Baby Manners Advice From the Crowd on Etiquette for the Expecting

Gift buying is one way your friends and family might celebrate a new baby on the way. But what is the polite protocol for baby gifts and showers? We asked our Facebook friends and here is what they said:

How Long Do I Have to Write Thank-You Notes?

Survey said: Until the end of your maternity leave. If you can get started before the baby arrives, that is great. But moms say most people are understanding that life is crazy once a new baby arrives. It’s not impolite to let thank-you notes slip to the back-burner for at least 6 weeks.

Mom tip: Keep a notepad with a running list of all the gifts you receive. Jot down the gift and sender as soon as you open it, then cross it off once the note is mailed. Don’t rely on your memory for baby gifts!

What If I Want to Return a Gift?

Survey said: In an ideal world, everyone would stick to the registry or attach a gift receipt. But returns are inevitable. Most stores will offer store credit for returns without the original receipt, so you can at least get a gift card to spend on diapers. But you should never ask for a receipt from the gift-giver.

Mom tip: If the gift is clothing or a toy, take a picture of the baby with it before returning it. You can show the photo to the gift-giver and they are none the wiser you returned it!

What About “Re-Gifting”?

Survey said: Who is going to know? You can always say “I got one of these as a baby gift and loved it, so I wanted to give one to you!”

Mom tip: Only re-gift if the item is still in it’s original, unopened packaging.

Can I Host My Own Baby Shower?

Survey said: You can, but it’s not rude to check in with your family and friends first. Talk to your loved ones before you send your own invitations. If no one has offered, they may just have assumed someone else was on top of it.

Mom tip: Get one-on-one with a female relative or friend and say “I would love a baby shower to celebrate this pregnancy. Do you know if anyone is interested in planning one with me?”