Q: You buy someone a really great baby shower gift, but she doesn’t open the presents at the shower. Do you say something?


A: Opening gifts at a baby shower is less common than it once was. Sometimes the parent-to-be wants to share the opening with her partner, or she could be anxious about being the center of attention for an extended period. Bottom line, there is no requirement that the presents be opened in public.

If this is an issue for you, before the event, ask the host how the mom-to-be is handling gift opening. This helps you decide if you want to bring your gift, knowing you won’t see it opened, or give it when you’re alone with the parents.

Ask yourself why you want to see the gift opened. Is it to see the glee on the mom-to-be’s face? Is it to get some sort of recognition, or to show off your gift-giving prowess? Is your gift something you spent a lot of money on or time making? Figuring out your reason behind the desire can help you decide how you want to handle the situation.

ROBIN ELISE WEISS, pregnancy and parenting expert

A: Trends in baby showers have changed. The typical gift-opening tradition has progressed to a “display shower,” where the mom-to-be requests that guests bring an unwrapped gift so the item is displayed during the shower.

This trend is especially popular with larger baby showers, where gift opening can be overwhelming and time-consuming, resulting in an exhausted mom-to-be and an impatient crowd.

As much as guests would love for the mom-to-be to gush over their gifts, proper etiquette is respecting her wishes. If you’re wanting that sentimental reaction from the expecting parent, suggest a one-on-one visit either before or after the baby is born and present your gift then. This is a great opportunity for quality time and meeting their new bundle of joy.

KATHERINE KOMMER, owner of Baby Showers Inc.