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Mommy Dearest: Bringing Kids to Baby Showers

Mommy Dearest,
I recently received an invitation for a friend's baby shower that had "NO CHILDREN ALLOWED" written in bold at the bottom. As a new mom, it soured my mood. Another mom friend who was also invited agreed it was rude and has decided to boycott the party after hearing that the mom-to-be requested that no kids attend.

Now, I'm in a pickle since I'm nursing my three-month-old son (he refuses the bottle) and the event is an hour away. The expectant mother is a good friend, but I resent her for putting me in this predicament?
—Unhappy Invitee

Unhappy Invitee,
This is a tricky one. Obviously, your obligation is to your infant son so if you need to nurse him that takes precedence. If your friend doesn't understand that now, she certainly will once she has a baby of her own.

As far as children attending baby showers, having grown up in a large family it was a given that my sisters and I attended any impending baby celebrations so I've continued that sentiment as a host. Often the kids are the most enthusiastic guests at the showers. But, in your situation you are not the host so you can either contact them and honestly inquire about the possibility of bringing your son or politely decline the invitation. Either way, you have no reason to feel bad.
—Mommy Dearest

Join The Conversation
stickynote stickynote 8 years
Its MUCH more rude to boycott a friends shower over something so petty than to ask that no children come.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I think assuming it's aimed simply at this invitee is REALLY self-centered. Maybe there are other people invited who have unruly kids and the hostess and mother is trying to head it off. And to be fair, they stated that NO children are welcome. Because while having a child-free shower isn't rude in the least, saying one child is welcome while another is not very well can be, depending on the circumstances. The fact is, the shower is about the mom's needs and desires, not the people invited. The fact that this mom is nursing and unable to leave the child probably never even came into play - even my closest friends wouldn't have really considered that when inviting me places, and that doesn't mean they were saying I specifically wasn't welcome. It just meant that there was more at stake than just my situation.
gspencer gspencer 9 years
I totally understand both sides of the "No Children" invitation. They're well stated in other people's post. The thing I think most people seemed to miss though is why the invited friend was upset or torn. Obviously, she considers herself a good friend of the new-mom-to-be and is put off by the fact that the invitation essentially says "Come to this great party in celebration of the new-mom-to-be, but by the way you're actually not welcome because I know that you have to nurse your new 3 month old. Sorry." or worse "Come to this great party in celebration of the new-mom-to-be, but by the way forget that new baby of yours, don't I trump all?" Ok, that might be a bit overstated... but I would be a bit upset if I got an invitation like this without any call, note, explanation or private invitation to shower the new-mom-to-be (and I'm assuming that these two friends are close... at least close enough that they talk regularly). It might not have been intentional, but if this new-mom-to-be was a good friend (in return) she probably already knows of the 3 month old, how they are not taking bottles and needs to be breastfed often - so why the "No Children" (in bold, none the less) invitation sent to someone who obviously would need to bring a child in order to come? Well, maybe it's the hostess's request or maybe the new-mom-to-be friend doesn't know about it. All in all, I think the solution would be 1)RSVP "no" to the hostess, 2)verbally or personally RSVP to the new-mom-to-be to explain wholeheartedly why you can't be there (not to be mean or to complain, but just so the new-mom-to-be knows you can't and knows why instead of just seeing your absence at her party) and 3) offer another time that you can shower her (with your baby in hand). It's not like the new-mom-to-be will refuse to be showered and loved outside a planned party, right?
elaine elaine 9 years
a baby isnt the same as a kid. example, when my mom threw my sister-in-laws baby shower, she asked that no kids attend, simply because she was paying for each meal that was served. a lot of kids wouldnt have eaten what was served. so kids that dont eat solids, or big meals should be an exception.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I agree about the way invitations are addressed - an invitation shouldn't even have to say "No Children" if it's only addressed to me. I shouldn't be bringing my kids anyway. But it's become so common that the specifications are now somehow necessary. I also completely disagree about asking the mother/hostess if it's ok to bring the baby. Simply decline the invite with an explanation. Asking her is rude when it's so clearly spelled out that children are not welcome.
cbgmick cbgmick 9 years
I'm of the mindset that you invite who you want and address the invitation to that person or persons. For example, in this case either just the adult Ms. X or if the event is open to the family/children, address to the X Family or Ms. X and the kids!! It's very rude and presumptious to assume that people not specified on the invitation are invited regardless of the type of event it is (although it seems to happen most often at weddings and baby showers)!! I don't know when we started assuming that we could bring whoever we wanted along when receiving an invitation addressed to just us (I wouldn't assume that I could bring my husband if the invite was just addressed to me!!) If we all followed this rule, it is a gentler way of saying "no children" (or "no spouses" or "no neighbors" :) ) rather than explicitly writing that on the invitation (which comes across as a little brash) I have children and one on the way and I would never presume that they were invited somewhere just because I was. However, if I couldn't attend due to either not wanting to leave a little one or unable to because of nursing I would tell the host that I couldn't attend since I wouldn't be able to leave the kids or unable to leave the baby at this age for that amount of time.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
I have been to a lot of different baby showers - some where we had "cute" games and ate cake, and some where we had wonderful wine (for the non-pregnant guests) and food. The last one I went to was of the latter type, and we really had a fun, relaxing day. The guest of honor wanted a laid-back affair without a lot of pastel stuff, where she and the guests could all relax. Obviously kids would ruin that vibe, though they would fit in fine with the prior type of shower. I think it's up to the momma to decide what she wants. She would have to understand you not being able to attend, however. I didn't have children at my wedding and a couple of friends who had new babies could not come as a result. We had a sophisticated reception at an art museum at night - not kid friendly at all. There were some guests who were upset when we first said "no kids," but those who came all said later that they were so glad for a night out to themselves. It's a tough situation and someone's feelings will probably get hurt, but remember that hurting your feelings was not your friend's intention.
