• Tue, Apr 15 - 3:00 pm ET

You Can’t Give Me One Good Reason Why Baby Shower Games Still Exist

shutterstock_172946795

This may be my bias showing, but I have some major beef with baby shower games. At my own baby shower, we went the coed route, and I refused to have traditional, silly games because I knew they wouldn’t fly. I have personally hated baby shower games ever since I attended my first shower years ago.

In theory, baby shower games seem like a great idea. How else are you going to break the ice? How else are you going to bring women together from all walks of life—family, friends, and coworkers?

I know baby shower games have their time and place, but I can’t seem to get over the lameness of them all. I have tried to be open-minded. I just can’t do it. I’ve taken part in planning and co-hosting several baby showers and have objectively Googled fun baby shower games. Let me tell you, the pickins’ are slim.

In your typical baby shower game lineup, you have the Fan Favorites: Measuring the pregnant belly with a roll of toilet paper (for some reason, I always win this game), smelling candy bar poop in baby diapers, guessing the amount of jellybeans in a baby bottle, baby bingo, and…WAIT FOR IT… the baby clothespin game.

If you’ve never played the baby clothespin game, you are the luckiest person on earth. Seriously, I wish that I could live your life and get back all of the hours I have wasted on this terrible excuse for a game.

The premise of the game is this: Every woman gets a clothespin and is cautioned not to say “baby” throughout the shower. If you accidentally slip up and say B-A-B-Y, then the greedy clothespin monster woman who heard you gets to steal your clothespin. Spoiler alert—mostly, nobody cares about this game. But by the end of the shower, there is always one woman who is way too into it and has hoarded all of the clothespins for herself.

I hate baby shower games. Whenever I take part in planning a shower for a friend, I normally try to gently nudge them in the direction of a game-less shower where friends gather round and talk and catch up like real people—without the need for silly distractions that make everyone feel like a bunch of awkward eighth-graders at a dance. Down with stupid games. Up with a legitimately enjoyable baby shower.

(Image: Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock)

Share This Post:
  • Paul White

    who needs excuses to have a party and eat cake?

  • Surly Canuck

    Confession time – I am that woman. I must win all the things. It’s part of my charm.

    • Bethany Ramos

      THIS BITCH. I really do always win the toilet paper one and have many lotion prizes to prove it!

    • Kendra

      I saw one on pinterest that was match the celebrity to the baby name. I would OWN THAT SHIT.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Oooooh I could be forced to play that.

    • Valerie

      I too must win all the things.

    • keelhaulrose

      I’ve won every single time I’ve played the clothespin game.
      But I’ve been freaking motivated. The prize has always been chocolate because that’s how the people I hang with roll. Well, not always. Once it was a nice bottle of wine.
      Did I mention that I have a bad habit of experiencing Shark Week whenever I’m going to a baby shower? It’s a running joke in our family that if I haven’t been to a baby shower in a while I need a pregnancy test myself.
      Put two and two together, and I’m freaking listening for anything that sounds like ‘baby’.

    • SparkleMom

      Shark Week–lol! I love it.

    • Surly Canuck

      I feel that we must meet and duel this out. Shark Week is on!

    • kay

      I love shower games because I am AWESOME at them, and I love winning.

      Since you can’t win all the games at your own shower (well I mean, you can, but it’d be poor form) I had no games.

    • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

      But you’re also very polite about it and apologize profusely because you’re a Canuck ;)
      (Yay for us overly polite Canucks!)

    • Surly Canuck

      Of course! And for good measure I blush. =P

    • ted3553

      Only because I’m not there. I can’t help it. I specifically remember sitting at my friend’s wedding shower and thinking, I can’t answer that because I will win again and that won’t look good but it was painful watching them stumble and get the answers wrong. We should start a support group for competitive canadians

  • CMJ
    • momjones

      You missed the story problem games we had to play at your sister’s baby shower (seriously, math problems and baby feedings, amounts of diapers, etc.). Her math colleagues were in heaven. I was so mortified; I didn’t even try to cheat.

