Giving birth is like a magic trick, or so it might seem to you from outside the delivery room. One minute, only two people are going in, and the next, three are people going out. It is the mystical moment when a woman becomes a mother. With that in mind, it is only fitting to celebrate this miracle.
However, with the mother and father so stressed after the delivery, they do not have the energy and time to party; and that is when the baby showers come in. Gaining popularity since the late forties, baby showers are a way for friends and relatives to help starting families. It is a get-together of sorts where the loving couple receives baby presents and supplies.
Now, organizing a party is hard enough, but having a baby shower is a bit more tedious. According to the Emily Post Institute of Etiquette, there are certain protocols to be observed. And what would those be? Well, read on, so you too can throw a fabulous baby shower!
Who throws the shower?
According to Ms. Lizzie Post, (a descendant of the famous author and socialite Ms. Emily Post) a baby shower is a party for the family. However, despite their involvement, they are not the ones who should be organizing such an event. As their trusted friend or relative, it is your responsibility to throw them the shower.
This means that you are in charge of the food, activities, guest lists, theme, and décor. The mother and father’s opinion still matter, but overall, it is you in the front line. The guest of honor is the expectant mother and her baby, so it is only fitting that they should not be stressed.
Set the date
To avoid any mishaps and accidents, the baby shower should be done at least six weeks before the due date. This of course does not consider premature labor. During this time, the mother will be in her most vulnerable state. In order to have a smooth party, it is better done in the family’s home.
The party can be held at other locations but research first. This is to ensure that the party will be near a hospital in case of any emergency. The mother should not travel a lot at this time.
Go over the Guest List
Everyone is welcome in a baby shower. You can have grandparents, cousins, office mates, best friends, and more. But, ultimately, the decision falls into the family’s hands. They can choose between two guest lists.
- Mothers Only
This type of baby showers is traditionally for women only. By inviting other mothers into the occasion, the expectant guest of honor can receive tips and advice. With different types of women in the party, the mother will be able to bond with them.
- Mixed line up
Co-ed parties are baby showers that include the dads. Now, some fathers may feel uncomfortable with them being at the party, so it is not that popular. However, it is always nice to have a good balance in the group. This way, the entire family can feel included in welcoming the child.
To register or not register
It is not Christmas, but wish lists will always be present in a baby shower. However, mothers and fathers are not expected to write them down. On the other hand, guests are not also obliged to buy things on the gift register.
However, registering for presents will be a good way for the guests to pick presents that are useful in taking care of a baby. By doing so, the family can avoid returning items to the store and everything will be utilized.
Mind the Menu
Having a party without booze does not mean it is a boring occasion. With the perfect line up of guests and activities, they can already have fun. But, banning alcohol in the baby shower is not enough, you also need to check in with the mother’s preference. You can ask her if she has allergies or if the doctor gave her a diet plan.
Topics to Tackle
Baby showers are a time of fun and excitement for everyone. To avoid any awkward situations, it is best to brief the visitors beforehand. Birth control and planning is a topic that can be skirted around if the family is uncomfortable discussing it. Rude comments about the mother’s physical appearance are a big no. Asking single mothers about their relationships should also be avoided.
Attendance is not compulsory. Guest can always decline their invitation. There is also no need for non-attendees to send out presents. They can do so if they like, but they should not feel obligated.
Sending the Magic Word
Now that you have thrown a wonderful baby shower, it is time to send out the thank you cards. To make this a sincere gesture, do not put out a basket of thank you letters outside after the party. It is better to send them the thank you notes three weeks after.
Motherhood will always be a difficult time. The best thing you can do to help new mothers is by giving them your support. Whether you are a close friend or relative, doing something as simple as throwing a baby shower will mean a lot. It will be your own simple gesture showing how much they mean to you.
The greatest gift you can give to a new mother is your presence. You do not have to be at the hospital to hold their hand just to show your support. Throwing a party that celebrates the amazing journey that they are about to embark on is enough. And, you can do that by giving financial help and buying baby clothes.
Baby showers are not just a trend. It is an occasion to welcome new babies and show solidarity with the mothers of society. So, next time you have a friend or a relative who is an expectant mother, you know what to do. Shower them with gifts on their baby shower.