Who Pays for a Baby Shower?

Once a mommy-to-be starts growing that little bump, visions of baby showers start to dance in her head, along with the heads of her BFFs. Lots of planning and web surfing ensue, but when the flurry of downloads settles, the big question arises: who pays for the baby shower?

It used to be that a baby shower was a very simple celebration. The young mommy had little resources to pull the needs for the baby together so she had to rely on her friends to fill up her coffers. It then followed that the friends (or single hostess friend) spent for everything with maybe a donation or two coming from the two grandmothers and the mommy-to-be's sisters. It was all so simple then!

This type of baby shower involved friends dividing costs for a shower to come up with decorations, food, and gifts. The baby shower was held at a friend's house so only a close-knit group was invited, which definitely did not put a strain on the baby shower budget. All that remained was to enjoy the party, listen to the little speeches from the hostess(es) and the mommy-to-be, and watch the thank-you gift being presented to the hostess(es). And that ended happily ever after with the mommy-to-be receiving a pile of gifts and a truckload of diapers.

But now, all these images of “perfect” baby showers could have an adverse affect on that formerly simple little shower. These large celebrity showers with fifty or more guests have put a really great strain on the uncomplicated relationships between friends and mommy-to-be, since either one or the other aspires to that, with the baby shower budget unfortunately coming in between.

So what to do in a situation where the mommy-to-be has her heart set on Swarovski-studded baby pacifiers a la Jennifer Lopez but the hostesses are planning on candy pacifier giveaways? This can actually threaten any feelings of friendship, so if this happens, there is a perfect solution.

If the mommy-to-be still insists on her baby shower gala, the kosher thing to do is for her to put up the difference between the budget and the actual costs. Then, she gets the shower of her dreams and her friends get credit for being really generous and perfect hostesses. There's the happily ever after everyone was looking for.

Now, there is a new trend, with the mommy-to-be spending for herself, despite it being contrary to traditional baby shower etiquette! This mommy-to-be is usually one that is working and successful in her field, therefore knowing exactly what she wants. So, instead of burdening her friends with visions of her perfect day, she takes on the task herself.

Is this wrong? Modern baby shower etiquette says no. While many hostesses and mommies-to-be still prefer to stick to tradition, many are already moving away from this, despite cries of it being a tacky thing to do.

Essentially, the traditional baby shower is now a thing of the past and it has evolved into a fun party thrown by the parents-to-be, with the guests just bringing baby related gifts. So, the answer to the question of, “Who pays for a baby shower?” would now be, whoever is throwing it.