The Great Baby Shower Debate

Dear Internets,

Am I the world’s “greediest gus” if I have a baby shower for our second child, not to mention the same gender child as my first? While I know there are valid reasons to have a baby shower for a second child, I am working under the assumption that generally society allows for one baby shower before your days of gratuitous amounts of pink on pink on pink, fetus shaped cookies, overly on-theme parties are over.

But maybe not?

Let’s discuss.

First, let’s get a few plausible reasons for multiple showers out of the way so as not to offend…any more than I purposefully intend. They include but are not limited to; a second child but different gender, the mother has never had a shower, the mother is in need of baby items, or you are a highfaluting celebrity and your shower will be off-DA-chain bonkers and no one will begrudge your invite.

I do not fall into any of the above categories.

Hypothetically speaking, if you receive an invite for a second-baby shower, do you judge that freeloading son-of-a-gun as a presents grubber? Personally, I’d feel like a greedy mc-greederson having another shower. We don’t need anything. But I’d also like to go on record and say, I never say no to presents. If you buy it, I will accept it.

In general, I’m not a fan of baby showers. I like to give people gifts (my heart isn’t all black), but I hate feeling like a fool during the devil’s invention, aka baby shower games. No one can keep their dignity while shoving their face into a mock, poop-tastic, blowout diaper. Also, The Price is Right baby shower game? It always makes me feel like an idiot that I can’t price things I buy regularly. Sorry Bob Barker but it’s not fair when Target, Walmart, Costco etc., all vary so greatly! Oh the stress.

But is it so wrong to shower the mom even though she doesn’t need anything? It is always nice to be thoughtful and giving, and I wholeheartedly approve of celebrating moms and babies.

There are a few solutions to this quandary that I’ve heard amongst my pregnant posse.

I hear tales of women who receive full-on showers for their 3rd and 4th children. Ambitious? Annoying? Ridiculous? You be the judge.

I’ve also heard of “diaper” showers for subsequent babies and while I like the idea in theory (them things is always pricey and necessary), there is only so much baby-themed paraphernalia you can sculpt out of diapers before it just gets cheesy. I joke.

My sister is having her third child next month and her friends insisted they have a little gathering and bring her a bunch of freezer meals to prep for the new baby. Angels. All of them. Another blogger recently posted about a similar meal sharing idea from the company Meal Train.

I also like the idea of a ladies “night” where just you and a gaggle of your best girlfriends brunch, dine or whine, pre or post baby.

Another girlfriend informed me of what I think might be the best solution to the baby shower etiquette question. Enter the sip n’ see, y’all. Apparently it’s a southern tradition that is thrown after the baby is born. The food is light, the drinks are “tell me what you’re sippin’ on” refreshing, and the baby is the main event. No baby registries, just some good ol’ fashioned baby ogling.

I like this sip n’ see for a number of reasons. First there’s no pressure on the guest or hostess for gifts or Pinterest-worthy parties. Second, the star gets to be there. Moms love to show off their babes. And they should! Plus, a new mom, especially a new mom with kids, needs people to tell her how beautiful her baby is, what a wonderful job she’s doing, and a meal she didn’t prepare herself. This all can be accomplished with a sip n’ see.

And third, for the more cautious worrier like myself, a post-birth shower eliminates a possibly difficult situation if something does go wrong. In fact, traditional Jewish custom dictates that baby showers are not thrown and the nursery is not decorated until after the baby is born. It is seen as a way not to tempt fate and honor the sacred and precarious road of pregnancy and birth.

With these options in front of you (or more that I’m unaware of, please share?), fill me in on the social mores. How do you feel about the second-baby shower? If we were BFFs would you deem it socially acceptable to throw me a full-on shower or would you say, “I love you but that’s just too Scrooge McDuck swimming in his vault of gold” greedy? Is the diaper shower route a good option or is the sip n’ see the best way to be thoughtful while allowing the new mom the attention she deserves?

Talk amongst yourselves.

