Baby showers are a widespread thing in the world. Since they have been around for ages, they have changed quite a bit since they first appeared. What exactly is a baby shower?
A baby shower is a party that celebrates the delivery or expected birth of a child.
Baby showers include food, games, and, most importantly, gifts. These gifts are for the baby and their parents. It can be something small, like a pack of diapers, or something bigger and more expensive, which will help out the new parents as they already had to spend a lot of money on all baby equipment.
The guests that are invited are close family members and friends.
What is a baby shower?
The history of baby showers can be traced a few centuries back, as baby showers’ tradition began in ancient Egyptian and Roman times. Even though there is no real evidence, historians believe that people gave the newborn baby and its parent’s different types of handmade gifts as presents during this time. This indicated the beginning of the baby shower celebration.
During the Middle Ages, a baby’s baptism served as an opportunity to give gifts to the new parents. The gifts were usually given by the godparents, and they had religious significance.
During the Renaissance, mothers were given extravagant gifts upon the birth of a baby. It was finally during the Victorian era that baby showers started to take their shape. Back then, pregnancy and childbirth weren’t topics that were discussed publicly, so these celebrations took place after the baby was born, as pregnant women weren’t allowed to go out in public.
Baby showers that were held during the Victorian era were a women-centric celebration. The females in the family would host tea parties for the expecting mother and the baby.
While everyone gave something handmade as a gift, grandmothers would always give something silver to the new mother and her child. The baby shower was also a reason for family, friends, and cousins to come and see the new baby.
After World War II, things changed and baby showers started to be viewed as a celebration of pregnancy.
The gift-giving tradition is still present in modern-day baby showers. The shower is often hosted by the close family and friends of the moms-to-be, though some still think that it is an all-family affair. The thing that changed the most is that nowadays, baby showers aren’t only for women. Fathers participate in their baby’s shower, as well as the male members of the family and male friends.
How do you arrange a baby shower?
Traditionally, a baby shower isn’t arranged by the expecting mother. It is done by close friends or family members.
In case you are an expecting mother and no one has come up with a plan for your baby shower, feel free to ask your close family member or a friend to do it.
For some people, it is convenient to put together a gift registry, as it can be very helpful for guests who aren’t sure what to give you, and it can also help avoid duplicate gifts from different guests.
Choosing the right venue for your baby shower depends on your guest list. If you have a small baby shower, it can be convenient to hold it at home. It could be at the new parent’s home or one of the planner’s home.
You can also search for some other baby shower venues near you, such as community centers, tea rooms, restaurants, parks, hotels, or clubhouses.
Depending on what the mom wants, baby showers can be fun and playful or elegant and classy. There are some activities that you should keep in mind when planning a baby shower.
Games are a big part of baby showers. Here are some fun baby shower games you can play.
In order to play this, you will need everybody’s baby pictures. Have guests guess who is which baby.
Bobbing for pacifiers
You will need a large plastic tub and 10-15 pacifiers. Fill the large plastic tub with water and let the guests try their luck at bobbing for pacifiers with their hands behind their back. To motivate your guests, you can buy some small prizes and number them, and have the pacifiers numbered, too.
Ice Ice Baby
For this game, you will need an ice tray, and some tiny plastic babies, one for each guest. Put the plastic babies in the ice tray, pour water over them, and freeze them the night before. Once the guests arrive, remove the babies from the ice tray and put an ice baby in each person’s drink. The first person to notice that their ice baby has melted has to shout the words “My water broke!” in order to win.
Diaper change relay race
Assemble your guests into teams and buy 1 pack of newborn diapers, 1 tub of baby wipes, 1 receiving blanket, and 1 baby doll for each team. The teams should start with their baby doll wearing a diaper and wrapped in a receiving blanket. Once you give the word to start, the first person in line in each team changes the diaper, removing the blanket and diaper, wiping the doll’s bottom with a baby wipe, putting another diaper on, and rewrapping the doll in the blanket. Next, the doll is handed to the next team member for changing, and the diaper changer goes to the back of the line. In order for a team to win, everyone on a team has to change the doll’s diaper once.
Do you know what it is?
Get 10 paper bags, 10 baby items, and a pen and paper for each guest. Before the party starts, put a baby item into each bag, and number the bags. At the party, give the sheets of paper and pens to the guests, then start passing the bags out one by one. The guest have to take a guess what they think is in each bag without opening it, and write it down. They can make guessing easier by shaking and feeling the bag. After the guesses have been written on the paper, ask the mom-to-be to do the great reveal, and the guest with the most correct guesses is the winner.
Balloon baby Twister
For this, you will need some balloons and the game Twister. To play this game, have your guests blow up a balloon and put it under their shirt, like a baby bump, and then play Twister. You can give out prizes for the most twisted pose, most balloons carried under the shirt, and the least number of popped or dropped balloons.
