Baby shower ettiquette, rsvp and bringing uninvited children

kimberlysaintOctober 28, 2006

My best friend is throwing me a really nice all woman baby shower in one week. She sent out the invitations many weeks ago but has not gotten RSVPS from everyone. I asked my mother-n-law (she also has not rsvpd but I know she is coming) about her 2 friends who were invited. She said, "Oh, yes they are for sure coming. In fact one asked me about what they should do with her two year old and I told her to just bring him." I was shocked, not because I don't want one two year old at the party but because almost everyone invited has children and if they all came there would be over 12 small children which would be a lot of extra work for my friend who is throwing an elegant type shower at 3pm on a Saturday. I told my MIL that we weren't inviting children because I didn't want to tell some people yes and some people no. It doesn't seem fair. But my MIL didn't offer any ooops or sorry or I will call my friend. Now I feel stessed. My friend, the host, told me not to worry about it (in fact she has a two year old that won't be there) but I am also worried about other guests who might wonder why they weren't told to bring their children. To add an extra twist I did invite my own nieces who are 5 and 7 but I am VERY close to them and want them to feel a part of this pregnancy and baby and I know that my sister will watch them and they do not run wild. Also the host knows my nieces and extended the formal invitation to them and she has planned an extra surprise for just the two of them. So what should I do now? I feel that my MIL should have told her friend, why don't you rsvp and ask the host? So now they are planning on bringing one extra and haven't even rsvpd. Should I tell my MIL to tell her friend that she made a mistake and take a chance that it will offend someone especially when they see my nieces there? On the invitations it was only addressed to one person, not the family. I do realize that by not extending the invitations to all children in the family that I run a risk that a mom might not be able to come and I understand that completely. Thanks for any suggestions.

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Ugh, tough one. If you think the baby shower is going to be a problem with your MIL, wait till the baby comes.... Just let it be.

Your true friends will understand. When my baby shower was given many moons ago it was at a restaurant so ergo - no kids.

When I hosted my SIL very elegant luncheon baby shower (I am godmother), I hoped for no children. I addressed the envelopes properly, however, I did have some people show up with babies with no advance warning, or if there was, MIL (mom of my SIL) never mentioned it.

It was really no big deal. My daughter was there also since she is my SIL's godchild, so she really was supposed to be the only child in attendance. It worked out fine in the end and no hard feelings.

If it were me and I have been at this MIL thing for 20 plus years, just let it go. Enjoy your shower, let the moms of the kids who come worry about their charges. It's your day.

You will soon learn that you can only control what you do not what MIL does. In fact, despite the fact that I hosted the shower, MIL wanted to do the cake - here's what was on the cake "Bye Bye Tummy - Hello Baby". Rather unique don't you think? I just shrug my shoulders and say whatever. Its either that or you are in for a long road of being upset at everything your MIL does because its a coming....

Best wishes on your new baby!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 10:26AM
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I wouldn't stress over it. Your friend is the hostess and she sounds like she is prepared to handle it.

As for the guest bringing a child they will feel awkward dealing with a child when nobody else has one there.

Unfortunately people tend to believe a baby shower is okay to have a child attend.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 1:43PM
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Another vote to just let it go. You are the guest of honor, not the host. I know you are worried about people's feelings, but this is the problem of the person bringing the child and the host, at most. It may not be a problem at all. I think people understand that sometimes nieces and nephews, etc., will be there even when all children aren't invited. Surely they will figure out that if everyone brought their kidz, it would turn into a children's party. If anyone says something to you like "Oh, I didn't know I could bring my kidz" (and I doubt anyone will), don't say anything at all. You don't want to be seen as sniping at either your mother-in-law or the person who is bringing her child. Don't call your mother-in-law, the hostess, or the person bringing a child -- just sit tight. It will be fine.

Have a great time! What a nice friend you have.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 6:06PM
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I'm pretty sure you have to let the whole uninvited kid thing go. Which is rude on their part, but there's not much to do.

But the no RSVPs thing stinks. Your friend is going to a whole lot of trouble and expense to make your day special. I might ask MIL to help you out - you don't have to raise the issue of her non-RSVP - but maybe you heard from (hostess) that she hadn't recieved many RSVPs and she isn't sure how much food to plan for. You know that (MIL) and (rude friend1, rude friend2 and bonus kid) will be attending, but if she hears from anyone else, could she please let you know and you'll pass it on to (hostess).

And maybe a simiar conversation with your mom or anyone else you happen to be talking to that was invited.

No need to say anything accusatory, but I know how frustrating it can be to plan a party without knowing how many guests to expect.

Just my $0.02

Here is a link that might be useful: craftfetish blog

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 2:18PM
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Since this party is in your honor, this is one time you don't have to worry about anything! Your friend, the hostess, has it under control. Just relay to her any information you have about who is or isn't coming, and then relax and enjoy your party.

Cheers, from

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 7:54PM
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I agree with Swampwitch. I understand creftfetish's desire to help the hostess out with the problem of responses. But I think getting in the middle of it, especially indirectly, by contacting Mom or MIL instead of either the hostess or the guest, smacks of manipulation and interference, even though that's not either the OP's or craftfetish's intention at all. I hate when people do that to me; I can't help resenting doing something I would have been perfectly happy to do if asked directly, rather than manipulated into it.

I wouldn't contact the guest or host, either. You can't control everything, and it's not as if this were about averting a life-threatening disaster. I think that you have to just let go and let the hostess work out her own party. If her count is off because people didn't respond (and they still may), then that is between her and them, and, more important, it's better than anyone thinking you are bossy or critical.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 11:36AM
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