To think this baby shower invitation is grabby as fuck?

(222 Posts)
ENormaSnob Wed 13-Feb-13 20:26:03

Friend is having dc4.

Invited to baby shower, nice cafe type place, £10pp payable on the day.

Friend doesn't want presents and instead has asked everyone to contribute towards one big item.

The only saving grace is she hasn't done it in poem format.

Am not going.

Aibu to think this is just cheeky and grabby?

Friend has no connection to any culture or country where this is the norm.

theindecisive Wed 13-Feb-13 20:28:37

Really hate the whole baby shower culture. Then, a few weeks later you have to get a present for the newborn too.
So grabby.

youmeatsix Wed 13-Feb-13 20:28:40

baby showers are the epitome of tackiness anyway, it just varies in degrees of

grobagsforever Wed 13-Feb-13 20:28:59

Bloody hell the cheek of some people! A shower for DC4!!!! A payable place? YANBU.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 13-Feb-13 20:30:08

I'm confused by paying to go to a baby shower. Is that supposed to cover refreshments in the cafe?

Apart from that, suggesting friends contribute towards one big present makes sense when you've got 3 dc already. Presumably she's got all the usual gubbins but knows that people will be kind enough to buy something.

You don't have to contribute. I'd hardly call it "grabby as fuck".

deleted203 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:30:15

I've never been invited to a baby shower. (Thank God). I thought they were purely American things. Perhaps they don't do them oop North.

AnyaKnowIt Wed 13-Feb-13 20:30:18

Grabby!

I was invited to a baby shower with included a john lewis gift list

tryhardrep Wed 13-Feb-13 20:32:09

a john lewis gift list?! you are kidding! I think they're awful, baby showers I mean. Never been invited to one in the UK. And surely, at DC4, you'd have more or less everything you could possibly need/want!

LeaveTheBastid Wed 13-Feb-13 20:32:29

So no gifts, just a tenner at the door?

Doesn't sound that cheeky tbh, if I had to go I'd be chuffed at not having to buy baby tat and helping her buy something major. Seems the sensible thing to do. But a lot of people have problems with being asked for money rather than gifts that they don't even really need confused I often do this on birthdays... Give people money rather than a gift they don't really want/need.

But then I think that the whole baby shower thing is just one big opportunity to get a load of presses anyway so are grabby regardless of any gift requests.

gordyslovesheep Wed 13-Feb-13 20:32:59

shitting hell that's cheeky

I had a baby shower with dd3 - my friends did it - it was a suprise - it was lovely but I would never arrange my own and expect people to pay to attend!

Ivehadbetterdays Wed 13-Feb-13 20:33:12

Wtf? I REALLY don't 'get' baby showers at all. Why do these people think that because they are pregnant, everyone has to shower them in gifts? Cheeky as hell.
Different if someone organises a surprise one, but arranging it yourself? hmm

sooperdooper Wed 13-Feb-13 20:33:18

I always thought the idea of a baby shower was that other people threw one for you, if they wanted to - organsing it yourself, asking people to pay and asking for a gift is tacky imo

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 13-Feb-13 20:33:23

Wtf?

Aaargh, showers, proms, aaargh

That is my reasoned response.

And surely, with 4 Dcs she has most stuff.mgarbby, grabby, grabby.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 13-Feb-13 20:34:26

So the tenner at the door is for her??

I think I'd be busy that day.

BambieO Wed 13-Feb-13 20:34:57

Agree, it's for others to throw for you if they choose and any gifts should be a choice from the giver if they choose to give at all

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 13-Feb-13 20:35:57

I'm not that comfortable about giving gifts before a baby is born, anyway.

Sadly have known a couple of people who have lost babies at term

Lizzylou Wed 13-Feb-13 20:36:04

Bloody hell! Don't wonder that you are not going.
Totally ridiculous and yes, grabby. Grabbier than the usual baby shower, which is tacky enough.

JohnSnowsTie Wed 13-Feb-13 20:36:47

So do people really expect another present around the time of the birth? I would have thought the baby shower present would have been instead of...

vamosbebe Wed 13-Feb-13 20:37:17

Our babyshower was a small - free - party at our house for our friends, including men <shock> as it was the last time everyone could see us before DS arrived. It was also Hallowe'en and I'd made an Alien costume <grin> there were no gifts, no grabby poem, no list-of-shit at X shop. It was great fun.

coraltoes Wed 13-Feb-13 20:37:50

Etiquette question: when invited and equiv of bmaid at hen do says "mum to be doesn't expect gifts unless you insist" does that mean what it says on the tin, or am I expected to take a gift and will be only one without?!

I fucking hate baby showers

Lizzylou Wed 13-Feb-13 20:37:58

Jamie, I had the same thought about timing etc.
And also Proms.

I couldn't get a hairdresser appointment because they were booked up doing practice runs for 16yr olds attending their Prom the next week.

Worlds gone mad.

I am old.

apostropheuse Wed 13-Feb-13 20:38:52

It's grabby, tacky and presumptious.

In fact it's probably even worse than gift lists for weddings, or asking for money.

scaevola Wed 13-Feb-13 20:39:21

I would see this as odd, because of the ways in which it departs from the traditiona approach.

Firstly, you don't have a shower for any child than DC1. The shower of gifts is to mark the passage not motherhood, and give items for which you had no need before children. If you want to celebrate having more children, then you have a party not a shower.

Secondly, asking guests to pay their own way can be misinterpreted, though if all chipping in is the norm for you, it's OK as long as the costs are proportionate.

Thirdly, directly asking for cash is always tacky. The hostess (who should not be the honouree) can co-ordinate shower gifts (pretty sensible, really), but hat shouldn't arrive with the invitations.

expatinscotland Wed 13-Feb-13 20:41:05

Even in countries/cultures where it's the norm, it's not done except for a first baby. Certainly not for a 4th!

I wouldn't go, either. V. grabby.

stifnstav Wed 13-Feb-13 20:42:04

I had a sort of baby shower but without the shower! My sister invited about 16 of my female friends/family for a pub lunch and sister paid for everyone's grub.

Some people brought presents but they certainly weren't asked for! It was an opportunity to get a date fixed to SEE people, which is hard enough when you have a baby-related deadline looming, but its not an opportunity to get your mates to furnish a nursery or anything

That'd be weird.

SirBoobAlot Wed 13-Feb-13 20:43:56

Fuck that.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Wed 13-Feb-13 20:46:12

I never had a baby shower, if people wanted to give DD gifts, then they would be much appreciated, i wouldnt ask for them tho.

bumblebeader Wed 13-Feb-13 20:47:30

In America baby showers are the norm for your first born only and it's something your friends/family organise, certainly not the mum-to-be, which is impolite. A baby shower helps the parents get everything they need as it's so expensive in the beginning. It is seen as very bad manners to have a baby shower for your next baby (or babies) and never, ever would you ask your guests to pay for their own refreshments. You provide what your budget allows.

ENormaSnob Wed 13-Feb-13 20:49:59

Sorry the £10 is to presumably cover food and drinks.

The contribution to the bigger item is on top of that although no amount has been stipulated.

LeaveTheBastid Wed 13-Feb-13 20:52:06

Oh, £10 on top of a donation for a bigger gift?

I second SirBoobs fuck that.

12ylnon Wed 13-Feb-13 20:54:15

Well I don't think it's THAT bad- I presume the £10 is to cover food and drink, I think it's pretty reasonable.
I think it's sensible of her to ask for 1 big gift if she already has things for the baby. At least she gets something she needs. I presume you would be getting the baby a gift even if she wasn't having a shower- I don't get the distinction.
I do think it's a little off having a shower fir her 4th child though.
I don't understand why people think that gift lists are 'grabby' for weddings/showers etc. As long as there is a good mix of cheap and pricier things, I have no problem with them. I ask what people want anyway- surely it just saves them having to repeat themselves 50 times? Plus it saves getting duplicates- I recieved 7 blankets when ds was born. As gratefully received as they were, I probably only used 2 of them- we used sleeping bags instead.

Oh I don't know, maybe DC4 was unplanned/surprise, and she gave away all the baby stuff? My American cousin threw a baby shower for DC1, did a brunch at her house, all very low key.

MamaBear17 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:57:42

I don't mind baby showers - although I never had one myself. I only buy one gift for the baby though; usually I take a gift to the shower and then send a card once baby is born. From my experience, the baby showers I have been too have usually cost the mum and arm and a leg in food, drinks and decorations so I really do not see them as grabby, as I would buy a gift for the baby anyway. I think they are just an excuse for a little party. However, I do think it is a bit cheeky to expect you to pay £10pp and then contribute towards a gift. I was asked by my MIL to write a list of things I wanted for the baby because family members were asking what they could get us. However, I just couldnt bring myself to do it because it felt cheeky.

merlottits Wed 13-Feb-13 20:58:49

Grabby as fuck, I agree. Just an excuse for another bloody party/present to add to the present after the baby. Bloody check. I wouldn't have the brass neck.

merlottits Wed 13-Feb-13 20:59:06

Cheek even...

I had a John Lewis gift list and a baby shower (for my first only!)

