Most people assume that a baby shower is called that because the mother is “showered” with gifts. But the name’s true origin, although related, is more oddly particular than that.
Bridal showers came before baby showers. During the Victorian era (the period of Queen Victoria’s reign over England: from 1837 to 1901), guests to a bridal shower would place their gifts for the bride-to-be in a parasol, a small umbrella used not during rain but as protection from the sun. The expectant bride would then lift the filled parasol over her head and be “showered” by her gifts. Hopefully, they weren’t hard. Eventually, the party itself came to be known by the activity that defined it, as a “bridal shower.” We can then assume that the “baby shower” arose as a related variant of the bridal shower, during which an expectant mother would be “showered” with gifts.
These days, “baby showers” are parties held for expectant mothers, usually by their mothers, closest relatives, or friends. Gifts given at baby showers are usually practical items, selected from the mother’s registry. Occasionally, guests will give silly, joke gifts, but this is more appropriately done at a bachelorette party if one is being thrown.
Baby showers really only include two practices: gift-giving and games. That’s it and that’s just what you do; it’s traditional. In this post, we’re going to walk you through both parts of baby showers, with an eye to some simple tips to ensure that everyone involved has a great time.
The best advice we can give you when it comes to buying gifts for your friend’s or relative’s baby shower is to use the registry. Seriously. If the mother has gone to the trouble to make one up, and it tells you what they want, why would you ignore that?
If the mother hasn’t made up a registry of her own, use your best judgment and buy something useful. The world is full of cool gifts to make parents lives’ easier, and they can be a lot of fun, too. Check out this great list of “30 unexpected baby shower gifts” for ideas.
Favors are a great way to ensure that guests remember a baby shower fondly. You can give the same set of favors out to all of your guests, use them as rewards for winning games during the event, or both. Here are just a few of our ideas (remember, Neha Palace is a full-service event manager, which means that you don’t have to go it alone. We’ve got plenty of great baby shower ideas to help you through the planning process!):
1. How about creating a custom baby-themed crossword puzzle, to please your intellectual friends?
2. Hand out miniature plants that your guests can nourish, as the real-life baby grows! An alternative suggestion that doubles as a baby shower game: Ask your guests if they think the mother will have a boy or a girl. Whoever says ‘girl’ gets a seed packet of black-eyed Susans and anyone who guesses ‘boy’ gets Johnny-jump-ups!
Games are a must at baby showers, and can provide valuable bonding moments for friends and family who don’t know one another.
Separate your guests into two teams with an equal amount of players. Everyone gets a balloon. The first person in line blows up their balloon and sticks it under their shirt. Then the second person, the third, and so on. Once everyone on a team has blown up all their balloons, the first person in line has to pop it. Then the second, the third, and so on. The first team to finish popping wins.
This isn’t quite a game but it will produce the most keepsakes. Provide your guests with onesies and fabric markers, then let them go wild! With enough guests, you could have that baby’s wardrobe set for years!