Outdated Baby Shower Traditions You Should Skip

Significant life events are certainly worth celebrating. Attending your senior prom in your final year of high school, graduating college, purchasing your first home, getting married to the love of your life, and landing your dream career are some of those lovely, life-changing moments. Finding out you're pregnant also deserves a place on this list. Being pregnant and giving birth to a child is an undeniably beautiful thing to experience in your lifetime. 


This is an event that deserves to be celebrated with your friends, family, and closest loved ones. When you agree to have a baby shower in celebration of such a life-altering announcement, it gives everyone you know the chance to make you feel special during your pregnancy. Times have changed over the years, though, and there are tons of baby shower traditions that no longer make sense in this day and age. These are some of the outdated baby shower traditions you might want to leave in the dust.

Surprising mom-to-be with a mystery menu

If you're in charge of planning a wonderful baby shower for a special mom-to-be in your life, the last thing you'll want to do is surprise her with a mystery menu. The mommy being celebrated should have ultimate decision-making power regarding which food items are being served at her event. If you're craving potato skins, mini quesadillas, and chicken tenders, you will have to make sure that the mom-to-be also has a palate for those items. 


She might prefer chicken empanadas, chocolate truffles, and parmesan-crusted baby potatoes instead. All it takes is having a considerate conversation with the mommy in question to make sure her cravings are being catered to. 

It's common knowledge that pregnant women crave a wide range of flavors than they normally would without a baby in their womb. Plus, the expecting mother is probably working really hard to manage those pregnancy cravings that won't go away. Giving a pregnant woman the chance to narrow down her menu options will make her feel at ease about what to expect. And she'll feel respected as the focal point of the party, which is the ultimate goal. 

Playing Measure the Belly

Measure the Belly is a common game to play at baby showers, but it needs to be dropped forever. Unless the expecting mother is totally on board with playing a game like this one, it's not fair to put her in an uncomfortable position where multiple people are touching her and taking guesses about her size. If the pregnant woman in question is feeling slightly insecure about her fluctuating weight during her pregnancy, it's probable she wouldn't want people reminding her with their different guesses. Even if a pregnant woman tries to be a good sport during a game like this, it can spike some serious feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness. 


On a separate note, plenty of pregnant women dislike the idea of different folks feeling up their stomachs since they don't want different energies impacting the unborn child in their womb. Women who don't want to be touched during their pregnancy aren't trying to be rude or closed off. Sometimes, they just want to protect the life growing inside their body from any negative sources they're unaware of.

Freezing plastic babies in ice cubes

Although you might think it sounds cute to freeze tiny plastic babies inside ice cubes to be served in the drinks at a baby shower, this is a cringe-worthy idea to avoid completely. Freezing plastic babies in ice cubes ultimately leads to very awkward and uncomfortable results once all the ice fully melts. Plastic babies will be floating around in everyone's cups, which doesn't lead to anything other than lost appetites and bewilderment. This is one of those ideas that sounds adorable in theory but ends up being creepy in practice. 


If you still want to have fun by getting creative with baby shower ice cubes, you can opt for flavored or color-coded cubes to match the theme. You can also use frozen fruit as ice cubes to add a little extra pizzazz. Oranges, mint, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi are top choices to get the job done while adding some deliciously fresh flavor to whatever everyone's sipping on.

Excluding men from the invite list

It's time to stop excluding men from the invite list at baby showers. Men should be included if they feel inclined to come and celebrate. It's easy enough to assume plenty of men would rather skip out on baby showers to play golf, watch sporting events, or enjoy a game of pool at a bar. In reality, you might be surprised at how many men would actually take an interest in baby shower celebrations if they were to be included. 


This is especially true for men who are excited about their wives, girlfriends, cousins, sisters, and close female friends who announce a pregnancy. Inviting men to baby showers opens up the door to a more diverse and inclusive experience. Instead of simply expecting a group of women to come together to honor the beauty of pregnancy, men can join in on all of the hype and anticipation. 

Tweaking this tradition would be great news for loved-up couples who want to be added to baby shower guest lists as a duo so they can have fun together, and all the fathers-to-be who want to be equally acknowledged and involved.

Playing Guess the Baby Food Flavor

Guess the Baby Food Flavor isn't really an entertaining game for anyone since it requires baby shower guests to swallow different flavors of baby food. The rules of this game are simple. Multiple unlabeled bowls of baby food are arranged with spoons. Anyone who wants to participate must swallow each spoonful before writing down their guesses for each flavor. Some of the common baby food flavors to incorporate in this game include mashed green peas, avocado, butternut squash, and yam. All of the flavors are typically puréed to a smooth, thick consistency.


The reason this game needs to be axed is that it isn't super enjoyable for adults to chow down on baby food, regardless of how open-minded they might be with their cuisine. Baby food was explicitly designed for babies for a reason. They don't have teeth yet, and they can't necessarily complain about much with their words. Any food items consumed at a baby shower by adults should be tasteful and delicious, which means a game requiring people to eat baby food simply doesn't belong.

