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We’ve corrupted the Brits. Thanks Jennifer Aniston.

Blooming cheek? Two-thirds of mothers-to-be are stocking up for their newborns with American-style baby showers

By Daily Mail Reporter (Read more here)
10th August 2010

They were once seen as an American tradition but the popularity of baby showers is soaring in Britain, according to a poll.

Two thirds of expectant mothers now plan to treat themselves to a pre-birth party.

The average mother-to-be can expect to receive gifts worth £150, according to the study by gift company Me to You.

These Brit mommies “plan to*treat* themselves” to a shower?  Good heavens, ladies, if you are going to assimilate an American custom, at least eat the meat and spit out the bad etiquette bones.


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  • Jillybean August 26, 2010, 9:08 am

    @carotte and Pat – I was able to find several references online to baby showers in France, including one baby shower website started by two french mothers with tips and advice for planning/hosting baby showers. They may not be the norm, or even popular, but they do exist.

  • Andrea B. August 26, 2010, 10:03 am

    When I was growing up, showers were usually (1) a surprise for the mom-to-be or bride-to-be (until someone accidentally spilled the beans…which happened quite often in my family), (2) only for 1st marriages and 1st babies, and (3) only for family/close friends. I realize that the surprise part is probably something only some people do.

    I think they are nice, provided you don’t host your own, provided you follow the shower etiquette rules.

  • squashedfrog77 August 26, 2010, 10:06 am

    ahh the Daily Mail. For my birthday I have asked for a T-shirt I saw that says, which says “THE DAILY MAIL – Like Spending 20 Minutes in a Mental Asylum”.

    Essentially its like a newspaper equivalent of an internet troll. It deliberately sets out to enflame middle class xenophobes by twisting non stories to get the “DISGUSTED, OF KENT!” letter writing brigade spitting out their home made jam, burning their post office book and hiding under their sofas.

    According to them, everything wrong with Britain is the fault of asylum seekers, single mothers, children, homosexuals, inter-racial couples, the EU, teenagers, women in general, and anyone who is not white, British, middle class and owns a holiday cottage in Devon, England.

    For more information, about it’s history see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_daily_mail#Support_for_fascism_under_Rothermere

    It hasn’t changed that much in my opinion.

    I like to look at it occasionally to see how me growing up working class apparently causes cancer in the puppies I stroke.

  • Anonymous August 26, 2010, 3:25 pm

    I know I’m late to rebutt, but the teacher who told us was French, so I don’t think she was entirely mistaken…

  • Nuku August 26, 2010, 3:32 pm

    In Gil McNeil’s latest book (or at least the latest one available here in the States), the women in the town plan a baby shower for the protagonist, and there’s a cute part about the guy she’s interested in thinking she wants some sort of special plumbing in her house. Considering the shower overload I’ve been feeling lately, I can understand why people are resistant to importing the custom, especially when it’s being imported incorrectly… (I’m not even that old, and I can remember when brides only registered for china, silver, and perhaps crystal. All other gifts were at the giftgiver’s discretion.)

  • Ellen CA August 26, 2010, 7:04 pm

    I don’t understand. How is this Jennifer Aniston’s fault?

  • Elliot August 27, 2010, 3:19 am

    I am from the UK. My younger sister has just had her first child. We’re not close and haven’t spoken to each other for about 3yrs but I heard from our Gran that she keeps going on about how much stuff is being bought for the kid by her partners family, her parents, friends etc. She goes on about how she hasn’t had to buy anything (though how either of them could when neither work is beyond me). She acts like this is normal behaviour. In my opinion you shouldn’t have a child unless you can afford to provide it with everything it needs for a healthy start in life. Expecting others to provide you with it all is not being a good parent. It’s almost as if she’s received all the ‘benefits’ of a shower without actually having one. I am so glad I have nothing to do with my family *sigh*

  • Mechtilde August 28, 2010, 11:54 am

    I’m in the UK, and can confirm that I have only ever heard of one person whom I actually know having a baby shower.

    Frankly they are unnecessary. When I was pregnant a good friend of mine warned me not to get too many things for the baby because we would be bought so much. How right she was. Although we never asked for anything, or registered; we hardly had to buy a thing except nappies, and a second hand cot plus new matress. Of course it helped that we were also given bags and bags of used baby clothes. Although we were not given any large items when we had our second child 20 months later, we were still given lots of lovely things for him.

    People were so kind, and we were so grateful for all of it.

    Also we were given most of it before the birth- so maybe it is different in our circle of friends.

  • Deveraux September 19, 2010, 8:37 am

    My mother offered to throw a baby shower for her daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law (guest of honor) took over everything from the location of the shower, invitations, the menu, the games, and the flower arrangements on the tables. It was apparent to my mother and all co-hosts they were just the check writers. There were no surprises as everything was scripted by the daughter and the co-hosts were given a detailed script to follow that was not to be deviated from. The etiquette as I understood it was the mother just shows up and is showered with gifts to help transition to motherhood. The shower had no energy level because the co-hosts did not want to deviate from the script fearing they would offend the guest of honor…… The positive note the baby was happy and cute as a button…… 🙂

  • Kitty Lovett July 13, 2011, 11:39 am

    Don’t trust the Daily Mail. Most of their headlines are “THIS JUST IN: women not people; do not have feelings”