Baby Showers and other kids (slightly personal)

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ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538
Baby Showers and other kids (slightly personal)

So my basic question is, obviously the new baby is expected, but are other kids welcome or OK at a baby shower?

Also, is it rude to request in an invitation that children dont come?

Here is the background to my asking. I am part of a community of women due to our husbands jobs. Though I am friends with a few of them, in general, we are 'friendly' with one another. One thing we always do is throw a baby shower for any new moms. Generally the only other kids there are other babies, but the last one was full of kids, including the hosts children and the big brother. I know for a fact that it was asked if kids could attend on the facebook page and given the OK. I am pretty much joined at the hip with my nursling at the moment, though I can get about an hour or so on my own if I plan with DH. There is another shower (for different baby) coming up in a few weeks, and the hostess preemptively posted on the event wall, 'in order to keep focus on Mom and Baby on their special day, please arrange for child care.' I know the hostess does not have kids of her own, so is not equipped to entertain a large number of kids, but I find this really rude, as I dont know anyone who would bring a child without asking first. I was really tempted to snap back that I wouldnt be coming then, since I cant be gone from babe for long, but I have restrained myself, mostly because I am pretty sure this request is not coming from mom, and I really do want to celebrate her baby, and I have to socialize with these people at many different event for the next few years at least Smile I am wondering though if I am over reacting because this request effects me, and feels a little bit directed at me (though not JUST me)? I also thought of just posting a note that I would stop by, but couldnt stay for long cause of baby, but I think if someone else posted that I would think they were just fishing for an exemption?

Anyways, just wondering what you ladies think, and willing to listen to any suggestions to how I can get my unhappiness across without looking like a huge ***** (pretty sure that word will star out)? Or should I just keep my mouth closed, do a cameo at the party and deal with my disappointment in private?

Joined: 05/13/13
Posts: 34

Most baby showers I have attended had children at them. In this case though, since it's specifically requested I would not say anything. It doesn't sound rude (to me) and voicing your disappointment probably would not accomplish much. I mean, if you did say something and the lady said it was fine for you to bring baby how comfortable would you be there, ya know?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I have been to baby showers where kids were welcome, and I have been to baby showers were it was adults only. I have also been to baby showers where childcare was provided. I have recieved wedding, shower, and birthday party invitations saying that children are not welcome. I do think it is a little off putting. Something I have done in the past, if it is something I really care about and want to be at, I bring a babysitter with me and have them nearby. For example at BIL's wedding, my mother came and stayed in a room out of the way and watched my children. I have also gone to baby showers where I paid a babysitter to watch my children on the premise, but out of the way. Now that my children are older, they normally stay at my house with a babysitter. I would only hire a babysitter for an event (That DH was not available to watch the kids), if it was for someone very close to me or very important to me.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I've never been to a baby shower with a baby older than, say, three months at it. Even then I've only seen a handful. I brought a baby to one once- it was for a first cousin and my dd was only 2 weeks old- too young to make a bottle an option. I've NEVER seen kids at a shower - that would be strange in my area as the focus is all about the new mom to be and kids would distract from that . People in my area are also very fond of babysitters.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I think with an invitation to any kind of gathering it depends on what the host is willing to accommodate. Nobody should assume that kids are okay to bring. IMO though, an understanding host should make a concession for a guest who is bfing out of consideration, but I think the mother should still ask if it's okay to bring the baby. Like, I wouldn't just show up at a no-kids-allowed shower with my bfing baby and figure the host should assume that's what I was doing.

Still, my baby shower was thrown by my MIL who invited all the relatives and her friends, and never asked a single one of my friends if they wanted to attend. Not one. It's best if I don't get too deep into the whole shower thing. It always raises my hackles. Smile

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

Most showers I have been to have had kids. We're just laid back like that around here. With that said, I have never brought kids to a shower unless I didn't have a reasonable option or they were fairly young. It's just not that fun to try to "shower" someone else while chasing my hoodlems around. But I'm one that never left either kid with a babysitter until they were close to a year old, so if I had a baby that would sit in my lap the entire time (and certaintly a bf-ing one that needed me) I would ask if I could bring them, or in this case where it has been made clear that kids are not welcome, I probably wouldn't go.

