Definition: To “shower” the new mom-to-be with gifts.
A baby shower is the gathering of friends and family in celebration of a brand new life coming into the world. It’s like an initiation into a new phase of life…motherhood. Adding an additional role to the new parents existing one.
It’s a loving ritual to present new parents with needed gifts for their newborn and to help lessen the financial burden that a new baby brings. The shower is a great opportunity to share in the excitement and happiness that only a new life can bring.
First…A Bit of History
Did you know… In ancient Egypt, the new mother and her baby were secluded for 14 days before any celebrations took place.
During the Victorian era, a woman kept her pregnancy a secret as long as she could and would not appear in public. Only after the baby was born, other women would hold tea parties for the new mother. What a shame to hide such a beautiful and wondrous time in a woman’s life.
In the early 1900s, these tea parties turned into showers where the new mother would receive gifts, often handmade.
The modern day baby shower started during the baby boom era after WWII. A popular ritual is to have the the new mother sit on a central chair or “throne” (often decorated) as she opens gifts and passes them around for everyone to see.
How can you insure your baby shower will be everything you hope it to be?
First…Choose the perfect host. You may have a few friends that offer to host a shower for you but you need to choose a host that knows your taste, knows your likes, knows your dislikes…and someone who will honor those likes and dislikes.
Second…If you don’t like surprises, make sure your host knows it.
Third…If you don’t like typical baby shower games…make sure your host knows it or you’re going to be stuck pretending to have fun playing baby shower bingo.
Did you know… Babies have about 300 bones when they’re born. Several bones eventually fuse together forming the 206 that you and I have as adults. Interesting, huh?
Hints for a fun shower…
Make it seasonal. For example, if you’re having a shower in the fall…
- Serve hot Mulled Cider and tasty finger foods.
⇒ Click here to read my blog Seasons of New England part 2 and get my recipe for Mulled Cider. You’re gonna love it!
- Serve pumpkin spice anything.
- How about a fire in the backyard fire pit?
- Toast marshmellows and make S’mores, especially if kids are invited.
- Prepare a hot chili bar with all the fixings. Use my recipe Insanely Delicious Chili.
- For decorations, use seasonal items like pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, pinecones and greenery.
- String up some white lights for a festive look.
- You could use Halloween as the theme and everyone can vote on the best costume…the winner receiving a gift card for a manicure.
- If the guys are not invited to the shower but are getting together themselves to celebrate by playing a round of golf or watching the game… anyone who brings a package of diapers gets a chance in a raffle. The prize could be tickets to a game or even lottery tickets.
If you’re the lucky one to be chosen to host the shower, pass a suggestion around to the guests to bring a healthy protein rich meal when they come to visit and see the new baby. This will be a welcomed surprise and a very thoughtful one that will be much appreciated, for sure.
Did you know… Your baby’s first sense is the sense of touch. When your little one was only 8 weeks old in your womb, he was already feeling things.
While your newborn’s vision is blurry, he best sees about 10″ away. When you cuddle with him, you can help him develop his vision by letting him watch your eyes and facial expressions. And when you talk to him, he will recognize your voice and that will comfort him.
Back to the shower…
After socializing and eating the delicious party food that was prepared in your honor, it’s time for cake and presents!
It’s best to get registered at one or a few baby stores so family and friends can see what you need and what is on your wish list for the baby’s arrival. Some guests, unfortunately, may choose not to use the registry but rather surprise you with what they think you should have.
This is crazy thinking because you may not want a purple car seat or a polka dotted diaper bag with a monkey’s face on it. Potential gift givers need to realize the time and effort that goes in to creating a baby registry that includes specific brands and quality materials that the mom-to-be has researched and chosen to be the best for her little one’s comfort, happiness and development.
If the “mom of honor” is athletic and loves to stay in shape, think about having several friends chip in together to gift her the perfect jogging stroller. Click here to read my review of the Thule Urban Glide jogging Stroller which I think is one of the best gifts a new mom (and dad) could receive.
Did you know… only about 5% of babies are born on their due date? And most babies are born on a Wednesday.
Prepare a postpartum gift basket. Here are some great postpartum “must haves” that the new mom will be quite thankful to have:
- A belly wrap… to take advantage of the hormone “relaxin” that is still in a new mom’s body. This hormone helps the body to open and become looser; more flexible to prepare for birth. The belly wrap puts pressure on your hips, pelvis and ribs to help them go back into their pre-pregnancy state.
- Padsicles…to help “down there” feel more comfortable and heal more quickly. (simple DIY instructions below)
- A spray bottle filled with Homemade Essential Oil Therapy Spray. (simple recipe below)
- Include her favorite caffeine-free tea, a new mug and some fresh flowers.
- And anything else you can think of that will help make her feel comfortable while her body is healing.
Homemade Essential Oil Therapy Spray
- Small spray bottle
- Organic witch hazel Witch hazel helps reduce inflammation and heal skin. BUT make sure the brand you purchase does NOT contain alcohol. It should be alcohol-free, free of fragrances and parabens.
- Lavender essential oil (that is safe for skin) This essential oil calms swelling and inflammation and supports cellular regeneration.
- Rosemary essential oil (that is safe for skin) This essential oil supports tissue regeneration.
- Geranium essential oil (that is safe for skin) This essential oil helps heal broken capillaries and conditions skin.
- Fill the spray bottle halfway with witch hazel
- Add 5-10 drops of each essential oil
- Fill rest of spray bottle with more witch hazel
This is an excellent soothing and healing spray for the delicate perineal area. Spritz it on delicate skin each time you pee and after using the warm water in your peri bottle (the nurses should provide you with one) instead of toilet tissue. You’ll thank me for this…guaranteed!
⇒ Prepare a spray bottle for each bathroom plus a small one for your purse.
Here’s another great idea… Spray your maxi pad each time you put one on to get even more healing benefits.
What you’ll need:
- 30 Always overnight maxi pads
- Organic 100% aloe vera gel – Aloe vera gel has a high concentration of vitamin E as well as antioxidant vitamins A & C.
- Homemade Essential Oil Therapy Spray (recipe above)
- Layout about 5 maxi pads at a time, in a row…assembly style.
- Spread organic aloe vera gel over the entire pad…and don’t be stingy.
- Spray Essential Oil Therapy Spray over the gel, enough to thoroughly dampen the pad but not to soak it.
- Roll up each pad and place in a freezer zip lock bag.
- Finish with the remaining pads and toss the zip lock bag(s) into the freezer.
- To use, remove a pad from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before putting on.
Your hormones exploded when you conceived and when your little one finally arrives, your hormones will take a nose dive. You’ll be left with all sorts of emotional disruptions…kinda like your first weeks of pregnancy.
Remember, while it took only minutes to conceive, it took 9 months for your baby to grow into perfection and 9 months of wear and tear on your body and your emotions. It’s going to take a good part of a year to recover and heal.
Seriously…a year. Just think about what your body has just gone through. You’ve just created a human being and that is pretty remarkable!
So…think about your postpartum recovery and take care of your newborn’s mum.
As always, please “like” and “share”. I welcome your comments below. Do you have ideas for a perfect baby shower or a personal experience you’d like to share? Please do!