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What is your ideal Baby Shower?

I have baby shower on the mind of late, as I am well into our third pregnancy (my first pregnancy in Portland!).  So, I am excited at the thought.  I also came across an old thread, wherein we discussed whether it would even be appropriate to host a shower for a second-time mama, to which I say, "definitely"!  As this is our third child, I am not interested in showering baby with gifts.  I am more interested in showering baby with attention as we prepare to welcome him/her into our world.  We recently received an email also wondering about baby showers:

  1. As a mama, what was your favorite part of the shower and why?
  2. Where there any particular gifts/activities that you really appreciated?
  3. Is there anyway to get papas involved?
  4. Was there anything that you didn't like about the baby shower tradition?
  5. Is there anything you would expect from a baby shower?

Comments

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what about a blessingway rather than the traditional games and presents baby shower?
this is lovely way to celebrate and honor a mother in such a powerful time.
here is a link with some ideas
http://www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/blessingway.html

I was so happy to be surprised with a shower for my second baby. It was not necessary but made me feel very loved. The gifts ranged from some things I really did need for baby to gifts for the mama. I think I would have felt a little sad not celebrating that pregnancy. If I had not had the surprise party I would have held a "sip n see" after number two was born.

My mamas group tends to make a schedule of meal drop offs for the new mom and her family following the birth, especially for the second (or more) baby. This seems like a good substitute for gifts and can be done at the shower when everyone is together. Usually if people sign up for one or two meals, this can last for about two months or so after the due date.
Most people don't seem to need much equipment and such after the first has arrived, or else they want to get it themselves, or borrow it.
I had a friend give me homemade granola and banana bread as a gift for my shower for #2 which was really different and much appreciated.

A couple of friends started planning my shower. They were more work friends and it was really kind of them but I did end up playing some horrible shower games. Like the one with the tape measure around the belly to guess how big you are. Plus I'm not the center of attention sort of person to begin with. I just wanted to get together with friends and eat food and celebrate what a special time it is. That way it could be men and women and super chill. Oh and we asked people not to buy us any clothes as we had mass amounts of hand me downs we got all clothes.

My mom and friends threw me a shower for my first, and while the thought was nice, I really didn't like it all that much. For one thing, I despise baby shower games. I also don't like all of the attention on me.

With my second, I decided to have a Baby Barbecue, which was really funny, because my preggo brain didn't think about that it sounded like we were barbecuing babies. :)

Anyway, we had an afternoon backyard barbecue, men + women all included, kids welcome. We tie-dyed baby onesies, and that was the only planned activity. Here's a cute photo of the onesies all lined up on a clothesline: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1541/2988/1600/IMG_0421.jpg

We lived in Hawaii at the time, so it was hot and we had a slip n' slide out for the kids, and everyone just relaxed and ate and chatted. Very informal, just my style. :)

Since I was throwing it myself, I specified "no gifts" because I didn't want to be tacky. Some close friends later took me out to lunch for a mini-shower and brought gifts then. It was nice to let people off the hook, and the gifts I received really felt like they were from the heart.

We adopted so really appreciated the shower we had for first baby. We had periodic reports so could guess on size of clothes needed, but always buying ahead (larger sizes - esp season neutral) and gender-neutral colors is a great idea. The best gifts were useful items like diaper pail, every-day clothes, bibs, etc.

I also love the idea of frozen pre-made meals for the family and pot-luck/bbq event to involve the guys. Other great gifts i've seen is groups chipping in for a month of diaper service.

Anything I would *expect* at a shower? Cake! :) Other than that, good wishes from good friends.

Friends threw me a fairly traditional shower for my first, and while it was nice to receive some much needed baby gear, the thing I most appreciated was the time spent with good friends. They also passed out cards for each person to write down wishes/advice/etc. and then one friend took those and compiled a scrapbook with photos which I received in the mail a few weeks later. The gifts were nice, but the scrapbook I will treasure forever.

For my second baby, a few girlfriends planned to take me to lunch on a Sunday afternoon to celebrate. I ended up having the baby that weekend so they came to the hospital with pastries instead and a few weeks later came over with a few gifts--some things that I still needed, but then some nice things for me--a massage and meals, etc.

For our second child, a bunch of girlfriends took me to Barefoot Sage to have my "shankles" massaged and then we went to Pix for dessert. It was just the kind of pampering a pregnant mama could want!

Our thid child got deprived of any type of welcoming because I ended up on bed rest. I hate it that her baby book has a spot for the shower invitation and pictures because there are none!

With my second baby, my friends and colleagues had a wonderful, small gathering with no silly games...

It was lovely, and the idea that I appreciated most was the request that everyone bring a book for the baby...we ended up with a dozen new books that each friend selected based on their love of that book and thoughts about me and our family.

Now that our fourth is on the way, I doubt we'll have a shower, but we will certainly have a small celebration with our family friends.

