

    April 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I think no toys is a brilliant idea. My husband and I are also prepping for our 1st and have very set ideas about minimal toys and certain guidelines for them. We know that people that really know us understand but we have his midwest relatives that live in a different culture than us that don’t get it (they still don’t get that I didn’t take his name). For them it is a wild card and no matter what we say they will do what they want, we just hope they buy from Target if it is something we don’t want in our home so we can return it for store credit to buy food or something else.
    Also I would imagine you also know other poor grad students… for them may I suggest the Alternative Gift Registry from New American Dream that way they can gift you something DIY you suggest with guidance (we made a mood board to inspire folks for the DIY set) or experiences (like cooking dinner, cleaning, babysitting). We were married when in grad school and that registry saved some us all from being uncomfy about gift giving on a TIGHT budget.

  • Calee

    April 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I vote leaving the “no toys” bit off the invite and here’s why:
    I was in the same boat- bad housekeeper, didn’t want plastic, etc. and I knew I didn’t want a bunch of plastic crap around. I had a huge (60 people?) shower after my daughter was born prematurely- so not pregnant but no baby there– and I think I got 2 or 3 toys. And you know what? They were the crinkly jingly cloth kind that hang on the car seat that I would have never thought to buy and the were AWESOME. You know that babies don’t need plastic bulky toys and so do other moms. As long as you don’t register for something with a million lights and whistles, it won’t show up. And if it does–return or donate it. (I’ve also found that plastic toys are super easy to return because every store sells the same crap.)
    If you are very,very concerned about the idea of plastic being purchased on your behalf at all, I think the shower invite wording can whimsically reflect your natural/crunchy/organic goodness.
    Oh and avoid the crazy toyness by just putting “no gifts please” on the one year old birthday invite. The people who are desperate to buy gifts then will get clothes ’cause that’s the code for “no junk please!”

  • Kalisa

    April 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Yes, Danielle! “UNGRATEFUL” is the word. If you don’t want brightly colored plastic toys littering up your house, I’m sure there are plenty of children in shelters, urban daycare centers or foster programs that would gladly take them off your hands.
    Showers aren’t meant to be a way for you to amass all the things you need for the next chapter of your life. They’re a way for your friends and family to congratulate you and celebrate the occasion. It’s NICE that they chose to do that with gifts. Telling them what you will and won’t accept is, as Danielle says, rude and ungrateful.
    And Amy, I love your blogs and your writing and you advice column is fun, but I think you’re a little out of touch on this one.

  • Jess

    April 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I think this is pissing into the wind to be perfectly honest. You may be able to avoid toys for a shower (but really? i’ve been to a lot of showers and there are very rarely any toys..mostly clothes), but you’re never going to be able to keep your child from plastic toys. The most you can hope for is that people will include a gift receipt (you can always lie to them later and tell them you got a duplicate).
    But bottom line? Don’t turn your nose at people’s generosity. You’re having a baby and your house will explode into a toy store at some point. Don’t try to fight it. Enjoy your shower and be gracious.

  • Jess

    April 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I think this is pissing into the wind to be perfectly honest. You may be able to avoid toys for a shower (but really? i’ve been to a lot of showers and there are very rarely any toys..mostly clothes), but you’re never going to be able to keep your child from plastic toys. The most you can hope for is that people will include a gift receipt (you can always lie to them later and tell them you got a duplicate).
    But bottom line? Don’t turn your nose at people’s generosity. You’re having a baby and your house will explode into a toy store at some point. Don’t try to fight it. Enjoy your shower and be gracious.

  • DJ

    April 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Am I the only one whose kid doesn’t care about wooden, all-natural, quiet toys? We didn’t have any plastic toys in our house, only board books and wooden stuff, and the in-laws got him a plastic ring stacker (the one we all played with as kids) and he loves it! I tried to get him to find the wooden stuff amusing and he wouldn’t have it (this was before the ring stacker). I got him the noise-making seahorse based on Amalah’s suggestion and he loves that,too! I think you can control only so much, in other words. My mom didn’t allow barbies and then for Christmas when I was 5, my cool aunt bought me one and I was in love. My mom was pissed, but oh well! I think by not registering for toys, people get the idea. The only toys we received were ones we had registered for. Can you tell the host to let people know if they ask and not put any registry info on the invite? Then you avoid the whole “no toys” on the registry drama. Maybe someone has already suggested this.

