Etiquette regarding children at baby showers?

posted 12 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
Member
854 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I have never heard of a child-free baby shower but then again I’ve never heard of one being held in a restaurant either. All the baby showers I’ve ever been to were held in people’s homes or in a church. 

Post # 17
Member
2675 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I’ve only been to a couple of baby showers and they’ve been child free… I would maybe send a group message or email to clarify that children are not invited. I can’t imagine it would even be fun for the kids, maybe if it were at a home or a park where they can run around and play, but not at a restaurant where they need to be on their best behavior for a few hours.

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gatsbymermaid :  

Post # 18
Member
275 posts
Helper bee

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mrs2b70 :  But shouldn’t the fact that only your name is on on the invite be all the clues you need? I mean, it’s not addressed to “the Smith family.” The invite is addressed to “Betty Smith.”

I guess I’m unsure as to how anyone would asums kids are invited. We just were invited to a backyard graduation party, and my first thought was to check the envelope to see if it was addressed to our family or just my husband and me. My first assumption would be it’s a family invite, but I still double-checked the envelope.

Post # 19
Member
681 posts
Busy bee

I would never assume my kid (emphasis KID) was invited, but when he was a baby, I would never even think to not bring him. That’s the way it is in my circle. Infants are automatically assumed to be attending events with mom. It’s not like the baby needs their own chair at the table. If you don’t want infants there, you need to be clear about it, but don’t expect the moms to attend. I wouldn’t have hired a babysitter to be able to attend a shower. I’d just deliver a gift another day. 

Post # 21
Member
13073 posts
Honey Beekeeper

This is really etiquette 101. An invitation is meant to extend hospitality only. It is intended for the person or people to whom it is addressed, and only those people. “Adults only” or “No children” implies your guests can’t read an invitation and would otherwise be rude enough to attend with uninvited children.  

The correct way for someone with childcare issues to handle this dilemma is to say they wish they could attend, but have no sitter. Then it is up to the host whether or not to make an exception. 

Otherwise, chiidren are invited by name. It is always rude to add uninvited guests. 

Post # 22
Member
1859 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I got an invitation for a bridal shower that was held in a party room attached to a winery.  It was only addressed to me, so I left my 2 year old with my husband.  When I arrived, there were place cards showing our tables.  There was a place card for my daughter.  They had us seated next to another woman and another 2 year old.  Everyone asked where my daughter was.  I was like “uhhh… you didn’t invite her?”  So now I just assume that I have to ask every time for every event, because my family clearly doesn’t follow any system of rules about addressing envelopes.  My SIL had a baby shower and specified no kids.  Apparently anything can go either way.

Post # 23
Member
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

We are making it clear that the space is small and there won’t be much room but we didn’t tell anyone ‘no.’”

Aside from the conversation about whether children should be invited or not, you need to directly tell people kids aren’t invited when asked. Just saying space is tight isn’t enough… I would definitely bring my breastfed baby and have her on my lap unless you told me straight out she’s not invited. 

Post # 24
Member
2506 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I would assume a baby would be welcome at a baby shower. Idk. 

Post # 25
Member
397 posts
Helper bee

aoifeo:  Exactly.  But far too many people don’t get it (although if it has a name on it, it should be obvious that it’s for the named person) or even worse they just do what they want and bring people along wherever they go.  Irritates the heck out of me.

Post # 26
Member
13073 posts
Honey Beekeeper

A baby shower is thrown in honor of an adult woman, by adult women. Why anyone would make the assumption that the default is a children’s party is beyond me, no matter what other people they know have done. Any children who have attended any shower I’ve been to were specifically invited, usually immediate family. 

Post # 27
Member
2181 posts
Buzzing bee

Definitely depends on circles. Most baby showers I’ve been to are adult only, but I’ve been to several that have a few children around. Generally speaking in my circles, babies are an exception and allowed to attend with their mother.

But, that doesn’t mean that’s how this shower needs to be. You just need to be clear with your guests if you want to make sure no children will come up. As the many responses here suggest, while there may be a clear ettiquette rule, in practice, there’s a lot of differing opinions or assumptions.

Post # 28
Member
3493 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’ll admit I have very little experience of baby showers. I was invited to one once and I asked if I could bring my breastfed baby. I’d never take my toddler to such an event, that’s no fun for anyone.

if you want child free that fine, but you have to tell people and be prepared for people to decline 

Post # 29
Member
494 posts
Helper bee

i’ve never been to a baby shower that excluded babies. i think you need to make it clear.

Post # 30
Member
47342 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

No one should have to be told that an event is child free. If the child’s name ,or the “Smith family” is not on the invitation,they are not invited. Unfortunately, many people were never taught basic etiquette. Even if it is local custom to include children, that should be clarified if their name is not on the invitation.

People are entitled to child free events.Sometimes you just have to decline invitations if you can’t get childcare.

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