Celebrating a little one’s arrival into this world is full of excitement for everyone! If you’re planning a baby shower for a friend or family member there are so many great ideas for today’s modern parents-to-be!
How did baby showers start? The version we know today became popular in the 1940s and 1950s as the post-war baby boom was happening in the United States (and trickled into Canada). Baby Showers were meant as a celebration and to help provide a young mother with all the essentials for a newborn before birth. It was often attended by close female family members and friends although today’s shower is perfectly acceptable to celebrate the any new parent.
Many cultures celebrate the new birth of a baby! Here are some interesting customs and traditions…
In the Chinese culture it’s actually considered unlucky to have a celebration prior to the baby’s birth. Commonly families of newborns would stay home and not have any celebrations until after the “full moon” (one month or also known as 100 days). This is still common today and if you are invited to a the 100 day celebration money is the traditional gift but it’s also okay to include clothing and other items as well.
In Italy, it’s not customary to have baby showers especially at home. However, a new mother can receives gifts (food, flowers, baby gifts) by her hospital bed side while the baby is safely away in a nursery presumably to minimize exposure to germs. Visitors will usually be offered a little “bomboneire” of sugared almonds as a thank you gift from the new parents. Once baby is home then more visitors are welcomed.
Jewish traditionally also wait until after a baby was born before offering any gifts for newborns. Gifts were once thought to draw attention of bad spirits towards the baby before they enter the world and heck, no one wants that! But it’s acceptable to just have a necessities ready prior to the baby’s arrival.
In France, baby showers often were planned for the baby’s first birthday. Presuming that gave the new parents time to adjust and acclimatize to their new life. Both parents attend and gifts are often offered to mom and baby.
India (Hindi) traditionally celebrate in the seventh month of a mother’s pregnancy. The godh bharai event (fill the lap with abundance) is hosted by the grandmother(s). Guests in attendance are women — close family. The festivities are filled with food, games, and blessings for both mom and baby.
For South Africans, it’s called a “Stork Party” and is planned as a surprise. Gifts, games and food are similar to the US baby shower.
In the Afghan culture, baby is celebrated six nights after birth. Guests bring gifts to the party for the baby and a large meal is shared with everyone in attendance.
We’d love to learn more about your culture and traditions for baby showers and celebrations! Please feel free to leave them in the comments below!
But back to North American Baby showers!
We’re a little more relaxed with traditions here. Baby showers happen before or after a baby’s arrival. It’s often hosted by a family member or close friend and it’s not uncommon to have more than one baby shower and even themed-ones. They can get wildly creative! I mean, did you see Christine’s on Selling Sunset?
Here are some suggestions if you’re planning to host or be a guest at a shower!
GAMES are a fun way to get everyone involved!
Baby Emoji Pictionary: guess the words or phrases from the emojis provided. The person with the most correct answers overall wins a prize!Baby Bingo: requires a little more printing and planning but you can probably find templates online. Make sure each Bingo card is not the same obviously. First person to get a row of answers correct wins the prize. Be sure to set out your set of rules as there are a few ways to play this. Here’s an example…
Price is Right: you can simply search items online in a local flyer and print out images and prices OR purchase the items. When you purchase the items take a photo of the price as well. Have guests guess the retail price of each item. The person with the closest prices without going over wins. After the shower either give all the items to the parents to be or donate to your local women’s shelter. Some items to consider: a package of diapers, baby shampoo, baby bathtub, baby rash cream, a baby book, baby toy.
I love the idea of building a Baby’s Layette. What is it? A layette is a starter kit for new parents filled with all the essential clothing for a newborn. It’s a great gift idea to do as a group or individually. For an ideal gift the layette can easily be coordinated based on colours and themes as well.
Consider the quality of material, washing instructions, and fit. You’ll want clothing items to by cozy and soft against baby’s skin. I tend to reach for 3 to 6 months, or a 6 to 9 months sizing as us seasoned moms know they do grow out of everything VERY quickly.
But how many should you get?
- 2 to 3 hats
- 6 to 8 sleepers
- 3 to 5 bibs
- 6 to 8 bodysuits
- 2 to 3 pairs of mittens
- 2 to 3 take-me home sets
- 3 to 5 pairs of socks
- 3 to 4 pairs of pants
- 8 washcloths
- 2 sleep sacks
- 4 to 6 swaddles
- 2 hooded bath towels
- 3 to 5 burp cloths
We also love the matching mommy and mini sets from Petit Lem…Thanks to Petit Lem for inviting us to your baby shower themed event recently at Oretta Midtown in Toronto. You’ve inspired us to create this article! The prints and patterns are wayyyy too cute! Check out the complete collection here.