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Baby Showers

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

I'm starting to think about baby showers now that I'm past the halfway point. (21 weeks tomorrow!) I'm kind of excited to have one, but I feel kind of weird having a party mostly to get people to buy me stuff. Don't get me wrong, we need stuff since this is our first, but still. I'm usually the type of person that will keep my birthday a secret, so it's all new on how to handle this. I have a friend who's offered to help with things, which is awesome. I would feel extra weird doing this by myself but I don't really want to have to ask people to throw me a party. So, the friend and I are going to just do it together, but at my apartment. We have a shared backyard where I live so I figure we can be outside if it's nice out, which would be awesome.

 

What kinds of things did you ladies do for your showers or are planning to do? I'm vegan, and luckily so is the friend who's helping, so we're making all of the food so we have control over that part of things. I figure mid-afternoon is a good time since people won't expect more than just snacks and stuff in that department.

 

I want to do a co-ed shower because I have just as many male as female friends. I'm planning to keep it small anyway, but do you think a co-ed shower is more work, less work? Kind of strange? I don't actually know anyone who has ever done that though I hear people mentioning it from time to time. 

 

And, registries. Oh, boy. I'm going to use that one online where you can put stuff from anywhere. MyRegistry.com or something like that, I think. Here's the thing with that. Being crunchy like we are, we really only feel like we need a few things. Mostly, some clothes of varying sizes. We're using a diaper service for the first few months and I need to check into whether they have gift certificates so I can add that on there. The thing is, I really want to be clear that I don't want anything made from animal fabrics (no wool, silk, leather, etc). I don't want pacifiers, plastic toys or pretty much anything that has some kind of stupid slogan on it (luckily with no knowing the gender, we're less likely to get this one). I am going to try and fill the registry with things of various price ranges that are easy to purchase in store or online. I just don't want to come off sounding like some kind of jerk, but I want to be clear and firm about what we don't want/need in the most polite and nice way possible. Any suggestions? 

 

What about games and such? I definitely don't want to do any of those gross melted candy bars in diapers type things. *gag* My friend wants to do a few, but I don't really think I want to do anything too silly, especially with men there, too.

 

Luckily I have a few months still to get this all sorted out. I'm a planner, though. It makes me feel more settled to at least have an idea of what I want for things like this ahead of time.

post #2 of 45

Many people do co-ed showers around here and besides maybe being a few extra people, shouldn't pose more work for the planners.  As for the registry, maybe also register at a place locally where someone could run the day before and still be able to give you a gift that you're requesting.  And I think in general, people like having a specific registry to go from so that they can get you just what you want.  For my shower with my first, I definitely got a few overlapping items or things I knew I didn't need/want, and I just exchanged them for things that were still on my list.  No biggie and the gift givers never knew the difference.  And post a link to your registry when you're done with it.  I always like to look at other people's wish lists!     

post #3 of 45

I don't do baby showers. And I don't have quite as many restrictions as you, SJ, but I am definitely particular. That doesn't stop anyone. I have a friend who I believe I sent a very thoughtful gift of baby crawling shoes for the birth of her 1st child a month before my 2nd and she sent me a pacifier and a "lovey" toy when DD was born. Now, I do use pacifiers (swear by them even with breastfeeding) but they are a very personal choice. You can't just pick a random pacifier for someone.

 

I think it's important to do what you said you will do (register for things that you want) but also come to terms with the idea that people will just get you things that they want to get. Everyone has different reasons. I tried to be practical with my registry for my first and my mom told me people don't want to buy practical stuff, they (her friends/family) want to buy things that are cute or personalized.

 

Can I tell you how much I hate personalized? What do you do with it later? You can't just give it to anyone. If I want something with my kid's name on it, let me pick it out. I have personalized needlepoints (name and bday) that DH's aunt slaved over for each kid. My kids share a room, with little wall space, I don't know where to put them. I can't bring myself to throw them out.

 

Sorry for venting on unwanted gifts, but I feel like it is mostly unavoidable.

post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 

Yeah... DP and I are already resigned to getting things we don't need/want. Besides the fact that we live in a tiny apartment in the city and have no room for extra stuff, we're also just particular and rather crunchy. We discussed what to do with unwanted gifts. Anything we can return, we probably will. Otherwise, it's going straight to Goodwill. 