    • Momma425

      I have a special place in my heart for the bridal dress made out of TP game. Mostly because we did this at my cousin’s bridal shower and my group was my (very sick and dying) grandmother and my grandma’s best friend. My grandma died the weekend after the bridal shower- meaning I am one of the few people in the world who gets to say that one of my last memories of grandma was her and I wrapping her friend up in TP. :)

    • http://batman-news.com Bunny Lou

      You mean there are Bridal shower games? Other than “Take the thong off the male stripper with your teeth?”

  • Kay_Sue

    I think the diaper game is way more fun when you do it at a teen event and make them eat pudding out of the diaper. Only time I have ever seen that be fun. Their faces…I am laughing just remembering.

    But…I am a wee but evil.

  • jane

    My baby shower had a Cute as a Button theme and the only game was guess how many buttons are in the jar (the woman who won was actually pretty close). The rest of the party pretty much consisted of eating food and CAAAAAAAAAAKE.

    • LadyGwyn12

      Eat all the cake!

  • Kendra

    We played one at my shower, where my sisters made a list of physical and personality traits and I chose whether I’d want them to come from my husband or myself, and then people had to guess what I picked. It was pretty fun, and I recently found that old list. I’m realizing now that I made some poor choices. I said I wanted her to have my husband’s sense of humor, and she does. But this, my friends, has come back to bite me right in the ass.

    • Surly Canuck

      This sounds like a great idea, stealing for future baby showers.

    • Andrea

      I was at a baby shower awhile back where they played this game. It came to “nose”, and a lady from the mom’s family said “I think we all know who she chose!” Because apparently the dad had a huge nose (I’d never noticed; I always thought he was pretty well-proportioned). And everyone laughed — except the dad’s mother, who said, sadly, “I think my son has a NICE nose.”

      So be careful with that one.

    • Kendra

      Yeah, you have to make sure the MIL isn’t hypersensitive or snobby. In my case, my MIL was the woman shouting those sorts of comments.

    • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

      My boyfriend’s father’s family is known for their large noses, but they’re the first ones to make fun of their noses. I don’t think my boyfriend’s nose is all that big, but it’s definitely crooked from being broken twice on the same side. I sometimes tease him that he needs someone to punch it in the other direction to straighten it out and he laughs and agrees.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      All the men I dated had prominent probosces. I’d give you a pass if you decided to play armchair psychoanalyst with me, as all the men in my family show their Jewish heritage in their noses. :/

    • SmrtGrl86

      We played baby word bingo. But all the words were “naughty” and you had to say your bingo row words out loud to win. I got my evil grandmothers to say cervix, conception, sperm, vagina, intercourse, cervix, etc. I found this hysterical, but I’m also pretty immature that way…

  • MegzWray

    ugh, I hate them, I HATE THEM! My sister threw my bridal shower party and we played the WORST game ever (she was only 21, so didn’t have any experience throwing bridal showers anyway). She put a blindfold on me, and said I was to pretend it was my wedding night and get ready for bed. Then had a bunch of clothes in front of me that i had to put on. WTF? Why am I putting clothes ON on my wedding night? I was dressed nicely for the shower (obvs) and now I’ve got a shawl, one winter snow boot and hideous other things on that made absolutely no sense. Why Why???

    • Kendra

      That’s the weirdest shit I’ve ever read.

    • Bethany Ramos

      HAHAHHA The worst baby shower game I ever played — we had to chew up gum and spit it onto a paper plate to see which one looked most like a baby. WHAT.

    • Kendra

      Nevermind, this is now the weirdest shit I’ve ever read.

    • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden

      1. What? 2. Ew. 3. WHAT.

    • journalgal

      Holy sweet crap.

  • Mystik Spiral

    I fucking hate showers. And games are #1 on the long list of reasons why…

    You pretty much nailed that stupid clothespin game though. I always say “baby” early and often so I get a feel for who THIS BITCH is… haha.

    • Valerie

      Gotta smoke her out!

    • Mystik Spiral

      Damn right!

