Should You Have a Baby Shower For a Second Child?

Baby shower etiquette on baby shower for a second child

If you want to start a controversy, mention having a baby shower for a second child. You'll immediately have a pile of people come down on one or the other side of the issue, and you'll be surprised how passionately they declare their feelings.

So what is the baby shower etiquette when it comes to a 2nd baby shower, and how should you handle the situation?

The Reasons Against

Traditionally, baby showers have only been for a first baby. That's because when a first baby comes around, people realize parents will have many expenses. They probably don't have any baby items at all, which means they're going to need a whole pile of stuff, and their friends and family want to help out.

When it comes to baby number two, though, they will already have many of the main things they need for their baby, and will only need to purchase throwaway items like diapers (and possibly clothes if the baby is a different gender). To many people, a 2nd baby shower seems greedy and demanding, and they will not attend.

The Reasons For

So much for traditional baby shower etiquette... Some more modern thinkers disagree completely with these ideas. They say that every baby deserves a celebration, and rightly point out that parents will need new things, especially if the baby is of a different gender.

Some people also point out that a baby shower can be less about giving gifts than about honoring the parents-to-be and the new baby, and that people deserve a chance to visit and fawn.

Exceptional Circumstances

There are some cases where even traditional baby shower etiquette will allow for a baby shower for a second child. For example, if it's been a very long time (like ten years) since the first child, or if something has happened (a fire or personal disaster) that caused parents to lose most of their baby items, a second shower is entirely appropriate.

Some (but not all) will add situations like a new husband, twins or triplets, or even a baby of a different gender to that list.

How to Proceed

Here's what it comes down to: there aren't any hard and fast rules about having a baby shower for a 2nd baby, but you really can't get away with having as fancy a shower as for baby number one. If you decide to throw a second baby shower, here are some tips to make it go smoothly.

-Encourage mom not to register for gifts.

-Hold a 'gift optional' shower that's just about getting together and celebrating.

-Give it a different name -- instead of a 'baby shower,' call it a 'tea for the new mom' and let people decide themselves if they want to bring a gift (most will).

-Go with your instincts. If your friends and family are laid back and generous people, they likely won't mind a 2nd baby shower. If they're sticklers for tradition and might find it offensive, just skip it.

Whether or not you have a baby shower for a second child, you should definitely do something to mark the occasion!

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