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The Second-Baby Baby Shower Question

By Amalah

Hi Amy!

You’re great and I love your advice. I’ve scoured the internet and polled my friends and no one can give me a definitive answer. I’m pregnant with my second child and due at the beginning of July. I have a two year old son and I just found out that I’m having a baby girl! Could not be more excited! My question is simple…should I have a shower for Baby Girl or is that tacky?

I’ll explain my thoughts and then you can tell me what to do, ok? I promise I will do whatever you advise.

My thoughts, in no particular order…

-am I shortchanging Baby Girl by not having a party for her? She’s already going to be using her big Brother’s hand-me-down items for big ticket stuff and the second child rarely gets the fanfare that the first did.

-if I do have a shower should I put on the invitation “no gifts”? But people want to buy gifts and frankly, there are a few things that I do want and I would rather have stuff that I actually need/want rather than a bunch of crap people bought because I gave them no ideas. For example, I want to cloth diaper this time around and I would love if people would by a diaper cover or such rather than 14 of the same teeny tiny tshirts.

-if I do have a shower, should I invite only a handful of people? But what if others find out about it and think that I didn’t want them there? Really, I just don’t want people to feel obligated to buy me a gift. But again, no ideas/baby registry could lead to craptastic gifts.

-I actually don’t have any little girl stuff nor do I have piles of money to buy little girl stuff. I’m totally fine with using boy-themed swings and bouncers and the like but I can’t very well dress Baby Girl in the same things her brother wore. I mean really, there’s frugality and then there’s just meanness.

Bottom line, I feel like Baby Girl’s birth should be celebrated just the same as we celebrated for my son. I just don’t want people to think I’m a gift whore.

Please help me. My pregnancy brain really can’t take any more of this.


So somewhere along the way in my life, I picked up on the idea that a woman got ONE baby shower, for her first baby, and that was it. Subsequent pregnancies did not get a shower, and to do otherwise was tacky. I honestly have NO IDEA who told me this or why I clung to it like gospel, because OH WAS I EVER CORRECTED during my second pregnancy.

Many people suggested it’s a regional thing, since in the South, every baby gets a shower, no matter what. And multiple showers, if geography prevents anyone from traveling to one central location. I wonder if it’s different for people who view the shower for what it really is — a PARTY, a celebration of mother and baby — versus people who do see baby showers primarily as gift grab extravaganzas, where it’s all about the baby registry and not much else.
Anyway, I have come around on second baby showers. Like you said, second- and third- and etc.-born babies don’t quite get the fanfare of first-born, and there is nothing EVER routine or humdrum about the birth of a new baby. And on the practical side, stuff gets broken, lost, or given away. Plus, you’re having a girl. I think your friends and family understand that you might want a few non-blue items around. (My family’s been waiting for someone to have another baby girl for 21 years now. Instead, we’ve had a total of six boy grandchildren. If a girl ever does arrive, hoo boy, it’s gonna look like a Pepto Bismol hurricane flew through the house.)

But. BUT BUT BUT. Here is what is still considered rude and tacky: Throwing yourself a shower. Sending out the invites yourself, having it at your house, or anything that suggests you organized it. Some formal etiquette sticklers also extend this to immediate family, like mothers and sisters, but this has mostly fallen out of fashion and isn’t a big deal anymore. Throwing your own shower, however, is still a big old NO.

(My second shower was SUPPOSED to be a surprise, with Tracey plotting with my husband about how best to get me to put together an Amazon wish list or something without me knowing why…but that got ruined when my husband asked me to find an email for him on his phone and I accidentally saw a subject line like AMY’S SHOWER SHHHH!! And then the invite was online and I linked to it because it was kind of an unusual Mostly Internet People Thing involving Another Event That I Was Already Supposed To Invite People To. And some people thought that was terribly tacky and gift-grubby and told me so to my face. Er, to my blog comment section. However, as any mildly good etiquette-conscious person knows, telling someone that they’ve broken an etiquette “rule” is generally considered to be even worse. So there. Or something. In other words, I get that real-life tends to be a lot more complicated than the etiquette books allow for.)

Your email isn’t clear on this point, though. Has someone offered to throw you a shower? If so, tell them you’re up for it and let them take the lead about shower location, how many people to invite, what to include on the invitations. Then you go ahead and register at a baby store and a cloth diaper website and share the info with your shower organizer. It’s her responsibility to pass it along to guests…IF THEY ASK. (I’m really still not a fan of invitations arriving with registry info printed on them, but realize I’m slowly becoming a minority in that. It’s convenient for both guest and hostess, yes, but also TOTALLY WHY wedding and baby showers are getting this bad, grabby reputation.)

