Ask AF: Baby Shower Timing

An adoption medicine expert answers a parent's question on when to throw a post-placement adoption shower — and how to keep your newborn healthy.

Q: We are adopting our first child – a newborn, whose gender won’t be known until placement. Our friends and family want to throw a post-placement adoption shower and I’m wondering when to hold the event. If it’s too soon, the baby will be exposed to germs. But if we wait two or three months, we’ll already have purchased everything our baby will need.


A: Although baby showers are a great way to meet a new family member, they can be over-stimulating for a new baby. I advise a short shower for an adopted newborn, keeping the baby in a baby carrier so that everyone can see the baby without necessarily holding him or her.

Waiting at least a month will reduce the risk of exposing the baby to germs. I’d also politely ask those who are ill to minimize their contact, as well as providing hand sanitizer to anyone who wants to hold the baby. If you decide to wait two or three months, I suggest a shower of gift certificates that you can use as your child grows. Another idea is to ask guests to bring meals you can freeze for after you return to work.

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