  • Andrea

    April 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Ugh. We had our baby showers last month and I think it completely depends on your audience. At our first shower people generally purchased us items on our registry, or if they didn’t it was clothes- but we did get a couple of cute stuffed animals. However, at our second shower people went crazy with off registry stuff. And yes, we got a bunch of stuff we did not register including multiple bouncy chairs, a ton of duplicates (diaper rash ointment- which we had to return because we’re cloth diapering, a buttload of bibs, way more pacifiers than we need, etc.). On top of all of that we got a bunch of toys- several rattles and plastic stuff.
    I love that people got us personal gifts off registry that we might actually use (like knitted blankets and beautiful picture frames) but it seems like some people went to their local Target or Walmart and just bought a bunch of stuff. So I don’t feel at all guilty about returning said stuff- especially since we included registry information in the invitations.
    The easiest thing to do would probably just return what you don’t want post-shower. It’s kind of a hassle, and yes, you’ll only get store credit. But maybe you can return the noisy plastic stuff for nice wooden blocks or puzzles, or the bottles you need. And whatever you get that you don’t want and can’t return perhaps you can donate?

  • Janette

    April 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I would agree with other commenters: don’t bother saying anything because you won’t get many toys anyway. People opt for gear and clothes.

  • incognito

    April 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t know, I used to love Miss Manners et al., and would read the Blue Book from cover to cover and then start all over again, so I appreciate that there are commonly understood “rules” and that people rely on them when their natural instinct for kindness doesn’t provide sufficient guidance for socially complex situations. But I feel like it’s gotten to the point where people are offended simply because Emily Post told them to be offended. I think that’s a deep misunderstanding and misapplication of the “rules.”
    I also thought that the point of showers WAS to shower the recipient for what they need for the next stage of life. Don’t go if you don’t want to do that.
    However, it seems like given the low risk of getting toys and the apparently high risk of offending *someone*, it’s better to skip the “no toys” annotation and pray for gift receipts. But maybe it depends on the invitation list, and how much faith you have that the invitees know and love you and want to help you out versus are mere acquaintances invited only for the loot they can provide you and for whom etiquette rules necessarily substitute for real understanding.

  • C

    April 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Honestly, I agree with the posters that say it’s rude. Reminds me of the Berkeley mamas that are trying to give their kid an all organice life, only to find the kids LOVES whatever plastic-y stuff he comes into contact with at others’ houses. If you get toys, hopefully people will include a receipt, and you can return them. But I think I got maybe 1 or 2 toys max at our shower . . .

  • Della

    April 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Gotta disagree to a point, Kalisa. Showers are a way for family and friends to SHOWER with you with items that you will need for the next chapter in your life.
    Do some people have a problem with entitlement (these people ought to buy me all the things i need)? Yes.
    If someone is giving a gift, do they typically do so with the intent that the gift be useful?
    I think that most gift givers would rather have the recipient take the gift back to the store and get what they want, than to donate the gift to charity. At least with the first option, the recipient is benefitting from the giver’s intent, to provide the recipient with something. With the second, the giver’s intent is completely thwarted.
    also, yeah, like amy, i might buy you something that is NOT on your registry, simply because i know from experience it will prove useful. there are times in my life that folks have done that to me, and 90% of the time, maybe even 95% of the time, they were right. I didn’t know I needed it, or had considered it and thought I didn’t want it, but with it free, sitting on my couch, I gave it a try and found it was actually good. And maybe better than the alternate one that I originally wished for.
    Additionally, Kalisa, if someone gave you a gift that you hated – a shirt that did not fit, a can of paint in the wrong color for your living room, a CD from an artist whose voice grates on your nerves – would you use it anyway? Just because they gave it to you? Or would you return it to the store and get something different? Would you just donate it to charity and negate the giver’s attempt to provide something to you?

  • The Other Amy

    April 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    YAY! Thanks for answering my question, oh wise Amalah!
    Wow, some of your readers feel strongly about no guidance on gifts! While I cannot understand their feelings at all, it is precisely these sorts of people I am worried about offending. So I guess I better just leave well enough alone.
    One reason I even brought this up is that I always agonize about what to do with a gift you really don’t want or can’t use. I have in the past hurt people’s feelings by returning a gift that they gave me and then getting “caught” when they asked about the gift later. Ugh. Some would say that it’s not my problem, the person shouldn’t be so sensitive – but clearly from the variety of responses to this question, we all have different levels of sensitivity! And I hate hurting people’s feelings!
    As for being ungrateful – OUCH! I am pretty sure I made it clear I don’t expect anyone to give me anything! I just know that they will, and wondered if it would be ok to give them some guidance on what would be most useful. As I said, I personally welcome such guidance. But clearly to many other people it gives the impression of entitlement, and so you have answered my question. I’ll leave it off.
    It sounds like toys at a baby shower aren’t much of an issue anyway. Birthday parties are what I have to worry about! 😉 Just chalk this up to a nervous new mom probably over-thinking everything. Thanks everyone for being honest!