I’m predicting most people will bypass your baby registry and buy you baby clothes though. Probably lots of tiny pink girly ones. Just a hunch.
If someone hasn’t offered to throw you a shower, you have two choices.

1) You put all of this on the back burner and proceed as if you will not be having one. No registry, though it’s completely fine to give specific ideas (cloth diapers, clothing, other essentials) to people who ask. Perhaps someone will offer closer to your due date; perhaps not, if you do live in an area where second baby showers just “aren’t done.”

2) You ask someone — or a couple, to minimize the responsibility load — to organize a shower on your behalf. Plenty of women do this. Emphasize your desire to celebrate Baby Girl, not your need for New Stuff. If they agree, you hand over the reigns and proceed as I described above. Collaborate on the guest list and size, give them your registry info, let them handle the invites and everything else.

One last option: it’s becoming really common for the second (or third or whatever) baby shower to be a “couples shower.” Instead of the traditional flock of women oohing and aahing over twee little clothes, you have a party that includes spouses and already-born children. Sometimes these don’t happen until after the baby is born. I like these, since they just seem so much less about the gifts and more about the entire family. If you feel strange about asking someone to organize a shower, you can TOTALLY THROW A PARTY like this and just leave the word “shower” out of it.

Go ahead and create some pink invites that say something else: We’re celebrating Big Brother and the upcoming arrival of Baby Sister! Send it to friends and include spouses and children’s names on the envelopes and NO REGISTRY INFO. “No gifts” is certainly an appropriate, polite option (and one that will be ignored by exactly half the guests, making the other half feel stupid and WHY DO PEOPLE DO THAT? AT LEAST GIVE THE GIFT OUT OF SIGHT OF PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS GAH.). Then have everybody over for a big ol’ barbecue or something, and promise me you won’t make anyone play the melted-chocolate-bar-in-a-diaper game.

Photo by Aine D

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 [email protected].

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.

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  • Bethany

    March 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Majorly in favor of couples showers. I’m a girl but I get really nervous and uncomfortable at the idea of squee baby games and massive woman time (nothing against girls nights or anything, I’m just weird) and also, as my boyfriend pointed out when we got an invite–it’s as much for the dude to celebrate as the lady. He admittedly isn’t carrying the kid those 9 months, but our male friend at least had adjusted his work schedule, driven his wife around, given her backrubs, gone to classes, cooked her special foods, etc, etc. and totally deserved to celebrate as much as she did.

  • Anonymous

    March 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Having a different sex is a really good excuse for a second shower. Plus, as the friend who threw mine pointed out, everyone loves to buy baby clothes, particularly little girly clothes. Plus plus – people who don’t want to buy a present? Just won’t come.
    I registered for cloth diapers, and I got a few. But I also registered for closet organizers, and got a lot of those, so yea.

  • Anonymous

    March 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Horribly old fashioned, but 2nd shower still seems tacky to me. Of course, I still don’t get the registering for baby gifts thing. I was brought up with the idea of registering for china crystal and linen pattern only. Guess I should get with the times. I really like the idea of a family get together after baby girl is born to welcome her to the world.

  • Katie

    March 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I’m pregnant too, and due in May, with our first. For quite a while, it looked as if no one was going to give a shower (mostly due to conflicts/other big events happening in the lives of a lot of close friends and family, and the fact that we moved to a new area pretty recently). I was too stubborn to ask, and my Mom was pretty deadset that it was bad form for her to give it (while I realize this is becoming more and more accepted, I agreed. Although I’m not similarly as bugged by sisters of the mom to be doing it–I just don’t have a sister). It sucked, and I cried irrationally, and started buying one big ticket baby item a paycheck to make myself feel better. But…July is still a ways a way. Once I hit the seven month mark, people started asking when the shower was. I explained that I wasn’t sure there was going to be one. And now I’m having two–work and local friends, and family back ‘home.’ So I guess my point is, someone may very well still offer to host, and you should take them up on it. In the event a shower never happened, I was definitely planning to throw a “welcome baby” open house about a month after his arrival…more of a barbecue/picnic party for entire families, but still, a celebration nonetheless.

