I have had several babies. I have a lot of friends who have had babies. Suffice it to say, I have thrown, been the guest of honor at, and attended, a lot of baby showers. I’m basically a baby shower expert.
Traditional baby showers with Baby Bingo and melted candy filled diapers being passed around and opening gift after gift after gift have their place and can certainly be a fun time, but if you’re looking for something different, read on.
A Mother Blessing
Having its roots in Navajo culture, a mother blessing celebrates the mother, motherhood and its transitions, her pregnancy and helps connects mothers to each other, ideally with more than one generation. It’s generally more intimate than a traditional baby shower, with a close group of friends. Gifts aren’t really a part of this celebration. It’s more ceremonial. The internet has a plethora of ideas, so I’ll just tell you about my favorites.
Have guests bring a favorite family dish to share along with copies of the recipe, and tell why it’s important to the family. It is fun to hear other people’s family stories and brings an inter-generational component.
Invite guests to write a verse or quote or piece of advice on a note card and compile them into a small album.
Play a game which invites laughter and touching. We touch and laugh far too little in our culture, in my opinion. A good one makes use of yarn, and tangles everyone up in a drunken spider web and your objective is to get untangled without letting go of your yarn.
Do belly henna. It might sound unusual, but it is so fun to have that belly which has been getting in your way, and growing like a volcanic island and moving like an alien, be celebrated and decorated. Pregnant bellies (and non pregnant bellies of ANY size) are simply beautiful.
Using ribbon, connect everyone with the same strand, asking them to wrap it around one of their wrists a couple times. Then you cut the ribbon, and tie your bracelet on. You leave the bracelet on until the mother has her baby. Every time you glance at the bracelet you’re reminded of your connection with the mom, her ability to bring new life into the world, the baby, and this prompts you to send up a prayer for her.
A Couples Shower
The options are endless here. I have been to barbecues, park potlucks, afternoon teas (but with manly options :)), brunch, and more. It’s fun to bring the partner into the baby bearing arena, and include them in all the aspects of parenting right from the beginning. Having men there also helps keep the scary birth stories to a minimum, if they’re brought up at all. I consider this a good thing, because birth is beautiful and mom friends shouldn’t be sharing their disappointments or frustrations about their own birth with the mom-to-be ever in this type of setting anyway. ***
At one of my couples showers, we even had friends who were single men attending. It was
a joy to share our journey with them, so they could even be better prepared when their turn came along.
Gifts can be a part of this celebration or not. Its up to the host and guest of honor.
A Baby Sprinkle
Subsequent babies need celebrated too! Often people tend to throw showers for only the first baby, or for the first one of a different gender. Every pregnancy is a celebration, even though you might not need a lot for the baby. After you’ve had a few children, you’ve learned how unnecessary a lot of that baby gear really is, plus you’re out of room! For a sprinkle, perhaps you want to get more personalized gifts for that particular baby, or you want to go in together and buy a really big item that the first couple children wore out. Maybe you want to get the mom gift cards for massages or pedicures along with coupons for babysitting those older siblings.
A Book Shower
Growing a reader is a goal I have for all my children, and one of the ways we do that is to have a large home library. For a book shower, you invite the guests to bring their favorite childhood book and start building that library. You might even invite guests to read their choice aloud to the group. It’s delightful to be read to, and as adults, we often forget that.
Fill the Freezer Fete
A practical party, a Fill the Freezer Fete does exactly as the title implies. Guests all bring a casserole or two which the mom can put in her freezer to pull out and cook when the baby arrives and she is hungry but too tired to call for pizza, let alone cook something nutritious. Guests help keep her full so she can focus on nursing and bonding with babe.
If you’re tired of the basic baby shower, or just looking for something more original than the same old nesting games, I hope you found some inspiration.
I’d love to hear which idea you like best and want to try, or if you have another alternative to share!