  • The Other Amy

    April 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    P.S. Incognito’s comment must have been in moderation while I was writing my previous comment. I just want to ditto everything s/he said. Thanks. 🙂

  • Becky

    April 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I had three baby showers (two sides of family, plus local friends), and when people went off-registry, they got either books or clothes. The loads of toys show up at birthdays and holidays when the babies are a bit older. In those cases, if you have family members who specifically ask you what you want or need, you can tell them your preferences. If not, you can return or donate what you don’t want. (Or store it, and cycle toys out so that your kids have new things, but not a billion toys at once.)
    On the subject of registries, I think including registry information in a shower (wedding or baby) invitation is okay. Likewise on the website with, say, hotel information or baby pictures. What’s not okay is including registry information in the birth announcement or wedding invitation. People want to know what to get you, but they don’t want to feel like you’re grabby. Since gifts are one of the explicit points of a shower, I think including registry info in those invitations is okay, whereas gifts are only implicitly expected for weddings and births.

  • Lisa

    April 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I think most posters are right-on about getting few toys at baby showers. Most people focus on baby care and gear, not toys. I got no toys at my shower, except for some stuffed animals. So if you’re worried about offending folks, just leave off the wording and deal with the small pool of toys you *might* end up getting. Of course, you know your guest list best.
    But as to the bigger issue of toys in general, I thought I’d share my experience. I inherited from my sister (who has great taste and better shoes) a big huge plastic circus-themed exersaucer. I smiled and nodded and mentally assigned it to my attic. Flash-forward 5 months later when my daughter was flipping herself out of her (neutral-colored, wooden) bouncy seat and I needed something to entertain her. Now she *loves* the exersaucer and so I put up with the offending qualities. Bottom line, you’re having a kid and that means learning to be flexible. What you think you want or need now can and will change.
    And if you do end up deciding not to use toys yourself, you can always give them to another mom or donate them!

  • KittyMarie

    April 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I am a little bit Miss Manners and cringe at the idea of including registry information with invitations in general. But THEN I go right ahead and allow it to be included with the invitations my ladies created for my bridal shower and also included the information with two subsequent showers I put on. I cringed but got over it. People are just too busy nowadays for pleasantries like telephoning the woman’s mother and asking where she’s registered. I am all about streamlining and easy access to information (cringing aside).

  • KateP

    April 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    What if you were to put the type of toys that you would like to receive on your registry? That might give people an idea of what to look for, but Amy is right, people don’t usually buy toys for baby showers.

  • Julie

    April 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Skip the no toys line. And register for a toy or two that you would fine acceptable so that folks know what you’d prefer if they want to go down that path.
    And…the dirty secret is that most babies love the garish and the loud and sometimes that’s just fine with everyone. One of my kids has some substantial gross motor delays. I buy the loudest, brightest colored toys…becuase he loves them and is motivated to do whatever he has to to play with them. Even if it is really tough for the little guy. (Fisher Price microphone thingy…I am talking about you!)

  • CS

    April 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I’m with the etiquette sticklers. Where I come from, including gift information of any kind on an invitation is rude. Your hostess can steer those who ask towards a gift that will please you.

  • Angela

    April 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I don’t think you’ll have much to worry about whether you put ‘no toys’ on there or not actually. People go nuts over baby stuff when they walk in the store and often don’t get you anything off the registry anyway. For our first we did the registry and purposely selected a few toys that we’d researched on there. No go. I don’t think we got even one. I think the only people who bought anything off our list either bought books we’d picked (work colleague) or big things like the travel system. Thank goodness they followed the registry on that!
    If you do think folks might get toys, put a few on the registry, ones you’ve researched and are comfortable with. It won’t be long till you’re wanting something to show them to play with anyway.
    And congratulations!

