Reddit Thread Sparks Debate About 'Diaper Cakes' at Baby Showers: Thoughtful Gift or Just Too Big?

A pregnant Redditor wanted to know if it is rude to decline a baby shower gift based on its presentation.

From Pinterest to Instagram, you'll find any and every kind of baby shower decor you can imagine. For some parents-to-be, a diaper cake—a faux-tiered cake made up of disposable diapers—is a must-have item.

For others, either due to a desire to use cloth diapers or space and storage concerns, it's incredibly unnecessary. But not everyone in an expectant parents' inner circle will understand that. A Redditor who falls in the latter category recently shared how voicing her disinterest got her in hot water with her sister-in-law.

The 30-year-old original poster (OP), writing under the username u/AITA-diapercake, wrote that she's pregnant with her first and most likely only child. Her husband's sister is "very excited" and told her that she would be making a diaper cake for the baby shower. The OP initially thought this would be a cake shaped like a diaper but then learned the true definition.

An image of diapers on top of a pink and blue background.
Getty Images.

"She showed me Pinterest pictures of several tall, awkwardly shaped towers of diapers, sometimes with decorations pinned or glued to the outside, which I'm pretty sure would make some of the outside diapers unusable," noted the OP.

The OP then told her SIL that while she appreciates the sentiment and she loves that she already wants to do something for a baby shower that's months away, she and her husband are "undecided on the disposable vs. cloth question," and if she is going to use disposable ones, she'd rather keep them in a box where they'll be "easier to store and move."

In response, her SIL apparently got angry, yelled that diaper cakes are traditional, called the OP ungrateful, and said the OP will be sorry when she "has a baby and no baby stuff" because she "rejected" all her shower gifts. "Obviously that last part was just her going over the top because she was mad, but what about the rest of it?" asked the Redditor.

She then turned it over to the Reddit community, asking if she was the a**hole for turning down a gift for its presentation. "I would be happy with a gift of diapers, but this cake thing just seems like a lot of effort to take something practical and turn it into something completely impractical," noted the OP.

Some Redditors quickly pointed out some practical aspects of the awkward situation, namely that the SIL might not be the only guest thinking of creating a diaper cake.

Redditor u/Gypsy_spirit_12 wrote that she got five diaper cakes at her shower and "just took them with a smile, because they are a gift made with love." While she thinks they're dumb, she pointed out that diapers are still usable. "After shower, put them away in a storage container or a diaper holder," she suggested. "Honestly, those diaper cakes saved me in the middle night when I thought I ran out of diapers but remembered the box downstairs. If you don't like it, you can always donate it to a woman's shelter."

Still, r/Gaylectric acknowledged that it is wrong for the SIL to refuse to acknowledge the OP's preferences. "The gift giver insisting on the type of diaper used—well, that's just plain old rude and unhelpful and goes against the spirit of baby shower traditions," they noted.

A commenter writing under the handle u/Maximum_Vermicelli88 thought the SIL "definitely overreacted, and the yelling was rude and unnecessary" but found it "extremely rude to be so ungrateful when someone loves you and your child enough to go through the effort to buy materials and make a handcrafted gift for you."

The Redditor also pointed out that "there are babies with diaper rash because their parents can't afford to change their diaper often enough." They added, "If it's not something you want, it can always be donated. There is always a need for diapers. Some places like shelters and food banks may not be able to accept them open, but I'm willing to bet you have a pay it forward or pay nothing Facebook group in your area."

The OP chimed in later to give a brief update that her husband agreed to receive the diaper cake after all. "He's the one who wants the actual baby shower anyway (I wanted a small backyard barbeque where I wouldn't have to be the center of attention)." OP also shared that the sister-in-law texted to say that she would only hot glue the diapers on the outside of the cake. "She loves her hot glue gun."

If you're looking for a spot to drop off unwanted diapers, check out the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), which connects and supports over 200 community-based diaper banks that collect, store and distribute free diapers to struggling families nationwide. The NDBN serves nearly 280,000 children throughout the country each month.

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