Did you know that gift-givers shopping off a Poppylist baby registry do not have the option to send themselves the gift? When a registrant shares their Poppylist registry, and a friend/family member buys an item, what’s actually happening is they’re securing that gift for you. When you, the mom/dad are ready for your item to be shipped, you’ll click a button on that item to let Poppylist know you’re ready to receive your gift, which alerts our team to start fulfillment.

Is your mind already racing with questions? We know. And we address all of those here.

In short, this means gift-givers will not be bringing the gift they bought off your baby registry to your baby shower. Why did Poppylist decide on this approach, and what will you do at your baby shower if you aren’t going to open gifts? Let’s dive in.

Baby Showers, Reimagined

We are three years into a global pandemic that, in our findings, have shifted the following:

What we buy. People are consuming fewer non-essential items for their household.

Why we buy. Expecting parents are forced to consider what they're adding to their baby registries and are asking themselves, "Do I really need this?"

How we celebrate. Many expecting parents have canceled their baby showers, hosted 'drive-by' showers, or had online celebrations. This format has changed the traditional baby shower agenda. People didn't bring gifts with them. They shipped them.

As we think about entering society and easing back into norms that fit each family's comfort level, what does this mean for baby showers, and how might they look different in the future?

At Poppylist, we believe that future parents, and the next generation of moms and dads, will host and celebrate their growing families in a different, unique, and memorable way. Like weddings today, we believe baby showers will be an event that focuses on support, celebration, and utility and less about accumulating stuff.

Rejoice! Your aunts won't be forced to compete about who bought the better gift for their niece/nephew. Your mom won't try to out-due your partner's mom (ok, well, maybe she still will…) and no guest will be left feeling like your expression of gratitude and excitement didn't match the prior gift because you— the person they're hosting the baby shower for, will not be opening gifts in front of them. Not to mention, we're saving you the awkwardness and forced 'Oh, I love it!' when really, you don't.

And if we're really, really honest... Opening or watching gift opening at any shower is CRINGE.

So, what's your baby shower going to look like if opening gifts aren't the center? Here are some ideas for you and your host (if you have one) to consider.

Unique Baby Shower Alternatives (That Don't Involve Opening Gifts)

First things first: You'll want to let your guests know that gifts won't be on the agenda at your shower. Consider including text like this on your invitation:

"Your presence is present enough. If you wish to extend your generosity beyond the time you'll celebrate with us, we've created a baby registry. Any gift purchased off our registry will be shipped directly to our home. Please scan the QR code to view our baby registry. We look forward to seeing you!"

From there, you can try one of these alternatives to a traditional baby shower.

Advice/Wish Cards

Adivce Cards from Etsy

From a mom to the mom (make the advice mom specific). From a dad to the dad (make the advice dad specific). From a parent, for the baby (make the advice baby specific)

Prayer/Wish Cards

Have everyone jot down something that they pray or wish for the baby.

Prayer/wish card invitation insert

Baby Trivia or Predictions

Baby shower invitation insert ideas for games/trivia here

Play baby trivia games with your guests or have them predict things about your little one, like their exact birth date, time, or weight.

Baby shower invitation insert ideas for games/trivia.

Additional baby prediction game card.

Keepsake Video

"We recorded a video of everyone waving 'Hi! I can't wait to meet you!' for our baby. We can't wait to preserve this and show him one day." @kcschuman, Poppylist parent on Instagram.

Lactation Station

Make Mom homemade tea bags. Here's what you'll need:

  1. Fennel Seed, 3-4 oz. — buy here from Mountain Rose Herbs
  2. Nettle Leaf, 6-8 oz.— buy here from Mountain Rose Herbs
  3. Serving Size 6 (makes ~12 teabags)
  • ¼ cup dried fennel seeds
  • 1 cup dried nettle leaves
  • Empty String Teabags with String & Tag— buy here or here.
  • Funnel for pouring the herbs into the tea bags
  • An iron for someone to seal the teabags
  • Pens for guests to write notes on the teabag tags

About Fennel & Nettle, according to Heng Ou, author of The First Forty Days, The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother:

"Nettle energizes the body with a satisfying textured, creamy taste, and supports the liver, helping to detoxify any impurities in like pharmaceutical or anesthesia drugs in your system. Fennel is another classic childbearing herb; it has estrogen properties that can help hormone balance, boost lactation, and ease digestive upset in a baby or mom. For all those reasons, this blend in a new mother staple."

Here are what some of our other Poppylist parents had to say when asked what was the most meaningful thing that happened at their baby registry:

Personalization: "One of the most meaningful parts of my baby shower was that I could re-use the decorations inside the nursery. My hosts also gifted me a hand-made wooden growth chart that we love using." @shlee_flo, Poppylist parent on Instagram.
Intimate Gathering: "Nothing could top our small, intimate baby shower combined with both my friends and my husbands. Each person went around the room and made a toast for our future, and it's a memory I'll cherish forever." cnelson_atx, Poppylist parent on Instagram.
Words of Advice: "Before our baby shower concluded, if you were a mom or a dad, you made a toast to the parents about how they're going to be such great parents. At one point, there wasn't a dry eye in the room." @mr.rm_c, Poppylist parent on Instagram.
Beyond gifts: "At my first shower, people wrote notes on diapers and it was so great to get those at 2am. Also, birth affirmation cards or suggesting songs for labor playlists." @annaroubos, Poppylist parent on Twitter

Baby Shower Raffle Ideas

If you feel like your guests will still prefer to bring a tangible item to your baby shower, in addition to purchasing you a gift from your baby registry, here are some ideas. You can also turn any of these into a raffle.

Diaper Raffle

Diaper Raffle Invitation Insert (can customize this insert to be anything specific)

Asks guests to bring your preferred diaper brand (or multiple so you can try) in varying sizes. Each guest will be entered to win a prize.

Fill the Freezer Raffle

Asks guests to bring a gallon size Ziplock freezer bag full of their favorite crock-pot meal ingredients. If you aren't hosting this at someone's home, make sure to get a cooler brought to your venue to keep the items cool. Have a sharpie on hand before guests add their meal to the cooler/freezer. Ensure the "EAT BY" date is listed on there. No new parent should have to do the math. Ensure any dietary restrictions are called out on your baby shower invitations.

Baby's First Library

Recommend everyone bring their favorite baby book and have a station with sharpies where guests can write a note inside a page. This would be in place of a guest book. Or, your baby shower hosts can purchase 20-30 baby books, and guests can sign them while they attend the shower. Baby Shower Invitation Book Insert.

Again, to emphasize that gifts won't be opened at your baby shower, you can reinforce this message kindly with this suggested language on the back of an invite or an additional insert:

"If you wish to extend your generosity beyond the [insert: diapers, meals, book, book, etc.], we've created this baby registry. Any gift purchased from our registry will be shipped directly to our home. Please scan the QR code to visit our registry. We look forward to celebrating with you!"