If a loved one is having a baby soon, chances are you have organized a baby shower or celebration for her. Having a "wishing well" at the shower is a cute way for guests to give sentimental gifts to both mother and baby, so following a few etiquette rules can make the wishing well more enjoyable for everyone.
Using Wishing Wells
Some women feel uncomfortable asking for cash gifts from baby shower guests, but setting up a wishing well is acceptable according to etiquette. It is a tactful way of requesting monetary gifts. Wishing wells work very similar to money trees in that guests can drop cash or gift cards into the wishing well, along with written good wishes for the mother and baby. It is not necessary to announce the wishing well on the shower invitations; guests can decide whether they will bring a gift along with money, money and a card, or money alone to drop into the wishing well.
Wishing Well Parties
The expectant mother's loved ones may choose to have a wishing well baby shower. At these showers, the well is the main focus of the celebration. While invitations for a regular baby shower do not need to include information about the wishing well, invites for a wishing well baby shower should clearly let the guests know that wishing well gifts are expected. "Accent" gifts, like baby booties or hats, can be dropped into the well, but should be small so there is space for all the gifts. The monetary gifts that are dropped into the well can also be given in the form of gift cards.
Types of Wishing Wells
The hostess of the baby shower and the expectant mother can work together to decide what type of wishing well will be set up. For instance, the mother may want guests to bring practical items to place in the wishing well, such as diapers, burping cloths or teething rings. The wishing well can also be made up of books that contain bedtime stories for children, in order to build the baby's library. Indicating this on the invitation will eliminate some of the confusion guests may feel about the type of gifts they should purchase, and can provide more of a theme for the baby shower.
First-Time Wishing Well
Technically, baby showers are only hosted for mothers having a first baby. So the wishing well should contain loving sentiments, in addition to tangible gifts, that are addressed to the baby from family members and loved ones. The hostess of the baby shower can set up decorated index cards and pens (for example, tie pink or blue ribbon to each pen, or create borders with images of baby rattles or small footprints) next to the wishing well, so guests can write warm messages to the baby. Wishes should be addressed to the baby directly, and can be compiled in a scrapbook to give to the baby when he or she is old enough to appreciate it.
Repeat Wishing Wells
The rules of etiquette have been somewhat adjusted recently, so mothers who are expecting their second or third children can still celebrate the upcoming arrival with a baby shower. A wishing well for a mother who already has children should not be as extravagant, and gift certificates can be encouraged as the gift of choice for "repeat" baby showers. Some mothers also choose to simply have guests leave notes in the wishing wells, as they may be uncomfortable asking for and expecting money at the shower.