A pregnant lady who is totally not asking for a friend but for herself and her second fetus

Image: Ladies at a baby shower via bikeriderlondon/

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  1. by Nollie

    On October 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours so far and a debate that has come up many times among friends. To take a stance, I err on the side of feeling uncomfortable having multiple baby showers, even if the sex of the child is different. I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to buy me a gift, especially when people are in such different financial situations. But I sure wouldn’t say no to a girls’ night, sip n’ see, or turn down a dinner that someone else made. Good work, strong voice, good clarity of thought. I’ll stop now, since I sound like an English teacher grading a paper. You’re the professional there, not me. :)

  2. by Allison Anderson

    On October 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I throw etiquette out the window when it comes to having babies! I may be in the minority, but I LOVE baby showers and everything annoying party games ;) With that said, baby showering doesn’t have to be the typical cheesy shower. I think every baby and mama (working so damn hard to grow that little life) deserves to be showered, at the very least, with love…gifts are just a nice bonus,right?! Even if you don’t NEED anything for a same sex new sibling, I’m sure there are things you want. However, there are non-typical party ideas that I’m sure would be just as fun, if not more! As a second time mom, you are less anxious and you know what you need/what to expect. The sip n’ see is awesome, diaper showers, meal parties, couple’s shower, etc. Or a shower in which the MOM is showered with love- gifts of relaxation or gift cards for future date nights!As long as YOU aren’t throwing your own shower, I think you are in the clear ;) You TOTALLY deserve another baby shower (and so does the baby, who is just as special as the first). Don’t feel guilty and don’t worry what others think…everyone loves a baby and a pregnant lady! AND if nothing else, just remember you are making memories with your baby before birth (when I lost Beckett, I felt happy knowing I got to celebrate with friends and share that with him :)

  3. by T

    On October 22, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I have a hard time with the second shower. I, too, love baby showers and think that every pregnancy and new life should be celebrated. I’ve attended a few second showers, and they were just as lovely as the first. But I can’t stop thinking about the birth of our daughter and how incredibly generous our friends and family were, between our shower and the never-ending welcome baby gifts. I just cringe at the thought of asking them to repeat their generosity with our next child. That said, I love the idea of a sip n’ see – and if guests choose to bring an (unasked for) welcome baby gift, how wonderful!

    Congrats! Love the blog, and can’t wait to hear how you chose to celebrate your next dear baby!

  4. by Alison

    On October 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I too am not a greedy-mc-greederson, and will accept gifts of all shapes and sizes… some might be regifted to charity, but that’s a different story. Thank goodness Pinterest wasn’t around for my first child in 2007, but the shower was awesome. When my second came along, my friends took me to a pub and gave me a gift certificate. When the 3rd came along, the pub was revisited and they gave me a charm for my charm bracelet. It’s always nice to celebrate each baby no matter how many have come before them. BTW – we didn’t know the gender before any of my babies were born and they were all girls, so yes, clearly by the last child we needed nothing! LOL.

  5. by Ashley F

    On October 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Personally I think every baby is a celebration and every baby deserves a shower! How you choose to shower the baby is totally up to you :) I had a traditional shower for my first. Because our second was opposite gender we had another shower but made it a co-ed shower to include everyone. With our third (obviously the same sex as one of our children, hehe) we had everything we needed so we did a post-baby shower about two months after he was born, also co-ed. The last did not have any shower games, it was simply a get together with food, beverages, the baby, and a few presents. We really went back and forth on what to do for this one, but in the end we decided it wasn’t fair to celebrate our other two children and not him.

  6. by Alyssa

    On October 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I think sprinkles are perfect for second babies, especially if you live away from family and friends! Basically people who want to combines small gifts into a nice package!

  7. by Kelly

    On October 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Go for whatever makes you happy! I think a small shower is appropriate the second time around. Close friends and family will want to shower you with love as well as gifts and nobody can deny that they want to see your cute pregnant self. The meal sign up is an incredibly good idea. A friend of mine had one recently and I loved knowing what others were taking as to not repeat meals. Have fun with whatever you decide!

  8. by Tara

    On October 24, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I think second showers are gift-grubby and I almost always decline them. Especially if the parents already have a baby of the same gender. I can understand them more if the baby is a different gender or if there’s a big age gap between the new baby and its next oldest sibling. All of that said, I would totally attend (and bring a small gift) to a meet and greet. That seems more “Come meet my baby” and less “Bring me presents.” I’m not saying that second babies shouldn’t be celebrated. Just that whole second registries and lavish affairs seems greedy to me.

