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should i have a babyshower in the UK? My husband says its wrong!

(206 Posts)
brandnewmam Fri 31-Aug-12 09:31:23

I'm feeling conflicted, my mum really wants me to have a baby shower so we can get all the girls in both sides of the family together to celebrate the baby coming and to have a nice time together (she wants me to invite friends and co workers as well). However, when talking about another baby shower to some friends at work they didn't know what to do, they said they felt they needed to bring a gift to the baby shower (as its custom?) but they also felt they wanted to bring a gift when the baby was born (British custom and an excuse to see baby) tbh they were slightly complaining about this as they felt that they HAD to buy two gifts and my husband agreed with this and says i shouldn't have one as its not British custom! I don't want people to think i'm only having one because i want gifts!! Should i still throw one?

HorraceTheOtter Fri 31-Aug-12 09:35:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expatinscotland Fri 31-Aug-12 09:36:22


And you never, ever throw your own shower.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 31-Aug-12 09:39:23

I agree with your husband

tabulahrasa Fri 31-Aug-12 09:44:13

If you had one and when you or your mum sent out invitations it was explicitly stated that there are to be no gifts, it is just a get together - I can't see why it would be an issue.

ProudNeathGirl Fri 31-Aug-12 09:46:23

Unnecessary American custom. Don't do it!

itsatiggerday Fri 31-Aug-12 09:50:32

I know this is probably deeply unfair and a total cultural misunderstanding but when I hear baby shower, I think "grabby, all about me, forcing my friends and family to get excited about a baby they won't meet for ages, presents, decoration, cake etc someone else has to hassle about". Even if you said no gifts, I would have to get over myself a lot to come with a big smile. Sorry, but it is one American custom I do not like the idea of adopting....

Badgerina Fri 31-Aug-12 09:52:51

Isn't there some way of combining the customs of the two countries? Why not have a female get together AFTER the baby arrives (when he/she's a couple of weeks old).

aufaniae Fri 31-Aug-12 10:00:20

I went to a baby shower for a British friend and really enjoyed it. It wasn't all about gifts, it was lovely to get a big group of women together, it was a very special occasion. My friend asked for children's books for presents which didn't feel grabby at all.

I'd say go for it. But make it very clear that it's not about the presents. Either ask for no presents or do as my friend did.

Make it very clear in the invite it's about getting all the women together. Any excuse for a party I think ;)

Your American and it's your custom, so go for it I reckon.

aufaniae Fri 31-Aug-12 10:00:39

*You're blush

aufaniae Fri 31-Aug-12 10:02:14

I mean what other occasion do you have for getting all the girls together like this?

It's a really nice thing to do I think. Actually I think I'm talking myself into having one now!

savoycabbage Fri 31-Aug-12 10:05:08

I agree with your dh too.

Why don't you just have a morning where you ask your friends over in an ordinary way? If I had a friend who asked me to come over on Saturday, I wouldn't take her a nappy cake or whatever the hell it's called.

SirBoobAlot Fri 31-Aug-12 10:09:08

My best friend insisted on organizing one, I insisted it was low key, no presents. So we went out for dinner, there were a few balloons on the table, she's organised personalized drinks stirers saying "SirBoob's Baby Shower [date]" at the top, which were perfect as they were a lovely reminder without being too big. She had also asked everyone to write a card for DS for his birthday at whatever age they currently were. It was lovely. I didn't want a big fancy deal as thought it was very Americanised and present grabbing, but this was perfect.

FluffyJawsOfDoom Fri 31-Aug-12 10:11:53

This will totally out me, but my family are all meeting up for an evening meal out at my favourite restaurant - as it'll be the last time I'll be able to for a while (planning to BF). This is a nice way to all get together, without the tweeness of a "baby shower" imho...

FluffyJawsOfDoom Fri 31-Aug-12 10:12:38

xpost sirboob smile

ZuleikaD Fri 31-Aug-12 10:14:31

I'm with your DH as well, sorry, unless you just call it a pre-baby tea-party or something and it's made clear that gifts aren't a part of it.

kdiddy Fri 31-Aug-12 10:16:17

Well it's a good way to get friends together that you may not see for a while once the baby is born. But I think they're a bit grasping and self indulgent if they're organised as a baby shower. People do feel they should bring a gift and they have always felt really forced to me as it feels like all chat is about the mum to be and babies in general - which ia never that interesting to everyone else. Also, when I was pg I felt massively uncomfortable with the idea of celebrating before the baby had arrived.

Why don't you just ask all your friends to go out for lunch or afternoon tea somewhere, just as a last get-together for a while? Not as a big deal, just to catch up?

Purplecatti Fri 31-Aug-12 10:16:33

Hand out invites and explain it's because you might be too tired for loads of people visiting after the birth. Explicitly explain that gifts are not necessary.
I'm having one and I have been asked by people whether they need to bring anything, I've said no.
People with children already are bringing me stuff they don't use any more, they'd offered me their old things and it's been very useful to have a set date and time they can bring all their old stuff round and in gratitude I can at least give them some treats and a nice party.
I think it's how you word it really, I've called it a pre-baby party not a shower.

brandnewmam Fri 31-Aug-12 10:17:07

Thanks for all the replies ladies, i'm not American and i agree with the fact that calling it a baby shower implies the 'give me presents' which i don't like! I think its more my mam just wants to get the girls in the family together (which we have never done before) and i quite like the idea of getting them together. Maybe make it more low key and just invite family and invite them round for tea, i can still make cup cakes! I need to think about it more now :-)

InkyBinky Fri 31-Aug-12 10:19:34

I think baby showers are quite naff ......but good fun grin. I would invite whoever you want but I would say no presents allowed, perhaps you could ask people to bring something to eat if they really want to bring something.

Mollydoggerson Fri 31-Aug-12 10:21:13

Just have a leaving work do- heading off on maternity leave celebration.

Just don't call it a baby shower, then you can talk about baby all you want but take the necessity of giftss out of it.

PeshwariNaan Fri 31-Aug-12 10:27:18

I'm American but am assimilating into the UK and will not be having a baby shower. I think my British friends would just be too confused even though people back home are dying to have one for me. I have an (American) friend here who wanted to throw me one, but I told her we should have a "welcome to the world" party instead so people can meet the baby.

Unfortunately that means we need to shoulder the costs of most of the baby stuff ourselves, which is something you don't really have to do in the US. But I'd rather not "offend" people...

frogalou Fri 31-Aug-12 10:30:58

A friend of mine wants to organise a get together as I do not want a baby shower. I said I do not want any present but if people want to give me 'time vouchers', that would be fab, it would mean they can come and see me after the baby is born and give me 30 min so I can shower or go for a walk, or go to the shop, have my hair cut etc.

Badgerina Fri 31-Aug-12 10:33:19

I watched a film recently in which the women at a baby shower all ate chocolate cake served in disposable nappies, instead of on plates grin grin grin

AGiraffeOnTheDivingBoard Fri 31-Aug-12 10:52:18

I've only been invited to 3 baby showers but they each seemed like a blatant attempt at getting the practical things for the baby instead of buying them yourself. One of the invites included a list at John Lewis which included breast pump and changing bag hmm. I see it as American / celebrity endorsed.

I've also refused people throwing them for me. But I was even a reluctant hen / birthday party person. Find any contrived event to celebrate and get presents a bit awkward for some reason. Christmas I can now just about do because I've got kids gah didn't realise til now what a misery I am

I'd be more up for a small girls' get together in naice restaurant / spa type thing.

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