If the traditional baby shower (mum-to-be surrounded by girlfriends at a home) doesn’t fit your circumstances or idea of a good time, you can still celebrate in your own style. A baby shower can really be whatever you want to make it – as long as you’re happy and the event encourages friends and family to celebrate with you the impending arrival of your baby, it doesn’t matter who comes or where it’s held.
Co-ed baby showers
Baby showers that include your partner, friends and their partners have become popular in recent times – after all, why should dad-to-be not join in the fun of celebrating his change in status? With blokes on the scene, you may have to consider beefing up the menu – delicate ribbon sandwiches won’t last five minutes in their company – and it’s perhaps for this reason that many co-ed baby showers turn into barbecues or picnics.
Drop-in baby showers
If you are concerned about getting your nearest and dearest to commit to a baby shower, you may prefer to have a casual ‘at-home’ morning, where friends and family can drop in for a cuppa and a catch-up before your baby is born. This style of baby shower can particularly suit those expectant mums who are working – you can have your ‘at-home’ on the weekend and relax between friends.
A surprise baby shower
Like all good surprises, a surprise baby shower takes a bit of work to pull off successfully. Obviously, mum-to-be won’t be throwing herself this type of baby shower, and so the full burden of decisions to be made – food, guest list, decorations, theme, date – fall to the good soul who thought it would be a lovely idea to throw a surprise party. And hopefully, the shock of the surprise won’t knock the expectant mum into labour early!
Distance baby shower
There are times when friends and family can’t be at your baby shower – you live too far away from them, they’re unwell, or you’re on bed-rest – but with the help of this mad technological age we live in, you can now work around their (or your) absence to include all loved-ones in your baby shower. Webcam, video links, and Skype are all computer-based ways of making virtual contact, or you could ask those who are absent to send a video message with the promise that you’ll send them a video of your special day in return. Or you could just get on the phone during the baby shower and spend five minutes together describing the day.
When baby makes a special guest appearance
Sure there’s a due date and baby showers are planned not to coincide with this big day, but sometimes babies insist on entering the world early and foiling all your best laid baby shower plans. If mum and bub are healthy and doing well, you may be able to proceed with the day as planned – just with a new guest of honour!
But if the baby is very premature, has health issues and is set to remain in hospital for some time, it’s best to postpone the event. Talk to the mum-to-be and find out what she wants to do – if she has no clear idea (having more important things on her mind!), suggest an indefinite postponement and you could perhaps throw a Welcome to the World shower down the track when bub has safely cleared all health obstacles.
Mum-to-be is absent
The flip-side to having baby make a special appearance at the baby shower, is having the special guest be absent. It has been known to happen that baby showers have been thrown without mum-to-be being present – unexpected labour and birth, or hospital bed rest can turn a baby shower into a mum-free zone. In this unusual circumstance, it’s best to just shower on without her – generally little notice has been given, so cancelling is often problematic and if she has indeed gone into labour, her guests will be really excited for her – albeit they’ll be enjoying afternoon tea delights and she’ll be doing all the hard work!
A new idea perhaps, but a great one. What do you do when you want to celebrate the impending birth of your second, third or fourth child? You could have a baby shower for each, but many mums feel uncomfortable about doing this for each child.
Solution? A baby sprinkle. As the name implies, it’s a smaller version of a baby shower – you can still have the games, the food, and the theme but it’s all toned down a little, and there’s no emphasis on or expectation of gifts. A baby sprinkle is usually a smaller, more intimate gathering of very good friends and family and is often more about spoiling the mum than the baby.