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Baby Shower Etiquette for Grandmothers: The Complete Guide
Yes, baby showers are fun for everyone! There is nothing better than showering the parents-to-be with considerate gifts to help them ascend to their new roles. Yet, a baby shower requires a lot of planning, not to mention that it comes with countless guidelines to consider. So what’s the baby shower etiquette for grandmothers? Glad you asked!
In this article, we’ll discuss baby shower etiquette for grandmothers as well as ways grandmothers can help out. The short answer to what the proper baby shower etiquette for grandmothers is that it depends on your relationship with the mother to be.
If you’re very close to the mother to be, then you might have a more active role in their baby shower. This could include helping them plan activities, making hors d’oeuvres, and entertaining their guests. However, if you aren’t very close to the mother to be, then you might not have as active of a role in their baby shower.
Let’s find out how things should be if you’re a grandma-to-be!
Baby Shower Hosting Etiquette
The first and most important point of our discussion is figuring out who should host the baby shower. Of course, there’s no strict rule as to who should throw the party, but everyone agrees that it mustn’t be one of the parents.
Hosting the Baby Shower
Ideally, a close female family member can host the baby shower. It can be one of the mom-to-be’s sisters, a female best friend, or the grandma-to-be.
In fact, the grandma will probably enjoy this role endlessly, especially if she’s the mother of the mom-to-be.
Paying for the Baby Shower
If the grandmother decides to host the party, she’ll typically pay for the entire baby shower. Yet, etiquette experts state that it’s appropriate to ask for additional financial help from other female family members.
Also, she can use the help of one of the mom-to-be’s closest friends if she’d prefer to.
Roles of a Baby Shower Hostess
A baby shower hostess has a lot to do to ensure that the party runs smoothly and everything goes as planned. As a hosting grandma-to-be, the following things will be your responsibility.
- Planning and setting up the shower
- Sending out invitations to female family members, friends, co-workers, etc.
- Greeting guests
- Leading the events at the shower
- Cleaning up the event space after the party is over
- Assisting the mom-to-be with carrying the gifts to her vehicle
Of course, you can manage to do these tasks alone or use the help of your friends, the mom-to-be’s friends, or family members.
Number of Baby Showers
A hostess should also pay attention to the number of baby showers she should throw. In some cases, if the family has a wide social circle, more than one event is preferable.
Still, planning for two or three parties can take its toll on the hosting grandma. Therefore, it’s best to gather everyone in one large event.
Plus, things can be slightly different if it’s the second or third baby. Some people might assume that it’s not acceptable to host a baby shower for each child. Yet, etiquette experts claim otherwise.
It’s fine if you want to throw a baby shower for the second or third baby. However, as a grandma, you mustn’t neglect existing children. Make sure to bring a gift or two for each sibling so that they won’t feel like the anticipated baby is getting all the attention.
Baby Shower Planning Etiquette
Now that we got the basics out of the way, it’s time to look deeper into the planning etiquette. The number one rule here is that organizing the event should be a shared effort between the hostess and the mom-to-be.
The mother must be there for each detail since it’s her baby. Even if the grandma prefers ideas of her own, she should always refer to the mom-to-be.
Baby Shower Theme
Themed parties are often better than non-themed events. Making up your mind about a theme will make it much easier to pick colors, activities, and other party elements.
But who should choose the baby shower theme?
The hostess should ask the mother-to-be about her preferred theme if she wishes to pick one. If the mom leaves the choice to the grandma, only then is the grandmother allowed to choose the theme.
Baby Shower Timing
Etiquette dictates that the baby shower takes place about 4-6 weeks before the baby’s due date. By then, the parents will probably be aware of the baby’s gender, making picking gifts easier.
As a hostess, you should start making plans for the shower four weeks before its date. This will give you plenty of time to invite people and make arrangements.
Again, the mother-to-be should be the one to determine the date of the baby shower.
Baby Shower Invitation Etiquette
Sending out invitations can be the most exhausting part of planning for a baby shower. Yet, with a little help, you should be just fine.
A grandmother should work side by side with the mom-to-be to create a list of people to invite to the party. This list should include:
- Female relatives to the mother-to-be
- Female relatives to the father-to-be
- Female close friends of the mom-to-be
- Female co-workers, managers, and employers of the mom-to-be
Things to Include in the Invitation
The baby shower invitation should have all the necessary information so that all the guests will be prepared. For instance, the invitation must include:
- The time and date of the baby shower
- Directions to the event location
- The gender of the baby
- Any special requests by the mother
- If any meals will be served
You should send out invitations about a month before the event is due. This way, everyone will have a lot of time to get ready and plan ahead.
The one who usually sends out these invitations is the grandma or whoever hosts the party. She can either mail them, hand-deliver them, or send them by email. All these methods are acceptable, according to etiquette professionals.
What Should a Grandma Wear to a Baby Shower?
Now that you’ve got everything else figured out, it’s time to focus on what to wear for the party. Of course, your attire should be classy, but not too fancy to draw the attention away from the mom.
A safe thing to put on is an elegant, simple dress or a blouse and skirt combination. You can accentuate your outfit with a floral print, or settle for soft, pastel colors.
If the event takes place in chilly weather, you may want to include a soft cardigan, too. Don’t go for a jacket or a blazer since they might add a degree of edginess to your look.
Keep accessories to the minimum. Instead, put some extra care into your choice of footwear. Go for a classic pump or a high-heeled sandal if the event is indoors.
If you’re outdoors, you should probably wear a pair of wedge shoes.
Baby Shower Gift Etiquette Grandmothers
Whether the grandma is the host or a guest, she should always bring a baby shower gift. In some cases, the mom-to-be may explicitly ask for no gifts in the invitation. Only then is it best to honor her wishes.
Now, as a grandma-to-be, how should you pick your gift?
First of all, if the mom includes a baby registry link within the invitation, you should buy an item from the registry. The mother has already picked those items, so you’ll be sure she’ll like your gift.
Second of all, the gift shouldn’t necessarily be expensive. However, it’s always a good idea if the gift is convenient and of great value.
But what happens if you couldn’t make it to the event for some reason?
In this case, you’re not expected to send any gifts since you’re invited to the event itself. Yet, a better option would be to drop off a gift after the baby is born. As a grandma, you’ll play a significant role in the baby’s life, so you’ll want to show your love someway or another.
Last but not least, you should always get something for the baby’s older siblings as well. This shouldn’t concern other guests. But since you’re the kids’ grandma, you don’t want them to feel left out.
Baby Shower Seating Etiquette for Grandmothers
Again, the grandma-to-be is one of the closest people to the parents-to-be. Therefore, when the host is making seating arrangements, she should place the grandma and the mom’s mother-in-law close to the mother’s seat.
Ideally, if the mom-to-be has other children, they should also sit close to their mother’s seat.
Baby Shower Meal Etiquette for Grandmothers
Typically, full meals aren’t served in baby showers, but rather, a combination of light snacks. The hostess should make sure that these snacks include various dietary options to suit her guests’ needs.
When it comes to serving, the hostess must start with the mother-to-be and the grandmothers, then everyone else.
Baby Shower Thank-You Etiquette
The mother-to-be should send out thank-you notes to all her guests within two weeks after the baby shower. Of course, the grandma-to-be can always help with those, especially if the number of attendees is large.
Ultimately, the mother should also send small thank-you gifts to the party’s hostesses in appreciation of their efforts.
Planning a baby shower can be exciting, but it’s also a challenge. And baby shower etiquette for a grandmother can vary depending on whether or not she’s a host.
Yet, the most important thing about going to a baby shower is to have fun, celebrate your new role, and make unforgettable memories.