In my defence I was very excited about the baby and had done the gift list more as a personal shopping list. My best friend suggested the shower and I only told people about the list who asked if I needed anything (and I did! We were skint, and the first of our friends to have a baby so no hand-me-downs from anyone.)

At least one of the attendees later got married and I paid £30 toward her honeymoon, in a similar 'grabby' way, so swings and roundabouts!

Everything I got was put to very good use, and passed along to lots of other babies too.

Have I protested too much enough now?!

landofsoapandglory Wed 13-Feb-13 21:01:36

Bloody hell American TV has got a lot to answer for!

Whatever happened to being given a pack of 3 babygrows or a little outfit once baby is born?

I, also, go along with SirBoobs "Fuck that!"

Floggingmolly Wed 13-Feb-13 21:02:28

So you've to pay to get in, and then contribute to a big present? Yes, grabby as fuck. Who throws a party and expects guests to buy their own food and drink, and bring a gift?

cheeseandbiscuitsplease Wed 13-Feb-13 21:29:04

I've never been to one and never would!
Celebrate the baby once everyone is safe and sound and all is well. I nearly lost my first baby, thankfully he's 7 now and gorgeous - does have mild cerebral palsy. My second baby was delivered 7 weeks early to avoid complications but this was decided very suddenly! Just don't get the whole baby shower thing. Let's welcome a healthy baby first. Don't want to sound like a misery guts but things go wrong - its a sad fact but it's true.

whateveritakes Wed 13-Feb-13 21:29:10

Bit odd for number 4.

I had one for my first. It was to celebrate with my friends and employers who helped me with the decision to keep the baby and all the support in getting me through (ex left me as soon as I told him I was 6 weeks pregnant).

I gave them all a party bag and did the food and drink. They had pooled together and brought me an expensive photo shoot for my bump. I love those photo's and remind me of how kind other women can be.

And we played games and had the boy/girl weight sweepstake. It was great

PickledInAPearTree Wed 13-Feb-13 21:35:51

No way! That's super cheeky!

PickledInAPearTree Wed 13-Feb-13 21:37:56

Plus if you ARE asking for gifts you ought to make sure if bit chargeable.

It would be fine if it was come out fit tea & cake with me before the baby comes type thing but you can't call it a shower ask for a tenner and THEN ask for gifts. Just NOOOOOOO!

SomethingOnce Wed 13-Feb-13 21:42:17

Grab-o-rama!

But I hate the concept of baby showers. Somebody asked me if I was going to have one when pregnant with DD - he got a Bad Look.

Yellowtip Wed 13-Feb-13 21:43:25

bumble I'm not so sure about for DC1 only. When we lived on a US army base showers were thrown for all babies. Someone threw a surprise one for me/ DC2 - very alien to me, not having previously heard of showers, but I was pretty touched by the thought and the gifts.

Not in a million years would I organise one for myself.

Teapot13 Wed 13-Feb-13 21:46:57

I keep swearing not to get involved in baby shower threads but I can't resist.

"Friend has no connection to any culture or country where this is the norm."

Does such a place exist?

I assume you mean the US, but
(1) only for a first baby, or perhaps a surprise baby with a really large age gap.
(2) it's a party, so guests are invited; i.e., don't have to pay admission or bring their own food.
(3) you cannot host your own, and it really shouldn't be done by a family member either -- that would be asking people for gifts! It's something your mother's best friend does, who has known you since you were little, or maybe your bridesmaid (not a relative). It isn't always a surprise, and you might help with the guest list because the person hosting won't know all your different sets of friends.

I don't really like them because they are boring -- tend to take place on a weekend afternoon and kill the whole day. None of this wine-soaked, mixed-gender fun that gets mentioned on MN.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 13-Feb-13 21:49:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ENormaSnob Wed 13-Feb-13 21:50:08

I didn't think I was bu but this person is getting on my nerves a bit anyway at the moment so I am biased.

12yl, I would've got her a card and token gift post delivery but I am due at the same time and we had agreed no gifts.

I am already working extra shifts to cover costs for my own baby (all stuff bought off ebay) and pending mat leave so I do feel even more pissed off about the whole thing tbh.

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 13-Feb-13 21:51:53

YANBU

My cousin is pregnant, or preggerz as she says, and she announced her baby shower weeks ago despite not even having been for her 12 week scan. Nice. Organise to be showered with gifts before you even know all is well with your unborn child. You fuckwit.

Soz for hijack Norma. YANBU. Tell her to fuck off. or "Go take a hike" seeing as she's so fond of American shit.

ENormaSnob Wed 13-Feb-13 21:54:35

grin at the cousin angst.

I have already declined the invitation anyway.

jojane Wed 13-Feb-13 22:00:24

Me and my friends had baby showers on our last round of babies (2nd and 3 rd babies) as none of us had them with our first. However it was just 5 or 6 of us at someone's house for a takeaway and some baby shower games. Bit of fun and there were presents but just bibs or baby gros etc, nothing fancy.

Viviennemary Wed 13-Feb-13 22:04:31

I think you are doing the right thing by not going. It's the only way to discourage this sort of grabbiness.

KC225 Wed 13-Feb-13 22:12:07

My friend did a surprise baby shower for her younger unemployed sister who was dumped by her boyfriend before the 12 week scan. She invited university friends and people she hadn't seen for a while. She hired a draughty church hall and provided sandwiches, cakes and soft drinks. Yes, we all brought gifts and she got loads and loads of stuff that she really needed. We had a great time - played silly games and gave her our best tips. My friend said it was the first time she had seen her sister laugh for months. It didn't feel at all grabby - I thought it was a great idea for someone who needed 'help' and a pick me up

HoneyStepMummy Wed 13-Feb-13 22:21:41

I live in the US where baby showers are a tradition. The whole idea is to 'shower' the baby with gifts so yes, the whole thing is a bit grabby. On the other hand I have been to some really lovely showers for people I like. It's a nice way to wish the Mother to be luck and give something for the baby.
However, once you give something at the shower you don't give another gift when the baby is born. Also, I've never heard of a shower where the guests pay their way. It's usually hosted and paid for by someone close to the Mother to be. Unlike a wedding or Christening giving money is not the norm and never mandatory. It's usually just very close friends and family who chip in and buy the bigger gifts.
BTW at Italian American dos you sort of pay for your plate since they go all out. It's not unusual to give a cash gift of $150 per person to a bride and groom.
Writing twee poems asking for cash is always wrong and very tacky. So YANBU.

gwenniebee Wed 13-Feb-13 22:26:33

I think baby showers are grabby full stop, especially if organised by the mother to be. When they're organised secretly for the mother it's less grabby, but still strange, imo.

notmyproblem Wed 13-Feb-13 22:35:34

Pretty funny to read all the American-culture-bashing (and what the OP describes is precisely NOT what happens in the USA at baby showers anyway) from a culture who thinks nothing of being expected to spend hundreds to go on various elaborate stag/hen dos over the course of their adult lives.

Oh wait, I guess it's different if you're paying for yourself and others to travel somewhere and get pissed for a few days on the trot.... but £10 for a mother-to-be at an American-style baby shower is "grabby". hmm

PickledInAPearTree Wed 13-Feb-13 22:40:07

It is grabby to ask your friends to pay a tenner to come to your party and give you money on top.

And it has nothing to do with America.

And you have hen and stag parties there too.

SwedishEdith Wed 13-Feb-13 22:44:48

Oh, extortionate stag and hen dos get slagged off on here as well.

PickledInAPearTree Wed 13-Feb-13 22:45:42

Crikey have you READ the wedding threads on here?

Poor bride gets a kicking every time.

ENormaSnob Wed 13-Feb-13 22:48:23

I don't attend expensive hen dos either.

Already said friend has no cultural ties to a baby shower.

Judging by other peoples accounts, this wouldn't be acceptable in America either.

So yeah, I reckon requesting a tenner for some cake and a brew, then expecting cash gifts only is grabby as fuck.

Ariel21 Wed 13-Feb-13 22:52:45

Any excuse for a party, I say. I'd be delighted if my friends were kind enough to organise some kind of 'pre-baby shindig'. This is naturally a good opportunity to give gifts, and of everyone wanted to chip in to buy me something then that's very kind. But I wouldn't ask for it, nor would
I dictate what people should donate if I were the friend in charge of organising. I think this is in lieu of gifts when the baby arrives - not as well as.

perceptionreality Wed 13-Feb-13 22:54:04

Ewww, I hate this sort of thing. Come and see me so you can give me stuff, gimme gimme gimme.

It's so crass and such bad manners - who the hell do some people actually think they are? I don't blame you for not going - I would not go either!

And this is dc4? Shouldn't she have got over the idea that the world revolves around her because she's having a baby by now??

fluffypillow Wed 13-Feb-13 22:54:22

She may as well have put...........I'm pregnant, now give me money confused

Really tacky.

Here in the birth place of baby showers grin .They are for first baby only. You dont get one for any other baby,at least no one I know has except me

I had dd2 after a big gap new husband. I worked in a very small place ,4 of us (I didnt know any of them in my previous life). They threw me a shower,just us.Was nice but I was mortified cos Dd2 was my 4th

KatieMiddleton Thu 14-Feb-13 01:32:34

What is the large item? Is it some sort of contraption for ferrying 4 children at once? Or just a wheel barrow to shovel in all her grabby loot?

