Baby shower

You’re pregnant with your second baby. Is that an occasion for another party? When is a second baby shower okay, and does it depend on the sex of the baby or years between pregnancies? We asked moms to share what is appropriate and what’s not.

Every baby deserves
a celebration

Baby showers traditionally were thrown for the expectant mother by a close friend or co-worker (usually not a relative) and only for her first baby. In modern times, baby showers are given not just for the first child, but the rest as well. While Miss Manners may be shocked to discover the way the tradition is unfolding, it makes sense on many levels.

We talked with moms to find out if they thought baby showers for second (or more) babies were okay, or if the practice is still seen as gift-grabbing and — gulp — tacky.

Every baby deserves a party

Most moms we talked to had no issue with second — and subsequent — showers because they felt that every pregnancy deserves to be recognized. “I had a shower for all three of my children,” shared Dawn. “They are all special and all deserved to have a celebration of their impending birth.”

Older and wiser

There are many valid reasons to have baby showers for your second and subsequent pregnancies. One reason is that having been through babyhood once already, you’re wise enough to know you really won’t use the wipe warmer this time around. “I'm on my second baby and will be having another shower,” shared Sarah from Missouri. “There are a few things I didn't know I wanted last time around, but more than that, I want to celebrate this new addition.”

Big gap or different sex

If there’s a big gap between your last pregnancy and this one, you might find that your hand-me-down baby gear may have expired or have been recalled by the time your new baby is born. You also may have misplaced or given away some of your baby-care items, such as your breast pump or crib sheets. Clothes are the best things to hand down to your next child, but if you had a girl the first time, you’ll probably opt to not dress a boy in pink or lace-trimmed dresses. A shower for baby clothes makes practical sense in this case, as everyone loves to buy baby clothes.

But keep in mind that in the absence of a big gap or expecting a different sex, even moms with closely-spaced pregnancies would love and enjoy a baby shower too.

Alternatives to traditional showers

Even first-timers may want to consider these alternatives to traditional baby showers. If you’re hosting a baby shower for a family member or friend, try one of these ideas instead.

  • Host a "sprinkle" — a casual get-together with family and close friends
  • Have a “sip and see” or “meet and greet” after the baby is born
  • Do a diaper shower — have participants bring a package of disposable diapers or a few cloth diapers instead of a traditional baby gift
  • Coordinate with the guests and have everyone chip in on a big-ticket item, like a stroller Mom is coveting
  • Have a craft session — everyone can design a fabric square to be made into a quilt, for example
  • Pool cash and buy the parents-to-be a gift card to their favorite store so they can get what they need
  • Have guests write letters to the parents or the baby and have them professionally bound into a keepsake book

The key is celebration

Moms expecting their second baby can sometimes feel like this one is less important or exciting than their first, so having a celebration to honor her and the baby is a great way to help her feel loved. As Jessica, mom of five, explained, “It doesn't have to be about gifts, it can be about everyone getting together to celebrate the new baby and spend time together.”

More on baby showers

Throw a baby sprinkle
It's a boy... and a girl!
Dirty diaper cookies for a baby shower


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Comments on "Should you have a baby shower for a second pregnancy?"

Allyse March 31, 2014 | 1:12 PM

I have two kids and didn't have a shower with either one. With both, we had relocated during the pregnancy. Family sent gifts for both, of course. I have been to many showers, but I never felt the need for one. Maybe I was all showered out. One cousin on my hubby's side of the family was given 5 showers for one wedding.. I start to feel like showers are becoming overdone. The last baby shower I attended I was instructed to purchase and item from the registry at Target. Before that I went to in one year - engagement shower, bridal shower, baby shower - for one person. My neice-in-law's shower lasted over 3 hours, and half of that was opening the gifts from 80 attendees. It just gets tiring, or maybe I'm being cynical.

Steph & Jasen March 31, 2014 | 8:37 AM

I don't know from where Steph you get the idea that you shouldn't have a baby shower!! Look in the internet on the etiquette of baby showers. The people that have told you is not right are WRONG!!! xox

Casey March 17, 2014 | 12:47 PM

I don't necessarily see a problem with it. If your friends or family want to throw you a shower, then let them. It means they want to give you gifts and celebrate. I don't know if I'll have one for this baby, but I imagine my mom will want me to have one - especially if it's a girl (we have a son). We didn't expect to have a second child, what with lousy private insurance and all. I think it's perfectly OK. Nearly 6 years later, we've given away most of our baby stuff to our close friends who had a baby. We don't "need" anything, but it's always nice to feel appreciated and that those you love and would be excited for feel the same for you and yours. If you don't want to buy gifts for someone, then you don't have to go. To AC, I'm very sad you feel like no one cares and I can't blame you if that's the reaction you've received from your mother. Something I've had to learn is that you only "need" your immediately family, meaning your SO, your kids, and yourself. If anyone allows jealousy or apathy get in the way, they don't deserve your worry or upset. I truly wish you all the best!

AC March 16, 2014 | 2:39 PM

I don't think gifts are neessary, but a nice get together would've been nice. I feel like my family doesn't even care about this one. They haven't really even asked about this one except for my grandma. And my mom is poed she won't be in the delivery room this time. She said to call her when I go into labor and after I have the baby because she WILL NOT wait at the hospital. I just feel like she doesn't care.

Ally March 12, 2014 | 9:43 PM

I was taught that you only get one baby shower. It really isn't fair to have a party and call it a "sprinkle" with confusing expectations for guests. I have had to go to several second and third baby showers where they tell you "a gift is not necessary but always appreciated". I guess I can see if you have children 10 years apart but I take it as rude when the parents already have 3 boys under the age of 4 and are expecting you to buy them stuff for their 4th boy!?!? The baby has no idea its being celebrated, the shower is for the mother and one is all you need. anything more than that is asking too much of family and friends.

Jesse March 12, 2014 | 11:21 AM

I don't know. A good friend of mine is having her third child and throwing a 3rd baby shower. I am happy for her and her husband, but I am not keen on having to buy something and attend the shower. I don't mean to sound rude, but one shower is enough, and if you plan on having a big family, keep things plain and universal so that anything from the first shower and first child can be utilized by #'s 2 - 20...and if you need gender specific and trendy baby stuff, don't expect others to foot the bill and buy it with your own cash. Sometimes this whole "village" mentality can be frustrating.

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