  • Jamie

    April 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    you should create a baby registry at
    it’s a cash gift registry. so people can contribute to wards the gifts you want, but you’ll receive the gift money and can shop as you like. we’re using it. it’s the perfect solution to not getting too much stuff in the beginning and being able to buy the kinds of things you’d actually use. plus you can register for experience stuff, like swim lessons and babysitters, which is much more practical.
    it works for showers b/c guests can print a gift certificate at checkout. i’ve already seen a friend do it and it was perfect.

  • AJ

    April 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I personally would be offended. And depending on the relationship the closer you were to me the noisier the toy I would get you (with receipt). But I have never purchased a toy as a shower gift, so my feeling is that you are worrying needlessly. I save toy gifts until the child is actually able to appreciate them (and has formed toy opinions 🙂 )

  • wallydraigle

    April 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I personally would not be offended. I have a baby and a toddler, and they have a thousand doting relatives. Oh my gosh, the toys. EVERYWHERE. And we have a house, not an apartment. So I get it. Pre-baby, I probably still wouldn’t have been offended, but I don’t know.
    Enough about me, though. I know a LOT of people who would find this offensive. They’re mostly of the slightly older generations (say, 40 and up), but there are still plenty of them in my own age bracket (25-35ish).
    Unless you really know the people who would be invited, I would stay away from putting that in the invites. If a bunch of my closest girlfriends threw me a shower, and only my closest friends were invited, I know none of them would care. If it were more the kind of shower where all my parents’ friends were invited, I’m pretty sure none of them would be terribly offended, but I’m sure it would cause more than a few raised eyebrows.

  • lindswing

    April 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Would I be offended? Not a chance.
    Would I think it was kind of tacky and then forget about it? Yep.
    I also had a million showers (ok, four) and got zero toys. Some nice books and clothes and a baby swing and mostly things on my registry? Yep. Toys (including the adorable natural ones on my registry)? None.
    I would suggest not putting the exception on the invite and then if someone buys you a toy either return it or donate it. Almost everything is returnable, don’t forget. And if someone asks your hosting friend for suggestions, she can let him or her know that you would rather not get loads of twirly, singing, battery-sucking toys. I think it’s the safer route, personally.

  • Katie

    April 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I’m also going to put in a plug for the book shower. I recently helped throw one and it was really fun, even for the girls who didn’t have kids, because not everyone knows about pacifiers and diapers, but just about everyone has a favorite book from when they were little. The babies have since been born, and the parents can’t stop talking about how much they love reading all the books they received. Baby gifts are great and new parents need them, but they’re outgrown quickly, and in my family, many of our books are treasured family heirlooms. Now I have made it clear that I am not only a manners freak, but also a book nerd. Super!

  • pseudostoops

    April 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I’d put it in the category of “things I notice, with some distaste, but try not to dwell on.” Do I always notice when people do it, and get a little irked? Yes. Have I ever skipped a shower over it? No.
    I think people want to get you something they find pleasure in giving, and the more the recipient narrows the gift-giving down with her own specific requests and esoteric preferences, the more it takes the pleasure out of the giving experience. It starts to feel more like a duty. Which, as the writer mentioned, is not her intention!

  • kaelak

    April 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I’m in the “don’t give guidelines for gifts” camp. People who want to know will ask, and its fine to do so then, but its rude to tell people what to, and not to, give you as a gift. That’s what gift recceipts and donating is for. And please – in your thank you cards, don’t say you didn’t want/exchanged/gave away the gift they gave you. Just thank them and move on.

  • Mia

    April 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I think this is really just making a big deal out of nothing. I think it’s awesome that people wanted to give me gifts full stop, that being said I did get a ton of stuff I couldn’t use or didn’t want from my shower. Chances are if its plastic and you don’t want it, they sell it at Target, so just write a really appreciative thank you note and return the exchange the sucker for something you do want. Or donate it or regift it, you know the same stuff you do when you get a birthday present you don’t like.
    And like others said, I got exactly 0 toys at my shower.

  • Sara

    April 2, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Sorry, but I think it is rude to include any sort of gift information on the invitation (and I’m pregnant and will be having a shower in a couple of weeks.)
    I’ve been to lots of showers – very few toys are given, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Of course guests know that gifts are expected – but as a guest I always want to pick something thoughtful that I love for the new baby.
    I am usually a very generous gift giver. Often I will get someone a very nice gift from their registry AND then also get them something else that I think that they will just love, or something that is sentimental, etc. However, when I’ve see gift instructions on the invite, I find it to be a turn-off. Instead of trying to get a really meaningful gift, I will just go to their registry and buy the least expensive gift that I think is appropriate.
    From the looks of the responses, including a “no toys” instruction on the invite is likely to offend more than half of the guests – and I would wonder if that is what you really want to do to your friends and family who will be taking the time and effort to attend your shower?