NadiaPotter NadiaPotter 9 years
I think kids in baby showers don't let their mommys PARTAY! so, ask daddy or a relative to babysith, or decline the invitation telling a mother-to-be that your 3 month old needs you right now, but you will catch with her later. Like lilsugar say, it is nothing to feel bad at. personally: I am not a mother, but and aunt. I have no children on my own. Still I think that was not at all rude. I think it is more than apropiatte to tell you to please don't bring your children so you can have a girl time. And if you decline the invitation, I still think you have your right to do it, and the mother to be will not be mad at you.
snarkypants snarkypants 9 years
i agree with jennifer76, it's her party. let her spend one day with just her girlfriends. NO KIDS. i mean, in a few months, she'd probably kill for a child-free day, so give her one before the baby comes.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
i'm sure your friend doesn't mind your new bundle of love being there, but she can't say your baby can come, but not those who have bigger, potentially bad a*s kids . . . Because you know that will cause a stir. I think when you guys have kids you get super sensitive, personally. Ask her if you can bring baby-love, and i'm sure things will work out.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
I have attended, and hosted quite a few baby showers for other people, and most of the time there were children there that were VERY small (under 10 months). I went to one a few years back, and the invite was no kids, because we were doing pedicures, manicures, and facials. we hired the nail techs, and estheticians to come to the house. low and behold, someone brought her 5year old son (who was wired up from a birthday/pool party he just came from). he knocked over some nail polish (onto cream colored carpet!), ad he sat on the suede chaise lounge that was in my friend's foyer. (there was a huge wet spot). he also got cheeto stains all over the rest of the furniture, and sat inside the new baby's car seat when we were playing the cotton ball game. his mother joked and said, "get ready for parenthood" . . . Pure trash . . .
apinkpony apinkpony 9 years
I went to a baby shower when I was young. It was for my little cousin, and me and my other female cousin were there. We were both very polite little girls and everyone understood that. On the other hand I can understand the no children room because a lot of children wouldnt be able to just sit still for that long. But I would definitely check... I honestly don't think a little baby would count. Especially since it is a baby shower, she should be understanding to the way you feel. Definitely ask her about it.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Its her party! If you're not into what she wants at her own party, by all means send your regrets. But I honestly don't see where you get angry because she wants her party the way she wants it.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I just had my baby shower and the lady that threw it for me was a bit shocked that I wanted my 8 year old son there. He would have been devastated if he wasn't welcomed at a party for his new baby brother. On the other hand I do respect invites that say no children allowed. To each their own :-)
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Personally, I can't stand showers with older children - meaning nonbabies who are mobile, active, etc. Unless there's another room set aside for child activities or childcare, which is a lot to ask of any hostess. I've also been to showers hosted in homes that aren't child-proof and would require too much work to do so, and I completely understand why they would have a "no child" rule. I think it's rather out of line to be angry at the mother-to-be, who may have many valid reasons for the request, or may not even be the one requesting it. However, I also dislike pumping ahead those first few months when I'm off work. It's difficult enough for me to keep up a supply, and pumping HUGELY impacts it that early on. And if they're older, I'm pumping enough at work and really don't want to add extra pumping sessions on the weekend when I'm trying to nurse as often to possible to keep things up. So I personally would simply RSVP by saying I was sorry but couldn't attend, explain why, and leave it up to her to then either say "Ok, let's get together some other time" or "Please feel free to bring the baby." I would absolutely not call and ask if it's ok to bring the baby, as that puts her in an awkward spot, especially if the no child request was the hostess's and not hers. Just explain, and offer to get together some other time to celebrate.
kia kia 9 years
Don't be upset over the host's request. If you can make it within their parameters then attend, and if not, then decline. I have seen people "crash" showers and weddings that were clearly stated "no children" and it becomes unpleasant between the parties unless something is worked out beforehand. It may suck to have that rule thrown on you, but respect the host's wishes if they do not grant any exceptions.
SugarKat SugarKat 9 years
A bottle is a bottle whether or not it's still breastmilk, the baby may still refuse and create an awful experience for baby and caregiver. I agree with Ylatan, make sure that baby in arms isn't ok and then respectfully decline...
ylatan ylatan 9 years
well, usually babes in arms don't count for a "no kids rule" but if they do for this shower, i would send a gift and a card and not go. i never leave my kids when they are that young anyways.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
I understand the predicament but there is also the option of pumping milk ahead of time (and this could be a relaxing time for you rather than a burden). I think this is an example of how everyone brings their babies everywhere now days. There's always a baby in the movie theater, in the restaurants. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it per se but it does seem that we as a society are having a hard time separating from our babies and our kids like we used to.
SugarKat SugarKat 9 years
If I had a child under one again, I wouldn't go because of the nursing aspect. My cousin was 5 or 6 when I had my baby shower and I wouldn't dream of her not coming. She really was the most enthusiastic one of the group. I would respectfully decline the invitation with no hard feelings. If the hostess doesn't want kids there, then fine, but I wouldn't hire a babysitter for that especially while nursing!
mrtruman mrtruman 9 years
i've never heard of children being guests at baby showers...and i've been to many of them in my day!
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