 

I love handmade stuff, and actually have a few people making some things for the baby or baby's room which I think is awesome. Though they all asked me what colors I'd like and what styles I am thinking of. So lots of extra brownie points for them. 

 

I'm also hoping to be able to use whatever we get for our next child. This makes me extra glad we don't know the sex so I don't end up too much that's gender-specific. 

 

*sigh* As much as I'm looking forward to this kind of thing, I'm also a bit stressed about it. I guess people will just have to deal with us returning or donating things we didn't ask for/don't want. Maybe adding a few "fun" things to the list is a good idea, though. I don't even know where to start with that. I'm making a ton of stuff myself and have already made a few soft toys and such, so I don't really know what's so fun to add. 

 

Iowa, I like seeing other people's registries, too. It's great to get ideas on things for my own, plus it's just interesting.

post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbkw View Post

Can I tell you how much I hate personalized? What do you do with it later? You can't just give it to anyone. If I want something with my kid's name on it, let me pick it out. I have personalized needlepoints (name and bday) that DH's aunt slaved over for each kid. My kids share a room, with little wall space, I don't know where to put them. I can't bring myself to throw them out.

 

Sorry for venting on unwanted gifts, but I feel like it is mostly unavoidable.

 

Oh lord--personalized. We received a handpainted sign for our door from one of DH's relatives when we got married in 1998. It said "The [DH's Firstname Lastname] Family, established 1998." I always hated that stupid thing, though I felt bad for feeling that way because it was handmade with some care, which in theory I think is great (seriously, though, the wording never failed to piss me off. Kind of reminds me of how, to this day, MIL addresses cards and letters to us with "Dr. and Mrs. DH's Firstname Lastname." gaaaaaah) Anyway, it was in no way to our taste, yet since it was handmade and personalized, neither of us could bring ourselves to get rid of it. We finally threw it out about 2 weeks ago. For those keeping score at home that's almost 14 years that we have been toting this thing around from residence to residence.


I agree with you guys that crappy gifts are on some level unavoidable--I feel like in some ways you have to just resign yourself to getting crap you don't want, and resolve to donate it if that is the case. Someone will have need of it, anyway (unless it is the dreaded personalized item), so it's not like the resources are being completely wasted. You're just making it a little easier for someone who would have had a hard time affording whatever the plastic thingy is that they wanted.

 

We will probably register at some sort of big box store for some stuff, but we also want to register at a local cloth diaper store. I don't want to take advantage of the local store's expertise and then register at Babies 'R Us just because it would be more convenient (though it's not like this place is INconvenient either). I like the idea of using a mygiftlist.com or something so I can add stuff from different places. MIL already asked us if we were "sure" we were having a girl "before everyone buys us all pink, frilly stuff." I wanted to tell her that no, of course I was not "sure," so if she was that worried about it, perhaps she should get gender-neutral stuff. But then you guys know that's my pet peeve, so I'll head off the rant there. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

I'd like a couples' shower too, in theory; we'll see if I can pull that off. My mom is planning one for me at her house, and in some ways I feel like it won't really be fun for anybody, so inviting guys just doubles the number of people who have to have an un-fun afternoon. I dunno.

 

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scowgirl View Post

 

I'd like a couples' shower too, in theory; we'll see if I can pull that off. My mom is planning one for me at her house, and in some ways I feel like it won't really be fun for anybody, so inviting guys just doubles the number of people who have to have an un-fun afternoon. I dunno.

 



haha. If any of our parents were throwing us a shower, I would feel exactly the same way. At least taking control of it ourselves, we can still serve cocktails and get silly and not worry about it. Well, obviously, I'll just look at the cocktails, but still. I also think it's awkward for people that don't know the host to be at someone else's place. If it's my place, I feel totally comfortable with people doing whatever and getting their own glasses from the cabinet and eating my homemade pickles or whatever. At someone else's place, it's just a bit more awkward because people aren't sure just how to act sometimes. Is it okay to be more casual or will this person get offended if I do x or y?

post #7 of 45

I don't know if anyone will throw us a shower this being our 3rd, though we are starting over with stuff.

 

Our first was a co-ed BBQ type of get together, just a bunch of friends, some games but nothing gross or over the top.

The second was a ladies shower, finger foods,  a few games nothing over the top.