Joking about the risks and dread of child labor

Baby shower guests might think it's silly to make jokes about the risks and dreads of child labor. In reality, this is actually a very cruel thing to do to a pregnant woman. Some pregnant women may already be dealing with tons of anxiety about what might happen on the day they go into labor. It's not fair for anyone to pile on and make it worse. Their level of nervousness will only rise if baby shower guests are cracking jokes about everything that could possibly go wrong. 


There's nothing endearing or witty about making scary labor jokes in the middle of a baby shower. There's a time and place for everything, which means that if a pregnant woman really wants to learn in-depth information about what to expect when she goes into labor, she'll do that when she's ready. Baby showers are meant to be lighthearted, pleasant, sweet, and filled with heartfelt moments to reflect on forever. They aren't meant to be the backdrop for grotesque or overly-edgy labor humor.

Forcing a gift-opening circle

There's no reason to force a gift-opening circle in this day and age. Making everyone sit around one person as they unwrap all their gifts is not the most enjoyable party moment ever. Rather, pregnant women can spend time opening their presents after their baby shower comes to an end. Instead of having an audience surrounding them, they can take their sweet time opening each item and genuinely relishing the moment with gratitude. People who open gifts in front of a circle of people often feel rushed to work their way through the pile faster, especially if there are a lot of gits to get through. 


It can also feel awkward being watched as you go through all your gifts. Pregnant women who open their gifts after the party will be able to express their natural reactions to seeing each one instead of pretending to be overly excited about items they don't care about very much. They can keep track of each gift by writing down who gifted each thing in order to send thoughtful thank-you cards to everyone who attended.

Giving mom-to-be unsolicited parenting tips

Unless the mom-to-be specifically asks for parenting tips and advice, no one should approach her with random blurbs of insight or gems of wisdom at her baby shower. Baby shower guests should refrain from bombarding a pregnant woman with their personal guidance, no matter how helpful they think they're being. Receiving unsolicited advice is pretty annoying from anyone about any topic, way beyond pregnancy, child-rearing, and parenthood. 


When a pregnant woman is presented with multiple unsolicited parenting tips at a baby shower, it might make her feel incredibly overwhelmed about what's to come after her baby is born. Women who do want solid advice about becoming mothers will seek that information from others they genuinely trust. Their curiosity will open the door to plenty of conversations at the right place and time. Baby showers are meant to be celebratory events that are entertaining and memorable, not parties that weigh a pregnant woman down with unnecessary stress and pressure.

Presenting mom-to-be with an inappropriate gag cake or gift

Planning a baby shower takes a lot of time and energy. Baby shower planners might selfishly find joy in opting for a gag cake to surprise the mom-to-be-with. This isn't actually a sweet or thoughtful thing to do, though. In fact, presenting a pregnant woman with a gag cake is beyond inappropriate. One of the worst possible gag cakes to consider is one that leads to some sort of loud popping noise or visual explosion. 


Spooking a pregnant woman while she's carrying a child is completely wrong since it can impact her health by jolting her anxiety and spiking her heart rate. The same rule applies to any inappropriate gag gifts that may come to mind. Pregnancy is a serious endeavor for any woman to go through. Receiving a baby shower cake that isn't edible, looks disgusting, or tastes horrible is simply mean. Receiving baby shower gifts that aren't usable or helpful is also pretty mean.

Gifting toys and clothes meant for toddler-aged children

Gifting toys and clothes meant for toddler-aged children is a huge mistake to make at a baby shower. Once the baby is born, they are incredibly small in size. There is no reason for an infant to have a closet filled with clothes and toys dedicated to a child who already knows how to walk around, say a few words, and slightly navigate through life. By the time a child reaches toddler age, they're most likely able to sort shapes and colors successfully, and they might even be showing an interest in potty training. 


Toddlers learn new words throughout the first few years of their life. They can also figure out who their favorite animated characters are in movies and TV shows. Infants aren't capable of doing any of these things. When purchasing clothing for an infant child, it's important to select pieces that are small enough to fit their tiny bodies. Also, paying attention to choking hazards and other significant details is essential regarding toy selection. Infants need baby bottles, crib linens, and loads of diapers. Ensuring that an expecting mother has enough diapers on deck is an absolute must!

Playing Guess the Chocolate Bar

While a game called Guess the Chocolate Bar doesn't seem so bad, when you learn the details, it will probably be enough to ruin your appetite and totally gross you out. The rules are simple enough, as all you have to do is guess which melted chocolate bar is placed in the center of a diaper. The person in charge of arranging this game melts various chocolate bars: Snickers, Crunch, Twix, Kit Kat, Butterfinger, and any other chocolate bars that come to mind and places them in several diapers. 