A shower for a fourth baby!! I am astounded unless it was a surprise

I am very :-0 to think I missed out on a get together and prezzies. And they call themselves friends

grin

MusicalEndorphins Thu 14-Feb-13 06:03:31

You have been doing your best, scraping together money for your own expected baby, and it sounds like you can't afford to be throwing money around for something like this. You're not obligated to attend. I skipped a few showers in my time because I couldn't afford a gift. smile

MusicalEndorphins Thu 14-Feb-13 06:04:25

Teapot <thumbs up>

vvviola Thu 14-Feb-13 06:15:06

My friends threw me a shower for DC1, total surprise. In any case it was more of a "lets get pissed on Vi's behalf seeing as she can't". They all clubbed together for a small gift (changing bag & a few babygros), told "hilarious" stories about how embarrassed they were to be seen buying baby stuff, and we all had a generally lovely time.

I went into labour 2 hours after I went home (leaving the girls with the instructions to continue the party on my behalf). I think DD1 arrived before the last of the partiers had gone home grin

valiumredhead Thu 14-Feb-13 08:26:40

Considering it is her 4th it sounds sensible, she probably has most things and doesn't want to double up on things.

Hersetta Thu 14-Feb-13 08:53:48

I think all baby showers are a bit grabby to be honest. I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than have one or go to one. Why aren't people satisfied with a small gift after the bay has arrived anymore? YANBU

Teapot13 Thu 14-Feb-13 09:24:05

Just to be clear -- I wasn't criticising anyone for doing baby showers differently than we do in America. I think it sounds lovely when a mother-to-be invites girlfriends over for an evening together before a baby is born, or men are included, etc.

I just don't like it when grabby parties that violate every rule of baby shower etiquette are described on MN as "American."

INeedThatForkOff Thu 14-Feb-13 09:29:06

I was n't invited but that's another thread to afternoon tea in a posh hotel 25 miles away, not close to mother or guests, at £17 p/h, with the option to buy a bottle of Champagne.

Uh, no.

HotSoupDumpling Thu 14-Feb-13 10:59:45

Grabby McGrabster!

That is my scientific analysis.

Once went to a baby shower featuring a department store gift list and an injunction that if we were to go off-list, big gifts should be sent directly to the house and not brought to the shower... as they'd be difficult to carry home. Very practical, yes, but also bloomin presumptuous.

HotSoupDumpling Thu 14-Feb-13 11:01:13

P.S. And the couple were quite well-off!

DeWe Thu 14-Feb-13 11:24:57

To me it would slightly depend on how close the friend is and what the one off big item was.
If it was say something that they would use, the mother has always longed for, say, a real Silver Cross pram, I might donate, if they didn't put me under any pressure to donate.
If it was a new car/holiday/something that they'd need anyway. iId probably avoid.

fuzzypicklehead Thu 14-Feb-13 11:40:01

It really annoys me when baby showers are turned into a big commercial thing. It's not supposed to be about gifts! It's supposed to be an opportunity for women to gather and share their excitement and wisdom with the mum-to-be, play games, eat food and share stories. It's a lovely tradition, but people over here seem to ignore all the sentiment and just focus on presents.

Sure, in the US people might give the new mum a cute keepsake for the baby or some nice smellies to pack in the hospital bag--because it's thoughtful not because they're expected to furnish the baby's nursery.

But lots of baby showers I've been to in the states are "bring & share" type parties where you cook a dish for the party and a dish for the new mum's freezer to help out in the early days, especially if it's a second or subsequent child.

I'm all for baby showers, when they're about women supporting each other--but the "gimmie gimmie's" just make me sad.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Feb-13 11:48:08

It's as grabby as bedamned; but to add insult to injury the op is due at the same time shock
Why would imagine your friend, at the exact same stage of pregnancy, wants to both pay to come to your baby shower and donate yet more cash for you to spend on your baby?
And it does sound as if she's organising it herself, so not being aware is no excuse.

princesschick Thu 14-Feb-13 11:55:15

I think it's tacky. I don't really understand the whole baby shower thing. But maybe I'm a bit superstitious about having a party for someone who hasn't arrived alive and kicking. Do people want to be surrounded by their closest friends at a really special time or do they just want gifts? It does make me wonder if it's an excuse to get stuff in the disguise of a party.

I'm not going to have a baby shower. I do quite like the idea of getting some girlfriends together and having tea and cake and a gossip before the baby arrives but I would call this a catch up / girlie afternoon and it would be about me, not the baby. I certainly wouldn't expect presents for the baby! And if I do, there won't be any baby themed cupcakes!

I think it's different if people ask you want you want / need. If family / friends ask if we want anything for our baby, first I'll say, no you don't have to. Then I'll say, oh just a small token gift when baby is here and if they insist and ask if there's anything we need I'll pick something off my list. Or we'll ask for a contribution to a Junior ISA for baby's future if we've got everything we need. But I wouldn't invite people to a party and insist that they give me stuff. Or bring their cheque books! No way!

Each to their own I guess! I still think this is grabby (esp for DC4 - surely they have everything they need except maybe a huge van to cart them round in?!)

flixy102 Thu 14-Feb-13 11:59:57

I'm going to a 'baby shower' this weekend.
It's being held in a restaurant so we have to pay for our own dinner.
The couple know what gender they are having but have only told family and close friends (ie not everyone going to the shower) so although I know it's a boy, I have been instructed to bring a gender neutral gift. confused
They have a gift list (named brand bottles etc)

WIBU to bring a blue present and give the game away by mistake? (Not that I actually would!)

mrsjay Thu 14-Feb-13 12:02:06

baby showers are grabby in whatever form they come in it is just asking for 'stuff'

Bunbaker Thu 14-Feb-13 12:03:15

I wonder how many people will actually turn up. Perhaps the big gift won't happen if only a couple of her friends go grin

dayshiftdoris Thu 14-Feb-13 12:09:38

EnormaSnob

Have you checked the website of the place you are going? Only ask because a cafe local to me has the £10 baby shower offer but that £10 provides the gift AS WELL!

So each person pays £10 and it covers food, drink, cake and a range of things like photo shoots, silver fingerprint jewellery voucher, lunches in the future etc.,, it's quite a package. I wonder if your friend is keeping that element quiet and requesting gifts on top?

£10 all in I wouldn't mind but sounds like your friend might be pulling a fast one!!!

Rache1S Thu 14-Feb-13 12:11:13

I have always been of the opinion that baby showers are a bit naff and, yes, more than a bit grabby. I am generally only interested in gatherings with groups of female friends that involve getting pissed a nice bottle of wine for me.

However, I am pregnant with baby #1 and a friend has asked if she can throw us a baby shower (joint with a mutual friend who is due 12 days before me).

I don't really feel I can say no as she is very keen and it's such a lovely thing to offer to do for us, but I will be stressing that no gifts are expected (in fact I would prefer if anyone wishing to buy DD a gift waits until she arrives), and will be giving my friend (the hostess) money towards food and drinks for everyone so it won't cost her anything other than her time.

HecateWhoopass Thu 14-Feb-13 12:12:27

What's the difference between this and wedding gift lists/requests for cash?

Reading about those, it seems many people think that's good and normal and useful and not at all grabby. It's no bigger event in your life than the birth of a child. People who love you celebrate both. It's traditional to give a gift at a wedding and give a gift for a new baby.

So what makes one ok and the other not? (neither are ok in my view, I think it's always wrong to ask for a gift! But I have come to realise that many think it is fine to ask for a gift)

Genuinely asking, because I don't understand why two things that have the same basic principle are thought of so differently.

atthewelles Thu 14-Feb-13 12:14:44

That can't be it RacheIS because the Mother to be has said she doesn't want presents, she wants cash towards 'one big thing'.

shock
That said I do like the traditional american type as is described on this thread (never been to one). A get together before the baby is born, chance to make a fuss of the mother if you want to.

And I like the thought of baby-themed cupcakes
<too much time on my hands, clearly>

ChairmanWow Thu 14-Feb-13 12:28:24

Whoopass the wedding is an event in itself. Yes, it's traditional to bring a gift but by no means mandatory. When I was in a low paid job a few years back I went to a couple of weddings empty handed as I couldn't afford presents on top of hotel, travel etc and it was fine.

Baby showers, or at least this baby shower is an excuse to sting your friends for money or presents. I'd rather people bought my babies gifts because they genuinely wanted to, not because they were pressured into it by the organising of a contrived event. There's also an attention-seeking side to self-organised baby showers which I find really distasteful.

PaellaUmbrella Thu 14-Feb-13 12:31:25

YANBU. Very grabby, especially as she already has 3 DCs - what big item can she possibly need?

When I was pregnant a friend kindly offered to throw me a baby shower, but I declined. I didn't feel comfortable inviting people and them feeling obliged to bring a present. As it happened most of the people we would have invited bought DD present once she was born, but that was on their own terms.

I don't like baby showers - an unnecessary Americanism & in the same category as expensive hen weekends.

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 14-Feb-13 12:34:16

Really don't get such vitriol to these things. Or why quite so many want to tell us about them.

