Baby-Shower Invitation Etiquette

Preparing a baby-shower guest list? It’s a joyful occasion, but it’s costly to invite everyone. Before you lick those baby-shower envelopes, read these helpful hints. They’ll help keep the peace among friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.

Ask the Mom-to-Be

Before you create the guest list, consult with the guest of honor. If you’re planning a surprise, just ask the mom-to-be very early in her pregnancy which friends, distant relatives, coworkers and neighbors she would like invited. When the event rolls around, she’ll probably forget you even asked.

Family Members

Does the expectant mother have a large family? It can be costly to invite everyone. As a rule, invite the mother- and father-to-be’s immediate family. If the couple is close to any extended family members, invite them as well.

Neighbors and Coworkers

It’s difficult to explain why one neighbor or coworker was invited but another wasn’t. Some shower hosts leave these groups off the list entirely. In general, include any neighbors or coworkers the mother-to-be sees socially.


Although it may seem unreasonable to invite a friend or family member who lives 1,000 miles away, it’s still a nice gesture. Family members who can’t attend still like to feel included. Inviting them to the shower is thoughtful; plus, they can add the invitation to their other family keepsakes. If you think it’s unlikely they will attend, don’t include registry information with the invitation. They shouldn’t feel obligated to send a gift in their absence.


What? Men? Well, yes. Sometimes, the mother-to-be wants a coed baby shower. If possible, clarify with the guest of honor beforehand.

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