The stars of a baby shower are the expectant mom and the unborn baby. That's exactly as it should be. But if grandmothers are on the guest list, they should be made to feel welcome and special, too.
Sometimes a grandmother is very close to a daughter and knows all of her daughter's friends. At the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe the expectant mom is a daughter-in-law, and the grandmother doesn't know any of her friends.
In both situations, and in all those in-between, a little thought should be given to the grandmothers.
- Confirm the date.
Lots of grandparents are retired and travel a lot. Others are still working and have many job commitments. It's important to make sure that the grandmothers are available on the planned date. In the case of long-distance grandparents who may have to travel by air, make plans early so that the airline tickets won't cost a fortune.
- Ask the grandmothers if they would like to invite a friend.
Letting the grandmothers bring a friend is a good way to increase their comfort. The grandmothers will enjoy showing off the mommy-to-be. And it's always more fun to share occasions with a friend.
- Use a registry.
Baby registries are lifesavers for grandparents who may not be up on all the latest baby gear. If guests use them properly, using a registry also avoids the dilemma of duplicate gifts. Parents shouldn't wait too long to assemble their registry list, however, as many grandparents like to do things early.
- Be mindful of the grandparents' budgets.
Expectant parents should put some reasonably priced items on their registry. It may be their right to pick out the perfect ensemble for their nursery, but most members of the older generation have a practical side. They want to buy something that will please, but designer diaper bags and couture onesies may leave them cold.
- Offer transportation.
If the shower is in an unfamiliar location, it's nice if grandmothers don't have to navigate there on their own. The parents should offer to pick them up or arrange transportation with another attendee. Some grandmothers will prefer to find their own way, but they will still appreciate the offer.
- Include grandmothers in the festivities.
At the shower, introduce me to the guests I don’t know, and make an effort to include me in the conversation, especially if I do not know the other shower guests. It's a nice gesture to seat the grandmothers next to the expectant mother for the gift-opening festivities.
- Show appreciation for the grandparents' gift.
Of course the honoree can't seem to appreciate one gift more than another, but a grandmother's gift should be oohed and aahed over a bit. Also, send a thank-you note. Although the grandmothers are family, they still deserve a thank-you, and they will probably be looking for it.
- Use the grandparents' gifts.
When the grandparents come to visit, it's nice if the baby is dressed in an outfit they provided. It's also a nice gesture to send pictures of the baby wearing the outfit or playing with the toys that the grandparents bought. Finding their gifts stashed somewhere with gift tags attached will not make them happy!