Does it make u feel better? Superior? Just makes u seem all Les Dawson / cats bum faced. Like any party, gathering, or coffee if u don't like the person don't go, if u do like them then surely you can love them enough to go and just take a small token gift? By all means think to urself "I'm such a better person than u" just keep it to yourself?

TheBuskersDog Thu 14-Feb-13 12:39:39

To those saying you would buy a gift anyway when the baby is born, well actually not everybody buys a gift for every baby born to people they know. I would only expect close family and friends to bring gifts after the birth (not expect as in be upset if they didn't iyswim) not more casual friends/workmates, but this wider circle are often invited to baby showers as well. I would imagine most people would feel they would have to take a gift and then would end up spending more than they really want so as not to look tight.

I think it's perfectly OK to get together with friends a few weeks before the birth because it will be difficult afterwards, but that's just a night out/in. Why does anyone need to get different groups of friends/family/colleagues together when they never normally would? Also the idea of playing baby themed games- really?shock
The celebration should be the birth of a new child, not a woman's ability to get pregnant.

mirry2 Thu 14-Feb-13 12:40:01

I agree with others that is something that your friend(s) organise for you. People did it for my mother when my ds was born, but we lived in America at the time and it was very common over there.

MiaowTheCat Thu 14-Feb-13 13:49:06

I find them naff, and I also find all the flip-outs on parenting forums because someone bought something NOT ON THE LIST hilarious! Added points for amusement when the list includes a wonderful array of first-time parent nativities that anyone with a clue knows will be on ebay within a week (for some reason baby-wipe warmers always spring into my head at this point) and the utter horror and outrage is someone buying something like muslins instead.

I just hate the expectation and assumption over presents full stop - for weddings, christenings, baby showers - the lot... if someone wants to buy something nice - fine, but that's their choice. I guess I just feel that a gift not freely given is a meaningless gesture.

dilys4trevor Thu 14-Feb-13 13:53:19

My main problem with them (when self-organised) is they are so 'look at me, I'm having a baby, aren't I special?' But then again I really hate it when women get all princessy about birthdays too (if you don't go to a really expensive all day and night (or weekend!) celebration and stay out until 4am you get a bit of a cold shoulder....we're in our mid-30s FGS).

Tbh I do think wedding gift lists are a bit different. Weddings cost a helluva lot and are basically a day of free booze and grub in a lovely venue and you have been chosen to share the day. A gift is fair enough and it's fine for people to avoid getting tat they don't want. Having said that, we did a wedding gift list (can you tell?) and I must confess I DID get a bit grabby and was constantly checking with JL online to see which gifts people had bought. Am a bit embarrassed about it all now. blush. If I could go back I wouldn't do it again as I didn't like how weird I got about it.

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 14:20:06

I think baby showers have an important role in modern motherhood

In the past we lived much more closely surrounded by female peer support, but now we have to sort of artificially recreate that old support system with babyshowers, NCT, silly baby classes which are really just an excuse for mothers to spend an hour with other mothers cause the babies dont give a flying fuck what's going on, etc!

what a babyshower provides is just a wee taste of what being pregnant in the past was like IMO

farmersdaugther Thu 14-Feb-13 14:35:31

Never been invited to one and I'd never go. Tacky as hell IMHO. And I certainly won't let someone buy me pram or a cot etc.

I don't think you should celebrate a baby until they have arrived safe and well.

Also I'd hate to jinx it, last year my friend had a stillborn at 40 weeks. sad

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 14:41:56

its about celebrating/supporting the mother though. And technically being born isn't out of the woods, by that logic do you wait till a baby is past the SIDS risky age at betwen 6 and 12 months to celebrate it.. but then preschoolers are a high risk age for fatal accidents too aren't they...

and IMO a stillborn still makes the woman a mother, and still should be acknowledged/celebrated for the short time it was alive (in the womb, but still) So I don't really like the sentiment of not making a fuss of an expectant mother until she has delivered a live baby incase she never delivers a live baby. The time she spends with it before it's born during pregnancy is 'real' too - the relationship a mother feels with her child doesn't just begin a the point of birth

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 14:47:05

we've been given next size (and size after that) clothes for DS as gifts. farmersdaughter he hasn't sucessfully lived that long yet, some babies don't, so should we only have been given newborn clothes until he's definitely still alive at 3 or 6 months?

Imogenj Thu 14-Feb-13 14:49:41

Baby showers: naff, naff, naff. The thing about presents is that it's for the giver to decide to when, where and if at all to give them so any kind of 'invitation to purchase' is bad mannered. Ditto including wedding lists in with the invitation - if I want to buy a gift I will, of my choice and budget! (or am I hopelessly out of touch??)

Slainte Thu 14-Feb-13 14:53:09

Grabby, grabby, grabby. Been invited to several but have declined them all. I was especially annoyed at the invite that had an Amazon gift list attached angry

PickledInAPearTree Thu 14-Feb-13 14:54:22

I don't have a problem with baby showers per se. They can be nice, it's asking friends to pay a tenner then money on top..

I'd think that was grabby and not go.

I always buy friends a little something in any event..

Sorry to hear of your loss.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 14-Feb-13 14:55:01

Sorry I think I misread your post ?

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 15:01:42

Grabby, and tedious.

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 15:11:34

I don't mind gift list for weddings, but they do somewhat defeat the purpose of a baby shower gift, which IMO is experienced mums giving something which they found useful themselves, or giving something because your sister or friend found it really useful for their babies... like a ewan the sheep or one of those zip up swaddle thingies, or a basket of birth essentials (clary sage, water mist, BIG knickers grin etc etc) based on the guest's own experience so they can pass that on to the expectant mother

PickledInAPearTree Thu 14-Feb-13 15:14:01

I think people enjoy buying little clothes too and it's mean asking for money towards something boring like a nappy bin!

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 15:55:21

I agree, I LOVE baby shopping - I am quite tight with my own babies only buying practical and usually second hand stuff, I like being a bit frivolous when it's for a gift

PickledInAPearTree Thu 14-Feb-13 16:53:19

And its nice to have all the little outfits that you wouldn't buy for yourself too.

Squee!

Gherkinsmummy Thu 14-Feb-13 17:28:10

A friend offered to host our baby shower, it wasn't something I would have thought about particularly. We had it at home, and did all the food and drink, and stipulated that no one needed to buy anything, and men were invited. It was more a chance to see people before the baby was born, with booze smile

But for a 4th baby - does seem a bit cheeky.

Geekster Thu 14-Feb-13 17:52:54

I personally don't like baby showers especially if people have them before DC is born, to me it seems like bad luck. I found it bad enough when we had to buy the essentials ourselves ready for our DD before she was born in case anything went wrong. So I dislike them more for that reason than for being 'grabby'. On the flip side I can see the appeal, but not for me.

farmersdaugther Thu 14-Feb-13 18:27:04

smelly you misunderstand me or maybe I wasn't clear. Either way....
Of course you can celebrate the prospect of becoming a parent before the baby arrives. However I just don't think it's necessary to throw party for someone who hasn't even born yet.

maybe i'm just a bit superstitious about it all.

januaryjojo Thu 14-Feb-13 18:39:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 14-Feb-13 18:40:44

January! Haha.

That is bloody cheeky!

pinkyponk67 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:42:17

The OPs friend may be "grabby" but that doesn't make the whole idea of baby showers "grabby".

Some people just love to slag off the Americans for being "tacky", any excuse.

I was thrown a surprise shower by a French Canadian colleague, as a pre ML leaving do. it was very sweet, all gifts were small token items (pack of socks, or a bib etc). We had tea and cakes, no one had to pay anything, a few silly games. Just a bit of fun. No need for anyone to rubbish the whole idea just because one person goes OTT.

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 18:46:27

What? You pay to attend a baby shower and you are expected to contribute to a gift or take one? WTF? confused This make me feel very, very old.

I hate all these new over the top 'celebrations' that cost your friends tons of money. Between hen and stag weekends, weddings and baby showers I am surprised any young people can afford to have any fucking friends these days.

And don't even start me on 'graduations' for primary school children, and proms involving decommissioned fire engines, stretch Hummers and helicopters. hmm

anonymosity Thu 14-Feb-13 18:52:01

Really she's on DC4 and there's stuff she still needs to get? [humm]

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 18:52:28

Games?

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Thu 14-Feb-13 18:56:16

Oooo, I'm having a baby shower thrown (thrown?) for me in a few weeks.

I am very excited.

I had planned to invite a few close friends/family round for tea/cake/food of any kind wink as I love the idea of having my nearest and dearest around before baby comes along (there was never going to be a stipulation of gift lists etc shock). However, my friend and SIL have told me that they have arranged 'something' and won't tell me anything about it - just what date/time.

This is so lovely and thoughtful of them. I am just hoping and praying they listened when I specifically asked that guests did not bring gifts (I don't need anything and feel cheeky anyway being perceived to 'expect' a gift) and that there are no daft expectations put on the guests (ie - write a poem, play pass the poo filled nappy wink etc)

On the other hand, I am so excited as I haven't a clue who's coming and am hoping they have invited the people I would have. Also, am big on cake atm, I have been promised cake (I can't drink alcohol so yay to cake!)

