Written by: Cally Worden
Originally an American concept, the Baby Shower is an opportunity to celebrate your pregnancy in the company of family and friends, and for the parents-to-be to receive gifts that will be useful once the baby arrives. Getting kitted our for the arrival of your first child can be costly, having Baby Showers is a delightful way for loved ones to share in the anticipation and make their own contribution.
When Should my Baby Shower Happen?
Any time after conception is fine (obviously!) but many parents would prefer to wait until later into their pregnancy term, to be sure that all is well and the celebrations are not premature. Some prefer to wait until after the baby is born, which means that any gifts can definitely be gender specific, and gives the family a chance to introduce their newborn to lots of people at the same time, minimising the stress of a constant stream of visitors after the birth.
A Baby Shower is not usually organised by the parents, as this is seen as a bit demanding on the gift front. A close family member or trusted friend is usually the one to instigate proceedings.
Where Should it Take Place?
It’s kinder to the Mum-to-be if the Baby Shower is hosted away from their home. Otherwise the heavily pregnant and probably very tired Mum will end up cleaning up after everyone has gone. That’s not really the idea! Drafting a list of invitees in advance will give you an idea of numbers, and therefore how much space you will need. If there are too many to squeeze into a living room, or no-one is willing to host the event, then renting a village hall may be the answer.
Do I Need a Theme?
The general theme of every Baby Shower is obviously pregnancy, birth, and babies, but it can be fun and practical to steer guests towards a certain area of need, for example baby clothing or bedding, or pampering for Mum, or a focus on feeding. Many organisers of Baby Showers now create a Gift List which can be held by a local Baby Shop, which is a lovely way to give attendees an idea of the kid of present that would be both appreciated, and needed.
What Happens at a Baby Shower?
Anything you like, but remember this is all about the big life adventure that Mum and Dad are about to embark on. A theme can help to guide the direction of the party, the types of games you may play, or where conversations are steered. It is usual for everyone present to share in food and drink, and if daft games don’t fit with your party group, then quizzes and word games can be a lot of fun, as can sharing anecdotes and experiences.
Do I Need a Budget?
This depends on how ambitious your plans are. Are you asking each guest to bring their own gift, and also chip-in to other party expenses, such as food and drink? Are you planning goody-bags for each guest to take home? Decorations, a cake, some nibbles, a pizza, party game accessories and so on all add up. These costs should really be shared around.
Is it Still Just a ‘Mum’ Thing?
Traditionally Baby Showers have been all about the Mum-to-be, but as the role of Dads becomes more actively recognised, many couples now involve Dads in their parties too. This can be reflected in the guest list, and the party will need to include some kind of recognition of the role-of-Dad in the birth and aftermath.