Baby showers are more than just tradition, as it’s the perfect way for parents-to-be to celebrate the arrival of their baby. You might heard of fun games like Balloon Baby Twister, Nursery Rhyme Game, Nappy Change Relay Race, Don’t Drop the Egg, Ice Ice Baby, Don’t Say Baby and such, and they are common in this celebration. Since it’s one of the occasions filled with joy, keep on reading for the baby shower ideas to make your moments unforgettable.
What is a Baby Shower?
A baby shower is an occasion for parents-to-be to celebrate the arrival of their baby with their friends and family. This event is usually held after the gender reveal party, where parents-to-be already knew the gender of their baby. Just like the bridal shower, the baby shower means that the mom-to-be is “showered” with gifts. It also implies the “first showing” of the new baby to their friends and family.
Do you know that baby showers originally designed for the first child, and only women are attendees? Nowadays, you can set your own rules regarding the guests you would like to include in your list. Most of the time, gift-giving and playing games are some of the fun activities done during the event.
However, since the occasion is gift-giving, it is more appropriate if baby showers are hosted by a close friend, though this tradition is varied in different cultures. In fact, some tradition allows a baby shower to be held after the birth of a baby. Do you know that baby showers started to become a tradition during the boom era of the 1950s after the World War II?
History of Baby Showers
A baby shower may be a tradition for us, but do you know there are lots of rituals associated with pregnancy in different parts of the world? You might be also interested to know that this celebration has a deep root in the history. In the ancient Egypt, the mom-to-be is separated from the crowd, especially when visiting temples to lessen the pollution of birth.
In the ancient India, during the 8th month of pregnancy, the mother is blessed with gifts, sweets, and dry fruits, along with a musical presentation for the baby, praying for her successful delivery and happy motherhood. On the other hand, the ancient Greek ritual calls for a shout after a successful delivery, then after seven days, the baby is being presented into the household. There was also a ceremony held to declare the mom’s return to the society after ten days.
In the medieval Europe, priests visit women before giving their birth to ask them to confess for their sins. Then on the day giving birth, there was a ceremony of baptism held for the baby where the godparents bless their child with gifts. In renaissance Europe, there was a celebration held for moms-to-be designed to encourage and bless the child in the womb.
If you usually announce your pregnancy as soon as you know it, pregnant women keep their pregnancy a secret in the Victorian Britain. According to them, it’s just a tradition for them, and also the proper behavior. But after giving birth, there would be a tea party held for the mother. Do you know that the modern concept of baby shower started in 1960s in the North America?
In fact, the boom era made the traditional baby shower a more relaxed atmosphere for the mother when it comes to pregnancy traditions. This tradition has evolved over the years, and having influenced by civilization and modern technologies, baby shower games and non-female exclusive party became common.
Baby Showers in Different Parts of the World
Now we already know that baby showers have its ancient roots, but still do you know that the way it celebrated in different parts of the world in our modern times differs too? While baby shower is common in the European countries, in Bangladesh, a celebration is held on the seventh month of pregnancy, and the mom-to-be is accustomed to live in her father’s house rather than her husband until she gave birth.
However, in Bulgaria, there is a custom where no one should give baby gifts before she is born. The reason behind is because of a superstition, but you can give gifts to the baby after she was born, even if she was kept from public for more than a month to prevent illnesses. In our tradition, we organize baby shower for mom-to-be before she give birth, but in Chinese tradition, it is held a month after the baby is born. In fact, the baby’s wrist is tied with a white string or yarn to symbolize her acceptance in the family.
While in Armenia a baby shower is celebrated more than a month after the birth, in Iran a baby shower is held before three months of baby’s birth. Still, friends give gifts for the baby and usually bring baby toys, bay clothes, and some essentials for the mother. In Nepal, the occasion is held in the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. In Karnataka, an occasion is held to fulfill the food cravings of a pregnant woman.
In Jain tradition, there are specific days when you could only celebrate baby shower, and it is usually, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday of the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy. In Kerala, a pregnant woman is massaged with homemade oil and has her customary bath. More than that, they also have a family deity that is worshipped during the ceremony. In their tradition, the gifts are given after the baby’s birth, so you’ll only give gifts for the mother during the baby shower.