  • Katie

    April 2, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    In my family, making a “no plastic toy” decree on the invitation iteslf would probably be enough to ensure that you received a ball popper, a plastic drum, and whatever other truly obnoxious toys people could find. Cause we love eachother like that 🙂
    Saying nothing on the invitation, and letting the hostess tactfully express some of your “most wished for” things when people asked during the RSVP phone call would probably get you a whole lot less grief.
    But, honestly? For every beautiful, sustainable material, gorgeously hand crafted toy that we have, we have an equal amount of primary colored plastic. Even more honestly, while a few select classic toys probably gets played with the most (wooden blocks are by far the most used toy in our closet, even by our tween) the “wow” factor of the plastic is undeniable while it lasts.

  • Laura

    April 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Ok, I’m totally fine with registry info on invites, but “no toys” makes me cringe just a little. For my baby shower I got one or two toys. A little froggie rattle that my baby LOVED and a stuffed bear. No biggie. However, if it were me and I didn’t want toys I’d probably do one of two things:
    1. Accept the toys and put them away on a shelf in case I changed my mind and decided the baby might like them later (since newborns don’t care about toys anyway).
    2. Accept the toys and donate them to a local charity or children’s hospital, giving them to others with the same love that they were given to me.

  • Jen

    April 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Eh, I’d be somewhat offended if I saw “no toys” and would probably make a snide comment to my husband and mom about the tacky invitation. I agree with everyone that the chance of getting toys at the shower is relativley low — and there are plenty of charities that will take whatever you cannot return off your hands.

  • Lynnette

    April 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I have to say: I would not give 2 rips about seeing “no toys” on an invitation. That said, I think the risk of getting toys is so low, the gesture is entirely unneeded. I got 2 toys from two different showers. One was a stuffed frog as part of a diaper cake, (that at 8 months, she is now starting to love), and a whoozit (seriously awesome toy that defies description) that she has loved since newborniness. Otherwise, mostly clothes and gear, and most of that from my registry.
    Once again, saying “no toys” is entirely unnecessary.

  • brandi

    April 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    for me getting an invite telling me what not to buy is just assy. i get not wanting certain things, but if you do recieve them write your thank you note then donate or return them. it’s not really that big a deal. i like going to showers and buying gifts for my freind’s baby showers, wedding showers, and weddings, and i like having a registry to choose from, but telling me what you don’t want takes the fun out of it. like you don’t trust me to get you the right gift. so yeah, gotta vote assy on that one.

  • Crabby Apple Seed

    April 2, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    If I got an invitation that told me “no toys”, I wouldn’t like it. I guess “offended” is a strong word in this case, but it would rub me the wrong way to be told what I could and could not bring as a gift, and to be honest, come across as a bit entitled (and ungrateful, as someone else said).
    I guess I’m also in the camp that thinks it’s unlikely you’re going to get many toys at all, and the ones you do get, if you’re really opposed to having them, can be returned for store credit at most places. And if they can’t be returned, they can be donated, as someone mentioned above.

  • Liz

    April 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Yeah, it’s not worth the possible faux pas–you’re not really going to get any toys. I got one or two (the whozit is a favorite now of my 4 month old), but not enough to worry. I think the toys won’t start to take over until later. Don’t worry about it at the shower. You’re mostly going to get clothes & gear.

  • Muirnait

    April 2, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I’m not terribly easily offended, but I think it would make me go “huh”, if you know what I mean, Not a huge, dramatic offense, but yes, probably a little tacky, depending on your audience. If registry info isn’t included (and even if it is) I always ask the hostess.
    The last shower I attended (for a young couple with a first baby) I got a couple things off the registry (little things – I’m a university student 😛 ) and a teeny pink teddy, and a Jitterbug (I LOVE those things – even though I know for the first little while Mum plays with it more haha.) but it ALL had a gift receipt and if Mama wanted to return it, that’s well within her rights! The whole point of giving a gift is to do something kind for the receiver!

