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Should I have a baby shower?

To baby shower, or not to baby shower... that is the question!

Posted: 16 April 2006
by Laura Lee Davies

To baby shower or not to baby shower, that is the question...

What is a baby shower?
A baby shower is a little party before you have your baby, when friends and family gather to 'shower' you with gifts for the baby.
These are usually quite girly affairs with mum and the mates, but sometimes they include fathers, too. Given your pregnant state, they're not wild parties but might involve some sparkling wine for guests.
In an ideal world, the baby shower is organised by a friend so you don't end up on your feet all day making nibbles and worrying about being anything other than the honoured guest.

Do I need a baby shower?
Well, no. (I didn't have one for either of my children and I don't think it left me or them scarred emotionally in any way!) But if you are the sort of person who loves any excuse for a party, or if there are lots of people who you know would love to wish you well and that you're not going to see for a while after the birth (family who live far away or workmates who you won't see because you're on maternity leave), then it can be a nice way to have a pre-baby gathering.

OK, so what happens and what do I get?
Whether it's tea and sarnies or champers and strawberries dipped in chocolate, a baby shower can be whatever you want it to be.
For friends and family who want to give you presents for the baby, this is a good time to do it, although if you are worried that some people can't afford to bring something, make sure you tell them beforehand so that neither you or they feel uncomfortable.
Some people will bring token presents (especially if they don't know the sex of the baby and don't want to splash out on a pink nursery set just yet), or something they've knitted. Sometimes parents might offer to buy the first pushchair for you - if you're lucky!
Other people might use the opportunity to get together and make something. A small charm bracelet for everyone to mark the day, or a quilt - if you're feeling adventurous.
Not surprisingly, it is possible in this day and age to make a real song and dance of your baby shower. For example: giving out 'party favours' to guests, just as you might at a wedding reception! If you have the money and this is your idea of enjoying yourself, then there are companies who supply themed partyware, guest favours and gifts.

You could try Baby Shower Host or Shower My Baby, so long as the hosepipe ban doesn't get them... (OK, terrible joke.)
Understandably, the Americans have really got this excuse to spend money sussed, and you can find out all you need to know by going to the All About Showers website.

If you do decide to have one, try doing it at least six weeks before the birth, before running around or entertaining becomes too much of a hassle - even if you're simply enthroned on the sofa for the afternoon!
Have fun.

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