  • JCF

    March 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I had a couple of friends offer to throw me a shower for my second baby, with the reasoning that every baby deserves a shower. It was pretty small and low-key–very relaxing and lovely. We waited until after the baby was born since I didn’t know what I was having, which was great since I ended up having a girl (my first was a boy). It was wonderful to receive all of those girl clothes (when they asked, that’s what I said we needed!).
    If I were you, I’d go ahead and register for cloth diapers, so that if someone does offer to throw you a shower you’ve got that ready. Also, I’m sure people will ask what you need in general, whether there’s a shower or not, and you can have that registry ready to go!

  • AJU5's Mom

    March 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    We had a “Welcome” shower for my son. Both of my kids were a surprise (i.e. didn’t find out the gender until birth), so we had most of the basics. But, I knew if I had a boy that I would want boy clothes! Friends at church offered to throw one two months before he was born, but I suggested we wait until two months after (because of the holidays). It turned out great. All of the ladies got to hold him (which they loved), and I got the boy clothes I wanted (in a variety of sizes). I highly recommend the “welcome” shower for second babies!

  • Becky

    March 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I’m not a mom, but I am a single gal whose friends are popping kids out right and left, so take this for what it’s worth.
    Not a huge fan of second showers (or third, etc.) I’m not saying they’re tacky or rude, just not a fan. When it comes to my friends and family, I’m thrilled that they’re having a baby and of course I’ll run out and give them a gift and do anything I can to help– I just don’t need the pretense of a shower to do so. I’ll go through the obligatory first shower, but after that, I’m kinda beyond the need to sit around and eat cake and play cheesy games with other women I don’t know. And it’s not really like you’re shortchanging the second sibling — they’re not even here yet!
    I really like Amalah’s suggestion of a party after the baby is born. Great way for everyone to meet the baby and truly celebrate — and chances are I’ll bring another gift!

  • Michelle

    March 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Question – wouldn’t it be better to have a party celebrating new baby girl AFTER she arrives? Isn’t throwing a BBQ with invites that specifically say you’re celebrating new baby girl’s upcoming arrival basically throwing yourself a shower? I’ve seen it done after the baby arrives where there is some sort of Open House, but before seems just as tacky to me, because if you specify that you’re celebrating the upcoming arrival…well, that’s basically a shower!

  • MSL

    March 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I recently assisted throwing a baby shower for a friend having their 2nd baby. Instead of the more traditional shower where games and such are played, this was more along the lines of: Please come, eat some food, socialize with friends and celebrate the upcoming birth of Baby. The expectant mom registered for smaller (ie less expensive) items such as diapers and stuff to give folks the opportunity to get them a gift but gifts were not opened at the shower unless a guess specifically asked the guest of honor to do so.
    The exceptionally cool part of this shower and something I intend to for all future baby shower hosting adventures was this:
    We put together a calendar to include the week prior to and 4 weeks after the expected due date. Baby shower attendees could opt to 1. prepare a meal for the family (meals were setup for M, W, F) or schedule a playdate or special outing with their older child (who was almost 4). The family was thrilled by these expressions of friendship and support and their son was ecstatic to recieve so much attention of his own while he was adjusting to the birth of his little sister.
    Many of the people who signed up for one of the above would have prepared food or helped with the older child anyways, this just allowed it to be more organized and helped eliminate all the meals coming the first week postpartum and spread it out.
    Thanks for the smiles and tears and keep up the great work Amalah!! I totally dig you.

  • Amy in StL

    March 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I’ve been inundated with baby shower and wedding shower invites recently. Regarding registries, here’s a suggestion that I’ve seen work well. If you’re registered at Babies R Us or Target (at least in this area those are the normal places) you don’t have to tell folks, unless they ask. People assume that you’ve registered there and know to look. If you’ve registered at someplace that’s not normal for your area – like the couple who registered for their wedding at Home Depot and at a local gallery place – then you may want to let people know.

  • Karen

    March 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Absolutely second the welcome party post-birth. This is a wonderful and tasteful way to commemorate the occasion. People will definitely ask what you need and if they don’t, they probably have a special gift in mind that will be unique and more meaningful than pink shirts (which, by the way, are plentifully available n nearly new condition at consignment stores). We did this for my first rather than a shower and I loved it.

