Baby showers used to be an ultra-traditional gathering where women would come together for some lemonade and small sandwiches, give the new mom much-needed supplies for the new baby, and maybe play some party games. In a blur of pink balloons and blue tissue, one shower would kind of blend into another, and if you’d seen one, you’d pretty much seen them all.
These days, all bets are off. A baby shower can be anything from friends getting together at a bistro for a mimosas brunch (OJ for new mommy, of course) to a co-ed backyard barbecue to a large-scale bash in an event hall that would rival some weddings. The sky is the limit with colors and creativity, each party having its own unique style and guest list (often including men and children), with entertainments to match.
Couples, Co-ed, and Kids
Men at a baby shower? Yes. While it’s not automatically expected these days, more and more showers are including men in the party (see our recent blog post on this here). This, of course, means coming up with things that aren’t just girl-specific for everyone to do, but with a little out-of-the-box thinking (and a couple of Google searches), you can find ideas to fit everyone. A good “ice-breaker” move is to include some high-energy games aimed to make everyone laugh and have fun (which provides some great photo ops as well). You can find some ideas here, including a “dirty diaper game” where players try to determine what kind(s) of melted candy are in a line of disposable (and otherwise clean) diapers. Kids are often invited these days, too. This can go either way-- some feel that this is a new mom’s last chance to have a day that’s all about her (which having kids running around definitely does not allow), and some say “Hey, the more the merrier--it’s either bring them or some of my friends can't come.” If children are included, it’s definitely a good idea to have some distractions planned so the lady of the hour can get some proper attention.
Have you ever noticed that all of your friends seem to get pregnant at the same time? (Seriously, what is up with that?) Especially when two (or more!) mommies-to-be share a lot of the same friends, a savvy option is to hold a group shower, where both are celebrated at the same time. This allows for half of the cost and time spent on throwing each her own shower, with either one friend / relative being able to plan for the both of them or two friends working together. This can, of course, get sticky-- some moms do kind of want a day that can make them feel special all on their own (and sometimes two planners is one too many), so it’s a matter of personal preference based on your situation.
(image courtesy of snapshotsandmythoughts.com)
This is a smaller-scale baby shower intended for a family’s second baby (and beyond). This is especially helpful if the second baby is a different gender than the first, but is also nice to provide the new child with a few things that their older sibling hasn’t already chewed, slobbered, and pooped on. It also gives the (now much more experienced) parents a chance to register for gifts they either didn’t know they needed before or that they are more particular about now that they know the rhythms and preferences of their own parenthood (if you need a giggle, check out these Luvs commercials about parents gaining experience giving a bath and warming a bottle between having their first and second kids). A baby sprinkle is also a great chance for any older siblings to get some love and attention (“You’re going to be such a great big brother!”) along with their new brother or sister.
(image courtesy of bishopandholland.com)
This is a tradition that started in the south and is progressing its way northward as it gains popularity, where friends and family will gather to sip drinks while they see the new baby for the first time. It’s usually at parents’ house a couple of weeks to a couple of months after baby’s arrival and gives the new mommy a fun excuse to throw on some lipstick and see some grownups again after living days and weeks in New Baby World. It’s a nice occasion to allow the new parents to see everyone at the same time (including only having to clean the house once, etc.) instead of being constantly ready for visitors who want to greet the new baby in the first weeks he or she is home. This is less of a gifting event than a “see baby” event, although several guests do like to bring gifts as a “welcome home!” gesture to the little one (a good reason to update the gift registry after the shower). It is also a nice chance to include anyone who wasn’t at the shower (men, kids, guests who couldn’t come) so that they can greet the new baby and congratulate the parents as well.
These are so much fun!! A gender reveal can either be an entire event on its own or be incorporated into the baby shower. There are so many exciting ways to reveal a baby’s gender, from popping balloons filled with pink or blue confetti to opening a humongous box of colored helium balloons to cutting into custom cakes with colored icing. It’s a great chance to get creative, both with the method of the reveal and the party décor \ If you do have the baby’s siblings involved, be aware that they may have their own opinions on what the baby’s gender should be (sometimes with very emotional results), so make sure to plan for that too.
Welcoming a new baby into the world is such a joyful occasion and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate not just the new mom and baby, but the entire family as they enter into a new stage of life. With Pinterest, Google, and all the other resources at your fingertips, use this opportunity to make your event(s) fun, special, and something you’ll always look back on with a smile.