Baby Shower: History, Planning, Etiquettes and More

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When conception is confirmed, the parents are not the only people who find the news exciting. Some members of the family and friends would even start planning a baby shower before the bump start showing.

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This type of report is received with joy from future uncles, aunts, grandparents, other extended family members, and friends. People are mostly always eager to hear the news of the newest member of the family on its way.

A baby shower can be considered as one of the most convenient ways where loved ones gather together to convey their excitement at your pregnancy.

This is a time for family and friends to spend some time with parents, especially with the woman carrying the baby. It’s a time to present gifts, good wishes, and love before the birth of the baby.

Why don’t you read on to find out all you need to know about planning a baby shower?

What is a baby shower?

A baby shower is generally the party that is thrown in celebration of the expecting baby. It’s also an avenue for loved ones to help the parents acquire baby things that are needed.

Baby stuff can be quite expensive, so ultimately, baby showers are the easiest way to lift parents of such burden.

History of baby shower

Most people might not be aware, but the baby showers we all are familiar with started recently. Nonetheless, the act of gifting expecting parents with baby items has since been practiced even before baby showers became a trend.

New members of the society have always been celebrated; however, they were celebrated differently from what we are familiar with today.

Ancient Egyptians and Greeks held special rituals to celebrate a mother and her baby. During these rituals, special gifts and prayers were offered to several gods and goddesses.

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Fast forward many years later, babies started getting baptized, and this was an opportunity to give presents to new parents. It wasn’t uncommon for gifts to represent religious values, and these gifts were usually presented by the child’s godparents.

Thereafter, during the Renaissance, loved ones spoilt mothers with lavish gifts after the baby is delivered. It was during the Victorian period that more meaning was giving to baby showers. Unlike now, childbirth and pregnancy publicized, so celebrations were held till after delivery.

Baby showers during the Victorian era were basically tea parties that featured games and present for expecting mothers. This practice became popular over many decades and was referred to as “stork parties.”

Baby showers became a common practice, -especially in western countries- during and after WWI and WWII. These presented an opportunity for friends and family to help new parents financially, especially those who were affected by the war.

Planning a baby shower

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Customarily, the business of planning a baby shower isn’t left to expectant mothers. Family members and friends come together to plan the occasion. At the end of the day, a baby shower means “to shower mother and child with love and gifts.”

It’s perfectly okay for expecting mothers to approach friends or a trusted member of the family and ask them to plan a baby shower them, especially in cases where nobody is talking about it. This is also logical if the due date is very near. It’s also not unusual for expecting mothers or fathers to plan or organize a baby shower.

If loved ones insist on planning the shower without your help, then you’d have to allow them. The idea is for everything to come as a surprise. This is also an opportunity to enable them to show you not only how much they love you, but how they can’t wait to meet your baby.

It’s also normal for expecting mothers to provide a gift registry. This would best inform the prospective guest on what gifts they can get. This is helpful in avoiding identical gifts from guests.

Who can you invite to a baby shower?

Generally, the guest list to a baby shower is usually exclusive. Friends and family members of the parents are invited. Nonetheless, planners should also understand that the parents might prefer selected individuals off the list to avoid drama on the D-day.

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It is always best to inquire from the parents- especially moms-, who not to invite. For some time now, the affairs of a baby shower were solely the business of women. Notwithstanding, studies have shown that co-ed baby showers are becoming more popular.

Dads are also getting involved by doing their best to make the baby shower more memorable for the woman. It’s best to inquire from the parents first about what they would prefer before putting together a guest list.

When is a baby shower ideal?

There is no rule governing the proper timing for a baby shower. Nonetheless, most showers are thrown about 3 to 6 weeks before delivery is due.

This is a better chance for guests to know what gifts to get your baby, especially since they might be aware of the gender of your baby.

Most mothers prefer to have their baby showers much later in their pregnancy, mainly because the chances of miscarriage reduces with each week that passes.

What place can be used to host a baby shower?

Picking the right location for a baby shower depends on the number of people you’re inviting. You can use your home if you don’t plan a big baby shower.

You could also have it at your parents’ house or the home of one of the people planning the shower if you don’t mind.

Notwithstanding, planners need to understand that at least one person has to stay behind to clean up if the baby shower is held at the expecting mother’s house. No pregnant woman, during her trimester, wants to ever clean up after a party.

There are several other suitable places to throw a baby shower. Planners can check online for suitable shower venues near them. These would include tea rooms, community centers, parks, restaurants, clubhouses, or hotels.

It is completely important to keep expecting parents in mind when selecting a venue that would accommodate the type of activities for that particular day.

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A clubhouse or a park could be ideal if lots of fun games or other spontaneous activities are involved. A tea house or restaurant could serve as excellent venues for calm and classy showers.

Throwing a baby shower

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Baby showers can be fun, playful, relaxing, or elegant. It all depends on what the expecting mothers want and what she’s open to.

Even though moms shouldn’t be stressed with the business of planning a shower, it’s still best to get her input on what activities she would like; after all, it is all about her and her baby.

Here are some essential factors to consider when planning a baby shower:

  • Food: Planners can choose to have a spread or buffer where invited guests can contribute. Planners can ask prospective guests to pitch in getting everything that’s needed before the D-day. If the shower is going to take place outside (tea room or restaurant), then planners can request what the budget is from the management of the venue itself. Baby shower cakes are equally acceptable.
  • Favors: The favors granted for baby showers shouldn’t have to be extravagant. Cookies, candies, or other small packages are equally okay and are good ways to thank potential guests for coming.
  • Games: Planner can come up with fun games that could include asking questions about the mom and dad from quests and other entertaining games to keep the shower going. Planners can also ask expecting parents if there are special games they’d like to include.
  • Theme or decorations: Using sites like Pinterest to get good decorative ideas isn’t a bad place to start. Several amazing themes can be recreated by using DIY crafts and simple accessories.
  • Gifts: Expecting parents can prepare a gift registry, so each guest knows what to look out for. This may include baby clothes, diapers, toys, baby feeders, and more. Moms can also be given gifts such as scented candles, face masks, or lovely makeups. Also, if the parents want assistance with expensive items, they can talk to the planners to see how they can raise money to arrange for a more significant gift together.

Etiquettes of baby shower

There are several rules associated with baby showers, but planners aren’t expected to follow if they choose not to. For instance, baby showers were only meant for the first child.

Nowadays, expecting parents can be showered on many occasions, most especially if there are different groups involved, and one shower can accommodate the crowd.

It has also become a norm to have a baby shower for more than one pregnancy. Typically, gifts won’t be as impressive for the second or third as it is for the first pregnancy. But this shouldn’t stop expecting parents from enjoying such a fantastic day.

Ultimately, an essential thing is for dad and mom – if the shower is co-ed- to try as much as possible to enjoy themselves.

The love, good wishes, gifts, and attention are all designed to make them feel appreciated. In no time, the baby would be here, and a baby shower is just a remarkable way to welcome the child.

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Reference;

  • What is a Baby Shower? Background, Planning, and Etiquette –flo.health
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Oluwafemi Michael
Oluwafemi Michael is an online Mental Health Therapist, Advocate for Mental Health Awareness, a programmer, and also a content creator from Edo state, Akoko-Edo LG.
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