  • Roshana

    March 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I don’t understand the big deal regarding 2nd showers. I don’t think it’s selfish. Usually you’re inviting family & close friends who are happy for you, want to celebrate the baby with you, and will most likely want to purchase something for the baby. What’s wrong with that?
    I did not know it is perceived as tacky to throw your own baby shower. My hubby and I pretty much hosted our own with family members pitching in here and there. It was our 1st child but because we had got married less than 2 yrs before the baby was due, we didn’t expect my family to host one for us (hubby’s family lives out of state). My family contributed A LOT to our wed and not everyone has the money to host showers these days. Me and hubby are blessed and we could afford it so that’s what we did and we had a wonderful time! We already purchased most of the big items anyway.
    All that to say…do what you want and if people chose not to come then oh well.

  • Molly

    March 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I don’t actually know anybody who’s ever had a second shower unless their kids were very far apart in age (ie, all their baby stuff had been given away or expired), although I think if somebody offers to throw you one, or you have a post-baby open house, why not?
    For my second pregnancy, I keep a Wish List on Amazon with things like double stroller, cloth diapers, etc. For now it is private but when we get closer, I plan to let family know about it IF THEY ASK. Otherwise, we got most of what we needed with the first one, so we’re in fine shape for #2. Most of our expenses will be related to the older child anyway–getting her into a “big girl” bed, etc–and I wouldn’t dare register for that kind of stuff!

  • Kristen

    March 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I’m Erin’s sister and have of course offered to throw a shower. The only real question was whether or not it was considered bad form to have a second shower. We were originally thinking a casual lunch with a bunch of girlfriends. But I LOVE the idea of a Baby Girl Celebration BBQ!
    There’s no pressure of shower games (which everyone hates), all the husbands can be there under the pretense of BBQ and beer (not a girly shower) and all the other kids can be involved too! Thanks Amalah, I think it’s a perfect idea!

  • cagey

    March 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I still feel ooky about 2nd baby showers and did not have one for my 2nd baby.
    A “welcome party” for AFTER the baby is born, seems a nice idea, though. I cannot tell you how many baby showers I have attended or presented a gift for, only to NEVER actually meet the baby after the actual birth.

  • Heather

    March 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I am definitely in the “tacky to host your own shower” (HELLO) and “2nd baby showers are not done” school. I am expecting my 2nd baby in July, too. I have a 16 mo son and am expecting a girl in July. I have announced the pregnancy to everyone and honestly, am very hurt by the lack of “fanfare” regarding baby #2, especially because baby #2 is a girl. My mom was the only one that sent me a “congratulations!” card (which all I really want anyway). My son has an entire BOX dedicated to the cards sent to us upon my pregnancy/his arrival. The second, and subsequent babies, do get the short straw. So, I can understand Erin’s situation, too. My advice would be to create a wishlist on Amazon and register at one big box store in the area where she lives. If people are like me, when they find out someone is expecting/getting married, etc. they will check the big box store registries first. If nobody does, then Erin can always tell friends & family IF they ask. If no shower is offered, then throw a family “Welcome Baby Girl” party after the birth. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    March 12, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I having a second boy in 6 1/2 weeks and was really uncomfortable having a shower for the second bsby, especially since we’re having the same gender. The girls in my neighborhood really wanted to do something for special for me, and so they have organized a small diaper and wipes “sprikle.” I’m totally cool with that. It doesn’t matter how many babies you have, you will always need diapers.

  • LLJ

    March 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    My suggestion if you feel “weird” about having a second baby shower, is to do something completely *different* for the second baby shower.
    I would also second the “welcome party,” or maybe something like this – , or some other sort of gathering (karaoke night with the whole gang? spa day with the girls?) – I’m not that creative with details, but, my main point is that you could just do something *different* so people will not feel like they are “doing this AGAIN.”

  • LauraL

    March 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Amalah, I also was raised with the strict no second-baby showers and found out when I was pregnant with No. 2 that pretty much everyone else I knew considered that an outdated idea. But I am totally, totally 100% with you on Do Not Throw A Shower For Thyself. Just … don’t.
    I didn’t know of/think of the party-after-birth-to-welcome-No. 2 or that’s totally what I would have done. What a fabulous idea!

