I’m sure at one point in your life you have attended a Baby Shower. You know... because you love nothing more than spending your Saturday afternoon eating poop out of a diaper and drinking from baby bottles….they can be a little cheesy! However, traditionally they are simply an event for the Mother to be “showered” with gifts and celebrate the upcoming arrival of their new baby. Originating in Ancient Rome, they were organised by other women to celebrate the impending birth of the woman’s first baby and wish her good health and fortune. The first baby's celebration was called a "Shower", as the mother was starting with nothing, so needed to be "Showered" in gifts. Subsequent children were celebrated with a "Sprinkling" as it was assumed she would not need as many gifts, as most would be re-used from the first child. However, traditions change over the years and now there are several variations on the usual event!
Variations on the traditional “Baby Shower”
Think of this as a “Baby Shower for men”. Other names include “Huggies and Chuggies”, “Wetting the Babies Head” or “Beers, Dudes and Diapers”. Popular in Britain, these can be as casual as a Dad-to-Be and his friends getting together for a few beers and a chat, to a full blown Dads BBQ, drinks, games and presents.
Sip and See
This is a Southern tradition that is gaining in popularity, and is actually held AFTER the baby is born! It usually involves a casual relaxed atmosphere and basically a chance for your friends and family to sip champagne and see the new baby. This can be handy if your baby arrived early and you did not get a chance to celebrate a baby shower.
As a paediatric trained nurse however (my day job!) the only issue that I can see with this is having a large group people wanting to hold, touch and kiss a newborn. Therefore I think if you did decide to go this route, have a big bottle of hand sanitiser close to baby (or just ask people not to touch), allow minimal cuddles if possible, and definitely no kissing! Perhaps keep baby in his stroller or car seat, and have a light muslin cloth draped over the top and just allow people to peek in. Even people not showing symptoms yet of a virus or coldsore can still be infectious, so better safe than sorry!
Traditionally, Baby Showers are usually reserved for the first child, and subsequent showers are often called “Baby Sprinkles” and they are growing in popularity! There are no hard and fast rules surrounding this type of event, so if you are having your first child there is no reason you couldn’t hold a baby sprinkle instead, especially if you have already purchased most items you need! They are generally smaller and more relaxed than showers, and are just a simple get together with close family members and friends to celebrate.
Gender Reveal Party
This is as simple as it sounds, a party to reveal the gender of the unborn baby, even to the parents themselves! There are so many amazing ways to do this (I get so weepy when I watch videos of them), such as popping balloons to reveal pink or blue confetti, a white cake with pink or blue filling, whacking a piñata, party poppers, popping balloons full of paint on a white canvas, and so many more!
Popular here in Australia as we Aussies love our BBQ’s, this is basically a casual barbecue to celebrate the parents-to-be in place of a more formal baby shower. As a general rule both men and women are invited to BabyQ’s, and it is a relaxed and fun celebration.
Should you invite men to your event?
Personally, when I was planning my Baby Shower, it was a no-brainer for me. He helped create the baby, he should be allowed to attend to celebrate! Typically it is thought a man will grumble and groan when being dragged along to a Baby Shower, but provided you fore-go the cringe-worthy games, and offer a relaxed atmosphere (and a few beers wouldn’t hurt either) then there is no reason they can’t have an enjoyable time too!
Pros of men attending
- More fun, laughter, relaxed atmosphere.
- Important for them to be involved in the pregnancy (especially for the first baby) and not excluded for "being male". This could make them feel like they are not valued or welcome to help with their child, and make the newborn period more difficult for them!
- Support Mum on a potentially busy and stressful day of planning, help with food, take photos, give her a hug.
- Gain valuable tips from other experienced Mums or Dads whilst chatting with guests.
- If you are planning a gender-reveal at your party then they certainly can’t miss out on that excitement!
Cons of men attending
- Some men may not enjoy the cheesy baby shower games, especially if they have a more reserved personality.
- May feel uncomfortable at the idea of being at a traditionally womens event, especially if they may have cultural differences.
Regardless of any rules, traditions or influences from friends and family, it is YOUR day and only you should choose the style of event you plan. It also really depends on the type of Baby Shower vibe you are hoping for. If you are looking for a fun girls day with silly party games and lots of gossip and chit-chat, maybe you should consider only inviting your girl pals. If more of a modern and relaxed vibe suits you best, then it would be an enjoyable day for both men and women to attend.
I would love to hear your thoughts! Are you planning a Baby Shower? What are your thoughts on the traditional Baby Shower vs. Modern variances?