  • Megan Zander

    My circle of peeps does the timer game. Someone puts a timer on thier iPhone for a random time( 5 minutes one time, 2 the next, etc) and whoever a gift is being open when the timer goes off gets a prize. It’s easy and we are lazy.

    • Kendra

      I love this lazy game idea that doesn’t actually involve my participation.

  • Joy

    Preach! Baby shower games are the worst with few exceptions. I don’t mind baby gift bingo because it makes the endless gift opening portion of the party less epically boring. When I had my baby shower I wanted to skip that process all together and just open them later after everyone left but my MIL informed me that was rude. I personally hate watching people open gifts for an hour so I would love to go to a shower that didn’t include gift opening, but whatever. The only actually fun shower game I’ve played was one where everyone got a list of rude or crazy things people say to pregnant women and we all wrote smartass responses so the mom would have comebacks prepared when she heard these comments. I have lots of friends with a gift for sarcasm and it ended up being pretty hilarious. Turns out a lot of us have a strong bitchy streak!

    • Kendra

      I like the bingo too, because it makes the gift opening seem faster. I feel like gift opening isn’t as necessary with bridal showers, but with baby showers, everyone there is ooooing and awwwwing over all the clothes and teeny tiny things, so I think it’s more fun for everyone. And it does come off a smidge greedy for some reason to me if people don’t open gifts. I really don’t know why, but that’s the impression I get.

    • Joy

      It just feels so awkward to me, like it’s Christmas morning but nobody else gets a turn opening anything. I’d much rather not see the gifts opened and just get to hang out with everyone for that time, but maybe that is just me.

    • Kendra

      No, it isn’t just you! I have seen varying opinions on this.

    • Guets

      From what I’ve seen it is either painfully quiet and awkward or everyone keeps drinking/eating/chatting while she opens and the fun carries on with occasional “awwwws” over cute baby stuff.

    • Tk

      I only had a very small baby shower with close friends. We actually took turns opening my baby’s presents, because let’s be honest, they weren’t for me! And that way everyone got to ooh and ahh. But this only works if you know your crowd.

    • Momma425

      I didn’t want to open gifts at my shower because I had a couple of friends who had given me their gifts prior to the shower, or who I knew ordered/were making something and it wasn’t there in time for the shower. I didn’t want to make them feel bad, or make them look cheap.

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    One game I’ve seen at several co-ed showers was to fill up a baby bottle with alcohol and have like 5 guys compete to see who can drink it all first. Ratchet? Kinda. Fun? Hell yes!

    • Bethany Ramos

      We did do beer bottle chugging for guys at my shower. ;)

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      Seeee? They’re not all that bad.

  • Rebecca R

    I hosted a baby shower and one of the (only 2) games was for two women to link arms and use their free arms to pin a cloth diaper on a doll. It’s one of those games that’s as much fun for the spectators because some people get suuuuuper competitive and one woman accidentally poked her partner with the pin in her haste to win.

    • Kendra

      THIS BITCH + sharp objects = I’m out.
      I value my eyes.

  • Rebecca R

    I hosted a baby shower and one of the (only 2) games was for two women to link arms and use their free arms to pin a cloth diaper on a doll. It’s one of those games that’s as much fun for the spectators because some people get suuuuuper competitive and one woman accidentally poked her partner with the pin in her haste to win.

  • val97

    My sisters were all in college and high school when I had my first. They loved the baby shower games, and so did their friends. In addition to the candy bar in a diaper game, they did a baby food race. One person had to feed the other baby food. Most of the people over the age of 18 refused to play.

    I have to say though, at work showers, I like the games. We usually do paper games – stupid quizzes about celebrity babies or couples and anagrams. It’s better than small talk with people I don’t normally socialize with, and it’s better than talking about work when you are trying to have a “party” in a conference room.

  • Abby

    My favorite game at my shower was a baby-themed mad lib that ended up being the saga of my apparent Jedi Knight son Sammy and his best friend Jose the Wookiee and their pet aardvark. It was the exact opposite of your usual twee games and had us all falling over laughing.