  • Katie

    March 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I come from an area where 2nd and even 3rd showers are not only commonplace but expected. I just attended my cousin’s shower for her 2nd baby (but 1st girl), which her mother and sister hosted at a restaurant. We didn’t play cheesy games, we sat and ate and drank champagne and toasted my cousin and her soon-to-be-born daughter. She did refuse to register and thus received a PILE of pink frilly dresses that will never be worn…
    But it was lovely and not at all tacky or gift-grabby. But we are laid back So Cal folk and don’t really hold with many old fashioned etiquette rules, I’ve gathered.
    I do agree that hosting your own shower is out but a welcome baby party would be great, as long as you don’t mention gifts at all.

  • Meghan

    March 12, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Maybe I am really old fashioned, but I just feel like showers for second babies (at least ones that aren’t super far apart) is very gift grabby. I feel like a welcome party is a much better idea. People who want to buy you a gift for your 2nd child will.

  • Becky

    March 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    We just had our second baby (okay well 10 months ago, but it still feels like *just*) – and there wasn’t a shower, but we did through a party after his arrival. My husband is Chinese so we did a “red egg and ginger” party, but I love Amalah’s idea to just have a big ol’ party once she arrives.
    Oh and on the cloth diaper thing – we also cloth diapered our second, but not our first. And I managed to get a whole bunch of diapers and covers as hand-me-downs from friends. But you could still set up a wish list at a cloth diaper store/website (i’m lucky enough to have an actual store about 2 blocks away – wheeee!) for those that really want to buy a gift for the baby (and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of those even if you choose not to have the shower).
    Final thought – I’ve always been of the opinion that the shower is more for the mom than for the baby. So I had no guilt about having one before my daughter was born, but not before my son arrived. Another reason why I much prefer the party after the baby is here – then you’re celebrating the baby’s birth and introduction him/her etc.

  • Jocelyn

    March 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    I’m from the South, where as Amy said every. Single. Baby gets a shower, whether it’s your first or your fourth, and it’s not “gift grabby.” It’s just… not. For every shower you’re thrown, you’ve attended probably five (or more!) and given a gift for each one. If people want to give you presents, then there’s nothing wrong with your sister providing them with an opportunity to do it all at once. The idea springs from the notion that every child should be celebrated (goodness! how quaint!), not from a misguided wish on the parents’ part to rack up more stuff. And if food’s a part of the bargain so much the better. I just can’t believe that some people would get an invitation in the mail for a second baby’s party and run off to check their copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette to make sure it’s still against the rules to do that. Makes me glad to be from the boondocks.

  • Erin

    March 13, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for all the comments and advice. I talked it over with my husband and we both love the idea of a backyard BBQ to celebrate Baby Girl’s actual birth. We were thinking about calling it the Afterbirth BBQ. Oh wait, people might get the wrong idea.
    I also took the time to register at Amazon today for only those things that I really need (diaper covers, prefolds, etc.) which I think is an awesome idea. That way, IF someone asks, I can point them in the right direction.
    Thanks again, Amalah and everyone else, for your suggestions!

  • Melissa

    March 13, 2010 at 3:36 am

    I’m another in the “no second shower” camp, unless there are extenuating circumstances (such as kids born more than 5 years apart). I get that it seems unfair that the second baby receives less fanfare, but honestly, the baby isn’t going to know or care. And as an adult, I think that’s something you should understand. People are more excited about the first because you’re entering the world of parenthood, and that’s a huge deal. Not that the second is any less important of a person, but going from Mom of one child to Mom of two children just is not the life changing event that becoming a Mom is. The point that a second shower is justified if you’re having a baby of a different gender also seems at odds with the complaint that the second baby gets short-shifted. Because otherwise, doesn’t it seem to say it’s ok for the second baby to receive less fanfare if it’s the same gender?
    I think, register at a couple of stores. If people ask, tell them. If not, don’t. A Welcome Baby party also sounds lovely and people will very likely bring gifts then.
    Lastly, claiming that showers aren’t about the gifts is a little silly. The ENTIRE point of a shower is to “shower” the new parents with gifts. Traditionally, they (and wedding showers) were done to help new parents, who tended to be young and not that financially established, with the large costs that come with having a baby. And not only that, but if part of the reason you want a shower is to get new stuff, doesn’t that mean it really IS about the gifts, at least partly.
    If it isn’t about the gifts and you really do just want this baby to feel celebrated, do a welcome baby party.

  • Dhana Cohen

    March 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Baby showers should always be about bringing a new life into this world. Regardless to a second baby or a fifth. The celebration of family and friends is the best reason for to throw a shower.

