Why throw a baby shower?

If there’s a baby on the way, then we ask: why not?! Besides the image of a baby shower being all about gift-giving, it is the perfect opportunity to formally celebrate the pending and precious arrival with close members of mum’s family and friends, and share advice and anecdotes between current mothers and mothers-to-be.

Who throws the baby shower?

Baby showers have traditionally been thrown by someone from the expecting mother’s close circle of friends as opposed to family. But this tradition probably no longer holds. It is just as common – and appreciated – nowadays for a close family member such as a sibling or cousin to throw the shower.

Whoever decides to take on the role should feel free to communicate about planning aspects with the expecting mother (as they are most affected), but the shower-thrower should take on the majority of any organising.

When do you hold a baby shower?

A baby shower is usually held pre-birth, although mitigating circumstances might lead to a post-birth shower. There can be a nice sense of occasion and expectancy when, after 12-16 weeks, the baby bump has started to show.  But, especially held in the later stages of pregnancy, a baby shower can be a welcome distraction for mum!

Where is a baby shower held?

The location of the baby shower is as likely to be determined by practicality as preference. Who’s throwing it? How many people are invited? Is it a surprise shower?

Generally baby showers are held at a house other than the mother’s so that any moving, organising and cleaning isn’t left to her. Do take into consideration planning necessities such as space, catering and of course what stage of the pregnancy mum is at. It might therefore end up being more preferable to hold the shower at a park, restaurant or function space. Between these and a private house, each has their own pros and cons that the organiser must consider.

Who is invited to a baby shower?

Again, traditions seem to stick in the collective mind with this one. We tend to think of the expecting mother surrounded by a close group of female friends and family, but there is nothing wrong with male friends and partners, male family members or, indeed, the baby’s father attending.

With sending out invitations, the temptation these days for most events is to simply make a Facebook page. While a Facebook event is a great forum for discussion about gift ideas, event timing and any other details, physical invitations sent out to the guests add a nice touch of formality and occasion to the baby shower. Make sure to give at least four weeks’ notice and provide any necessary details such as where, when, what to bring (if anything) and a theme (if there is one).

What happens at a baby shower?

A simple answer to an open-ended question is: whatever feels right.

Guests will often want to bring gifts along, and these can range from early post-natal necessities like skincare and clothes, to general baby essentials like nappies and travel gear, and on to larger items such as prams and pushers. In the case of the latter, these gifts might be something guests collaborate on in concert with the baby shower organiser.

Some baby showers are themed, often depending on the interests or hobbies of the family, and some baby showers might involve games and craft activities. Almost without exception, baby showers will involve food and drinks for guests, and these of course add to the sense of occasion and are a nice way to show appreciation for your guests’ presence (and presents!)

In showing appreciation and marking the occasion, organisers might like to offer something for guests such as goody bags, mementos or something crafted as part of the baby shower’s activities – nice memories to take home when the baby shower wraps up.

In the end, whoever ends up organising the shower will know mum best, what she wants from a shower and who she’d like to spend it with. As much as a baby shower will take time and energy to organise, it should be an honour and a pleasure to plan one for an expecting mother. Take the opportunity to celebrate the hype with her and soak it up: it will be all too real for her soon!