  • DB

    April 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Agree with everyone who said I’d be annoyed and think it was tacky to put “no toys” and I have been to a million showers and no one gives toys except for a couple little rattle-y things, And when I got plastic ones that I didn’t like at my shower I donated them to charity (along with the million and one baby blankets I didn’t need) – FYI Project Night Night is a great one to donate unwanted baby blankets and stuffed animals – and new rattles, etc. Homeless kids who really need a blankie and a stuffed friend are given them
    Now for a related question. I also am of the ilk who was taught that any gift info. on a registry invite is tacky, but I recently put “no gifts please” on my soon-to-be 2 year olds birthday party invites (mostly because I’ve seen others do the same). A lot of people are now asking me why and after reading this post I am freaking out wondering if this is also an etiquette no-no??? I was just trying to avoid the mass accumulation of more crap! And since I said “no gifts” and didn’t try to dictate what kind of gifts, it’s not like I’m being gift grabby, right?!?

  • Kristy Skorupski

    April 3, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Nice find! That comments form is a really nice example of using textures.

  • Morrigan

    April 3, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Just wanted to put in a vote for “would not be offended in the slightest, or even think twice about it.” Like others have said, though, you’re likely to get mostly clothes in any case – they’re more fun to buy than toys at this age!

  • Lacey (Laptops to Lullabies)

    April 3, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I’m 31 weeks pregnant with my first, and had my shower a couple of weeks ago. I definitely wouldn’t be offended if I saw “No toys” on an invitation. However, I would also NEVER get someone something that was not on their registry — I HEART registries, and I know how much I appreciated when I got something off mine. I don’t see the issue with putting the registry info on the invite, either (mine was). Yes, some people choose to ignore it, but most people are happy to know what you WANT/NEED.

  • jenn

    April 3, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I don’t like registry info or gidt ‘suggestions’ falling out of my invites at all… I think its rude… But I was raised that way.
    I did buy a friend of mine a toy, one of those bears that has the heartbeat recorded in it? I was scared she’d not use it, but it was vital when her baby was in the NICU and she couldn’t be there right away. He used it and slept like a champ. So be careful about the no toys thing.

  • Jill

    April 3, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I think you should leave out the “no toys” thing on the invitation. Amy is right – people do not usually buy toys as baby shower presents anyway and I think putting it on the invitation will only turn people off. Also, you will probably be able to return/exchange any toys you do get if you really want to. AND, and, you can always tell your shower host that *if people ask* about what kinds of gifts you would like, then she can tell them that you’d appreciate “more practical gifts” like clothes and gear and such (or come up with another way of nicely saying that you’d rather not receive toys.)

  • Megan

    April 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I don’t really think it’s ok to mention “no toys” because a shower is technically a celebration of your almost-here baby, not gift-a-palooza. People will get you what they want. That being said, I didn’t get any toys at my shower, other than a few stuffed animals which I donated because, really, how many stuffed hippos does one baby need? I don’t think you’ll have to worry about gifts anyway so why chance offending someone?

  • Becky

    April 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    I guess I don’t understand when showers (wedding, baby, etc.) became such an exception to manners and etiquette. Imagine you were having a birthday party … could you imagine putting a list of things that you do or don’t want on your invite? No – it would be tacky. If a gift-giver wants ideas to your tastes or preferences, they’re probably going to give you a call or ask a mutual friend – and that’s your opportunity to provide suggestions. Why should a shower be any different?
    We’ve already gone so far as registries to provide gift-givers with an exact listing of what you want. If someone chooses not to buy from the registry, what makes you think they’re necessarily going to follow your “guidelines”?

  • Susan

    April 3, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Yep, skip the “no toys” comment – you won’t get many, and you may actually get something that your bebe adores (or you may get a stuffed octopus whose legs are notes on the C major scale, except that you have to have the grip strength of a lumberjack to squeeze any sound out of… but I disgress).
    I was also anti-plastic toy, but the Exersaucer? A LIFESAVER. I only stopped using it when Snackbox could actually bounce it across the floor. And the ball-popper recommend by Amalah? Makes me laugh my ass off every.time. (even when I’m crawling under the couch AGAIN to retrieve those damn balls).
    DB – I’m part of a group of moms whose kids were all born in late Nov/early Dec and many of them opted to request donations of gently used kids’ toys and books or food to donate to the shelters in lieu of new gifts for their kiddo. We were all grateful to clean out some things our kids weren’t using.