  • Jessica B

    March 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I think that if you are having a second child (who’s sex isn’t the same as the first) then it wouldn’t be rude to have a second shower. You aren’t welcoming the presents (just welcoming the baby) each baby should have those pictures of the celebration of their life….

  • christina

    March 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    For once, I really don’t agree w/Amalah’s advice. I’m not a huge fan of second showers in general, but the big issue I have is ASKING someone to throw your shower! The cases where I have seen/been involved with that happening have lead to loads of hard feelings. I urge anyone considering doing this to stop, put down the hefty sense of entitlement they’re lugging around, and let it go. You’re lucky enough to be having a baby — noone “owes” you a shower. Trust me, they will resent it, and all of your guests will be tipped off about its origins. (Basically worse than hosting it yourself, since then at least you’re doing the work/paying for it — not that that’s a good option, but still.)

  • Anonymous

    March 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I am in the ‘No second shower’ camp (and from the South…) and also in the ‘Do not host your own shower’ camp. But I love the post-baby party idea. To me showers are for the first-time mom/dad (I love couples showers – we had one because I liked the idea of celebrating my husband as well) and if you’re really celebrating the second baby, then you wait until after they are here.

  • Catherine S

    March 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I really don’t have a strong opinion in either direction. For me it doesn’t make any sense to have another shower (7.5 months pregnant!!) because we are having another boy and our first is only 18 months. But I think another GREAT idea, if you want to have a prebaby party of some sort, is to have a stock the freezer party. Instead of traditional baby gifts, ask people to bring over a frozen/ freezable meal for the first few weeks after the baby is born. For most people whose 2nd babies are fairly close in age to the first, this would be more helpful than baby stuff. That way it is a celebration of the newest baby and the Mom (everyone forgets about Mom too after the first baby) but is not so much focused on buying gifts. Or maybe just a few ladies getting together at a spa/ salon for some pampering. Lord knows this is much needed when a mother is already caring for one or more children already.

  • Calee

    March 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I’m pregnant with my 2nd (this time a boy) and a friend offered to throw me a shower. Since #1 came early, she was still in the NICU when I had my shower and I’m really looking forward to being pregnant and having a party for baby. While a “Baby Welcome” party can be great, I know too many people who have kids with unexpected health problems, aside from the general feeling of exhaustion and fat-ness that accompanies the first few weeks/months after birth.
    The friend that is throwing the shower recently had her 2nd boy and I threw her a diaper shower where we tie-dyed onesises. Baby #2 got some clothes his brother never wore, we avoided the weird shower games, and she still hasn’t had to buy diapers. It was a great time and I’m thrilled she’s willing to replicate it for me.

  • anon

    March 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    We just had our second son, more than 10 years after the first. We sent out an evite for a co-ed shower at a restaurant to friends and family with our mothers and best friends listed as the hosts. Our moms split the catering tab for the light lunch buffet, friends decorated and bought a cake. We took care of the guestlist/time/place as to not burden our family and friends with too much work, heaven knows they have jobs and families of their own. No silly games, just good conversation, food and presents. We’re not the judgy type, hopefully your family isn’t either. Just do what feels comfortable to you.

  • Caitlin

    March 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I think it’s completely fine to have a shower for the 2nd baby–people will want to celebrate your daughter as much as they did your son! If you are having a shower and are worried that you won’t have enough to register for, you could always consider more practical gifts. For example, my sister use to set up a “diaper fund” for her second’s shower. She told me that she didn’t end up paying for diapers for nearly the entire first year. The point is that people will be excited and want to celebrate, so no, I don’t think it’s tacky.

  • Lori

    March 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Interesting statement: “since in the South, every baby gets a shower, no matter what.” I live in the South and I was brought up that you get a baby shower for the first and that’s it. Now wedding showers? That’s another story.
    I’m with Amy that you in no way throw yourself a shower or indicate that you want a shower. That’s just tacky.
    People are going to give you gifts anyway, and knowing that you already have a kid and gear I would think that they would ask you what you need.
    That’s what’s been going on with us (I have a 3yo son and due w/baby girl any day); we are basically reusing my son’s gear for baby girl so all we really need is clothes and basics like diapers etc. So when people ask, that’s what I say.
    I did register online at Target & BRU just in case someone looks there for gift ideas but there’s not a whole lot on there, and it’s no big deal if I don’t get that stuff. Most of it’s necessities that I’ll end up buying anyway (bottle liners, burp cloths etc).
    I could see throwing another shower if there was a huge lapse in time between kids and you don’t have stuff to reuse anymore.