I say it all the time on these threads. Grabby people have grabby celebrations (regardless of occasion). I am lucky to know nice, genuine, people. If I received a grabby request it would be ignored and sneered at (and possibly reported on MN with glee) grin

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 18:59:47

But games, * BrianCox. Games.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 14-Feb-13 19:19:53

Well, my mum, sister and close friends threw me a baby shower for DD1. They got drunk, we made cupcakes and they gave me gifts. DD died while I was in labour 5 weeks later. I was too scared to do anything for DD2 before she was born. Work had thrown me a leaving party when I went on mat leave the first time. The second time, they waited for the announcement that everything was ok before they organised anything!

Porkster Thu 14-Feb-13 19:23:14

So grabby, so vulgar.

Baby showers and bloody poems asking for wedding cash should be banned.

letshaveacupoftea Thu 14-Feb-13 19:30:20

Agree smellysocksandchickenpox that the mother of a stillborn child is no less a mother, but as the mother of a child who died when only a few days old I am thankful that I did not have a baby shower. I am extremely uncomfortable about the idea of buying gifts for others before the baby arrives - luckily none of my friends have had baby showers so I haven't been put in that position. It amazes me how people in general take it for granted that everything will be perfect when the baby arrives.
Also although there is no tradition either here or in America for this (other than christenings), wouldn't it be lovely for a friend to arrange a get-together a few weeks after the birth with cake and pink or blue balloons etc so that everybody can meet the new arrival? - and the frazzled new mother may not faced with a constant stream of unannounced visitors following the birth when she is probably too tired to remember how to make a cup of tea for them, and may well still be in her pyjamas at 3 in the afternoon etc.

QueenMaeve Thu 14-Feb-13 19:37:45

I detest baby showers. I normally love anything party related, but I just think they are so materialistic.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Thu 14-Feb-13 19:43:19

My heart goes out to all who have lost their babies. It truly does.

I refuse to live my life based on 'what if' though, I understand why looking back on your own situation you would have that train of thought, but I personally would rather not have that 'what if' hanging over what statistically (and in all probability) is going to be a positive, happy event.

I don't say that to detract from anybody's loss, as I say my heart goes out to you. I genuinely want to celebrate something that is important, in a nice and non-grabby way.

Linerunner I will walk out if there are games.

chocolatemakeseverythingbetter Thu 14-Feb-13 19:46:48

Oh goodness, where to start?

I think the problem here is that the idea of a baby shower is lost in translation.

There are very specific, universal etiquette rules regarding baby showers in America and they go something like this:

1. they are ONLY (as others have mentioned) for your FIRST child
2. they are NEVER hosted by the mother-to-be herself, and in some circles it is considered tacky for the grandmother-to-be to host
3. you NEVER have to pay to attend
4. money is NEVER an appropriate gift

If someone had planned what was originally described as a shower back home, everyone would be shocked, and no one would go.

An American baby shower is a fun way to celebrate the mum-to-be, and yes "shower" her with gifts (small or large depending on how close you are with her) that will help her through this life-changing event. You also play party games - which may or may not be of the embarrassing sort.

Usually, if you are close to her, you also give her a present once the baby is born.

I hear what people are saying about not giving gifts before the actual birth, and no American Jew will have a baby shower for that very reason. (Well, none of my Jewish friends will.) But, baby showers are very much a part of our culture. Just like we find the British hen-dos to be very bizarre and over the top, I can see how Brits find our baby showers over the top too.

Internationaltraveller Thu 14-Feb-13 19:52:29

I don't think that's so bad. If you are not happy for her, why are you even considering going? She sounds like she doesn't even want gifts. In those type of situations though, people always do asked so maybe she feels obliged to mention putting it towards something big. there may be another side to this - just sayin'

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 14-Feb-13 19:54:28

I find hen dos bizarre and over the top as well.

In fact pretty much any celebration

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Thu 14-Feb-13 19:57:20

You see, I am all for embracing other cultures and stealing their traditions grin

It's a big world, there is a lot to be learned and enjoyed. We sample different food, why not different traditions.

I hate how, time and time again 'Americanism' is sneered upon on MN.

But then I love the US, having worked over there and met many, many, lovely and intelligent people (not the stereotypical 'fat, ignorant, yank' that is portrayed by some in the British media). Obviously the US has ishoos but name me a country/culture that doesn't.

Baby showers - as described by those in the know, are the way forward. Unfortunately, the part of Brit culture that is tacky and grabby has taken the tradition and turned it into something tacky and grabby (go figure!).

This is my DC2, but we had never heard of baby showers 9 years ago when DD was born and I had few friends back then aaahhhh so we'll pretend it's ok to have one for DC2 ok? wink

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 20:29:07

"Baby showers - as described by those in the know, are the way forward. Unfortunately, the part of Brit culture that is tacky and grabby has taken the tradition and turned it into something tacky and grabby (go figure!)"

^the nail is hit on the head there

baby showers aren't grabby, grabby people will have grabby baby showers, nice people will have nice showers, same as weddings!

I also don't see the problem with baby showers for 2nd(3rd..7th..) babies, maybe the mum didn't have one before for no1 and feels they missed out, maybe they did have one and it meant so much to have a nice excuse to get everyone together near the end of the pregnancy.. whatever!

IMO MN posters just hate parties! I love em because I don't get invited to all that many these days so get stupidly excited if I get an invite! any excuse will do me! .. the exact same thread comes out in triplicate every autumn, you just substitute babyshower for halloween and the america bashing and party hating is all the same! And similar again at christmas

willesden Thu 14-Feb-13 21:10:13

I have just been invited to my first shower and that is also 'grabby as fuck'. The hostess is the new mother. Invite is for a top notch restaurant at lunchtime (we are to pay for our own food & drinks) stipulated no other children would be welcome, and the gift list is at John Lewis. She has invited 80 guests via facebook. The world really has gone mad.

ellangirl Thu 14-Feb-13 21:52:46

Willesden that is indeed grabby!

I've just been to a lovely baby shower for a friend who is profoundly grateful for both her baby and any gifts recieved. She does not expect any gifts after baby is born. She is South african, where baby showers are the norm (so I understand). It didn't cost me to go, and I would have bought her a gift anyway.

She offered to throw me a shower before my dd was born but I politely declined because I think most of my other friends would have reacted like most of you have!

shortwife Thu 14-Feb-13 21:54:03

Lord alive, what is wrong with most of you people? It must be tough sitting in your ivory towers judging the rest of society. Have you never heard of 'live and let live'. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not sure how appropriate a baby shower is for a 4th child, but the fact remains, if you don't agree with them, then don't attend them. It's the same argument as people who think there is too much 'offensive' material on TV. You have a remote control - turn it off and don't watch.

BUT I always thought that having a baby is usually a cause for celebration - be it number 1 or number 8. Everyone is different and lives their lives in their own sweet way - it doesn't necessarily make it wrong, just different (and sometimes, cheeky and a bit strange compared to how you live your life). EVeryone has the right to disagree with other people but if you want to talk about tacky, I would have thought that talking behind backs and and openly judging is a pretty tacky thing too.

Sorry, rant over.

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 22:05:38

You could turn off MN using that argument, shortwife,

shortwife Thu 14-Feb-13 22:22:17

'tis true Linerunner, I could turn off using that argument (and I frequently do) but it makes me sad that there seems to be a lot of judgement passed on MN, especially seeing as this is meant to be a site offering support and advice etc etc. At least that is what I thought MN was supposed to be, but unfortunately it seems I was incorrect. Being a parent (and a woman) is hard enough at the best of times, without turning on each other. The world would be a very dull place if we were all the same - difference of opinion is a good thing - but it might be a nicer place if we could roll our eyes and sigh a bit more rather than unleash a torrent of judgement and, what feels like, hate.

I'm sure there are now lots of people who will think I'm a bit of a tree hugger and wishy washy do-gooder (which really couldn't be further from the truth) but c'est la vie.

Taking my own advice and logging off.... Life is too short.

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 22:28:06

shortwife, I think the trick is to pick your boards and threads on MN, tbh. There are some threads I look at and avoid immediately.

BlatantLies Thu 14-Feb-13 23:58:08

YABU it is cheeky and grabby. I wouldn't go either. I might buy the baby a little gift after its born though.

MusicalEndorphins Fri 15-Feb-13 00:40:48

My aunts threw me a baby shower. I thought we were going over to her place for a barbeque, and had no idea it was a shower for me. My baby was due in 2 weeks. I was totally shocked, I should look for a photo of me walking out into the back yard and seeing my cousins and in laws. I began having contractions that night and had my baby 2 days later!
I was thrilled to be honest. I saw cousins I hadn't seem in over 10 years and was very touched my aunts went to such trouble for me
In my family, showers were always a surprise.

