This is a guest post by Lisa Norton.
When you find out you’re pregnant there are certain things that most women look forward to, and start daydreaming about. Feeling your baby kick for the very first time, glimpsing at your baby’s face when you have a scan at your doctor’s office, and seeing all your friends and family gathered together at your baby shower. The baby shower is a rite of passage for first time moms, and the first of many celebrations you will share with your baby throughout their life. So why should you have a baby shower? And why are your friends and family getting so excited about throwing your baby shower party for you?
The Social Importance of Baby Showers
Your baby shower is a great way for you and your family to bond with your baby before he is even born, whether you choose to have a small shower or a huge one. Baby showers have a key social importance, as they provide a great way for all of the women in your community, whether they’re you family, friends, work colleagues or members of your church group, to come together and to celebrate a brand new life and the new arrival to your family. Becoming a mom is a new social position for a woman, and your shower is a way for the women in your life to welcome and accept you into this community of moms and give you any support and encouragement you need on the way; after all, from changing dirty diapers to helping with that first science homework assignment, motherhood is a series of endless challenges!
Baby showers also have a great financial importance for moms-to-be too: After all, at a baby shower you are literally showered with gifts. So the baby shower is when moms-to-be will receive all of the things they need to provide for their new arrival: From their diapers to a bassinet and activity center. Your baby shower will provide you with a great morale boost too: baby showers usually come towards the end of your pregnancy when your ankles are swollen, your bump is heavy, and you’re ready for your pregnancy to end. So the timing of your shower is perfect for giving you a lift and reminding you that your pregnancy will soon be over and you’ll soon have a baby to put in your new crib and dress up in those adorable onesies!
Baby Shower Etiquette
You don’t need a lot of money to throw a great baby shower: you’re baby shower can cost as much or as little as you like, from a beautiful budget event to a flamboyant and extravagant party. Tradition dictates that you will only have a baby shower once, as you only receive a baby shower for your first baby: but in recent times, women have found they are also thrown a shower for their second and even third baby. Until the mid-twentieth century, baby celebrations were held after the birth of the baby. The baby shower as we know it now, a party held prior to a baby’s arrival, is a relatively modern phenomenon. Nonetheless, there are a series of loose rules and etiquettes that surround the throwing of a baby shower.
Firstly, baby showers are considered to be female-only events. Although some people do invite husbands and other men from their community to celebrate at the shower, generally men are considered off the guest list. This, no doubt, goes some way to explain why so many showers have such feminine themes: eating frosting laden cupcakes, taking part in bump measuring competitions or games and nibbling on dainty sandwiches are all very girly activities.
Secondly, the mom-to-be can’t throw a baby shower for herself. The shower is traditionally thrown by a close female friend or family member. In part, this is because if you throw the shower for yourself it is considered poor taste to be asking for gifts for yourself. Besides, if you have someone else throw your shower for you then the theme and decorations will all be a wonderful surprise when the big day finally arrives.
Finally, don’t forget to buy a hostess gift for the host who throws your shower for you. A hostess gift is not a necessity, but it is certainly a very kind gesture: it’s the perfect way to say thank you for organizing such a wonderful event, and will let your hostess know that their hard work is appreciated.