    Baby BINGO was only fun because my uncle (yay co-ed showers!) decided to fill out his card with things he thought we would want rather than things he thought we would get–so we ended up with a fantastic card filled out with things like “$100k in small, unmarked bills” and “a trained monkey.” And after THAT, we played “real or fake: baby names edition,” which was entirely cathartic.

  • InMyOpinion

    I will admit, there are some games that can make a situation awkward, and there are also some guests who, through their competitiveness, can spoil the fun and cause tension. However, guests like having a chance at winning a prize, especially after shelling out however much money they spent on their gift. Baby showers are just money grabbers anyway, why not give a little something to your guests? It can be as simple as party favors, or a main draw. If you don’t care to play games, you better have some good food served at your shower.

  • momjones

    I cheat on all shower ( wedding or baby) games. Or else I make loud, sarcastic comments about the games.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Loud, sarcastic comments!! Yes.

    • keelhaulrose

      I once went to a bridal shower where one of the games was ‘Scattergories’ with wedding/marriage related topics and we had to use the bride and groom’s initials for our answers. Each table had to work together.
      Our table quickly devolved into “How many ways can we say ‘sex and alcohol’ using the happy couple’s initials?” I happily announced our answers out loud. Take that, church lady table.

  • Momma425

    We did one:
    Each woman was given a pen and paper, and had to write down my first name, and the dad-to-be’s first name. Then, each person was given 5 minutes to use just those letters and come up with as many baby girl names as they could.
    Ironically, we actually ended up naming her one of the names.
    I instructed those throwing my showers that I would put up with any game except the measuring my belly with string/toilet paper. I was actually pretty clear that if that was on the agenda, I would leave. I think that is SO rude- when someone is feeling fat enough already, let’s go ahead and literally have all of your family and friends guess how fat you are now!

    • Mystik Spiral

      I played that game at a shower once. They knew they were having a boy, so we only had to do boy names. The stupidity of it was that they’d already picked his name… oy vey.

  • Scarlet

    Because I am super competitive and I love candy I have never lost the candy in the baby diaper game!! I’m not sure if this makes me happy or sad!! Perhaps I’ll go have some candy and think about it!!!

  • Brittany

    Last fall at my cousins co-ed shower the only game they played was, line up a bunch of girls, and 1 guy, blind fold all the husbands and see if they can guess their gals leg. It was actually very funny to hear the husband responses to touching each leg. Only one guy guessed his wife correctly. I would keep it to a max of 5 tho…. at the shower there were probably 12 and the game drug on a little longer than necessary. Other than that I HATE shower games. At my wedding shower I specifically said NO GAMES… and we played 3….. Oh the rice and safety pin game is about as bad a the clothes pin game.

    • Guets

      I can safely say I don’t want my friend’s husbands touching my leg or me in general. Weirdness factor.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      As a girl with flabby thighs, I would be so embarrassed to play, lol.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I don’t shave anywhere. Obviously this fact is ordinarily no biggie to me and I welcome the opportunity to pull my best bitchface on anybody who does find that I’m offending their sensibilities, but the combination of the probable look of horror on friends’ husbands’ faces and the fact that I don’t have a husband/boyfriend of my own out of a general dislike for being touched by someone I’m intimately connected to, much less someone I’m not…yeah, suffice to say I’d pass on that one.

  • the_ether

    I’m planning my baby shower now – I may need to have a separate, classy one like a high tea, because what I actually want to do is have a Survivor themed party with games based off classic challenges. I love Survivor and I love stupid games and my peer group seem totally into it so long as the childless among them can drink their way through it. I’ve already recruited one of my friends to be my Jeff Probst.

    • Bethany Ramos

      This is SUCH a cool idea – love Survivor! May I please be invited…? :)

    • the_ether

      Sure thing :) check your tree mail in a few weeks

  • Abby Ferri

    I had an open house style baby shower. 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon, people dropped in when they felt and mingled, had drinks and apps, and we just gathered the presents on a table. I opened presents in front of family and friends that hung out for the duration. It was fun and mellow. The only game was that my friends organized a diapers and wipes raffle: everyone who brought diapers or wipes for us got entered in a drawing to win a really pretty wreath (it was right before thanksgiving in Minneapolis, people were stoked)

  • Ursi

    Here I was thinking there was something wrong with me for hating showers.
    Glad to know I’m not the only one.

