Baby on the way, and not feeling up for a traditional baby shower? You’re not alone. In recent years, more and more expectant parents have felt compelled to switch things up. Now more than ever, parents-to-be and their loved ones are getting creative with nontraditional ways to celebrate the little ones on the way. Turns out, you can be “showered” without sticking to the rule book. 

There are plenty of reasons moms-to-be would rather skip a large shower or have their party but not receive a ton of gifts. Whether you’re not a fan of large, traditional showers; don’t want to be around a bunch of people while pregnant; or just feel you have everything Baby needs and being showered in gifts is wasteful… it’s okay to say “No, thank you” when someone offers to throw a baby shower. It’s also acceptable (and fun!) to celebrate your baby in a different way. Here are some baby shower alternative ideas to consider.

Baby Shower Party Alternatives

Baby Shower Sprinkle

If this is your second or a subsequent baby, or it’s your first and you simply don’t want a huge soiree, think about a baby sprinkle. This is a smaller gathering, where the parent-to-be receives a lighter “sprinkling” of gifts rather than a downpour. This smaller version of the baby shower is typically a less formal and extravagant party with just the inner circle. 

Sip-And-See Party

Love a big party but not feeling the idea of being oohed and aahed over while waiting for Baby’s debut? This Southern tradition, wherein a gathering is held after Baby’s arrival, is picking up speed everywhere. A sip-and-see party can be co-ed or just for the girls, large or small in terms of the guest list. The main difference between a shower and sip-and-see is that your baby is already here…meaning eyes are off you!

Virtual Baby Shower

Whether germ- or distance-motivated, there are lots of parents-to-be opting out of an in-person shower and into something virtual. The benefits are many, from not having to get dressed and leave your house to being able to receive love and enjoy conversation with everyone you want there, even those who live far away. You can play virtual baby shower games, catch up, and even open gifts in real-time with your guests, right from the comfort of your own living room. 

Baby Shower by Mail

Like a virtual shower, but there’s even less to do. Basically, a lovely note is sent by your friend, sister, mom, or partner sharing your baby news and registry information. Open and enjoy your gifts at your own pace, maybe even saving all the packages in one spot to go through yourself with a cupcake in your pajamas at a calm moment. Make sure if you are showered by mail, you take the time and effort to pen actual baby shower thank-you notes and put them in the mail, since your friends and family didn’t receive the joys of celebrating with you in person and watching you open your gifts face-to-face. 

Do Community Service

Gather your group and get to work! What better way to honor the new little life on the way than getting together with the people who mean the most to you and pouring their love and your own back into the community? Whether you go out and volunteer together for a local charity or public works project, or put together care packages in someone’s kitchen together over snacks and conversation, you will never forget this special way you honored your last few weeks before Baby’s arrival to give back.

Baby Shower Gift Alternatives

There is nothing wrong with creating a baby registry and enjoying opening gifts for your little one. It’s a time-honored tradition. But, if you have everything you need and want for Baby, or are superstitious about baby gifts before birth, the thought of sitting down and opening a mound of presents might make you cringe. Fear not, as you can absolutely be showered or sprinkled in person without receiving a ton of material items. 

Word to the wise: writing “No gifts, please” on a baby shower invitation is likely to be met with raised eyebrows and then largely ignored. People want to do something; it’s human nature. Instead of requesting nothing at all, make sure the invitation to the shower intentionally requests, “In lieu of gifts, please consider…” with the alternative of your choice. This way, your guests have somewhere to channel those good intentions that you can all be happy about:

  • Ask for books instead of gifts: What little one can’t benefit from a budding library? Any double-ups or books you don’t want will be much appreciated donations to a local children’s initiative after the shower. (Here are some of our favorite baby books!)
  • Select a baby- or mother-related charity: Whether that’s March of Dimes, a fund for abused women, or something else, pick a cause that speaks to your heart. Ask for guests to donate in your name instead of bringing gifts. When going this route, pick something that is not politically motivated or overly religious in nature unless you know your guests hold similar beliefs. Neutral ground works best. (We love these nonprofit organizations that help families in need!)
  • Do a diaper raffle: (Because, let’s face it, you can never have enough diapers!). Also, this way your guests reap a benefit too, by going up for some pretty awesome prizes in exchange for bringing a pack. Conversely, you can also spell out that the diapers will be donated. Women’s shelters and local free pantries are always in need of them. Formula and wipes, too.
  • Ask for baby gifts for donation: This is another way you can divert the showering gestures from yourself to someone who actually needs them. Whether you sponsor another mom-to-be’s wish list or link up with a local charity that supports expectant moms, it’s a great way to let your guests go all-out picking something special, while also doing good in your community or abroad.  

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.