Is It True That Jews Do Not Have Baby Showers?

Answered by
Rabbi Julie Zupan

Although there is no Jewish religious prohibition against baby showers, there is a strong Jewish cultural taboo against buying baby items or setting up the child’s nursery before the child is born.  

The custom stems from the idea that drawing attention to a happy occasion also draws the attention of evil spirits. This custom may also hearken back to a time when infant mortality was a concern. Though it is much less an issue today and most people are not overly superstitious, many Jews still shy away from lavish showers. Instead, they buy only what they need to prepare or order items ahead of time to be delivered only after the baby is born. 

Families that draw from multiple heritages with different traditions and customs may find that family members expect a baby shower. For those who find the idea uncomfortable, a popular compromise is to have a shower for the expectant parents, gifting them items to pamper themselves in the last few weeks or months of pregnancy.