I'm in the US and for the first baby, work threw me a shower, 6 nurses and two doctors, and a big cake on my last day.
Bay two you get what they call a sprinkle, three friends got together and got baby a few new outfits and again lots of cake.
Baby number three you are on your own, you should have enough crap in the house from the first two. I had already got rid of everything so went shopping, bought most of the stuff used, new car seat and pushchair (the old one was fit for nothing) then found lots of clothes at the charity shops for next to nothing.
The op shower invite does sound grabby. The showers I've been to in the US were held in someones house, lots of cake, and nibbles and soft drinks and most people bought a small gift, and outfit, or onsies type clothes and burp cloths. The new grandmothers usually got the big stuff like car seats or cot etc. not the friends.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 04:18:53

Willsden stories like that make me almost glad to be old.

Chottie Fri 15-Feb-13 04:24:16

My DD's boss is hosting a BS for her, she has said she would be honored to do it. I'm trying to angle for an invite, because I've never been to a BS and I'm just nosy

mathanxiety Fri 15-Feb-13 04:27:09

Oh yes indeed, the concept of the baby shower has been completely lost in translation. What this friend has in mind isn't strictly speaking a shower, it's a cash grab. It's a shame imo to see the baby shower tarnished in this way. Properly done, it's a really nice way to let the mother to be enjoy a few hours where she's the centre of attention and people celebrate the baby.

My experience of baby showers in the US was exactly as Squinkies described.

I had two thrown for me when pg with DD1, one by exSILs in exMIL's home city (where I didn't live) and to which were invited exMIL's old lady friends and mothers of boys exH had gone to school with, and the second was a surprise shower at work. Got a lot of random and lovely gifts and some big ticket items at both, had a lot of sedate fun (others not about to pop had a lot more fun at the office one but that's a different story)..

Maxiine Fri 15-Feb-13 04:42:59

I think its taking the mick!! buy a present or give money before the baby comes, and then again when baby arrives!! I dont think so!! i think it just gives people with money to burn to opportunity to show off to the people with not so much, so they can lavish the mum to be to prove they are better 'friends'!! seen it all before. As for a gift list,,,,,,, shove that where the sun dont shine mate! if you want to have a get together before baby come then do so, but I will not be made to feel like i have to buy anything for a 'baby shower'. I have passed on baby items to friends that I didnt need anymore and were gratefully received.
so yeah I think to orgainse your own baby shower is just being greedy!!

whiteflame Fri 15-Feb-13 05:05:41

Wouldn't do it personally, but the invitation wouldn't bother me either. After all, it is an invitation, you can decline as you say.

Want2bSupermum Fri 15-Feb-13 06:06:10

I had a baby shower which was hosted by my friend. I was asked to put a registry together and I did one at a local store that is part of a chain here in the US and another on amazon. I ended up returning most of what I had been given and using the store credit towards the stroller. I then bought everything I have been given as gifts (jumperoo, swing etc) 2nd hand for pennys on the $. Glad I spent the extra on a stroller that can covert to being a double.

I am very pregnant with baby #2. I was going to have a party (well brunch) but I am just so tired. I finished work last Saturday and my due date is tomorrow. All I want to do is put my feet up and get my final bit of relaxation in before all hell breaks loose.

HollyBerryBush Fri 15-Feb-13 06:13:53

Superstition is oftern born out of good reason - such as ours of 'don't bring a pram into the house until the baby is home'.

Just because you are pregnant doesnt mean there will be a baby at the end of it sadly. I can't imagine the upset at having to hide away all the baby paraphenalia if there was a tragedy.

So yes, baby showers are pre-empting fate in a way. Don't like them. Unneccesary.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 15-Feb-13 08:02:37

I just went to post exactly what hollyberry said.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 15-Feb-13 08:03:54

I had a lunch organised for me by my friends, but it was all about me! That was nice and a surprise. A little lunch with my besties before everything changed forever!

I am going to a baby no 1 shower for my friend next weekend. Organised by 4 of us and no cost to anyone else attending (including the expectant mother!). Me and another girl clubbed together for a cake and the other 2 got party games etc (tho I personally hate all the stupid games!)

I have bought some burts bees things for my friend and nothing for the baby per se as i will give her a baby related present when her wee one makes an appearance.

I think it's nice to show a close friend how much you care and she certainly doesn't expect a tonne of presents! Totally unnecessary and a bit odd to go over the top.

theodorakisses Fri 15-Feb-13 10:14:25

My Aussie friend was mortified when she went to a Brit's shower. She said they all take something small that will be needed, baby lotion, cream, muslins etc. She was really embarrassed when everyone else gave competitive presents. We have adopted that here now and it is much nicer and keep a bag of maternity clothes and baby clothes which then get recycled, added to and passed on. I still avoid them though, not keen on the whole "ladies only" thing. If I had another chance, I would rather just have a nice tea party where all my friends and their children were welcome.

Fillyjonk75 Fri 15-Feb-13 10:48:41

My friend organised one for me when I was having my first baby and I thought it was lovely. She held it round at her flat and baked some cakes, got a good number of girlfriends round and we had a blast. It was like my hen do which I worked out was almost exactly a year earlier, without the alcohol.

Fillyjonk75 Fri 15-Feb-13 10:51:38

While there is a chance there won't be a baby at the end it was a lot more likely in years past, hence the superstition. Today it isn't very likely at all, hence why a lot of people don't bother with superstition and stick with science. Anyway, I seem to remember nearly all the presents were for me, hurrah.

Floggingmolly Fri 15-Feb-13 10:55:17

It isn't as likely as it used to be, fillyjonk, but it still happens. Science still isn't far enough advanced to predict with complete accuracy whether there'll be a problem or not.
I found your post quite flippant, actually.

bemybebe Fri 15-Feb-13 10:55:57

You sound miserable OP.

Pigsmummy Fri 15-Feb-13 11:14:38

I think that if you are holding your own baby shower then you are missing the point anyhow? Surely it's something that someone else does for you? Otherwise you might as well just ask people for money?

Fillyjonk75 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:20:46

I find a lot of the comments flippant, flogging.

As if everyone having a baby shower is a grasping airhead, incapable of reason. Though I find organising your own and charging for it very bad form indeed.

ENormaSnob Fri 15-Feb-13 11:20:54

I am a completely miserable old hag bemy.

Especially when a friend charges attendance to a 'party' then requests cash on top for a gift. Even more so when I am due at the same time and we had agreed card only.

Funnily enough, I am usually the life and soul and will celebrate anything. Inc a birthday next week despite being 8 months pregnant.

I just don't appreciate being used as a cash cow.

I def wouldn't like any of my friends asking for cash like that. I've asked my friend what she would like and if she'd requested something in particular then that's what I'd buy her since I want her to have something useful! But demanding all that is a bit ridiculous IMO

HerbyVore Fri 15-Feb-13 11:33:03

I'm sure you're not a miserable old hag!

I would be miffed too - especially as you've agreed between yourselves not to do presents, and it's her 4th child.

Is it a specific 'big item' she's after? - What on earth could she possibly need that's big and expensive for a fourth child?

I think saying 'please don't buy me anything but if you want to contribute something then <insert store name> vouchers would be lovely' would be better.

bemybebe Fri 15-Feb-13 11:42:10

You are a miserable old hag! Otherwise you would shrug the whole thing off if you don't like it. But then MN is full of passive aggressive types.

HerbyVore Fri 15-Feb-13 11:44:20

bemybebe

What you have said there in your post makes you sound like a knob.

ENormaSnob Fri 15-Feb-13 11:45:11

Yes it's a specific large electrical item. Needed to replace the older non electric model she has.

Just to clarify, this is also my dc4 so I just cannot comprehend how she thinks this is in anyway reasonable to use her friends this way. A nice get together with the females, enjoying each others company I would completely go along with.

I will also be buying the large item she is asking everyone to chip into. Only im working an extra shift to pay for mine.

Floggingmolly Fri 15-Feb-13 11:47:49

Did you organise your own baby shower and ask for money as well, bemy?
If so, I can understand you thinking the op is miserable (even though she's not).

ENormaSnob Fri 15-Feb-13 11:47:53

If no one posted about what's pissing them off mn would be empty.

I am far far from passive aggressive. Presuming that would be attending then bitching afterwards.

I am not going at all and have no qualms in explaining why.

ScrambledSmegs Fri 15-Feb-13 11:54:24

Babies don't like showers. Water gets in their face and they scream like anything. Baths are better.

<helpful>

<purposefully misunderstands thread>

bemybebe Fri 15-Feb-13 12:06:25

No, I didn't. My first baby was born perm at 24 weeks and died 3 weeks later abroad, with my second I was scared shitless of anything going wrong. But I know that baby showers are not ok for the vast majority of people especially if we are talking about the third dc (or is it second??). That said, in my case only close friends will be invited if I am lucky enough, those who are happy to celebrate good times and not judge. As for presents I never ask and even slightly embarrassed to receive them as I have everything I can possibly want.

HerbyVore Fri 15-Feb-13 12:10:22

bemybebe

look up what 'passive aggressive' means.

seriously.

Catsdontcare Fri 15-Feb-13 12:14:37

I've been to one baby shower (although it was 15 years ago and definitely not called a baby shower) it was just five of us and we invited our pregnant friend out for a meal and surprised her with a new car seat and a few bits of clothing for the baby (her 3rd) she had no idea we were going to do it and was incredibly touched.

