The Most Common Things Moms Fear About Baby Showers

baby shower
Photo: Barry Austin / Getty Images

Your baby shower is a really big deal. It is an important milestone in pregnancy and one that many moms really look forward to during the early part of pregnancy. You might have some really specific ideas about what you expect at a baby shower; perhaps you’ve given all the details to the hostess or even helped planned it out. Maybe you have chosen to take a back seat and just show up and enjoy the party.

Either way, the chances that you don’t have a few lurking worries is slim.

When I talked to moms about what they worried about before their shower, it was a mixed bag and some things that never would have occurred to me to think about.

Your Water Will Break

This one topped the list! More than one mother worried that she would go into labor at the baby shower and have to make a really dramatic exit. This usually involved grand water breaking scenes, where everyone in the room obviously knew what had happened. The good news is that having your water break before labor only happens about 13% of the time, that means you’ve got an 87% chance it won’t happen to you, particularly at your baby shower. Does that make you feel any better?

Having the Baby Before the Shower

Close on the heels of going into labor at the actual time of the event was having the baby arrive before the big day. Most moms really wanted to kick back and enjoy the party with their friends and family.

They wanted to be celebrated, so, sharing the limelight, even with the baby, wasn’t part of their ideal. That said, moms felt better about this if the shower didn’t have to be altered in any way and she was able to go and bring the baby with her. (Then germs became the source of fear.)

People Will Fight

Well, any family gathering has the potential for family feuds.

The same goes for gatherings of friends or co-workers. While you can’t completely prevent fights, typically people are respectful when at baby showers. They usually police themselves very well. Now, that said, you can help by avoiding serving alcohol, which can cause people to let down their guard. So if you know you’ve got some flames, don’t fan them in the baby shower!

Someone Bringing a Baby

While many moms really didn’t care if someone brought a small baby who was in arms, other mothers felt very strongly about this one. They felt it was an affront to their unborn baby, that this little one could potentially steal the show, as one mom put it. If you’re worried about it, state it up front. But, also be prepared for your friends with tiny babies to stay home. You might think it’s a reasonable expectation to leave the baby at home with dad for a few hours, but that’s not what works for other families. So, no judgment, just honest communication and understanding will help.

Someone Announcing a Pregnancy

Talk about stealing the show! Many moms wrote to me about having someone announce a pregnancy or engagement at their baby shower. They felt like it was a way to be rude that couldn’t really be undone.

So, if you have big news, share it well before or completely after the baby shower.

Duplicate Gifts

This seems like an odd one, but it was more about how to have the gracious reaction to a duplicate gift. The thought process was that you didn’t make either person feel bad about giving a duplicate gift. Think about this beforehand. Sometimes using a registry can prevent this, but it doesn’t always work.

Having People Watch You Open Gifts

More than one mother mentioned that she hated being the center of attention, particularly when it came to the gift opening. Unlike kid birthday parties it’s hard to get around opening gifts at a baby shower.

Though one mom said that she invited the shower attendees to each grab a gift and open it, while she took notes. The only rule was that you couldn’t open the gift you brought!

No One Will Show Up

And who doesn’t at least have this fear a tiny bit? I know that every party I have, I always have a tiny inkling that this may happen in the last few minutes before a guest shows up. Rely on your guest list and RSVPs. Certainly, this won’t be a perfect count, but you can assume that number, +/- 1 or 2.