Second Baby Shower ok?
October 20, 2006 7:04 AM   Subscribe

Is having a baby shower for a second child ok?

My coworker and I both had our first child 18 months ago, a week apart. She is due again in December, and I am expecting my second child next March.

My coworker is having her second boy. And she has had a total of 3 baby showers now for the second baby. Is that rude? We had a talk about it and we seemed to disagree.

I know they have everything they need, their first child isn't that old. And I guess if it was a different sex you may need clothing, but that isn't the case either. I could also understand if the shower was a diaper shower where everyone brings just diapers and wipes which you can always use more of, but they are looking for all new things.

What do you think?
posted by Gooney to Society & Culture (24 answers total)
If they plan on using disposable diapers and bottle feeding, but used cloth and breastfed for the first baby (or vice versa), they certainly don't have everything they need. Also, I presume that mr. 18 months old is still sleeping in the crib and the stroller doesn't accomodate two babies already. While the small child may have outgrown his first car seat, if the mother was not planning on getting pregnant again she may have loaned it to someone with a newborn, or it may have suffered some damage. Are you certain that someone else has already provided duplicates of the things that the 18 month old is still using? Also, she may need a bigger diaper bag, or since I'm not a mother yet, some brand new but outrageously useful thing that few of us have heard of and fewer can afford.

I vote that it's an appropriate thing. These are gifts for the baby, not gifts for the mother (despite the appearance that some shower registries present).
posted by bilabial at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2006

Absolutely appropriate.
The gifts may be a a bit different, but I have never heard of passing on a baby shower for the second child. Showers are celebrations.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:20 AM on October 20, 2006

We had our first two 16 months apart and the second and third are 13 months apart (Total of 29 months between all three). There was no shower for my wife for the second or third. The first is a girl and the second a boy and even then there was no thought of having one, nor would we have agreed . (we did buy a double stroller with the first one thinking it would be handy for carrying things such as diaper bag and if we had another it would solve the repurchase problem.)

But, if you are ok with a shower for a second if it is not so close together with the first, then what is your time cutoff for when it is acceptable? If it is ok to have one for a second, she should not be "penalized" for having them so close together.

Seems to me, if I were invited to a shower for her and thought it was rude, I would gracefully decline or attend and give the diapers you think are ok.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:21 AM on October 20, 2006

If I am reading this correctly, the co-worker has one child and is having a second. In addition to the baby showers for the first child, she has had three already for the unborn one.

Three showers for one baby seems a tad excessive, unless it's to accommodate guests who wished to come to one but couldn't make it.
posted by Anonymous at 7:29 AM on October 20, 2006

I think it is perfectly fine and also, really, none of your business how many showers she has.
posted by Julnyes at 7:32 AM on October 20, 2006

It isn't done, in my experience. It sounds like a greedy present-grab to me. If the couple wants to celebrate the birth of their second child, they should find a way to do it that doesn't include the expectation of presents. If a friend wants to give the new baby an gift, he or she can do so.

Like JohnnyGunn suggests, I would decline an invitation to a second baby shower, and perhaps send a small gift after the birth of the baby.
posted by donajo at 7:35 AM on October 20, 2006

It's not appropriate to me - looks like a gift grab and isn't done in my circle of friends and family.
posted by agregoli at 7:37 AM on October 20, 2006

You're not throwing these baby showers for yourselves, right? Because that would be an etiquette no-no even if it were your first ever shower. Also verboten is people throwing showers for family members (unless the shower is strictly for family). If a friend offers to throw a shower for you and your other friends and family members are willing to accept her invitations, then it's acceptable. Those who think it's greedy simply won't come and you'll be able to bask in the attentions of those who really love to be generous.
posted by orange swan at 7:48 AM on October 20, 2006

I've always been told it's a faux pas to have a baby shower for children after the first--especially the gift-grubbing kind.

But, manners and standards aren't what they used to be.

A party after the baby is born, to celebrate his birth? Fine, as long as it's just that, with no gift grubbing. A shower? Not so much.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:54 AM on October 20, 2006

Etiquette-wise, it's a no-no. And four for any child is pretty tacky. I know it sometimes gets tricky at work, where someone will decide to throw a work shower and she can't really be all "don't do that." But she could not have a registry and suggest simply a cake and punch 'do, since what really matters is the well wishes of friends and colleagues.

But, you can't do anything about her. Don't be her when your time comes, if it bothers you, but there's nothing you can say here.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:09 AM on October 20, 2006

Not appropriate in my circle. I've never really viewed showers as being about the baby. They're more along the lines of "Welcome to motherhood! Here's some stuff to help you get the job done!" Therefore, you only need one.
posted by jrossi4r at 8:15 AM on October 20, 2006

As a dad, I'd say that it falls somewhere between faux-pas and gauche on the scale of social acceptability.

If people are willing to go along with it, more power to the parents I suppose.
posted by GuyZero at 8:28 AM on October 20, 2006

Multiple showers for any baby indicate, at best, an overestimation of people's interest in your baby-to-be.

At worst, they are transparently greedy.