    I’m not a people person so I guess that
    counts for most of it. The inane banter required to participate in most life
    events makes them a huge turnoff for curmudgeony old me, but showers, all showers, always feel like some estrogen-fueled level of hell where I’m supposed to care about a crock pot and matching towels. I forced my spouse to attend my bridal shower that I couldn’t escape so I wouldn’t be stuck there as the center of attention.

    I like baby showers even less because it’s generally frowned upon to present the mom-to-be with a bottle of wine. But that’s my standby gift and I’m dang good at picking them.

  • Erica

    :/ I don’t like shower games either, but when my best friend was finally able to get pregnant (she’d had several miscarriages) I threw a massive party for her. We’re young (25) and we find cheesy boring games abhorrent. So I made some up. I photo copied head shots of my friend and her fiancé when they were about 2 years old and everyone got to cut and paste their faces to make the baby. The prizes were all beauty products from Victorias Secret, where I worked at the time. We also played pin the sperm on the egg and we used fabric paint to decorate blank onesies and bibs.

    It was a “Dr. suess tea party” so the whole house and the yard were decorated with bright gerber daisies and black and white polka dots and stripes. Plus, the food was to die for, we have professional chef and a pastry chef in the family. I think showers can still be fun and traditional, if you think outside the box.

  • Alanna Jorgensen

    Not gonna lie, I love any shower game that involves words, such as making as many words out of the baby’s name as possible. I DOMINATE them and then get a prize. Usually something useless…

    • LadyGwyn12

      Me, too! I own word or baby name games!

  • journalgal

    The only one I’ve ever liked was when we threw a shower for a coworker and everyone brought their old baby pics in and we had to guess who was who. Man we were some funny looking kids. Still pissed that most of them thought I was a boy. It was the late 70s, EVERYONE had those red velvet overalls.

  • Lulu

    Am I the only one who has showers so big it would be logistically impossible to play tacky not-fun games? Both my husband and I have huge families and when we have a shower we just rent out the church fellowship hall, prepare a bunch of food, get cupcakes, set up about 80 chairs, and tell people to come-and-go for two hours. You don’t even have to bring us a gift, just come and we’ll feed you cake/cupcakes. Our wedding shower was an hour straight of opening gifts, then visiting with family/friends.

    Our baby shower’s coming up and we’re doing it the same way. The only thing close to a game we’re doing is having a station set up where everyone can make the baby a headband, and you can obviously opt out of that. We’re having a candy bar as our favor to everyone. Fingerfoods and sandwiches and cake. The end. It’s also co-ed.

    I think it’s kind of demeaning to ask grown-ass women to sniff (Or lick. One time everyone had their own set of diapers and were asked to lick to identify.) candy bars in a diaper. :/

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      It IS demeaning! I hate it! I just sit.

    • LadyGwyn12

      That sounds like fun. I love cake, so really any excuse to eat cake is a good excuse!

  • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    There were no stupid games at either my bridal shower or baby shower. That’s the one thing I can’t stand and I told them I would leave. “But people love them!” they tried to tell me. No they fucking don’t. They tolerate them, but they’d rather drink and chat. Even if these are “successful” and we do talk to people we don’t already know, it’s not like I’m going to be new besties with some chick I smelled fake baby poop next to.
    I hate all icebreaker games with a fucking passionate hate you can’t even understand; I feel angry just typing about it. Unfortunately, I’m it feels like my bosses think every all-staff meeting needs an icebreaker, right? Because we don’t already know each other. ARGH! I hate these bullshit games!

