Are Emily Post Etiquette Rules still applicable to Baby Showers?

Because it is a celebration, hostesses are naturally concerned with the proper etiquette for baby showers so the first person that they consult is Emily Post. It doesn't matter that Emily Post died about fifty years ago and the book she wrote was first printed in 1922! Emily Post is still considered the be-all and end-all of good manners and right conduct that are followed by all good and proper Americans.

But are her etiquette rules still appropriate for baby showers? If the baby shower that is being held is a traditional baby shower, then it is definitely appropriate. However, the traditional baby shower is slowly going the way of the dinosaur. What to do, then, about Emily Post?

To be realistic about it, the etiquette book that she wrote was actually updated ten times during her lifetime. The changes made in her book were done to reflect the continuously changing lifestyle that Americans were undergoing as well. After all, how many people now have a butler's pantry in their home, let alone a butler?

The etiquette book also would have nothing to say about cell phones, personal computers, or Twitter, which are used in places and situations where etiquette is sadly lacking these days!

So, would Mrs. Post be appalled at how people are behaving today at such traditional celebrations as baby showers? How would she feel about showers for second or third children? What would she say about women that choose not to have someone throw their baby showers for them but host them themselves?

These changes in what is considered “in good taste” would probably find her deeply fascinated in how people's lives have evolved. After all, we've come a long way from when e-mail was not considered a formal way to invite someone to a preferred way to communicate because it doesn't involve wasting paper.

Considering that the book of manners underwent so many changes in thirty-eight years, she would have definitely agreed that more things would change over the next fifty, which they have. No longer is the baby shower considered an all-female celebration but men and children show up, too. Since the book was written during Prohibition, alcohol was verboten but is now a more common part of the baby shower with a celebratory cocktail even created in honor of the mommy-to-be. Baby showers are held out of the home and it's now become more of a large party than an intimate gathering.

However, there are a few rules which remain, and must be followed at all costs to have a wonderful and memorable baby shower:

Make sure the mommy-to-be approves everything and is happy with the decisions, unless it's a surprise baby shower, of course.

Be considerate of the feelings of the guests, including the soon to be mom. If a game or activity makes someone uncomfortable, stop. Etiquette is, after all, being considerate of other people.

Thank-you notes are a requirement. There is never going to be a time that appreciation goes out of style.