I think organising your own do and asking for money is awful no matter how practical you think you are being.

bemybebe Fri 15-Feb-13 12:20:28

herby you are right - it is not "passive-aggressive". but it is storm in a tea cup

ENormaSnob Fri 15-Feb-13 12:25:31

A lot of things on here are a storm in a teacup.

Didn't stop you multiple posting and insulting me though did it...

bemybebe Fri 15-Feb-13 12:28:16

i think baby showers are great. and why not to organise your own?? when people were "popping in" for 30mins when I was desperate for these 30mins of sleep I had very hard time saying "no" for the n-th time to very well-meaning friends, colleagues and neighbours.

as for presents - courses for horses. i personally would find it difficult to ask for money. a friend of mine has asked for donations to a romanian orphanage he patronises (financially and by going annually for a 2 week as a volunteer). is this ok? i would give to him with as much pleasure as to a friend who needs helping hand to fund something special. no prob.

bemybebe Fri 15-Feb-13 12:29:30

ENorma- i am sorry, i did not mean to insult.

millie0210 Fri 15-Feb-13 13:33:12

Just another expense really.

specialsubject Fri 15-Feb-13 14:20:54

YES, it is very cheeky and grabby. Someone having a fourth child clearly isn't short of cash and won't need anything new, just re-use what the other three had.

and I agree that you buy baby presents AFTER the baby is born. Nothing to do with the idiotic concept of luck, simply that if something awful happens the parents will not want to be getting rid of things.

AmberSocks Fri 15-Feb-13 14:24:14

ive never had a baby shower but i think they sound like fun!Any excuse for a party,and i dont get why everyone is so anti presents?.we all like presents surely?i enjoy buying people presents,espescially baby stuff i thought everyone likes buying baby stuff.

ENormaSnob Fri 15-Feb-13 14:51:41

Then you'd be disappointed by this one amber.

She has specifically said no gifts, monetary contributions only.

That's after you've paid your tenner entrance fee to the 'party'

smellysocksandchickenpox Fri 15-Feb-13 17:52:01

"YES, it is very cheeky and grabby. Someone having a fourth child clearly isn't short of cash and won't need anything new, just re-use what the other three had"

but 4th baby doesnt mean 4th shower, she might never have had one and this time decided not to wait for a friend to offer

and 4ths arent always planned, they often come along after all the baby stuff has been given away/sold

happynappies Fri 15-Feb-13 21:34:47

I've never had a baby shower either, and have 4 dc. I find the whole notion of a baby shower grabby and presumptuous. Far prefer to wait until the baby has arrived, and choose thoughtful presents accordingly. People have never asked me if there was anything I wanted for mine - by the 4th a lot of things have worn out and need replacing, so in a way if people did want to give vouchers/money it would be welcomed, but I would never ask. If I was having my first perhaps it would have been nice if one of my friends had organised an afternoon out, or a nice meal or something, just an opportunity to get together with girl friends, and spend some quality time before 'life changes forever'. Certainly not about getting presents etc though. By the time it comes to your fourth I found that nobody bats an eyelid - nobody thinks you are actually pregnant, asks about it, talks about it, shows interest etc, so maybe the person in question decided to organise her own shower just because she thought it was the only way to draw attention to her pregnancy grin.

happynappies Fri 15-Feb-13 21:35:27

Oh, and if you have 4dc, I don't think it is true to say you are not short of cash. That and time are the two things you are very short of. And patience.

fathergoose Fri 15-Feb-13 21:36:14

Having moved to the USA last year and since been to three baby showers (including my own for #2), I'm a convert....

BUT - I have attended very un-stereotypical baby showers (for example, the only non-alcoholic drink at one was water, another was held in a basement of a grungy music record company etc etc). They've just been parties, albeit with a woman with a very large bump as the centre of attention.

And the registry thing didn't bother me either: it was actually a relief when we heard that the baby had arrived that we didn't have to worry what to buy since we'd already got something. There was no expectation that people would buy something, but, like at weddings, most people want to (crazy huh...), so having a list just makes it easier. And asking for one big item is sensible - the last thing mums of multiple children need is yet another 'The Hungry Caterpillar' book...

Pregnancy can be tough, particularly the last few months, so having a chance to meet up with friends, eat nice food, and just hang out is great.

And I also don't have a problem in paying to attend something as long as it's not as someone's house: presumably at a cafe there'll be food/drink of some description?? The OP's friend just wants to acknowledge and be excited about her baby: surely this is allowed, even with a fourth??!

CheerfulYank Fri 15-Feb-13 21:51:48

Basically what FatherGoose said.

I'm American and had a baby shower, won't be having one for DC2. People who gave me gifts at the shower didn't give me anything else when the baby was born. hmm

That being said, a friend of mine has the grabbiest sister ever and her baby shower invite was sick-inducing...lots of "the pale tangerine nursery" comments and something about "unexpected gifts" meaning, "don't you dare deviate from my ridiculous registry."

ToeCap Fri 15-Feb-13 22:07:57

1, Grabby as fuck

2. The excuse, as that is what it is to see friends and family before the baby arrives is a load of tosh. Are you emigrating? Are you never leaving the house until the baby is an adult? Of vourse not, so whats the big gathering for? Presents of course.

3. Never had them before, never even heard of such things until very recently. No need for them.

4. What happened to the card and/or little gift of your own choosing when they baby is born?

5. A list wtf.

As was said several times on this thread FUCK THAT.

flowerygirl Fri 15-Feb-13 22:09:10

I don't think you're unreasonable at all! Whilst I see that it's practical to ask for contributions to a big item, it's just really cheeky! Especially since she knows you are also expecting your 4th and not asking for gifts!

Whilst baby showers are organised by friends/family with the best intentions, I find the whole thing nauseating!

Don't agree with those complaining about wedding gift lists/asking for money towards honeymoon. Every wedding (apart from one) I've ever been to has this, it's totally acceptable and welcomed by guests! Given the cost per head of inviting people to your wedding (meal, booze etc), it is not rude to give suggestions for gifts in return. One friend got married and didn't have a list, so she ended up with something like 50 towels and 30 vases! Weddings are completely different.

fathergoose Sat 16-Feb-13 00:14:00

If you're invited to a shower from someone who's 'grabby', then surely that's just a reflection of your (poor) choice in friends... None of my friends would care or treat me any differently whether I bought them a whole set of hand-crafted nursery furniture or nothing at all. That's why they're my friends...

anonymosity Sat 16-Feb-13 02:09:49

I worry about baby showers - the kids aren't here yet - isn't it slightly bad luck to be filling your house with stuff, in case something goes awry and you have a house full of crap and no baby? I think its bad luck, but then that's me.

flowerygirl Sat 16-Feb-13 09:21:20

But you have to get all the crap before they're born don't you anonymosity? Otherwise you'd have to run out and buy it all once the baby arrives which would be a bit impractical! It's just a risk you have to take.

fathergoose my friends would definitely treat me differently if I bought their baby a whole set of nursery furniture or nothing at all, if I got them a load of furniture they'd think I was being flash and say I was being way too generous. If I got them nothing at all, they'd think I was a tight cow! You have to work to keep friendships!

dragonflymama Sat 16-Feb-13 14:09:43

Also hate them, requested not to have one for my first (in case anyone surprisd me) and certainly wouldn't for subsequent children. I think they're tacky and on a serious note tempt fate if something goes wrong.

anonymosity Sat 16-Feb-13 21:08:25

You don't need all the crap, just a few basics and then the rest can follow after. But to be honest, its all a blur to me now.

CheerfulYank Sat 16-Feb-13 21:29:02

That's why you have them for the first baby, because you think you need all that stuff. I was crazy about making everything perfect before DC1 arrived. Now I'm pregnant with DC2 and just need to get nipple cream and diapers...everything else will come in its time. smile

Snazzynewyear Sat 16-Feb-13 21:31:56

Grabby.

littletingoddess Sat 16-Feb-13 22:42:42

When I was about eight weeks pregnant with DD, DH and I went to Brazil to visit DFIL and our extended family. Everybody was in shock that I would not be having a baby shower - I advised that they were not popular in the UK. All my friends who have had babies have had showers thrown for them by other people and were given useful, practical things like nappies, towels, wipes, etc, not because they were 'grabby' or 'greedy' but because the friends wanted to help out.

fallon8 Sat 16-Feb-13 22:44:00

You are paying a precious ten quid,to go to a party...buy a bottle of Sancerre and stay at home

DizzyZebra Sat 16-Feb-13 23:40:38

Never been to a baby shower. Never plan to. Tacky, awful things.
If i want to treat a pregnant friend i will do so. I do not need telling to.

whiteandyelloworchid Sun 17-Feb-13 11:21:43

dislike hen dos baby showers anything of this type

MusicalEndorphins Sun 17-Feb-13 11:32:30

Oooh, just got a brilliant idea! Meet tacky with tacky, request that it be a combined shower for both of you. grin
If I were a friend of yours, I'd want to plan one for you for the week before just to be evil. :P
(not really, but just imagine what she'd say! )

theodorakisses Sun 17-Feb-13 12:59:01

Called in sick to my own

Freyaee Sun 17-Feb-13 17:07:37

Hmm - I think if your close friends want to get together one last time pre-baby and give you a few gifts that's a lovely thing and a way of showing your care for the mum, but organising an event specifically to get presents does sound a bit selfish, especially if you have to pay to go. It's not very considerate - if you don't have the cash to buy a baby present are you a bad friend!?