Drop it though, she'll get her just desserts when she is getting ready to emit another one in a couple years and wonders why everyone just sends a card.

Is this bothering you because you two are potentially inviting the same people and you feel that the shower-fatigue she's causing is shrinking your own yield?
posted by hermitosis at 8:29 AM on October 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

Well, I had a shower thrown for me for my second child-- however, he was 15 years after the first, and I no longer had any kind of baby stuff at all. Having a shower for your second a year and a half after your first? Questionable.
posted by Shoeburyness at 8:35 AM on October 20, 2006

Not appropriate in my opinion. I had two boys, and even if I were having a girl I wouldn't want another shower. I told my friends I didn't want a shower, but thanks anyways. If a person wants to buy a gift for the baby so be it. No need to shower the mom with gifts she already has.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:42 AM on October 20, 2006

Whether there's a shower or not, for the first baby, I give motherly things -- a nice sling, books, a rocking chair, etc. (and when the baby is born, I send clothes, delivery food gift certificates -- necessities). For the second (3rd, 4th, 5th) baby, I send small baby things and a gift for the big brother or sister. If four people wanted to throw her showers, I'd suggest maybe she should introduce her friends around. But if there are people she knows now she didn't know when the 1st was born, I can understand people vying to seem relevant in her life. (If she's throwing them or strongarming them, yeah, tacky.)

If I were Emily Post, I would dictate that the only appropriate thing to do is throw a big sister/brother shower at Chuck E. Cheese (or Bamboola or wherever the kid feels spoiled) where the older kid is the center of attention and gets things that will help him/her deal with the impending loss of attention.

Then again, I'm an only child, so maybe I know nothing about how a kid would feel if their unborn sibling was already getting four birthday parties even before they steamroll through the nice existence they've had going on for the last 18 months.
posted by Gucky at 9:04 AM on October 20, 2006

How rude!

posted by McGuillicuddy at 9:09 AM on October 20, 2006

I'm 37 now, and most of my friends have produced two or three offspring. Out of dozens of children, I can only recall one person holding a second set of baby showers. I thought it was tacky at the time, and I think it's tacky now. (I would feel different if she had absolutely no hand in the planning.) Except in cases like the one Shoeburyness describes (the second child 15 years after the first), it seems inappropriate.
posted by jdroth at 9:32 AM on October 20, 2006

What orange swan said. It doesn't really matter what number child it is, but rather who is hosting.

Also keep in mind that sometimes a shower/celebration is more for the guests than the honoree... My coworkers and I actually insisted on throwing a baby shower for another coworker's second child, because we weren't around/didn't know her when she had her first child. She was uncomfortable with the idea for some of the reasons outlined in this thread, so we compromised by having a book shower -- everyone brought a copy of their favorite childhood book as a gift. That way she didn't get lots of things she already had/didn't need, but we were able to celebrate the event with her. Everyone wins.
posted by somanyamys at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2006

Definitely thirding what orange swan said. If three different friends (NON-family) have decided to throw her a shower for her second child, then that's great and wonderful. If she's throwing them herself then I vote "tacky." Though I would say that regardless of which child. You shouldn't throw yourself an event designed for people to give you presents. Ick.
posted by eileen at 11:37 AM on October 20, 2006

Even if she's not throwing the showers herself, I'd go so far as to say that allowing multiple showers to be thrown for you, especially for a second child born so soon after the first, is absolutely greedy giftgrabby and just really unsavory, presuming these showers weren't surprises. There aren't that many things in the world to buy for an infant, even if you are a stuff junky.

I'd make some allowance if she had no shower at all for the first child and if each shower was held by a discrete group (i.e. church ladies, book group and bowling league) which had no overlap whatsoever. But only a little bit of allowance, because still, there's no way that you need that much stuff.

I'm also having a really hard time with the notion of having three separate showers for a woman who is just barely into the second trimester of her pregnancy. It's not just tacky, it ridiculously overhasty. No way should a shower be held that early.
posted by Dreama at 2:11 PM on October 20, 2006

In my circle, baby showers are thrown by others after you have your baby. They are a celebration -- a way of welcoming that baby to the world. If, for some reason, friends/co-workers throw more than one shower for the child, the idea is that different people are invited. For example, your hometown friends might throw one, your co-workers another, and your friends in your current town might throw another.

In times when women lived in the same town their entire lives and married a guy from the same town, it made sense that there would be just one shower. But I can see how more than one shower could take place now. However, I'm assuming the baby's parents are not throwing the shower and that it's not being presented as a gift grab.
posted by acoutu at 3:19 PM on October 20, 2006

No. You get showers for the first kid only.
And showers shouldn't be given by family members.
If you need showers to afford to have a baby, maybe a baby shouldn't be in your future.
posted by FergieBelle at 1:07 PM on October 21, 2006

Lots of moms have more than one shower. Co-workers might give one and if she belongs to a special club or group they might have one for her close friends there. So long as the baby showers aren't being given by family members and she's not asking for a shower I don't think greed is an issue. Just my opinion.
posted by msbaby at 1:24 PM on September 25, 2007

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