I had a great baby shower for my first. It was at a motorcycle clubhouse, we had a band. It was co-ed. We had as much fun as we did at our wedding! No games. Just food and $2 drinks at the bar.
The only downside was the amount of clothes we got. I knew I only had a a couple of years that I would get to dictate her fashion sense, and I wasn't putting a pink 'Daddies Girl' onesie on her!

For our first child we had two showers, one was co-ed. It just so happened that all of the men in attendance (with the exception of my brother) were dads and they were as excited for my husband as the moms were for me, it was really nice. The gifts that were the best were books that people loved and homemade items, we got a beautiful quilt that is really a treasure. As far as games go: the one game that we have played that I actually enjoy is kind of like a letter scramble - the object is to come up with the longest list of possible baby names from the parents' names, wow we got some doozies! This is timely, as I am also expecting #2, I like the idea of having a celebration but doing it without gifts. However, I have also thought about having a second-baby party and asking people to bring new baby items to be donated, we have more than enough for twins and are only expecting one!

For my first, the showers were so wonderful but actually exhausting...for my second, some great girlfriends had a dinner for me at Tabla, and I remember thinking -- wow..this is sooo great and so much more in keeping with what I am feeling as a "new" mom.

For my 2nd we had a Chinese New Year Party since I was due around that time. The shower was coed, everyone wore red, with chinese food, irish beer and homemade sushi (because I was craving it bad!)
The games we played had nothing to do with traditional shower games and it was one of the more fun parties I've hosted!
The gift I asked for was contributions to my diaper service. I ended up with 9 months worth of diaper service which was amazing!!!

Our co-ed baby shower was held at a brewery. It was a fun, relaxed atmosphere, and everyone enjoyed themselves. We didn't have any traditional baby shower games (and we didn't miss them!). The brewery staff set up one table for our gifts, and one for our food...and they cleaned up the mess!!
We had a fantastic time. -

I just had a shower for my second baby, who is due today!

One caution about gifts: I didn't want any gifts, necessarily, so I asked my friend who was hosting to not specify a registry or anything on the invitation. Privately, however, I was totally open to getting a few weeks of diaper delivery service from people. I figured that guests would call the hostess for ideas and ask what I could use, if they really wanted to get me something.

Well, that plan backfired, and I got a TON of pink onesies. Seriously, this baby's going to have to be the spittiest, pooping-est baby ever to go through all the onesies she has.

Not that I don't appreciate the clothes, but we really didn't need them, and I don't love pink that much!

So, my advice: if it's your second (or third) shower, and you actually have things in mind that you want, say it! Otherwise, people are going to get you a bunch of stuff you may/may not want or need.

I never had a shower for my first and that is something I wish I had done. If I do have another baby I will throw myself one if no one volunteers! A shower can be a gathering of friends and family and a night of drinking (of course not if you are preggers) and eating and having fun...it can be whatever the mama wants. Presents or money or nothing--it is time to celebrate. I think involving Dad is really important and it can be a partner affair for all, but maybe leave any kiddos at home so adults can be adults.

For both my first and second pregnancies my friends held a "blessing way" to prepare for the coming change and share the good and bad about mothering. The first time around it was really focused on transition, on becoming a parent. The second time it was more a time for the participants to talk about what they loved and loathed about being a mom. Both times it was highly emotional and wonderful. Better than party games any day.

As gifts for a second (or third or...) time mom, I would recommend food. If you have a big enough freezer, people can bring food that can be frozen and defrosted as needed. Otherwise I highly recommend having one friend arrange meal delivery for the family. My twins are 7 weeks old and we have gotten 2-3 meals a week since my family left at about 2 weeks. We still have a few more weeks of deliveries, for which I am grateful. Nothing else has helped as much as this. Not having to cook has made family dinner possible with my 4 year old while soothing the twins during their cranky early evening period.

I'm planning a shower for a friend. I haven't decided where to host it. I could have it at my house, which I may do but I wanted to see if anyone had any other suggestions of places to host the shower. One thing to note, the shower is to welcome a child they are adopting and the child is not a newborn so the traditional pregnancy showers and party activities don't apply in my situation. Also, the shower will occur before the child arrives. We are located in Sw Pdx so if I hosted it outside of my house I would want to host it somewhere on the westside if possible so guests don't have to drive very far. Thanks for any suggestions and ideas you might have. I would really like to make this special for the family.

My apologies, I just searched for baby shower locations on the urbanmamas website and found a post with suggestions. Sorry for the redundancy :)

I have always found traditional baby showers forced, boring, and have usually left feeling somehow empty, cheated out of what could have been such a wonderful experience of women celebrating each other, celebrating motherhood and the expectant mother, and helping her prepare for a baby. Instead of 20 blankets how about a massage, a body cast, for a first time mom - talking about labor stories and how I wish some one had told me how draining those first few weeks are! For second time mothers - any insights into juggling two children, a weekend away, more massages! We used to have rituals that were meaningful and left the expectant mother feeling loved and prepared!

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