Baby shower bingo
You will need bingo cards and small stickers or pens. Make sure to print out the baby bingo sheet before the party and give it to your guests once the party starts. Hand each guest a card, that is unique for everyone with a different combination of gifts. Then, while the mom-to-be opens her gifts, guests can mark off any items that are received with a sticker or cross it out with a pen. In order to win, you have to be the first to complete a row, column, or diagonal.
Baby birthday pool
Get one pen and paper for each guest, and one printed calendar of the expected birth month to pass around. Before you start the game, ask the soon-to-be mom to reveal her anticipated due date. Next, remind the guests that only 5% of all babies are born on their due date. Ask each guest to foretell the day and the time the baby will be born, and write their prediction on the paper or calendar. If you want, you can promise to give a prize to each person who picks the correct day and also to the person who most closely picks the time. Make sure you don’t forget to send those prizes out after the baby is born.
The next important thing to plan is food. You can have a buffet or a spread to which everyone can contribute. You can also have a baby shower cake.
Goodie bags are often seen at baby showers. They don’t have to be anything extravagant. You can put some candy or other small items as a way to thank all the guests for coming.
If the parents have put together a gift registry, each guest can choose to bring their own presents, such as baby clothes, toys, and diapers. Another option is to give a mom something to pamper herself with, for example, face masks, scented candles, or even some nice makeup. If the parents need some help with the more expensive baby equipment, you can talk to guests and try to raise the money to give a bigger gift together.
In the past baby shower etiquette included a lot of rules, but nowadays you don’t have to follow them anymore. One of the rules was that you can only have a baby shower for your first child. Today expectant mothers are showered on different occasions in case there are different groups who’d like to throw their own celebrations.
It is also more common to have a baby shower for each pregnancy, but the gifts won’t be as expensive as they are for the first pregnancy.
Who is coming to a baby shower?
The list of guests is different for every baby shower. The people that are usually invited are the parent’s close family members and friends.
For a long time, baby showers were female-only affair, because pregnancy and birth were taboo topics that were only meant to be discussed amongst women. Nowadays it has become increasingly expected for dads to be more involved.
What are good gifts for a baby shower?
Some parents prefer to make a gift registry, in which case the guests just pick one gift from the list. In case you are invited to a baby shower and there is no gift registry, you may have a hard time picking out a gift. Here are some good ideas for baby shower gifts.
A bath supporter
Make bath time easier for the new parents with a really helpful baby holder. The mesh keeps the baby supported in the water while also allowing for the runoff to easily drain through.
Pacifier clips are a great thing to have around once the baby starts dropping and throwing everything. It will keep the pacifiers from landing on the floor every few minutes.
A baby-bottle warmer
A fast baby-bottle warmer will allow parents to evenly heat up milk when they need it. Aim for a warmer which can also defrost the milk.
Choose a playmat that is designed by child development experts to keep baby engaged, entertained, and learning through their whole first year.
A stylish diaper bag
A stylish diaper bag will help your friends ease into parenthood while still feeling like themselves. Choose one that makes it hard to tell that it is a diaper bag. If you can, try to find a diaper bag that includes all the necessities for an outing with a baby, such as a changing mat and stroller clips. You can also fill it with diapers and baby wipes.
Muslin swaddle blankets are some of the most versatile baby essentials ever invented, which makes them a great baby shower gift. They are super-soft and lightweight swaddles, that you can use to tuck baby in at night, or a car seat cover, nursing wrap, stroller shades, burp cloths and so much more. It is best to get a pack of three or more given how much use they will get.
A pretty nursing bralette
If the new mom decides to nurse, she will be stuck in basic nursing bras for a while. Giving her a bra that is comfortable and pretty will make that experience easier for her.
A baby carrier
A baby carrier is a great gift for new parents. As much as they will love holding their baby, they will soon get tired from it. A baby carrier keeps the baby close when they need a break, or when they need to use their hands but want the baby to be with them.
A nice robe
Given that the new mom will be spending a lot of time at home for a while, giving her a nice robe is a good idea. You can get her a luxurious silky robe, or a fluffy, comfortable one.
A diaper organizer
Diaper bags tend to get cramped with all the baby stuff parents need, and soon they will find themselves rummaging through it to find anything. A diaper organizer will help them find anything they need in seconds.
A nursing basket
Since the baby will be eating a lot, the new mother will need a few essentials while she’s in that rocking chair feeding her baby. Buy a cute basket and fill it with some things that she will need within reaching distance, like some snacks, a water bottle, some gum, nipple cream, a notepad and pen for recording cherished moments, her favorite magazines or books, some extra pacifiers, and burp cloths.
A great gift for a baby shower is a non-contact thermometer, given that it is the only thermometer your child will ever need. It has a dual-mode where it can measure temperature via forehead, which is suitable for all ages, or ear, which is recommended for children over 1 year old. This will come in handy when you have a sleeping baby that you are worried might have a temperature, and the last thing that you want to do is wake up that baby to take its temperature.