I will say that I have rarely been to a shower where the new baby was there (they are typically done 2-3 months prior to due date around here) and if that was the case I would be MUCH more cautious about bringing babies/kids around. I also think if the new baby is present it is more understandable to request no children, due to potential illness, etc.

I don't think it would be rude at all to say that you won't be able to make it since you are still bf-ing very frequently, or to just stop by for a few minutes if that works out for you and your little one.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Thanks ladies. I kind of thought I might be over reacting Smile Now that I have had time to think about it I will do what I can and maybe stop by for an hour or so.

There were a few things about this particular request that got to me I think. One is that I have participated in a number of activities over YEARS with the same group of ladies and no one (to my knowledge) has brought a child along without confirming it was OK first, so it feels completely unnecessary to state it. But the wording of this also gets me. It really leaves no wiggle room. There are 2 of us who bring our babies to practically everything (her baby is younger than mine) and then there are another....3 with young babies. I just feel like the baby moms, in particular me and this other mom have been singled out with this request. Maybe that wasnt her intention, but if she had said she didnt have room or toys to entertain the kids so please leave them at home, I would have at least felt that I could ask if T could come, but stating it this way, I would look like I was trying to steal attention from Mom and baby if I ask to bring him. Oh well.

For the record T is 9 months old and doesnt need me to constantly nurse. I thought by now I would be able to leave him for longer times (and I have), but he starts to cry after about an hour and DH cant console him. He will stick it out the best he can if I am at something with the bigs, but DH just cant handle the hysterical baby and the big kids at the same time, so I get called home if I am out alone. He is really good though, and I try to time his naps around when we are at events, so he actually slept through the last baby shower we went to.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I completely understand your POV.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

IMHO a nursling is pretty much an extension of me so there's no question of whether baby will attend. If I'm there, baby is. It wouldn't even occur to me to ask. At nine months my decision would probably depend on baby's disposition. Both of mine were happy to nurse & go to sleep wherever they were, whereas they would drive DH batty if I left at a time they didn't expect me to go to work, kwim? It would be easier on everyone to take them. But if they were the kind to demand everyone's attention or if they would be fine at home and if I had someone to watch them, then I'd leave them if asked. That said, every single family baby shower I've ever attended has had kids because we are welcoming the new baby to the family.

Most of my friends have had "Blessingways" which are focused on the mom rather than the baby, so children aren't welcome. The few friends who had traditional baby showers, some welcome kids because they play together and stay out of our hair, while others like your host don't have the room for a bunch of kids or don't have toys because they are still childless or their baby is tiny. I'd ask around and see what others are thinking. Maybe you could find an outside-the-box solution. You could all go together & hire a couple of teenagers to babysit the bunch at one house, or hold the shower at someone else's house while she's still officially the host, so that the others could bring their kids. ITA with you that it's an awkward request, especially given the relationships and history of the group.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

I have been at showers with kids, without kids, I have been the kid at showers (the joys of being the youngest in a large family). I don't care either way. I do tend to think nursing babies as an exception to the "no kids" rule unless at a really fancy event and then I would ask.

As an aside, when Sean's nephew got married 7 years ago Robbie was 11 months old. The invitation had just our names and so I asked if Robbie was included. The reply I got back was "of course" but they almost sounded offended that we would ask. Then again, in our church people tend to think they can bring anyone to a wedding - neighbours, relatives of relatives, etc...

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"mom2robbie" wrote:

Then again, in our church people tend to think they can bring anyone to a wedding - neighbours, relatives of relatives, etc...

How funny!

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Typically, showers here are done before baby comes unless baby has arrived early so that baby is never there.

I've brought Corinne to one at 2 months old because I was asked to bring the kids. I knew E would be bored so I didn't bring her. Usually, I don't want to bring them. It's no fun and I can't socialize like I want to as they aren't old enough to sit through one without getting bored.

I also don't typically bring them to weddings as I like to kick back and not be "mom' for the night.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I would never bring my kids to a shower without them being explicitly invited, except for a very small baby...even in that case i would probably ask first. I don't remember any baby showers with children there.

I guess it depends on the traditions in the area. I would find it very odd to have to say on an invitation "no children please"...because IMO no one should be assuming they can bring their children.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

I have brought non-mobile babies for nursing purposes but older kids are more of a hassle for me.

