All your pals rock up to share birth stories, guzzle tea and cake and catch up before you’re engulfed by nappies and milky odours… plus if you’re lucky, you’ll be showered with gifts: what’s not to like?
Let’s get this party started
It’s hard to see what could possibly be wrong about throwing a party to celebrate the imminent arrival of your baby. A long-established tradition in the US, baby showers are a fairly recent arrival on UK shores, but their popularity is rising fast. According to retailer John Lewis, the number of nursery gift lists has risen by 20 per cent in the past year; and almost all of them are set up by the parents-in-waiting.
Present and correct?
There’s no doubt that a baby shower is a great way to get friends and family together, but you might want to pause for thought before you send out a gift list with the invitation.
In most circles – and you’ll know how the land lies with your friends – people will be delighted to come bearing gifts. But others may worry that they’ll be expected to buy two presents (one to take to the shower, then another for after the birth).
Superstition can also play a part: some people may feel uncomfortable about celebrating before the baby has arrived safely.
How to be a mum chum, not a ‘gimme more’ ma…
- Don’t include a gift list with the invitation. Make it clear that it’s your friends’ company you want, not their cash.
- Or if you do include a gift list with the invitation, explain that when friends visit after the birth you’ll expect nothing more than a cuddle and a cup of tea.
- Have the shower after the baby is born (when people would probably visit bearing a gift anyway).
- (Subtly) get someone else to organise the party for you. (If you’re the party planner, you’ll need to check that the mum-to-be isn’t superstitious or feeling too worn down by pregnancy to enjoy being the centre of attention…)
For more advice on what to buy for your baby, read on…
Now tell us what worked for you…
Did you throw your own baby shower? Tell us how it went!