  • Katy

    April 3, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I find instructions as to which gifts are acceptable to be rude. I understand that we all know that gifts are coming, but making qualifications seems demanding and tacky, TBH. Of course if someone asks what to get, then I have no problem with making suggestions, but for the rest, be grateful for what they give.

  • Jenica

    April 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Wow. Really? Offering guidance as to what would be most useful to you and your family, so that the giver can give a gift that is wanted, cherished, and used, is offensive? Tacky? Rude? I don’t agree, at all.
    Offering guidance to my loved ones about what I find most appropriate for my own life and my own family is a *kindness*, not arrogance or entitlement. I want them to know what works best for me, so that they don’t waste their time and money looking for and buying a gift I won’t ever use, and don’t want to have. I would also suggest that telling a new mother to “just return what you don’t want” is really unkind, given the stresses of having a new baby.
    And so I say, put “no toys” if that’s what’s best for you.
    And I’m sort of glad the rest of you aren’t my friends and family, because, wow. Assuming that AnotherAmy is being greedy and entitled because she’s trying to stick to her morals and standards, and communicate those things, as she builds her family? That’s just mean, y’all.

  • Caitlyn

    April 5, 2010 at 12:09 am

    we completely ignored etiquette and put it all on the invite:
    – baby would love to get all sorts of interesting and beautiful books
    – baby also needs cute outfits to wear
    – and baby has a small registry on amazon (it really was small – 20 items, i think)
    – no stuffed animals, please (my mom put this on without consulting me. i’m not sure why she thought it was important, but whatever)
    rude, but necessary – i was seriously opening gifts for at least 90 minutes, and they’re still coming from ladies who weren’t able to attend. at least this way i got some awesome books and not just mountains of dresses

  • Olivia

    April 5, 2010 at 8:05 am

    The odds of getting toys at the baby shower are slim. Christmas and birthdays are another story, and you are going to have a heck of a time dictating what kind of toys your baby gets then.
    Also, small house you don’t want to clutter with toys? Hahahaha…..sorry, I lost my head there. I felt that way before baby. Actually I still feel that way, but damn if my living room doesn’t have a rocking horse, a wagon, an overflowing toy chest and enough toys on the floor to trip an octopus. And my husband and I only bought 1/10th of this stuff.

  • Missy

    April 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Um, I don’t know that I’d be OFFENDED at seeing “no toys” on a shower invite, but I’d definitely be a little squicked out. I am in the “no registry info on the invite” camp, it’s just been totally ingrained in me. And then to say I can’t go buy something that I love or my kid loved or that I think you’ll use? Never mind, I’d be a bit offended.
    It comes right down to the fact that a gift is just that, a GIFT. Chosen by the giver, not dictated by the recipient. Hopefully picked with care, occasionally thrown into a gift bag on the way to the shower, but again, it’s a reflection of the giver.
    Registries are not a guarantee that your aunt with horrible taste won’t find a crocheted onesie in puke-green. Or that you won’t get 6 packs of the same receiving blankets. They’re suggestions for things you think you might like and use. And I hate to say it, but sometimes that awful, noisy toy that you just HATEHATEHATE is the one thing that will get your baby to calm down enough to nap. And you will think of the person who gave it to you with a mixture of love and hate forevermore. Or maybe that’s just me.

  • Erin

    April 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Really, it’s just a matter of knowing your audience — if you know a lot of people who will be offended, then don’t do it and hope for the best (and donate anything you don’t want and can’t return to a children’s charity, so at least it’s going to good use). If you don’t think most of your friends will notice/care, then go for it.
    Chances are anyone who will be offended won’t tell you anyway, so you’ll never know. And if they are so offended that it causes a problem in your friendship, then they’re kind of sucky friends anyway.

  • Jenny

    April 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Since guests will inevitably inquire about your needs, tell your shower hostess, your mom, sister or other close person of your preferences. They can help inform guests and other people about your wishes. Also, there is usually a place on the registry to indicate special preferences, so you could put something along the lines of “Organic and Environmentally/eco-friendly, sutatinable products preferred”. This would cut down considerably on the number of toys (if any) you receive, and may also help guests find other items you might like better than a “rubber” ducky. And I am with Amy, if you do receive toys you would rather your child not have due to space, materials or whatever, donate it!