    • JJ

      I sooo agree. Please just stop with the silly games were not little kids in preschool any more. I will be honest and admit that when looking for jobs if its one those places where they have annual staff get togethers at work and silly “getting to know you” games are the norm I have zero interest in that job unless its paying me $1 million dollars. No I go to work to work and then leave. If I want to get to know people, and I have at all my jobs, I do it through daily work interactions and reading each persons personality. Maybe joke around with them and form a common bond like adults do. I don’t need silly baby shower games or work games to appeal to people or have them appeal to me.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      1000 likes! I hate it so much if I’d have known my job did it before I took it, I might have kept looking. I’m happy there otherwise….except on staff meeting days.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Thank God I work at home. There is a popular company near me where dozens of friends work, and they have Nerf wars and an indoor slide and all that jazz. NO. I would rather work sullenly all day long and call it a day, thanks.

    • JJ

      Man I wish that was an option at some of my jobs I have had before that would actually be worth it. Iove fun stuff like trampolines and paint ball. No all the jobs I have interviewed before, one in particular, said they have monthly staff bonding sessions where everyone creates games with different teams or partners each time and presents them. wtf. all of this takes place in a boring conference room and the employee have to partake each month in for “team building”. Needless to say I did not take that particular job.

  • Momofthree

    My baby-shower 3yrs ago was coed, Hawaiian luau with a tiki bar, kareoke, body tattoos and all types of fun stuff!! The ONLY one game we played was how well do you know mom and dad after that we had a singing contest, ate, open bar and did body art. It was a blast!!!

  • Dixie

    The WORST baby shower game has to be the poopy diaper game. The last shower I went to, I was pregnant and having HORRIBLE morning sickness all day. The last thing I needed was to see a diaper full of pureed beans and melted snickers.

  • JJ

    I just give the baby pin to someone immediately when the shower starts so I don’t have to play the stupid game. Oh oops said baby here you go take it. No worries throughout the shower anymore ;)

  • Erin Murphy

    At my shower we made babies out of play dough and my friends made scrap book pages so all I have to do is add pictures. It was fun and low key. I usually give my cloths pin to whatever kid happens to be floating around to take the pressure off.

  • Jessie

    Thank you so much for this.
    I’m about to go to a baby shower at the Grand Canyon this weekend (I should explain: my pregnant friend lives there cause her husband works in the park, so it’s not like she just went “BABY SHOWER IN THE CANYON CAUSE YOLO!”), and I am DREADING IIIIIIT.
    I hate those damned games. I’m going to end up stabbing my eyes out with a clothespin and shoving a chocolate-poop diaper into someone’s face.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hilarious!! And good luck…

  • Anne

    My drunk-ass shower guests had a great time with the “My Water Broke” game. Everyone got an ice cube with a miniature plastic baby frozen in it, which they put into their drinks while they kept mingling/talking/boozing it up. The person whose ice cube melted the fastest in their drink had to yell “my water broke!” and won a prize. Very little effort or embarrassing fanfare involved.

  • Nikki

    I like some games. I agree, some are far too lame. I like the ones where you have to guess the mother’s or father’s ages in their baby photos. I also like the one where you pass around a box based on a poem (blondest gets the box, person wearing red, etc.) We played one where 2 celebrities were combined into a baby pic and you had to guess who the celebs were. That was hilarious! And the babies were not super attractive which made it funnier.

  • evilstepmom

    The only shower game I’ve played and enjoyed is the “who gave the advice game.” Each guest writes down either parenting or marriage advice (depending on the shower), and the mom/bride guesses who wrote the advice. I had fun with that and still have the stack of cards from my own. :)

  • Lindsey Sweet

    I actually like MOST baby shower games. I threw my sisters baby shower last year, and she’s the type of person who wanted a TON of games, and I had to talk her into just 4 instead.
    Loooong baby shower, but everybody had fun. That game with the diapers and chocolate grossed me out! It was a sugar and spice theme, so we played guess the spices, baby Price is Right, the guess the size of the belly(but with streamers, not toilet paper) and a game my sister insisted on having, and no one really wanted to play: You put a quarter between your legs and waddle over to a jar and try to drop the quarter in it.