  • Elle

    March 16, 2010 at 2:08 am

    I have to agree that a second shower is tacky, although I wouldn’t really judge if the kids are quite a few years apart. And the idea of hosting your own shower (for a first baby, wedding, fifth baby, whatever) is tasteless. I was also raised that your mom and sisters also shouldn’t host your shower, although that usually seems to be a wink-wink situation where friends “host” but a mom pays. A shower may ostensibly be about celebrating the baby, but it’s really about gifts. Otherwise it would just be a party and not a shower. The after-arrival “welcome party” is nice. I would also not put “No Gifts” on an invite, ever, because then it sounds like you were expecting people to bring them = gift grabby.
    (I also could just be in ultra-etiquette mode because I just got a baby registry message through facebook. Yes, just a message about the registry. From the parents-to-be. With no shower invite. If that’s not tacky, I don’t know what is.)

  • Kate

    March 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Having a shower for yourself is unbelieveably tacky. Actually, more tacky than having a pay bar at your wedding.
    A family member having a shower for you is pretty close to being that tacky too.
    People may tell you it is ok, if you ask their opinion, but they ARE judging you behind your back.
    Believe me, the older generations going to the shower(if they go) are totally horrified I bet.
    I think this topic is akin to having your own stag and doe(buck and doe) etc. Just don’t do it. If unrelated people love you enough to do it, then more power to them, but don’t organize it yourself. Bad form.

  • Mo

    March 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Goodness gracious, who knew having a baby and a party could be so controversial! And who knew there were these hard and fast rules?
    My friends are throwing us a shower for our first baby and I am used to playing hostess, so I *want* to help and be a part of it. As a former event planner I have strong feelings about parties, and hell, I’m going to express them, and I’m going to help organize OUR shower.
    I offered to send out invitations so my friends wouldn’t have to worry about spelling names incorrectly and so we could save them money on stamps. I offered up our home as the location, not only to not impose on anyone else but so we wouldn’t have to load up cars and then unload them once getting home.
    Honestly, I think all the “tacky” talk is tacky. Everyone is different, unless you’re requiring gifts for people to attend I don’t see what is wrong with having a second shower or even helping to throw it yourself. After all, you are getting the goodies so why shouldn’t you have a part in the expense and work?

  • T

    March 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    But don’t throw it yourself.

  • Simone D

    March 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Personally, I do not see a thing wrong with a second baby shower. I am currently pregnant with my second child and as soon as I told one of my closest friends I was pregnant, she told me she wanted to throw me a shower. Why would I say no? Times are rough and if my friends and family want to get together and help me get things I need for the baby and celebrate, then why should I refuse? It may sound selfish, but I would happily get a friend or family gifts for a 2nd or 3rd baby too. So what? People always say something is tacky. Sounds to me like they are just bitter b/c no one threw then a 2nd baby shower. I had one person really irk me with the “tacky” comment and just like i wrote here I told her the same thing. I also said, if I have a shower, she doesn’t have to come that way you don’t have to be worried about my tackiness. Bottomline is, enjoy your shower and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

  • Brandy

    March 18, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I am expecting my third baby in August and need a shower due to the fact I had my tubes tied over 5 years ago and they healed themselves…. Since it is my third no one has offered to throw me a shower and my feelings are hurt. we have nothing and could use the gifts due to the fact all big ticket items as well as clothes have been given away to others as my kids grew out of them. This baby is a miracle and we wanted fanfare as well as a little help in this economy we need it. I can’t also throw a fit saying why are’nt you throwing me a shower??? so i’m sad silently.

    • Nyda

      April 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

      You don’t need a shower.  Your friends and family are not responsible for this baby or for purchasing the items you need or want to care for this baby.  Sometimes things happen that are out of our control and can have a big financial impact.  Having a baby unexpectedly is one of those things.  But expecting your friends to supply you with everything you need for this baby is not the way to work through it.  

      Make a list of bare necessities and start looking for them in inexpensive places.  Check discount stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Marshall’s, Ross, Burlington, etc for inexpensive clothes and supplies.  Consignment sales and shops or craigslist can offer gently used items and deep discounts.  And shop end of season sales.  As the weather warms up, fall and winter clothing is going on sale.  Stock up.  But as much as you can afford to buy in a variety of sizes and put them away until your baby gets to that size.  Do the same thing at the end of the summer and stock up for next summer’s wardrobe.  Big ticket items don’t have to have all the bells and whistles.  Just go for whatever fulfills your need.  

