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Baby shower etiquette has seriously evolved, thanks mostly to changing times and thanks in part to technology. It’s no longer considered rude, tacky, needy, desperate, or gaudy to include a link to your baby registry right smack dab at the bottom of your invite. Say something clean and simple like:
- “The couple is registered at Amazon.” (formal, Jack & Jill baby shower)
- “Registry at MyRegistry.com” (cold, add an emoji or two)
- “[Mom’s name] is registered at Pottery Barn Kids” (classic)
- “Mommie-to-Be is registered at Target.” (cute)
- “Baby’s registry is at BabyList.com” (cutest)
- “Registered at Buy Buy Baby” (direct)
This whole thing about me desperately pleading with you to please put your registry info on your invites and all that isn’t actually my idea. Yeah, it’s a good one, but it’s not mine.
It’s from Emily Post ala 2018: “You absolutely can include registry information with the invitation.”
Your guests will definitely be expecting to see your registry on your baby shower invites.
In fact, I’d say it is less proper or polite to leave your registry off of your invites than it is to include it.
You’re gifting the world beautiful new life and your baby registry tells us exactly how we can play a small part in something so special.
It’s like we’re having a baby vicariously through you. Except we’re not. But we’d love to be part of it!
If you don’t shamelessly [or graciously] share your registry, half of your guests will show up (whether virtually or in-person) feeling a mix of guilt and confusion at not having gifted you and your new baby anything. Guaranteed.
In this age of information overload, it’s most helpful to keep all of your baby shower canvasing together. Your guests should receive just one envelope with all of your shower information, which typically means:
- Your printed invitation — with a note or link to your registry.
- Your diaper raffle card — optional; usually made about ¼ the size of the invite.
- Holding a virtual baby shower? Put everything on one e-card, e-vite, or one image.
Rest assured, it’s not rude to include your registry on a baby shower invitation! That’s half of what baby showers are for.
The only error would be in not profusely thanking your guests—both those who showered you in gifts and those whose gift was simply their love and presence.
2013 ➜ “Include registry information on a separate slip of paper….” – The Emily Post Institute
“Include registry information on a separate slip of paper with the invitation, or better yet, provide it to guests who reply they will be coming. It is splitting hairs, but it keeps the focus on the guest being invited to celebrate and not just on their gift.” – Anna Post, spokeswoman for The Emily Post Institute, “Modern Etiquette: Baby shower courtesy in the digital age,” 26 August 2013
2017 ➜ “Don’t put your baby shower registry on the invitation.” – Southern Living
“The biggest rule to know? Don’t put your baby shower registry on the invitation…. your baby shower invitation isn’t necessarily the place. ❡ [It’s] considered acceptable baby shower invitation etiquette to include registry information on a separate enclosure, according to Emily Post.” – Southern Living, “Should You Include Registry Information on a Baby Shower Invitation?,” 1 August 2017
2018 ➜ “You absolutely can include registry information with the invitation.” – The Emily Post Institute
“The usual advice is that you make no mention of gifts on an invitation, but because a shower is an expected party where gifts are part of the nature of the event, you absolutely can include registry information with the invitation. Anything that you can do to keep the focus on the heart of the invite and not on the registry is recommended. So if there are physical invitations, you might include a little insert that has some registry information also. If you can keep it off the actual, physical invitation itself, that creates a little distance for the invite, but if it’s not possible, it’s okay to make a registry mention as part of the invitation.” – Daniel Post Senning, great-great-grandson of Emily Post and co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 19th edition. (As told to HGTV in, Baby Shower Etiquette 101: Tips From The Emily Post Institute.)
2020 ➜ “Make sure the registry is set up and included on the e-vite.” – What To Expect
“Once you chose the venue, date, and time, send out the e-vite. Why not stick with the virtual theme, right? You can find really cute options on places like PaperlessPost or Minted. Oh, and if you want gifts to be opened during the shower, just make sure that the registry is set up and included on the e-vite.” – How to Host a Virtual Baby Shower Right From Home, by What To Expect, 7 July 2020.
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What to include on your registry
Your registry should be long enough to give all of your guests the opportunity to purchase one or more items—if you’re inviting 100 people, pick out about 125 items. This gives guests a chance to be part of your baby’s life and reduces your cost of having a baby. Here are some classics.
Consider a seat you can use for a couple of years.
You can request a collection of adorable cloth diapers or have a friend sign you up for a compostable diaper service.
Don’t forget the wipes. If you’ll be using cloth diapers, get some cloth wipes as well.
Choose a bag with plenty of small compartments to help you keep track of everything. Backpacks work great too.
Be sure to include a wide range of sizes so you don’t end up with a pile of newborn clothes. Remember to include socks and hats too.
This is a great item to request as a hand-me-down. Try a variety of styles – ergos, ring slings, and hiking backpacks are all useful.
Consider where you plan to take your baby in their stroller. Will you be strolling down city sidewalks or taking your stroller on bumpy forest trails? There’s a wide range of options available.
High chairs are a must for keeping the mess contained when baby begins to eat. In addition to the traditional free-standing version, there are high chairs that attach to seats or directly to the table.
You’ll want bibs to catch the mess. Consider skipping the cloth kind in favor of silicone bibs that truly catch the mess and are easy to wash.
Include a baby placemat with a built-in bowl. There are also bowls that attach to high chair trays to avoid catastrophic spillage.
Give your friends the opportunity to gift you some adorable tiny spoons for your baby.
Not all babies will use bottles, but sippy cups are a must.
Bassinets are padded baskets that give baby a safe and cozy place to sleep wherever you go.
Nursing Bras and Pads
If you’re a pregnant mama, let the women in your life buy you some nursing bras and pads. You’re going to need them.
Consider a crib that allows for removing one wall and attaching the crib to your bed to keep baby close.
Nope, they don’t come with the crib. Most are packed with flame-retardant chemicals, so consider an organic cotton option.
You’ll need some cozy cotton sheets too.
A crib mattress cover, yes, but also a cover for your bed. Chances are that baby will end up in bed with you, at least some of the time. Be proactive and protect your mattress. Wool covers are fantastic.
Mobiles will hold your baby’s attention, giving you a moment to yourself while they play in their crib or on the floor.
Dock a Tot or Newborn Lounger
These specially shaped pillows will keep baby safe and cozy on any surface.
Baby bouncers are almost as good as having two extra arms to rock baby while you take a shower or eat a meal.
Even if you plan on baby-proofing your home and letting baby roam free, play yards are wonderful for visiting friends and family.
Rocking Chair or Glider
The right chair is worth its weight in gold. An exercise ball can also serve this purpose, but it’s not nearly as comfortable.
Changing Table and/or Pad
A changing table is nice, but a waterproof pad you can throw down anywhere works just as well.
Diaper Pail and Liner(s)
You’ll want somewhere to put those stinky diapers. If you’ll be doing cloth, consider a washable, waterproof cloth bag.
It can be difficult adjusting to life outside the womb. A sound machine provides the white noise that newborns are used to and helps them rest easy.
You don’t want to turn on the bright overhead light every time you wake up to feed your baby or change a dirty diaper. Salt lamps make lovely nightlights.
Autumn Savas is a published lifestyle author and loving mother to her daughter and calico.