Image by fressica via Flickr
When a friend or family reveals a pending arrival, it’s not only huge news, but an honour to be told. In addition to being pleased and excited for them, you may want to do something beyond offering many enthusiastic congratulations. You might ask to host the baby shower. Or, you may be asked (again, an honour).
If you’ve never hosted a baby shower, don’t worry, as a shower can be amongst the most fun and easiest events to organize. As a host, the party may be considered your “welcome baby” gift, but, depending on how close you are to the expectant parents, you may still want to give them an actual present. It’s easier to buy a gift ahead of time, and one of the best places to find a quality gift which will be much appreciated, is to look for baby gifts from Baby Gift Box.
Your gift secure – plan the baby shower. There was a time, back in the day (as they say), when showers were for first children and invitees were always women. Today, there aren’t such stringent guidelines. Mums with one or more other children are thrown “sprinkles,” a mini-shower. Today, couples are as readily invited as singletons.
Etiquette standards note the baby shower host is a close family friend, but not an actual family member, since it’s considered rude for family to appear to be “begging” for presents. Regional and cultural differences have rendered that tradition archaic, and a popular host for a baby shower is the mother-to-be’s grandmother (“Grandma’s Shower”). Similar to the notion of the aforementioned “sprinkle,” second (or more)-times mums are thrown Blessingways, with a focus on her and her needs, rather than gifts she’s not likely to need. Finally, meal showers are a tremendous and welcome help in which a “meal train” is designed by an organizer: friends prep meals for families with new babies.
Worldwide shower traditions
- Islam: newborn babies are at the centre of a ceremony called aqiqah, in which an animal is sacrificed and divided into three for the poor and needy, for family and friends, and for the baby’s household.
- Canada: only women attend showers
- Bangladesh: showers are held during the seventh month of pregnancy, when the woman leaves her husband’s house and moves into her father’s until the baby’s birth.
- South Africa: when a mum is six-months pregnant, usually an all women party is thrown and it’s called a “stork party” and is often a surprise to the mum-to-be.
- Chinese: held a month after a baby’s birth, a shower is called manyue
- Armenia: 40 days after a baby is born, a qarasunq, a party for all relatives and friends is held.
- Nepalese: A mum-to-be is gifted and her favourite meal prepared for her shower, a dahi chiura khuwaune; later, she’s often invited by extended family to dine. Six-month-old baby boys and five-month-old baby girls are honoured in Pasni, when their diet moves to one higher in carbs and people gift blessings, money and gifts.
- Iran: One to three months before the mum’s due date, family and friends are invited to a “sismoony party”
- Costa Rica and Brazil: have similar traditions; Costa Rica, it’s called te de canastilla (basket tea), and in Brazil it’s pre-birth, women’s only shower dubbed cha de bebe (baby tea)
- Hindi: Showers (although called something else) are important to Hindus, and each has a different name based on the community where the family lives.
Some Shower Tips
- Host at a home, instead of a club or restaurant, for savings and intimacy.
- Go to a local famer’s market for flowers; consider a monochromatic theme for flowers. If you really want budget, make your own paper flowers.
- Skip traditional paper invites sent through mail and use online services – it will save money and trees.
- Opt out of rental table and chairs and get creative – hold a shower picnic, with blankets and picnic baskets.
- Skip caterers and make tea sandwiches or serve buffet meals
- Customized cakes can get costly! Consider providing plain, pre-baked cupcakes and having guests DIY the decorations.
- Entertainment – create a playlist and use your phone. No need for live music.
- For giveaways, food is the best option, like cookies in pretty cellophane.