I would reply and say that you would love to show up but when you would show up will depend on your nursing. If I didn't have kids, the nursing aspect would not have occurred to me. I would just be thinking that I don't want a hoard of kids running through my house.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

I know nothing about baby shower protocol but I would think a nursing infant is a different thing from a kid who can run around. I would check.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"Danifo" wrote:

I would reply and say that you would love to show up but when you would show up will depend on your nursing. If I didn't have kids, the nursing aspect would not have occurred to me.

Why would you schedule your activities around baby's nursing schedule? Isn't part of the beauty of nursing being able to do it anywhere, anytime?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

"Spacers" wrote:

Why would you schedule your activities around baby's nursing schedule? Isn't part of the beauty of nursing being able to do it anywhere, anytime?

Um...not always. I worked and nursed, I didn't bring my babies to work. (I pumped when I was at work.) And if I was going somewhere that didn't allow kids, I'd either not go, or I'd schedule it around my nursing schedule. I scheduled other activities of mine around my nursing schedule too, it's not like I was never separated from my babies.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

"Spacers" wrote:

Why would you schedule your activities around baby's nursing schedule? Isn't part of the beauty of nursing being able to do it anywhere, anytime?

in this case, she is trying to be respectful of the host's wishes.

I scheduled my activities around nursing. Getting haircuts, dentists, groceries, lunch with a friend, going to the gym, going to a movie, dinner date with DH
... This was whether or not the baby was with me. I'd rather start off with a well fed baby. I have no problem NIP and appreciate the freedom when travelling or out for the day but I enjoyed it more at home in a comfy chair.

I

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Danifo" wrote:

I'd rather start off with a well fed baby. I have no problem NIP and appreciate the freedom when travelling or out for the day but I enjoyed it more at home in a comfy chair.

I

I started off all three babies very well fed, nursed them all, and I totally agree with Laurie. I enjoy doing many activities other than just lunching and haircutting and dinner dates, and some of those activities are not baby friendly. Babies are simply not accessories on can trot around the golf course, no matter how NIP friendly a mother is (and I am ~ could and did nurse anywhere). Babies are also not accessories who get a free pass places where their presence has been specifically denied simply because they are nursing. At 9 months my babies were walking ~ and nursing ~ But yes, they would have been QUITE a distraction from a baby shower focused on the mother to be. That is why we practiced leaving them early/using bottles of pumped breast milk/etc.....because freedom and the ability to attend events/have me time was and remains important to me. I would (personally!!!) Feel terribly trapped if my husband was unable to care for our 9 month old child for more than an hour~ there are many things I do in my life that required me to be away from my nurslings for an hour. If other people don't WANT to be away from baby, ever, that is a fine and valid parenting decision, but you can't then complain when you are restricted from certain events where children are not welcome, as hosts have the same right to make the decision to not include children as you have made to not leave your child's side.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

And despite my lack of experience with baby showers, I can envision a scenario in which someone might not want ANY kids around. Maybe they want to hoot and holler and be loud, maybe it's an attention thing, who knows? Or maybe they just didn't think about nursing babies and it will be fine. I think it's worth a conversation to find out.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"Danifo" wrote:

in this case, she is trying to be respectful of the host's wishes.

I scheduled my activities around nursing. Getting haircuts, dentists, groceries, lunch with a friend, going to the gym, going to a movie, dinner date with DH
... This was whether or not the baby was with me. I'd rather start off with a well fed baby. I have no problem NIP and appreciate the freedom when travelling or out for the day but I enjoyed it more at home in a comfy chair.

No, you said you would bring a non-mobile baby with you to a shower but would show up depending on their nursing schedule. The question wasn't about going to the gym or dentist or having a date, something where you're an active participant. It's about a baby shower where you are pretty much sitting around watching someone open gifts and eating some cake. I don't understand why you would arrive late to nurse baby at home and then still bring baby with you. I think arriving late to a shower when you don't have to be is rude.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

I didn't read her comment that way at all (although I could be wrong!). I thought she was saying that because she couldn't bring the baby, she would reply that she would be there but it would depend on the nursing because you would obviously leave for the shower right after a feeding to have the most possible time before needing to be home again. And then I think she was implying that the hostess might then realize (or say) that nursing babies are okay, because she simply might not have been thinking about them when she made the no kids rule.

Anyway, that was my take on it. :shrug:

"Danifo" wrote:

I have brought non-mobile babies for nursing purposes but older kids are more of a hassle for me.

