“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage,” goes the traditional rhyme. But these days, the baby shower comes before the baby.
Are baby showers necessary, though? Freelance writer A.J. O’Connell doesn’t think so.
“The idea of throwing myself a party and inviting other people to give me presents always made me uncomfortable,” she writes in The Billfold. “And anyhow, sitting in front of a room and opening presents in front of all my female friends and relations at eight months pregnant sounded like my idea of hell.”
The Outrageous Cost of a Newborn
So O’Connell decided not to have a shower. And though her husband understood her decision, he worried about the financial repercussions.
Why? Because babies are expensive: On average, they cost a whopping $12,000 in their first year of life. Baby showers can help new parents offset this cost.
Despite warnings from family and friends, O’Connell stuck with her decision. When they continued to press her, she created a “modest” online registry with the things she thought she’d “really need.”
For the rest of her baby supplies, she relied on carefully researched purchases and hand-me-downs. “After going over the receipts, we probably spent $1,100, all told, on outfitting our home for a new baby,” she writes.
Could that money have been saved — or rather, borne by her family and friends — if she’d had a shower? Probably.
But for O’Connell, who doesn’t like “sitting inside on weekend afternoons” or “eating salad and drinking chardonnay while making small talk about labor pains,” it was a cost she was willing to bear.
Your Turn: What’s your opinion on baby showers? Did you have one?
Susan Shain (@Susan_Shain) is a freelance writer and travel blogger who is always seeking adventure on a budget.