A no gift baby shower is a popular option for people who prefer to celebrate the arrival of their little one in a different way.
If you’re responsible for planning this type of baby shower, you can tactfully ask attendees to gift the expectant parent with the honor of their presence.
Make it clear from the start that their presence is the best gift that you hope to receive. Your invitation could also give clear guidelines on what the format of the baby shower will be like.
Place Emphasis on Your Values
Parents who request a no gift baby shower may do so because of their values and priorities. For example, some people choose to live in a minimalistic way and they don’t want anything that clashes with that, even when it comes it important celebrations. Others may place an emphasis on sustainable living and try to avoid items that can only be used a few times, are made in a way that exploits other people or come with wasteful packaging. In order to avoid being offended or causing offense to anyone, they prefer celebrations that do not revolve around tangible gifts.
A no gift baby shower helps parents to avoid feeling like they are telling others what to give them or being too stringent with that they will accept. There’s also the issue of placing pressure on friends and family. If parents are aware that several of their loved ones are facing financial strain because of job losses or other factors, they may wish to avoid gift giving. They want to celebrate with those they love and focus on the joy of being together, instead of material things.
Rename The Event
Some of your loved ones may immediately think of showering you with gifts if you invite them to a baby shower. Sometimes, simply renaming the event can make it easier for them to attend without a stroller, baby clothes and other gifts in tow.
Consider calling it a Baby Celebration or tell your friends and family that you’ll be having a party to celebrate good times together and new beginnings.
Call it Celebrating New Beginnings and place the focus on being together, instead of on treating the new mom and dad.
Some women call their shower a “Sprinke” if it’s for their second baby and make the event about celebrating, instead of gifts.
You could consider renaming the party in this way even if it’s your first child.
You could also call it a Welcoming Baby party and place the emphasis on partying.
With all of these, make sure you have a lot of fun activities planned that engage your guests from the moment they first walk through the door, whether it’s a meet and greet activity or something else.
You don’t want to have any moments where people sit and feel uncomfortable because they have not brought anything.
Make It A Forum For Sharing Advice
It’s likely that if you want to do a no gift baby shower, some of the people who may have objections to it may also be the people who have lots of advice to share.
Shift the focus of the shower from physical gifts to gifts of knowledge and time.
Let each person you invite to the shower know that that they will be able to have five to 10 minutes to share some of the most important lessons they have learned about being a mentor, parent, aunt or guide to a child.
While everyone who is attending may not have children, they all should have been able to give a word of advice to a child at some point or have some experience in their life that stands out to them.
Having a party with this type of focus gives everyone the chance to feel as though they have contributed in a meaningful way to what you’re about to experience.
Make it clear that they aren’t expected to be experts and you’re not going to necessarily do things their way but you want a few gems of experience that they would want to pass on to your family.
Whether you’re a new parent or are just starting the journey of parenthood, you are likely to find gems that will take you through the years to come.
Take the time to cater the request to what you may have recognized each person has considerable experience n.
For example, if you have a friend who doesn’t have children but he coaches a football team of young children, ask him to share some of the important lessons that he has learned while doing that.
Focus on Destressing
Carrying a baby makes sleep less comfortable and moms have to adjust via pregnancy pillows and other accessories, New parents will enjoy their last few weeks of relatively good sleep right before the baby comes. After that, a full night of sleep will be a distant memory for both. It’s important to take time before the arrival of your baby to pamper yourselves. In addition, friends and family will have their lives affected, since they are the ones who will be assisting every now and then with any situations that you might encounter.
To give everyone some fun time before your baby is born, make the party about relaxing activities that remove the stress. You could have your no gift baby shower at a beach and just make it about being a relaxing day for everyone. If it’s in line with your values, you could also go to an environmentally-friendly spa and take it easy for the day. If you have a small yard or garden, have a barbeque and talk with friends.
If you don’t have the space outdoors, you could also have a minimalistic home spa treatment inside your living room. Set up relaxing foot soaks and massages for everyone. The person planning your event can make use of several reusable options for relaxation that are also affordable. Dress up your potted plants with fabric and create a different atmosphere that soothes you.
Suggest Books Only
If you know that some of your guests will feel really bad if they don’t bring a gift, have a no gift baby shower but say in the invitation that previously loved books are welcome.
Several people have had “Loved Books, Old or New” showers which have been appreciated by everyone in attendance. These allow you to share your excitement and celebrate the upcoming birth, even if you’ve already had several children and don’t really need anything.
Suggest books directly in your invitation. You could say something like ‘Your presence is all we need but loved books are welcome if you feel inspired”.
If you don’t say that, some people will still feel compelled to bring gifts with them. They won’t know if you really mean it when you say that you don’t want gifts and some may even feel upset with you. Allow them to bring a gift if they choose.
Suggest A Donation To A Children’s Charity
If you don’t want gifts because you feel that you have enough, use the opportunity to get gifts for children who need it.
Let your guests know which charities you’re interested in supporting and that you would like them to give a donation in your name.
Suggest that they can inform you of the charity by giving a card with a note inside at the event, or via some other means.
Celebrate What Other People Mean To You
A new baby can divert attention away from other people in the family.
For example, if you used to visit your mother-in-law every other week, you may not be able to do that when the baby comes.
This in fact, can even cause problems with the relationship that the parents have with each other, especially if one person feels that child-rearing is the primary responsibility of the other and then feels neglected when the primary caregiver or overburdened parent has no energy left to be as attentive to them as before.
You can have a party to remind other people in your life that they are important to you.
People do enjoy being affirmed and while some people in your life may be shy, even they may appreciate being told that they are valuable to you and the arrival of your new baby will not change that.
Let your guests know in advance if you want your party to have this type of format, so you can find out just how much affirmation they are comfortable with and can adjust to meet their preferences.
Some people may like to have you spend five minutes recounting a special memory that you have of them.
Others will feel loved if you summarize what you want to say in just one minute. Parents can use this opportunity to praise each other in front of their friends and family.
If you have other children, you can also let them know, in front of everyone, that they are important to you and although the new baby may need a little attention, you still love them.