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Getting the Baby Shower You Want

If your hostess's idea of a great party clashes with yours, with a little tact you can still get the shower and gifts you want.

Baby Shower Etiquette: Is It OK to Ask for What You Want? continued...

While the experts disagree, many mothers-to-be just hope for the best -- and muddle through the embarrassing moments.

"The most terrifying thing I remember at the shower for my first baby was that one woman brought her baby and they all made me hold it," recalls Woman's Day "Momfidence" columnist Paula Spencer, now a seasoned mother of four. "I was mortified. It's almost like you're being judged as a parent and you haven't even seen the baby."

Yet Spencer and other mothers agree that these days, moms-to-be don't necessarily need to just grin and bear it. First of all, there are some areas of baby shower planning in which the expectant mother is traditionally consulted. In other areas, there are subtle and polite ways to try to make your wishes known.

Baby Shower Planning: The Mom-to-Be's Involvement

Nearly everyone agrees that mothers-to-be are generally involved in at least three issues.

The date of the baby shower.

A hostess will almost always ask the expectant mother to pick some convenient dates for her baby shower. To ensure that you won't be in early labor and miss your party, offer dates five to eight weeks before the baby is due. "The baby shower should be held when the mother is pregnant enough to look pregnant, but comfortable enough to enjoy it," says Hill.

The baby shower guest list.

When it comes to guests, a good rule of thumb is: You get to say who you'd like to invite, but the hostess determines how many people to invite -- based on the venue, her budget, and what size party she's comfortable hosting.

If your hostess asks you for a guest list, ask her how many people she'd like to have and don't press for more. What if she's planning on something big? Some women or couples like big baby showers, with families and children in attendance, while others think that can take the focus off the mother-to-be. If you'd like yours on the small side, this is the time to ask for something more intimate.

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