Freedom is in the air as we look forward to a brighter and more optimistic 2022. Expectant parents can look forward to welcoming precious little ones with perhaps a little less stress than 2021, as lives slowly return to normality. For friends and family, new opportunities for celebration are on the horizon. Baby showers give everyone a chance to celebrate with the expectant parents in style, and we here at Little Blooms are certainly not holding back.
In this ultimate guide to baby showers, we offer a detailed guide to the perfect baby shower, truly an occasion to remember. Baby showers are a big subject, but whether you are arranging a baby shower or attending one, we have all the information you need right here. If you are planning on hosting or
attending a virtual baby shower, we have you covered as well, you can check out our article here. So grab a glass of your favorite tipple, sink down into your favorite sofa and we’ll begin.
What is a Baby Shower?
A baby shower is essentially a party thrown to celebrate the expected birth of a new baby. It’s very helpful for parents as aside from being a joyous occasion, it also gives friends and family an opportunity to give gifts that will come in useful once the baby is born. This is especially important for new parents, as babies require quite a lot of kit that doesn’t come cheap! But for many people, a baby shower is about far more than gifts. There is real excitement for the impending birth and successful baby showers can be a fun way to connect with friends.
A Little History
Baby showers are widely believed to have originated in Victorian British society, where pregnancy and childbirth weren’t really hot topics. The tea party type events included giving gifts for the mother and child, as well as games related to parenthood. The word “shower” as referenced in baby showers is likely to refer to the expectant mother being “showered” with gifts.
What normally happens at a baby shower?
Baby showers are generally informal events, and the atmosphere should be relaxed. Most baby showers take place at home, and to emphasise the significance of the event, there is often a level of decoration. Food can be provided or arranged between friends and often consists of lighter bites rather than a formal meal. A major element that is often included in a baby shower is playing games related to pregnancy and childbirth, there are some quite hilarious ones. Gifts are given, and some parents also choose to give small gifts to friends in attendance.
How to Plan a 2022 Baby Shower
- Pick a time. The most popular time for a baby shower is approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the birth. This time is preferred by many because it gives expectant parents a chance to create a ‘support network’ of friends who will help them when the new baby arrives. It also allows a window of time sufficient to purchase any items that were not received as gifts. Other parents prefer to wait until after the birth and have a kind of joint baby shower with ‘meet the baby’ event. The time you choose is up to you, but by planning ahead, you can enjoy the best baby shower possible with all the special touches you want.
- Choose a location. The most important factor to consider for this is the mum-to-be. She is the centre of this event so it’s important to choose a place that she loves and will be comfortable. Also consider the number of guests that will be invited, will the room you have in mind be big enough if everyone is there at once? Having a baby shower at home is comfortable and intimate, also avoiding much expense. Restaurants or cafes can also be a good option, simply book a table at the expectant mum’s favourite restaurant and you’re off to a great start already. Others prefer hotels or party venues for larger events, allowing it to be managed and decorated for less stress and extra uniqueness.
- Prepare a guest list. To plan a successful baby shower, you’ll need to be aware of the number of people likely to attend. When deciding how many friends and relatives to invite consider the size of the space you’ll have as well as the budget you’re working to. Baby showers have traditionally been limited to ladies only, but some parents have preferred to include male friends and partners too. Be sure to consult with the mum-to-be. Once you have a guest list, you can consider your invitations. As this is such a special event and you want to make sure everyone you invite can attend, sending out the invites around six weeks in advance is recommended.
- Plan the catering. Next, you’ll need to think about food and drink. If you’re having the baby shower in a restaurant or café then you probably won’t need to worry too much about this, a special meal can be ordered and if you want a cake, many restaurants or cafés will allow you to bring one if they cannot provide what you request. At home, keeping things simple is generally best. A simple buffet spread with various finger foods is generally best, served alongside a variety of soft drinks. While keeping things simple is a good policy, you can add imaginative twists to everything you do: instead of simple snacks you could theme your food on a particular cuisine; in addition to soft drinks, you could offer mocktails.
- Think about what games you will play. Baby showers are an incredibly unique event, and for the expectant mum, these memories will last a lifetime. Most baby showers include games, and these really add fun to an already memorable event. One popular game is ‘Who’s That Baby?’ where everyone brings a photo of themselves as a baby and then you have to guess who’s who. Another good game is a baby version of ‘Name That Tune’, prepare a playlist of songs that have ‘baby’ or ‘babe’ in the title, play a short clip to the guests and then make them guess the song name and artist. There’s a lot of fun games that you can play, it’s worth doing a bit of research. To make the games more fun, you could even have prizes.
- Pick baby shower favours. To thank guests for coming (and for their gifts) it’s customary to give each guest a party favour. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but it’s good to make these as special and unique as possible. Scented candles or soap, jars of sweets, bubble bath, elegant stationery and other items are all generally well received, with extra points for anything homemade! Party favours will help end the event on a happy note and ensure all guests feel appreciated.
Attending a Baby Shower in 2022
Check the Invitation Carefully
Before attending, it’s important to check who is invited. While there is an increasing trend toward more inclusive baby shower events, most baby showers are still female only, and some adult-only, so make sure you check beforehand to avoid any awkwardness.
Take a Gift
It is expected that if you are attending a baby shower you take a gift for the mother or baby. While the parents will not be expecting extravagant presents, being thoughtful will help make your present both meaningful and useful. Parents will often be needing lots of things in the run-up to the birth of their little one, so it doesn’t hurt to ask if there’s anything you can help with. Most guests bring gifts for the baby, but gifts for the mother could also be well received. Try to think of things that would be cute, but also functional for the little one, or perhaps things that could help the expectant mother feel special after the arrival of the little one.
Keep the Atmosphere Light
Baby showers are happy and light events, so try to keep the conversation as light as possible. Some subjects, such as birth plans or parenting ideas, may be a bit sensitive, so try to avoid these as much as possible. Expectant mothers have a lot on their minds, try to encourage them and remind them how beautiful they are. Keeping the atmosphere light also means going with the flow, participating. If the host has prepared games, then it is courteous to participate, even though they may not be your favourite pastime. Remember, this event is all about the expectant mother, so do all you can to make her feel special.
Try Not to Overindulge…
Baby showers are not generally a food-focused event so most often there will be a relatively simple selection of finger foods provided. This being the case, digging in nonchalantly will be noticeable to the hosts and guests, so try to be restrained in the way (and quantity) you consume. The expectant mother is likely to be abstaining from certain foods in addition to alcohol, so if any of these are on offer, avoid consuming them too conspicuously in front of the guest of honour.
Baby showers are truly wonderful occasions, full of joy and celebration, so if you’re planning on organising or attending one in 2022, you are in for a treat. If there’s one key message based on all of our experience, it’s just to try to be as thoughtful as possible. Expectant parents have a lot to think about, but baby showers offer a chance for us all to show how much we care, and that’s something they can’t fail to appreciate.