So the bump is getting big and the day is fast approaching it’s time to arrange the Baby Shower!
This tradition has made it’s way over to the UK in recent years but the rules are still a little unclear, do I arrange my own baby shower? Is it a surprise party? How much do you spend on gifts? Do we have to share scary birth stories? Are the guys allowed within a hundred meters?
All these questions and more will be answered !
What is a baby shower?
Baby showers are often seen as an American tradition, however they are becoming quite popular in the UK too. There are many different versions of what a baby shower is. In a nutshell, it’s a special occasion (and wonderful excuse!) to have a party and celebrate the imminent arrival of a new baby with close friends and family.
The celebration can be lavish or low key – it depends on the mum-to-be, what you think she may like and of course budget.
Although many people think it ought to be a surprise, this needs careful consideration. Perhaps asking the mum-to-be what she would like, such as when to have it and who she would like to invite might be a good idea!
“Many parents don’t like buying or receiving baby products early due to superstition so having a baby shower in the last 6 -8 weeks is generally a favoured option.”
Who should organise the baby shower and where?
The general consensus seems to be anyone but the mum-to-be! A close friend or family member could take the lead. Better still, perhaps a few people may want to share the organisation. The venue depends on how many people are coming. It could be a small cosy affair at someone’s house. If there are quite a lot of guests, you may need to hire somewhere larger.
In essence, the baby shower can be as expensive or low key as you want – whatever suits the mum-to-be. The two most simple options are to ask guests to chip in a little money to organise it and buy food, decorations and a gift for the baby/ new parents. Alternatively, ask different people to bring plates of food and/or decorations to help share the cost.
When is the right time to have a baby shower?
Towards the end of the pregnancy is considered the best time to have a baby shower (but not too close to the due date just in case the baby is early). Baby showers are often seen as occasions to help provide emotional support, advice and gifts to the new parents.
Many parents don’t like buying or receiving baby products early due to superstition so having a baby shower in the last 6 -8 weeks is generally a favoured option.
Baby Shower Fun Games
If you’re planning a baby shower make sure to check out some of these party games and photo props from Amazon,
Looking For That Special New Baby Gift?
Who ought to be invited?
Traditionally the baby shower seemed to involve women only, namely close friends and relatives. However, there’s nothing to prevent the dad-to-be and partners coming or having who you want.
The main point is to have a celebration so there are no strict rules.
It might be diplomatic to ask the mum-to-be who she would like. Would she like to involve her grandmother, other family members, work colleagues, friends? If she is struggling with the politics of who to invite, perhaps there could be two. One organised by – and for – close family. The other with friends.
What happens at a baby shower?
Themes for baby showers seem to be popular. Blue and pink are obvious ones or neutrals if the sex of the baby is unknown. Other ideas are nursery rhymes or themes from classic children’s books. There doesn’t have to be a theme though. Perhaps a few decorations, some food and of course gift giving! A lovely idea might be to take photo’s of the event for the mum-to-be. Guests could sign the mount of the photoframe and it makes a wonderful keepsake gift. There are also activities such as baby prediction cards where guests are asked to leave their predictions for the baby.
Gift giving is part of a baby shower. Often friends and family may want to give something to help new parents when the baby arrives. Gifts don’t have to be expensive. Often work colleagues or friends may form a kitty and club together to get something bigger. However, it doesn’t always have to be expensive. The thoughtfulness behind a gift is often very much appreciated.
Although gifts are often bought for the baby it may be a lovely thought to buy something for the mum – even some mum-to-be bath products for before or after the birth can be very welcoming.
I remember a friend coming to hospital with some bath pamper products for me after the birth of my daughter and 13 years on I still recall lying in a lovely bubble bath and just what a treat it was!
Baby Shower Checklist
To help the organisers of the event, here are our top 10 things to consider to help it go smoothly:
- Is it a surprise party or will you ask the mum-to-be so she can be involved in when to have the baby shower and who to invite?
- Budget – will you ask friends to all contribute a little towards the party costs and gift or will you ask different people to being a plate of food and decorations?
- Date and venue – will the party be at someone’s house or will you hire a venue?
- Invitations (who and how many people to invite-perhaps ask the mum-to-be)
- Decorations & theme – will you decorate for a party e.g. balloons, bunting, flowers, banners or have a theme?
- Catering – will it be a buffet by caterers or ask everyone to bring something themselves?
- Gifts – will you buy for the mum-to-be or something for the baby or something for both?
- Recording the day – you could buy a guest book or buy a large photo frame and get people to write on the mount then frame a photo from your special day.
- Do you provide party favour bags – such as chocolates as a thank you for coming to the party and for the gifts?