Baby showers have become so trendy over the last few years. As time goes by, more and more people get excited about throwing a party to celebrate a baby's arrival.
Though baby showers may sound like a relatively new concept, celebrations dedicated to pregnancy and childbirth are ancient in different places and cultures. It wasn't until after World War II when baby showers foundations were laid, coinciding with the baby boom of the 1950's and 1960's. And what is a baby shower? Well, nowadays, it consists in a party where the pregnant mummy and her baby bump are the 'stars', and where the family, friends of the future parents and even coworkers give them a lot of gifts on such a special occasion. It usually takes place in the third trimester of pregnancy, often four to six weeks before your due date.
If you want to know what baby showers are and all the details that they involve, let's pay attention to the upcoming lines.
Who throws baby showers?
As you may guess, it's anybody but you or Dad –at least according to the etiquette. Think about it this way. If you planned your own baby shower, it could honestly look a little tacky, since it could be perceived as an invitation to receive plenty of gifts. Normally, the etiquette dictates that your friends are the ones in charge of it and, when that's not possible, your relatives should take over.
If you detect that nobody is going to throw it, which is unusual and, let's say it, a bit disappointing, have a conversation with your close friends and family, so that they start working on it right away… or throw it yourself! Yes, it can look tacky, but having a baby is a huge deal and you deserve a party, don’t you think?
Nowadays, there are companies that are dedicated to organising baby showers, so asking one of them to do the job is also a good idea. Who better than professionals to throw the best baby shower? Make a quick search and you’re surely find one in your area that is available for you.
Baby showers: Time for baby essentials
The point of baby showers isn't just about collecting gifts. However, it's legit to say that they come in handy, since you need so much stuff to welcome a baby into your life. As everybody knows that, don't be embarrassed and decide what you need, which will mostly be baby essentials. Don't hesitate to register for gifts, but do it at a store or a chain that isn't crazy expensive, but reasonably priced (remember that it's not you who is going to spend money!). For example, you can ask for small presents, such as bibs, blankets or towels, but don't add the buggy, which is very pricey, to the list.
You should register for gifts before sending out the baby shower invitations, so that these can include a card with the name of the store. Some people advise against registering for gifts, since it can imply an obligation to the guests, but after all it's proven to be very practical both for you and them. Just remember when one of your friends was having a baby: you probably wanted to give her something that was useful (besides being cute, of course), and ideas and tips were more than welcomed!
Baby showers: Music, games, decoration...
When it comes to ideas and tips, baby showers’ hosts need to plan and adapt every single detail to the guest of honour, in other words, you! They are supposed to know you well enough to make good choices. Despite not having specific rules, since every baby shower is pretty personalised, most of them include:
- Music: it doesn't necessarily have to cover your favourite bands, but that would definitely be a plus. Adding some lullabies to the tracklist can be a fun touch.
- Games: if there were a baby shower 'must', games would be it. It's very common to play different games throughout the celebration, to make it a lot more fun. Whoever plans this part should put effort into it and be a little creative.
- Decoration: the decoration is often based on a theme and a colour regarding the baby's sex. The presentation of the place is essential, but so are the details, starting by the invitation cards. Again, a nappy cake is a very good idea!
- Refreshments: There's no 'real party' without food and something to drink. To make it more affordable and fair, everybody could contribute to it by bringing different appetizers.
And what about Dad and the other male-guests? Are they allowed to join you? Well, of course they are... as long as you want to! Baby showers have traditionally been a female ritual, but this tendency is changing as time goes by, and men are now part of them. It's up to you whether you want to keep it 'classic' or not.
Baby showers: What role should you play?
If the baby shower is thrown properly, you shouldn't have to do much. Just be gracious and nice to all the guests, and remember to send out thank-you notes. Some women decide to be extra nice and give special trinkets to the guests, while others help in the kitchen. If you want, you could be in charge of the pictures!
Baby showers shouldn't stress you out. This is a good opportunity for you to enjoy a nice party with your favourite people, a few weeks before seeing your baby for the first time. Relax, be kind to everybody and, above all, have fun!