In the Islamic culture, there is a sheep slaughtered after seven days of giving birth, for where it is distributed to the poor and some close relatives. In South Africa, there is a stork party held where women are only the guests, and they give gifts for the baby while being dressed up. Apart from giving baby’s and mother’s gifts, in Nepal a meal is prepared for the mother according to her liking.
Baby Shower Etiquette to Remember
It should be hosted by a close friend, not parents-to be.
Baby shower is a gift-receiving occasion so it is not appropriate to be hosted by the parents-to-be to avoid the impression of taking the chance to collect gifts. Depending on your culture, your close family member apart from your friends can host a baby shower, as long as it is not the mother-to-be. Remember, the main reason for a baby shower is not only to celebrate the arrival of your baby, but for your friends and family to shower you gifts.
However, you might be saddened by a fact that no one will host a baby shower for you, but still you can reach out and talk to your best friend and close relatives to do it for you. One thing you can do is to share the good news to your closest friends and family, so they would be able to get the idea of planning a baby shower for you.
A great thing, a host can ask a few friends and family members to contribute for the expenses of baby shower. To make things more organized and tactful, one could set up an online funding for the event and ask friends to contribute for it. But remember, you should never ask the mom-to-be or her husband to contribute money for her baby shower.
Baby shower is commonly held in the third trimester of pregnancy.
The reason behind why the occasion is celebration on the last weeks of pregnancy is for the mom-to-be to be relaxed, and avoid the kickoff of early labor. Some women actually feel huge and uncomfortable when the due date is near, and there are some instances that babies were born two months before their due date, so it is safer to have the celebration four to six weeks before the predicted date of giving birth.
Yes, the celebration of baby shower should be late enough so the mom-to-be is comfortable, but early enough so the baby won’t likely arrive on the same day of the baby shower. Most of the time, mom-to-be feels like there would no one will step up to throw her a baby shower, but the key is to be open with your friends, so they wouldn’t assume that you already have a baby shower planned.
Close friends and family members are the usual guests.
Back in the day, baby showers are exclusive for all-female guests, but you can now invite your male friends, relatives, and even the dad-to-be to the occasion. While some guests and friends of the opposite sex are comfortable on listening to some labor tales, some are not, so make sure what kind of baby shower experience mom-to-be wants to have. The key is to coordinate with the mom-to-be so you’ll be able to throw a baby shower that she would really love.
Depending on the formality of the occasion, you can send invitations via phone call, texts, or social media events or simply send an invitation in the post. Some even do handmade invitations to show their personal touch and artistic skills. As a rule of thumb, the invitations should be sent to the guests at least one month before the actual event so they’ll be able to prepare for gifts and block their schedules for the party.
Giving of gifts will depend on the tradition and culture of family.
We now know that baby showers are celebrated differently in different parts of the world, but if you’re living in the western country, giving gifts is a custom. However, if guests already contributed to the expenses of the party, it would be too much to ask them for a gift. Do you know that registering for a gift list is would help so your guests will have some idea on what to buy, and would not end up to common multiple gifts at the same time?
More than that, gift registries are a time-saver and an ideal way to stock up on essentials, so your guests don’t have to contemplate on what to give to the parents-to-be. However, you should never insist your guests to use the registry for their gifts as it is only a guide, not a rule. After all, it’s the thought that counts and your guests should be able to give you whatever they like.
However, you should pick a reasonably priced store so your guests will be comfortable on using the gift registry as a guide. It’s up to them if they want to spend more money on their gift, but don’t make them feel uncomfortable spending more than they could. When signing for a gift registry, go for modest items and skip those too expensive ones—crib, stroller, and other baby essentials.
The food served must coordinate with the venue and party theme.
Before thinking of the food, you must be clear on the location and theme of the baby shower. A great thing, any venue will do as long as the budget permits. Think of booking a table at your favorite restaurant, renting s conference room at a hotel and leisure clubs, or even hosting the party at the backyard or spacious living room.
Most of the time, the color of the theme will be dictated whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but the rest are some personal touches of couples’ hobbies and interests. Do you know that having a theme is ideal so you’ll be able to narrow down your choices when it comes to decorations, food, and other aspect of the party?
While some baby showers feature couples favorite film, book, sports, and even movies like Alice in Wonderland, some have their own twists to the themes. When it comes to food and drinks, simple is the best. Most of the time, buffet are the most practical option, but you may also think of shop-bought finger foods and some sweets.