      For the fanfare, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate your miracle with family and friends.  After baby is born, host a small party for friends to meet your baby.  

  • Nancy R

    March 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    This is completely fascinating to me!
    I live in a ‘shower for the first baby only’ area, but people often give a baby gift for additional babies – particularly if it’s a family member or close friend. There’s just no registry, which is what makes things seem “gift grabby” in my opinion.
    So I’m curious… if a person has a shower for each baby do you then give a gift when the baby is born as well?

  • Bethany

    March 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Sorry but almost all of your concerns are regarding getting the “right” gifts. All of the things you mentioned are about setting up the circumstances to not have people get you what you don’t want. That seems gift grabby no matter how many times you try to say that you aren’t. You CARE what people give you and I think that is just rude. A gift of a personal thing from someone who cares about you. Of course you would want them to care that they are getting you something useful but the reality is that 90% of baby shower gifts are going to be clothes and probably a higher percentage if it is for a second baby of a different sex. People are going to assume that you already have the basics and you just need to dress the new one in the appropriate colors. I guess what I am saying is that you need to get over CARING what people give you and accept their generosity. It isn’t their responsibility to fund your new baby and provide what you need, that is your responsibility.
    I especially enjoy the showers though, that are As far as the question of even having a second shower, I am all for it. I think it is wonderful to celebrate each pregnancy. I am, though, from the Pacific Northwest, and there really isn’t a lot that will ruffle our etiquette feathers. I just had my 3rd which came 4 years after my 2nd. I insisted on no shower because I don’t like that kind of attention but I was constantly being asked what I needed, what I wanted and I was floored by the amount of gifts that I received without even having a party. I think if you approach it from the side of no expectations then you will be amazed at the amount of gifts you receive, with or without a shower, and I will bet that people will love to buy you the cloth diapers because even though some people will buy what THEY want, most people will ask.

  • Nyda

    April 4, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Please do not ask your family or friends to throw you a shower.  As much as people try to define the purpose of a shower (to set the first time parents up with things they need, to celebrate baby), it is and always will be a gift.  The shower itself or the offer to throw one is a gift to the mother-to-be.  Asking for one is literally like going up to your friends and asking them to buy a car for you.  The cost is obviously different, but it’s the same concept.  People will buy you gifts even if there’s no shower.  And your baby won’t know the difference if there’s no party in her honor before she’s born.  If you are really focused on just celebrating, host a welcome baby party (sip ‘n’ see, meet the baby, etc) after the baby is born.  And if anyone gives you a gift, accept it graciously, even if it’s craptastic.  Because they really didn’t have to make the effort to get you anything at all.  

    Also, don’t say ‘no gifts’ on the invitation.  That suggests you were expecting them to bring gifts in the first place, and that’s rude.  Feel free to register, even if you’re not aware of a shower being thrown for you.  Your registry is just a checklist where you can keep track of what you still need to get for the baby.  And most places offer a completion coupon.  If anyone asks if you’re registered or asks what you want or need for the baby, you can direct them to the registry.  

  • Valerie

    October 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I realize I’m commenting on a years old post , but I wanted to give my point of view . I had a baby girl (2nd baby) and as she outgrew items including swing crib clothes etc. , I donated them to the less fortunate or gave them to family members in need . My mother didn’t want to throw a shower for my third knowing I had given away all of my baby items . Thankfully my MIL brought up the idea of giving a shower . People want to give gifts when someone is having a baby . I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like buying tiny little baby clothes . I have never heard of only have one baby shower ,so I guess it is a regional thing . I have also never heard of the grandmother to be not throwing a shower bc it’s considered rude . A less traditional shower including male and female guests seems to be more common nowadays, and its a good time for all invited .

  • Samantha

    November 8, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Just for all of those saying ” the baby won’t know if you don’t throw them a shower” they may not know at the time, but 15 or 20 years from now when they are looking through old pictures and see all of the pictures from their big brother or sisters shower and then ask where the pictures are from theirs what will you say? ” oh we didn’t think you needed one” or “it’s tacky to have a baby shower for baby number two” really?? I want both of my children to know that we had a huge party to celebrate them joining our family.