I would prefer friends that wanted to buy a baby related gift to do so after the birth anyway for reasons already said above, but also because then they can come and meet the baby at the same time - seems to make more sense!

PeaceAndHope Sun 17-Feb-13 17:50:54

I quite loathe baby showers. I have attended a few and they are just opportunities for sanctimommies to talk about how they had all-natural births, how very clever and brave they are, how they breastfed for ten years, and how they whip up organic baby mush.

I attended one in the USA and it was a nightmare. Women were actually proud of their perineal tears. It was like some badge of honour! There was also some competition over who laboured the longest. "Oh really? Twenty hours? Aww, poor thing. Well, I was in labour for seventy."
A similar competition ensued over whose baby's head was the biggest. confused shock

And yes they are quite grabby. angry Overall it is just a stupid party aimed at grabbing gifts from everyone you know and talking to your heart's content about what a brave and clever mum you are.

milk Sun 17-Feb-13 18:55:31

I wish baby showers were like a month after the baby is born.

Call me superstitious, but I think its not good having one before the baby is born.

bran Sun 17-Feb-13 19:13:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Sun 17-Feb-13 19:14:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beginnings Sun 17-Feb-13 19:23:31

I'm with you milk. I've been to a few and I've never bought anything for the baby. Only for the Mum - nice products for her hospital bag or something - which I appreciate probably never get used. I can't bear buying things for a baby before they're born. I'm far too nervous that something would go wrong. When I was pregnant with DD, her pram was next door until we came home from the hospital!

Over here they are grabby as people buy things once the baby is born too. In the US, since you're not expected to buy something once the baby arrives, I think they're probably ok. As for the registry list, it's no different from a wedding list IMHO. I used to hate them too but they are convenient and I was stunned by how many people contacted me when I was getting married looking for ours!

PeaceAndHope Sun 17-Feb-13 19:53:43

In a lot of cultures it is considered bad luck to buy anything for unborn children. I tend to agree with it.

girliefriend Sun 17-Feb-13 21:28:32

When I was pregnant with my dd my colleagues threw me a surprise baby shower. It was quite overwhelming as everyone was so generous and basically I was then set for pretty much all my baby stuff!

However I think the fact that I was pregnant and single probably meant that people felt a bit sorry for me and were extra kind grin

I however would be totally shocked if anyone invited me to the type of baby shower op describes. Some people are just shameless shock

Illustrationaddict Mon 18-Feb-13 03:10:29

I didn't have one for DC as thought it was a bit 'grabby' then my sis went and had one with a gift list and got all the items she actually wanted. Almost seems sensible! Sis is now having a christening, so in space of 4 months DN will have had shower gift, newborn gift, Christmas gift and christening gift. Thinking I should make up an excuse for a celebration myself ;)

bemybebe Mon 18-Feb-13 08:31:06

"In a lot of cultures it is considered bad luck to buy anything for unborn children."

In a lot of cultures young parents are surrounded by their extended family who can go out and get things as and when needed. In Western culture living together as extended family is not happening any more.

EllieCook Mon 18-Feb-13 08:35:16

I think the idea of a baby shower is ok if you're dealing with a young couple, just starting out or a young mum who needs a leg up. Other than that, I think it's tacky to invite your friends to buy you things you could buy for yourself or already have because you've got kids already.

Illustrationaddict Mon 18-Feb-13 10:07:20

My rule of thumb with the whole 'shower' then 'newborn' gift is that I work out my budget for little ones gift, then if they are doing shower and welcome party spend half on shower, and half on newborn gift. This leaves me feeling less awkward when you do the welcome visit because you inevitably feel awkward if you go empty handed (even though you did give them a shower gift - daft isn't it!). Mind you I do buy the Mums who don't throw showers bigger gifts in the end.

salome2001 Mon 18-Feb-13 20:15:47

Sorry, I disagree with the negativity. So, she books a " nice cafe style place" at £10 a head. would you complain if it was a birthday or work leaving do?
She requests no presents as she probably already has all the bitty things but may have one large purchase she could use help with - new car seat, maybe? With three kids, I imagine money is stretched.
I don't really see what is "grabby as fuck"

I'm thinking of having a baby shower organised by myself. My first pregnancy was ended because of health problems at 22 weeks and I want to celebrate if this baby is healthy. Apparently lots of people have baby showers post-labour now though so maybe I'll wait until my baby is actually proven to be healthy and alive outside of my womb before I celebrate. Is that "grabby"?

Also, we wont be having a christening or naming party or whatever so it would be the only party my baby would get before its first birthday.

Oh and it'll be in my house and I'll be providing the food unless people want to bring a plate of something to make a sort of buffet!

Agnesmum Mon 29-Apr-13 18:51:45

I was invited to the baby shower of a work colleague (gift list included with invitation). She's now had the baby and I have been invited to a "wetting the baby's head" party (no gift list this time) and then in two months' time I have been invited to the naming ceremony (gift list included with the invitation) . It is her second child!

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Mon 29-Apr-13 19:45:31

Why don't you start a new thread Michellelphant? I think you will get lots more answers.

I think that sounds like a lovely idea.

HighJinx Mon 29-Apr-13 20:11:09

I think the idea of a baby shower is ok if you're dealing with a young couple, just starting out or a young mum who needs a leg up.

Yes, I agree. And this is where the 'showers' started in the USA after WW2. Many 'war brides' had arrived in the States with nothing more than a suitcase of clothes and their neighbours would arrange a party to welcome them and give them a tea towel or a cup or something to get them started.

What started as a genuine act of neighbourly kindness towards those with nothing has morphed into a ridiculous gift grab.

Agnesmum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:21:22

Michellephant, I think that's a lovely idea. Good luck with everything. You don't sound grabby at all. I would enjoy your celebration.

I don't really need answers, I was just making a point to those who think baby showers are generally just "grabby" (I'd never heard this word before this thread!). People obviously have a baby shower for their own reasons.

At first I thought the OP made her friend's baby shower sound grabby but then I thought it made sense. Saying you need £10 for food is reasonable because then you can go prepared, and it really isn't a lot for food and drinks for the afternoon if that is all it'll be. Like other people have said, it makes sense to ask for contributions towards one big thing rather than bringing small bits of things.

As it happens, I don't need anything despite the fact that this may be my first baby to bring home as I bought everything after my 12 week scan, often cheaper from friends who didn't need their stuff any more or family bought me things. The OP's friend might've sold or give her stuff to other people who were having babies thinking she might not have another child. Maybe it's an accidental pregnancy and she can't afford everything all over again but doesn't want to end the pregnancy.

If she was a good friend you'd probably know her reasons anyway. She obviously isn't that good of a friend otherwise you would both know that you have your own babies to pay for so there isn't any point in expecting something from each other, it'd just be like exchanging £10 notes or whatever and ending up with the same amount anyway. It wouldn't be weird to agree this with each other and just enjoy eating with her at her baby shower. Therefore, you might think she is grabby but it makes you sound far more unreasonable for making a fuss about it on here when a good friend would've just agreed with her that there isn't any point in giving each other things. Nobody is forcing you to go if you don't even want to celebrate with her, which you clearly don't want to do!

TwoForTuesday Tue 30-Apr-13 09:15:50

I refuse to attend baby showers on principle. I think they are ridiculous

CSIJanner Tue 30-Apr-13 09:22:07

I've never had one - am I missing out?

The only one I've been too was for a dear friend as a surprise. We all have the little things we had bought her as part of the shower - nothing after bar cards. And the boob cup cakes were delish.

ENormaSnob Tue 30-Apr-13 10:04:52

Did you actually read the full thread Michelle?

I though I had made it clear that friend and I had initially agreed on no gifts so was surprised to receive this invitation for me to pay a tenner for a few butties and a brew and also make a cash donation in lieu of a present.

And no it wasn't an unplanned pregnancy, she has everything from her last 3dc inc the item she wanted money for and her dh's salary is more than mine and my dh's put together.

Oh and fwiw, I think a post delivery shower is just as grabby. Unless its more a meet the baby gathering with no gift list or cash request.

ENormaSnob Tue 30-Apr-13 10:06:59

Oh and no, I didn't attend the shower. I worked extra shifts instead, y'know to pay for my own baby stuff.

This is a zombie thread btw.

Showers are for Americans and dirty people grin

ChewingOnLifesGristle Tue 30-Apr-13 10:17:56

You have to pay to go, then you have to pay for a present, then you have to pay for another present when it's born??

Blimey charlieshock Do you think she'll charge you to visit her to even see the new baby?

Gah! Baby showers, proms, playdates, Halloween..where's all this coming from?? The world's gorn madhmm

Viviennemary Tue 30-Apr-13 10:58:13

I hate the whole specifying what you want before you are asked. Wait to be asked. What's difficult about that. A small child knows the wait to be asked rule.

quoteunquote Tue 30-Apr-13 11:04:52

Anyone who gives out a demand list with an invitation, should only ever be given a book on manners.

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