People who participate in this game make their guesses based on any of the five senses they want to rely on. This means they can use sight, smell, touch, and taste. Those who rely on taste to figure out chocolate bar flavors will look like they're eating the remnants of a baby's soiled diaper. This is another one of those ideas that sounds silly and cute in theory but ends up coming across as appalling in practice.

Gifting pre-owned items

No matter how thoughtful you believe a specific gift might be for a mom-to-be, it would be best if you didn't give her anything already used in the past. Previously-used items should be banned from baby showers for a multitude of reasons. Pregnant women who are being celebrated deserve to be gifted with brand-new gifts that have been individually selected for them. Odds are, pregnant women who are at the center of baby showers have already created gift registries to reference. They make things easier for friends, family, and loved ones. When guests show up with items that have been previously used, it comes across as lazy. 


It's clear they didn't take the time to consider the mom-to-be's actual needs from her registry list. Also, taking care of a newborn baby regarding their health and well-being is essential. This means that it wouldn't be right to have them playing with or eating from items previously owned at some point in history. This rule is especially important when thinking about gifting items such as strollers, cribs, and bouncers. Depending on how old these items are, they might no longer be in safe or sturdy condition.

Keeping the baby shower completely liquor-free

There's a lot of back-and-forth dialogue about whether or not baby showers should be completely liquor-free. At the end of the day, the only person who can't drink at a baby shower is the mom-to-be who's actively pregnant. All of the guests in attendance shouldn't have to suffer if they aren't also pregnant. There's no denying the fact that parties can be loads of fun without a drop of liquor in sight. 


Still, if a mom-to-be knows that her friends, family, and loved ones genuinely enjoy a nice bubbly beer or a sparkling glass of wine occasionally, liquor shouldn't be completely off-limits during the event. A baby shower doesn't need an open bar, or a full table of fancy bottles lined up. But a handful of alcoholic options should be available for guests who've gone out of their way to attend the baby shower in the first place. Odds are, they're looking forward to unwinding a bit and enjoying their time while they're there. 

Having champagne on deck is also a must if any guests want to commemorate the moment with a toast. Plus, the mom-to-be can hop on the mocktail trend and enjoy a delicious, personally curated mocktail while her guests enjoy their beverages.


Relying solely on guests for pictures and videos

If saving long-lasting memories is your top priority, relying solely on baby shower guests for pictures and videos isn't a smart thing to do. It's also a very big request to tell your baby shower guests they need to be snapping photos and videos during a time when they should be celebrating the beauty of your pregnancy. Instead of allowing people to live in the moment and bask in all the exciting energy, guests will feel pressured to record everything happening around them. 


There's nothing wrong with wanting to preserve wonderful memories to look back on in the future. The best way to go about this, though, is to hire a designated photographer who will be in charge of capturing the magic. They will do their best to document the bliss of the baby shower while removing unnecessary stress from the shoulders of the guests. 

There are super affordable photographers to hire if you're also hoping to save money. Photography students who are still in school or actively in the training process are usually willing to provide their services for free or at a discounted cost so they can build their portfolio.

Playing Pin the Sperm on the Egg

When you notice a game called Pin the Sperm on the Egg as part of a baby shower activity list, you might be a little weirded out by it. The name of this game says it all, and it's not saying anything too great! This game is a rendition of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, except it's a lot more inappropriate. People who participate will be blindfolded and spun around a handful of times with an animated cutout of a sperm image in their hand. In front of them, a picture of ovaries filled with eggs is plastered on the wall. 


It's up to the blindfolded person to guess where to place the sperm cutout as they try to "fertilize" one of the eggs on the wall. There are plenty of exciting games to play at baby showers that don't involve such awkward and uncomfortable themes. Instead of playing a game that includes those animated visuals, the common game called Who Knows Mommy Best? might be a better alternative. Guests simply have to answer questions about the expecting mother to prove how well they know her.

Pressuring mom-to-be to reveal her baby's gender if she's not ready

Some expecting mothers are excited to reveal their baby's gender as soon as possible. In fact, gender reveal parties have been such a hit in recent years for that very reason. While some gender reveal parties are casual, others are unique and over the top. In some cases, fireworks or smoke bombs will pop off in pink or blue as the revealed answer to let everyone know which gender to expect. 


However, this isn't how every pregnant woman wants to go about things. Some expecting moms would rather be surprised on the actual day they give birth to their child. They're fine with waiting until they go into labor to discover which gender pops out. 

Other expecting women are already aware of the gender but don't want anyone else to know until they're ready to share. Some pregnant women don't want to talk about their baby's gender at all because they want to honor the transgender community by allowing their child to identify themselves when they get older. For these reasons, no one should pressure a pregnant woman to reveal such important information until she's absolutely ready to do so — whether you're at a baby shower or somewhere else.