  • Rebecca

    April 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    My shower had a “green” theme, the invitations were recycled paper with “green” sayings and were kept to a natural idea. While I too was going the hippie route – natural toys, cloth diapers, making my own baby food nonsense, I didn’t want to push my own ideals on a generation of women who had the need to impart their own wisdom. I really only ended up with 2 or 3 items that required returns. I think the theme helped people understand the type of people my husband and I are.
    And also – while we have our share of natural toys, sometimes it is difficult at best to keep the other options out of the house. We sure do love our ball popper (an Amalah favorite).

  • Kwez

    April 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Absolutely what Jenica said.
    I love guidance on gifts, I find it helpful and useful that people put registry info in invitations and I think all this crap about having to call the mother, mother in law, host, best friend and WHOEVER ELSE is (or should be if it isn’t already!) an ancient practice and a rubbish waste of several people’s time.
    I live in another country from several of my friends. A small handful of my friends know one member of my family, and I know only a few of my friends parents or relatives. I won’t ever consider calling someone’s family for gift ideas, I’ll ask the person who is receiving the gift if they’ve registered and where. The idea of giving my mother’s phone number to people so that they can call her to ask her what to get me just seems like a lot of effort when they could just talk to me, check the website I made, or shoot me an email.
    Also, sorry, but baby showers? The point of them is indeed to shower the parents with gifts. It’s not a party to be congratulatory and sit around and drink afternoon tea. Traditionally (and y’all seem to like traditions) you spend hours watching the mother to be opening presents, without gifts for her to open, seriously, what would y’all do besides have afternoon tea??

  • Anonymous

    April 6, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    When I read the question, my first thought was, “Oh, this isn’t even a problem because no one would give her toys anyway!” And then Amalah said the same thing!
    If it were me, I wouldn’t put “no toys” on the invite because I could handle getting possibly one toy in exchange for possibly not offending the Emily Posts out there.

  • Melanie

    April 7, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Would it be wrong to put “no tacky baby clothes please”? Yes it would…no toys please is the same thing. AND I can tell you from experience that while it is a nice idea to only surround your child with eco friendly toys it just does not work. Kids love brightly colored plastic junk, stop fooling yourself into thinking that the only good toys are the ones made by elves!

  • Gertie

    April 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I would laugh and think “ahhhh to be a new Mom with such lofty goals”.

  • Ash

    April 14, 2010 at 2:55 am

    If someone wants to get you a toy, they’re gonna get you that toy. Period. End of discussion.
    I have quite a few of those in my family.
    On my registry, I added copious amounts of items that I DIDN’T need. The registry had the option of checking off an item as purchased even if it wasn’t bought online or scanned into the registry at the store.
    I marked ALL of them as purchased, trying to send the message, “Hey, obviously, I’ve got PLENTY of dresses now, baby needs some diapers!!”
    Did it work?
    I have no clue.
    I did get dresses (of course, which she barely wore), but most items kept to the registry or were at least more practical (like the friend who couldn’t resist the outfits she knew I’d love, but threw in a gift card for good measure). It’s entirely possible that these are the gifts everyone would have gotten anyway.
    One tip I did find out though: Include items in the dirt-cheap category. As in, try to find a few $5-10 things. Even if it’s a tiny thing of butt paste. The economy sucks. You may have someone who really wants to join you for such a major event, but when the mortgage is 3 months behind, a couple of $3 baby toys in a pretty basket looks pretty good. Steer these people in the right direction, just affordably.
    Or, you could end up with the purple snakeskin-print outfit that I got.
    Did I mention the sequins?

  • H

    April 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I personally wouldn’t include it on the invite.  I just had a weekend filled with showers and only registered for a couple specific toys.  I only received two toys on top of the ones I registered for, and a couple bath toys.  These people that are gifting to you should know that you are limited in space.  

    on the plus side, a lot of people include gift receipts with their present so you shouldn’t have a problem exchanging it for something else.

  • Justice

    July 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I think its perfectly acceptable to put “no toys please” on the baby shower invite, however I would find a way to word it that was more appealing. I’m 35 weeks pregnant, having my baby shower next weekend, and while I’ve registered and put on my invites where I registered (My sister-in-law insisted, she said people would find it helpful), I didn’t put anything like that on my invite. People want to get you something that you will use and appreciate, that being said, if you really don’t think that you will use toys I would put that on there, Its all about what the baby needs. And as for some people saying that you shouldn’t put your registry information on your invite, the point of a baby or wedding shower is to shower someone with gifts, and if you have specific things that you need, then its more then appropriate to let people be aware of it.