A Quick Etiquette Guide to Baby Celebrations

Second Baby Shower? When to Shower? Theme Needed?

Can a shower be given to celebrate a second baby -- or one even further down in the birth order?

Every pregnancy deserves to be toasted and cheered. But, since the true purpose of a baby shower is to help new parents acquire the gear and supplies they'll need, it's probably not necessary to give a traditional baby shower for parents who have a basement full of baby clothes and equipment. Instead, consider throwing a shower designed to make their lives easier when they've got a newborn and another child or two to juggle: a "stock the freezer" shower, for example, or a "Mom and Dad" shower, with gifts like their favorite movies on video or DVD or promises for baby-sitting services. (Click below for more details and shower ideas)!

When should the shower be held?

Showers are typically given four to six weeks before the baby's due date -- late enough so that the pregnancy is well along, but early enough so that the baby is unlikely to arrive before the party day does. Sometimes, for religious, cultural or other reasons, parents-to-be prefer not to receive gifts until after the baby is born (in certain traditions, it's considered bad luck to acquire baby items beforehand). In that case, you could begin some preliminary planning, but wait until after the baby is born to set a shower date. For parents adopting a child, you might set a date once the child has arrived in their home.

Does it need to have a theme, and must there be games played?

No. The hosts should take their cues from the style and tastes of the expectant parent. There's no rule stating that games must be played, or that the color scheme must be pastel. The shower should be designed for the delight the guest of honor. (On the other hand, the guest of honor should maintain a sense of graciousness and good humor if she finds herself at the center of a party that's not precisely her style).

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