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Baby Shower Guest List: Who Should Be Invited?

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Deciding who to invite to a baby shower and putting together a baby shower guest list can sometimes be tricky. Invitees may run the gamut from close family and friends to childhood buddies, school chums, neighbors, co-workers, and distant relatives. It’s always a good idea to consult the mom-to-be (unless you’re planning a surprise shower). Some things you should consider and discuss when putting together a guest list:

  • How many guests can you accommodate? Think carefully about location and budget before you answer this question. If you’re hosting in your home and have a small budget, you may need to limit the number of guests to six or eight. But if you’re contemplating a picnic in the park, your guest list might total 20 or 30. Be sure to get the mom-to-be’s take as well. She may feel a big shower would be too overwhelming during her last trimester and prefer a small gathering of close friends instead. Or she may want all her friends and family to be included so everyone can celebrate her new baby together.
  • Is anyone else throwing her a shower? It’s not uncommon nowadays for an expectant mom to have more than one shower. For example, her office might throw her a shower, as well as her college friends and her neighbors. Do you want to build your guest list around a specific social circle or open it up to all her friends and family? (Tip: Guests who are invited to more than one baby shower are not expected to bring a gift to every shower. One gift per guest per pregnancy is enough!)
  • Do you want to include husbands, boyfriends, and children on the guest list? More and more often, baby showers are family affairs that include expectant dads and siblings-to-be. Keep in mind, however, that couples showers and family showers have a different feel than women-only showers. For more on whether to include guys, read “Should You Have Men at the Baby Shower?
  • Are there any VIPs who should be invited to the baby shower? The expectant mom may want her mother, mother-in-law, sister, or husband at the shower. So be sure to ask if there are any special guests the expectant mom would like to have there.
  • Will anyone be hurt if she or he is not invited? Most guest lists have a certain logic to them. If you’re throwing a neighborhood baby shower, for instance, then you don’t need to invite the expectant mom’s co-workers. Be sensitive to avoid hurting feelings, though. If you know someone will be upset if she doesn’t receive an invitation, it’s best to include her.

Once you’ve settled on a final guest list, make sure you have addresses (paper mail, email, or both) and phone numbers for everyone. Then it’s on to baby shower invitations!

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