I would reply and say that you would love to show up but when you would show up will depend on your nursing. If I didn't have kids, the nursing aspect would not have occurred to me. I would just be thinking that I don't want a hoard of kids running through my house.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"Potter75" wrote:

I started off all three babies very well fed, nursed them all, and I totally agree with Laurie. I enjoy doing many activities other than just lunching and haircutting and dinner dates, and some of those activities are not baby friendly. Babies are simply not accessories on can trot around the golf course, no matter how NIP friendly a mother is (and I am ~ could and did nurse anywhere). Babies are also not accessories who get a free pass places where their presence has been specifically denied simply because they are nursing. At 9 months my babies were walking ~ and nursing ~ But yes, they would have been QUITE a distraction from a baby shower focused on the mother to be. That is why we practiced leaving them early/using bottles of pumped breast milk/etc.....because freedom and the ability to attend events/have me time was and remains important to me. I would (personally!!!) Feel terribly trapped if my husband was unable to care for our 9 month old child for more than an hour~ there are many things I do in my life that required me to be away from my nurslings for an hour. If other people don't WANT to be away from baby, ever, that is a fine and valid parenting decision, but you can't then complain when you are restricted from certain events where children are not welcome, as hosts have the same right to make the decision to not include children as you have made to not leave your child's side.

Oh trust me, trapped, feeling, me! I did make the decision with this babe to not pump cause I hate pumping and I dont have the opportunity to go out to a ton of non baby stuff anyways, so it didnt seem important. Plus, I can put up with anything for 6 months, right. With my others, once they made it to 6 months I could leave them with other foods and they were fine for a few hours after a nurse, or while sleeping. It is actually not about nursing with Trent. He just freaks out if we are apart for too long....his too long, not mine. It is very frustrating and I'm not sure what to do about it. I am hoping it is just a stage that he will grow out of soon, but at the same time, I come across very few events that seem worth it to go to when I know my baby is freaking out, crying, at home.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ftmom" wrote:

It is actually not about nursing with Trent. He just freaks out if we are apart for too long....his too long, not mine. It is very frustrating and I'm not sure what to do about it. I am hoping it is just a stage that he will grow out of soon, but at the same time, I come across very few events that seem worth it to go to when I know my baby is freaking out, crying, at home.

I'm curious if your DH trying to comfort Trent "your way," or is he trying his own tricks? With both of my kids, nothing that worked for me would work for DH, and vice versa. We each had to develop our own set of comfort methods. It seems that a lot of dads try to do what mom does because it seems to work so well, when sometimes they need to do their own thing, kwim?

And I can't seem to figure out how to quote something else after I've already started writing, but to what Carrie said, you are right. I was reading Danifo's post as being one continuous thought but it being two paragraphs does make an intention for the second sentence being a separate thought. I stand corrected.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

"Spacers" wrote:

I'm curious if your DH trying to comfort Trent "your way," or is he trying his own tricks? With both of my kids, nothing that worked for me would work for DH, and vice versa. We each had to develop our own set of comfort methods. It seems that a lot of dads try to do what mom does because it seems to work so well, when sometimes they need to do their own thing, kwim?

And I can't seem to figure out how to quote something else after I've already started writing, but to what Carrie said, you are right. I was reading Danifo's post as being one continuous thought but it being two paragraphs does make an intention for the second sentence being a separate thought. I stand corrected.

Sorry for the confusion. They were two thoughts.

I also agree about the "tricks" to calm a baby. My husband and I calm the kids different and his tricks don't work me. At first I thought it was related to me nursing but now they are done, his tricks still don't work.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

He does use his own tricks. Its actually kind of odd that Trent is so attached to me. He is the first of our babies that DH has always been able to put to sleep from the start. In fact there are many nights that T wont nurse to sleep, so I give him to DH and he bounces him to sleep. He also loves to play on the floor with Daddy, but through it all he orients to me and gets really upset if I go away for too long. He rarely even wants to nurse when I get back, just be held.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

Most I have been to have had other kids, since I had DS if he can't go somewhere I am highly unlikely to go as I don't have anyone to watch him, hubby works in hospitality so isn't ho,e much and my Mum lives an hour and a half away, works two jobs for part of the year, so yeah no baby sitting options.