How to Host the Perfect Baby Shower

stork making delivery

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?

baby socks

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!

baby shower gifts

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.

Here’s a unique idea for a gift…postpartum gift basket

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

Ingredients

  • 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.

Directions

  • 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. 

DIY Padsicles

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)

Now…DIY

  • 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, pregnancy hormonesyour 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.

Skål

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!

 

14 comments to How to Host the Perfect Baby Shower

  • raymond@myglitzgirl

    What an interesting article you wrote. I’m a man and I didn’t understand why a shower party can be that important and how far in history it has evolved.

    If I were a single dad, would it be awkward to have a baby shower? Has there been any male single parent who has organized this for his toddler? Coz if there is, what a daunting task.

    Thanks for the advice. I think any new moms would appreciate if the gifts are personal and well tailored to the moment.

    • Karen

      Hi, Raymond…it’s nice to hear from a man interested in this topic!  Actually, dad baby showers are becoming more and more popular with the changing modern family. Parenting is changing as well, with stay at home dads, single dads and dads with partners.

      So, why NOT throw a dad’s shower…just plan it around things your guy friends will enjoy like a “barbeque, babies and beer” get together. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you keep it simple. After all, it’s a new rite of passage for dad and welcoming him into the fold of fatherhood…so celebrate!

  • Indasa

    This is so timely. A friend is expecting a baby and she has become a minimalist with each new baby. Although she still believes in high quality. So, I have been having a tough time thinking about the shower and shower gifts. The postpartum gift basket is a great idea.

    • Karen

      Hello, Indasa

      Thank you for visiting. I’m glad you enjoyed this blog. It’s fun to celebrate each new baby and even though your friend is a minimalist, there are always new and improved baby products popping up. If she doesn’t need anything for the baby, a postpartum gift basket is a great idea and one she will totally thank you for. You can even tuck in a pair of slippers that she’ll probably live in for a while. Good luck to her 🙂 

  • jaedot888

    This is such a wonderful post. The history lesson is so awesome and you have many amazing ideas. I never would have thought to prepare a postpartum basket at all. I wish someone would have thought about that for me!!

    Wonderful recipes from the food down to the essential oil therapy. Even with instructions. Thanks for sharing this article full of so much great information and ideas

    • Karen

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. It’s important to think about the new mom, what her body is going through and what we can do to help her feel comfortable during recovery. It’s not just about the new baby. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy my other baby blogs.   

  • Mia

    Hey Karen!

    I am 32 now and I will start thinking of having a baby myself in a few years (tic-tac goes my body haha) so I find this post really enjoyable to read and really helpful for me and also for all my soon-to-be-mommy friends.

    Here in Portugal, baby showers are starting to be a trend, so I found all the info you gave very useful. I also love that you gave some context of what used to happen in the past. I was also impressed by the gift ideas and the actual party ideas. I would like to know, when does the baby shower take place, more or less? Is it almost at due date? Or should it be hosted a month or two before?
    Thanks !
    Mia

    • Karen

      Hello, Mia…

      Thank you for visiting, reading my blog and thanks for leaving your thoughts and comments. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m fascinated about how other countries celebrate the birth of a baby. Generally, a baby shower is given about a month before the baby’s due date. By then, the new parents have a good idea of what they’re going to need and would love to have for their newborn.

      It’s a very exciting time and looks like you will be in the midst of it very soon. I wish you and your soon-to-be-mommy friends the best. Please check out my other baby blogs and baby product reviews…they just might come in handy.

  • Jen

    This is a wonderful post for all women because we will all either host a baby shower or attend a baby shower at some point in our lives and this just makes it so much more fun. I love this history that you shared about baby showers. Very informative and stuff I did not know.

    Your suggestions for food, drinks and entertainment are spot on! They are great ideas and things we sometimes forget about when we are trying to plan a party.

    I also liked your gift ideas… they are so unique and will definitely stand out among all the boring, typical baby shower gifts. Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen

      Hello, Jen…thank you for visiting and leaving your thoughtful comments. I’m glad you like my ideas and suggestions. While the shower gifts are all about the new baby, it’s always nice to pamper and celebrate the new mom. 

  • Alejandra

    Hi Karen,
    This is a great post about the perfect baby shower.
    When I first started to read it, I thought it would be for the typical baby shower.
    What a great idea to think about the new mom, (it’s a little bit late for me now, but I wish someone had known about this at the time I had mine).
    The postpartum gift basket is the greatest idea. I never thought about it!
    I’m a mom of three young men, but that means I will be the mother-in-law of three young woman.
    Your post gave me some ideas to think about. Sometimes mothers-in-law don’t give “problems” only, it’s good to be someone who thinks good of others, in this case to my daughters-in-law.

    • Karen

      Hello, Alejandra. Thank you for visiting and leaving your lovely comments.  I’m glad you enjoyed this blog and picked up some great ideas for when your young men are starting families of their own and baby showers are in the planning.

  • Laura

    Great ideas! I’ve definitely got the baby fever going on right now too! And I just love the raffle game idea. What a great way to help out. My best friend will be getting married soon and hopefully starting on having a family too, so I’m going to have to bookmark this for later. Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen

      Thanks for visiting, Laura, and taking the time to leave your comments. Baby showers can be so much fun if planned with the new mom in mind and I do love picking out and giving presents 🙂 

      Perhaps you will soon be hosting a baby shower for your best friend. If, and when, you do…I hope you will share your success story and how you made it memorable.

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