Baby showers have traditionally been an ‘American thing’ although they are becoming more and more popular here too. The point of a baby shower is to ‘shower’ the mum-to-be with help, gifts, support and advice. Baby showers are normally an all-female affair although there is no reason for men not to attend too. It is a good excuse for friends and family to get together to celebrate the start of a new life.
The mum-to-be should not arrange her own baby shower as the celebration is supposed to be completely stress free and relaxed for her. Anyone else can arrange the baby shower whether they are a friend or member of the family.
Baby showers tend to be held during the last trimester of the pregnancy or during the last few weeks although it can be held at any point during the pregnancy. Sometimes the baby shower may be a surprise party for the mum-to-be although it is often best to check with the expectant mum whether a party is a wanted idea and whether the date and time suggested is suitable. Some women may suffer from extreme tiredness or sickness still and may not want to be socialising late at night or first thing in the morning. You will also need to find out from the mum-to-be (or a close friend or family member of the mum-to-be), all the names and addresses of friends and family who should be invited. It is important to ask people from all areas such as work friends, school friends, neighbours and also include any new friends made recently from antenatal classes and groups.
Baby showers are normally held at someone’s house or a restaurant, tea room or hotel although a hall/function room could be hired if there may be a lot of people. When it comes to baby showers, the only thing to ensure is that there is enough space and that the mum-to-be is comfortable and relaxed.
It is quite common for baby showers to have a theme as this can help everyone to relax and get involved in the party, it can also help to make the party feel more organised. A baby shower does not have to have a theme to it but if it does it could be as simple as ‘pink for a girl’ or ‘blue for a boy’. Some other popular baby shower themes include:
- Nursery Rhymes
- Teddy Bear’s tea party
- Favourite childhood books
- Words of wisdom
- Baby food
- Childhood games
The theme can be continued throughout the planning of the shower right through to the end including the invitations, gift ideas, party food, room decorations, party games, fancy dress, party bags and cake design.
Baby showers can easily get expensive especially by the time a hall is hired and food is bought. When planning the party it is important to set a budget and try to keep to it. However, there is no reason why you cannot ask each guest to bring a plate of party food if you cannot afford food or catering services.
At baby showers, it is traditional for the mum-to-be to receive gifts for herself and also for the baby. Sometimes, the guests may meet beforehand and purchase an expensive joint gift together such as a pram or cot and sometimes each guest will bring their own individual gift. This could be anything from baby related, to champagne for after the birth, to manicure treatments or offers of babysitting once the baby is home.
Most baby showers involve a lot of tea and cake as well as lots of chatting about parenthood, babies and children, however some people also have a few simple party games prepared. Some ideas for baby shower party games include:
- Pass the parcel
- Pureed baby food tasting
- Pin the dummy on the baby
- Speed nappy changing a doll
- Nursery rhyme quiz
- Guess the bump (cut the heads off photos from pregnant celebrities and guess each one)
- Drinking from a baby bottle races
- Guess the baby (arrange for each guest to bring a baby photo of themselves and guess who is who!)
- Paint your own baby vest or sleep suit with fabric pens
There is no right or wrong plan for a baby shower; as long as everyone enjoys themselves and has a good time then the baby shower is a success.
by Jenny, Mum to William and James