Bringing Children To Showers

Hello Annabel,

What is the deal with the recent epidemic of people bringing their babies and children to bridal showers? We recently hosted a shower at my mother’s home (which is NOT baby/childproof, by the way) and three of the guests brought their under-age-three kids.

At one point, one of the mothers sat her child down on the carpeted floor with a tub of hot pink play dough. We still have a spot of pink embedded in the carpet. All the tots were given plates of food as well, and made quite a mess in the formal living room.

Obviously the invitations were addressed to the women only, yet they feel their kids are also invited by default? What happened to getting a baby-sitter? Fancy bridal showers are NOT appropriate for toddlers, and we were quite irritated that these women felt entitled to bring them along.

Thoughts? A

Dear A,

I agree with you 100%. If the baby’s name doesn’t appear on the invitation, the baby has no business crashing the party, no matter how adorable he or she may be.

In most cases, children who attend bridal showers are there because they’re part of the wedding party, or because they’re especially close to the bride (who has expressly invited them).

The mothers in question should have A) hired a sitter, or B) called to explain that they couldn’t find one, and therefore wouldn’t be able to attend after all. In that moment, the hostess has a choice. She can either say, “Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that,” or, “Don’t be silly! We’d hate to have you miss this. Please bring Cutie Pie along.”

Having said that, all good hostesses occasionally have to wing it. I think the best course of action in your situation would have been to turn the kitchen into an impromptu toddler zone for eating, drinking, and (ahem) creative expression.

You were right to welcome the stroller-toting moms (and really, you’d have to be awfully uptight to turn them away). But being a gracious hostess doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat, either. No reasonable person would expect you to stand by silently while Cutie Pie grinds Play-Doh into the living room carpet.

I don’t blame you for being irritated. I hope your next soiree attracts less presumptuous guests!

Graciously yours,


P.S. Dig the booties pictured here? Check them out on!

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