  9. by Katie T

    On October 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Well…a few months ago I would have fallen in the camp of no second showers, and If the baby is the same gender I defiantly say its to much. I’m about to have my second child, different gender, and have not planned on a shower so I have done all my own purchasing…and let me tell you it’s WAY more costly than you think to just buy all new clothes alone!! So when a close friends and mother-in-law asked to throw me a shower, I said YES!! I felt guilty in accepting but ultimately relived to have help… the other shower ideas are wonderful and I wished I had read this earlier. And if people feel bringing a gift for a second time is to much, then guess what…they don’t have to bring one/attend! :)

  10. by Kristine C

    On October 25, 2012 at 5:47 am

    My husband and I are about to have our second child in early December and we have a daughter who is only a few months past her second birthday. We saved everything and since we opted not to find out the sex of either child, all of our big items are gender neutral, as well as most of the clothes for the first six months. We decided it didn’t feel right to do another shower, but we do want to have a celebration for this baby as well. We are hosting a coed BBQ for family, friends and coworkers with the request of “no presents, just your presence.” But another idea I toyed with was a book baby shower, where people bring their favorite or their child’s favorite book from childhood. Happy 2nd, 3rd, etc. babies to everyone!

  11. by Bekka Besich

    On October 26, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I love the book shower idea and actually did it for my daughter’s first birthday. It was the absolute best.

  12. by MJ

    On October 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Greedy. Super greedy. If you didn’t save items from your first child, that’s your problem. Stop expecting handouts and buy what you need yourself.

    I can’t believe this blog post was even written.

  13. by Dani

    On October 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I am uncomfortable that you call your unborn child ‘fetus’. I guess I’ve never heard an expectant mother say that. My husband and I are trying for our second ‘baby’ and will not be having a second shower, but to each their own.

  14. by Jamie

    On October 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I decided not to have a second shower. My first was a girl and my second was a boy. The reason I did not do a second was because I had saved all my baby stuff including a bath, bassinet, walker, highchair and crib. The other reason was after having one I liked the brands that worked for me, so I didn’t want anyone to bring me a bunch of stuff that I didn’t want. I already had a brand of diapers and a specific type of wipes that I wanted, and a certain types of bottles. I basically had to buy diapers and some clothes and I was ready for my second with a baby shower.

  15. by amber

    On October 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I also can’t really stand baby shower games, with the first I endure them, kind of allowing the first time mom her rite of passage to motherhood. But I do love the chance to celebrate and share in the excitement when a close friend is having a baby (no matter the number), either before the baby is born as a “one last hurrah” or afterwords as a meet and greet. I don’t necessarily think it is greedy, but I guess part of me wonders if they are feeling like money is so tight and are so relieved by the thought of having the shower, I start to wonder if they should really be having that second baby. So basically, more small scale, more voluntary get together, rather than call it a shower (where a present seems like it is required for attendance). Can’t believe you are already 6 months along :)

  16. by olivia

    On January 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    oh baby. I’m pregnant with number three and in a fit of TTC rage I threw out/gave away all of our old stuff. That was two years ago. Now, I do not expect, by any means, another shower. I was moving across the country with number two and my close friends put together a little welcome baby basket, that included a huge gift card. Baby 2 was born 22 months after # one and I didn’t need a damn thing. This time, I’m in a panic because I’m quickly realizing that despite the fact we are much better financially than we were with one or two, we still aren’t in a place to buy everything again. If my friends chose to throw me another shower that would be amazing, but again, I don’t expect one.

  17. by Emerald

    On January 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    @ MJ, what about babies born years apart. I had a girl first and then 7 years and several moves later I had a boy. I certainly didn’t save my crib, playpen, stroller etc for 7 years! In fact my carseat would have been expired if I had kept it, and my babies were different genders. Now I didn’t ask for a shower, my husbands family through us a surprise one post baby because we didn’t know the gender ahead of time, but I definitely don’t think I was being greedy, or that it is reasonable to expect that I would have kept all the baby equipment for so long.

  18. by Kim

    On January 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    My church throws a shower for every baby, no exceptions. We see it as a time to celebrate the new addition to the family, and it often includes gifts for the older siblings, mom herself, and several handmade gifts that have been in the works for months. Its our way of blessing the family. It is also something kind of specific to our church. We are fairly close knit group, so its an excuse for us to hang out as the ladies minus kiddos too.