Most of the time, there are games arranged for the program that can be the best way to bond with guests. However, the host must coordinate with the parents-to-be as some don’t want too adventurous activities but only fun conversation between friends. Remember, the baby shower should be designed to make parents-to-be happy, not stressed.
Don’t forget to send thank you notes, and goodie bags.
You can send the thank you notes whenever you like, but if you’re suffering from hectic postpartum period, it is still fine to send them a month after the baby shower. Depending on your preference, you may think of sending your guests some thank you cards, bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, a small memorabilia and such.
If you think you cannot do that, then you can simply prepare some goodie bags for them that can be given on the baby shower. A great thing, you can put anything in a goodie bag—sweet treats, keychain, candles, nail polish, Polaroid photos, accessories, makeup and such.
You can have more than one baby shower.
If you were blessed with a lot of thoughtful friends of different circles, you’ll likely have more than one baby shower. While some think twice when it comes to celebrating a second baby, you should remember that every pregnancy should be celebrated. However, there’s a chance that the parents already have what they need because of their first baby, but still it wouldn’t hurt if you’ll still give new gifts for them.
In fact, having baby showers for second and third babies became acceptable, so don’t think twice if you’re feeling generous to your friend. They might not need a lot of baby gear and supplies like crib, stroller, walker, and such as they might already have them, but still they need those diapers, milk bottles and some baby clothes.
If you’re lucky enough, a lot of your friends will host more than one baby shower for you, but if you’re thinking of combining them all just to make them practical for your schedule, think again. Do you know that combination of baby showers is not ideal? One of the reason may be your family and your husband’s family don’t get along well, or your close friends are of different circles and it would be awkward to invite them altogether.
How to Plan a Baby Shower
Before everything, you should know who would be the host for your baby shower—and if you’re the organizer, you should know your budget to plan wisely. Most of the time, venue and food are on your top list. As a host, are you paying for all the expenses, or you’ll have other friends to help with the contribution? Where should the party going to be held? Is it one’s home, resort, hotel, or restaurant?
When selecting a date for the baby shower, consult with the parents-to-be, especially if they have family members who need to travel long distances. More than that, you should make sure it wouldn’t intervene with the due date of the expectant mother. Also, make a guest list and make sure the closest family members of the parents-to-be are all invited, along with your common friends.
Think of the theme of the baby shower, starting from the color, decorations, accents, motifs, personal touches and such. Most of the time, planning the menu and decorations will be coordinated with the theme—pink or blue cakes, cupcakes, banners, balloons, paper plates, chocolates, candies and such, but any food will do. Some prefer tea party, light dinner, or even buffet, along with finger foods.
It’s up to you to prepare some games, but make sure the parents-to-be are aware of them in case of some game rules require getting messy and sporty. As a rule of thumb, get a little crafty to make things more fun. A week or month before the baby shower, finalize the invitations and follow up guests. More than that, you should assign a photographer and videographer to document the event, making it memorable and unforgettable.
Baby Shower Game Ideas for You
Depending on your taste, you can think of fun baby shower games to make the occasion more memorable. One of the best icebreaker games is the “Guess Who?” where your guests will guess who is the person in that baby picture. As a preparation, you’ll need to ask all of your guests to bring their baby photos and collect them before the start of the program to avoid peeking.
If you want a fun yet less adventurous game, go for “Don’t Say Baby” game for where your guests cannot say the word baby on certain duration of time, and pins will be their marker. The rule of the game states that each guest will have five pins originally, but when they uttered the word baby, the pins will be taken away from them. In the end, the guest with the most number of pins will win.
If you want to get more creative, go for Don’t Drop the Egg Baby game for where your guests will decorate an egg with art materials, and your guests will have a race carrying the egg baby on their spoons. However, this might get a bit messy, so it is best to have this game outdoors, or simply opt for hardboiled eggs over fresh eggs.
Or, try the Nappy Change Relay Race game where you’ll play with some baby dolls, baby nappies, baby wipes and baby blankets. In this game, your guests are divided on teams and will have their baby doll wrapped in a blanket. As the game progresses, each team will change nappy, wipe the doll’s bottom with baby wipes, or put the nappy back. The first team who is able to finish the task first will be the winner.
Indeed, the arrival of your baby is one of the best reasons to celebrate and have fun with friends and family. Having fun games, encouraging conversations, and dining with friends and family are great to make the occasion more memorable. By taking inspirations from these, you’ll be able to make your baby shower one of a kind and unforgettable.