 

I've thought of just having a welcome baby party about  a month or two after baby is born, invite friends and family.

Then folks will know the gender and get to meet the baby.

post #8 of 45

I, personally, don't care for co-ed traditional baby showers because I think the men feel awkward and unsure of what to do.  Plus, I have a hunch they don't really want to be there.  As far as getting stuff you don't want...it becomes easier to accept as the baby grows.  It just happens and happens.  I got some pretty interesting gifts for both my wedding and for baby showers.  All you can do is hope they included a gift receipt.  I don't really agree with putting restrictions on gifts though - it's the gift givers choice to give a person a gift.  The gift receiver doesn't get to dictate the rules.  So, while it's fine to include all things you actually want and believe in on your registry, IMO it's not okay to say "No wool, no plastic, no etc.."   If there are things you might want from a place like Target or Babies R Us, it might be a good idea to register there - that way when people pick out random crap, it will be from somewhere you can return it and get what you actually want.  It's hard, but I've definitely learned to relax about it the past few years.

post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 

I hear what you're saying, but I do think it's perfectly acceptable to have restrictions on things, especially things that are rooted in strong ethical beliefs. You would never try and give bacon to a muslim or someone who is kosher and it's definitely fine for them to say not to give them something like that. I don't see the difference in my not wanting anything that was created from an animal. I don't ever try and impress my own lifestyle on anyone else. We are all free to make our own choices, but it's not okay for you to make that choice for me.

 

I don't think the coed thing is going to be an issue, really. I can't really see us doing anything all that traditional, anyway. I think it'll be more along the lines of a get-together/party with baby gifts. I'll likely be the only one not drinking and there will probably only be one kid there at all since the majority of our friends don't have children, just DP's sister.

 

I'm also in Canada, so we don't have some of the same options you guys have for registries. We do have Babies R Us, but I do not want to go there. That will only be a last resort if I can't find something I want to list somewhere else. The city I live in has a ton of really great independent baby stores that are all over the city. There's one street in particular that has a plethora of them on a few blocks. Lots of those stores have an online presence as well, so I don't really see that any of that will be a problem.

post #10 of 45

That will be nice about the smaller baby stores in your area, we, surprisingly, don't have that many by us.   And I didn't mean to brush off the "no animal" part at all...I just think it's something that should be said through word of mouth or general knowledge of who you are  - not printed on an invite.

post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 

Vancouver is really awesome for having small businesses. DP and I definitely try and support those before larger chains whenever we can. We're pretty lucky that it's so easy to do that here. Though, I must admit, if we had Target in Canada, I'd be all over that! I definitely miss Target from living in the US.

 

I'm just going to do an evite sort of thing for invites, so it's a bit less formal that way, anyway. I feel the need to specify not to get us certain things because I know that many people don't understand that wool or silk or leather is still an animal product (you'd be surprised) even though they know that DP and I don't use anything like that. I am planning to make it clear that not everyone needs to bring a gift. I don't feel like everyone has to go buy something just to celebrate with us, though I know people feel pressure to do that at things like this. 

 

I do want to find somewhere to buy a bunch of onesies in bulk and then get some felt and fabric paint and such and have an area set up for people to decorate them if they want. I think that would be awesome. DP and I both work in the visual arts industry and so do many of our friends so I think it would be kind of awesome to see what they come up with.

post #12 of 45

The onesie thing sounds like fun, I'd enjoy that.  I try to support local business when possible, but dang, I love me some Target.  :)  And I'm sure Target loves me on account of how my trips to buy TP turn into $100 outings.

 

I actually wouldn't be surprised at people's ignorance, I'm a vegetarian and I ate vegan for awhile.  People really don't get that, I can't imagine that they understand that leather is an animal.  I had a friend make vegetable soup and then act like it was funny to pretend she didn't know she couldn't use CHICKEN broth, after I was already eating.  And honestly, I don't know if she played it off as a joke or what, but I didn't get sick from eating it.

post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole730 View Post

I, personally, don't care for co-ed traditional baby showers because I think the men feel awkward and unsure of what to do.  Plus, I have a hunch they don't really want to be there.


Yeah, I totally agree. I think the problem is that nobody (male or female) actually likes most traditional showers. :) I like the idea of a bbq or, similar to what my friend is doing, just getting together at a local restaurant.

 

I think an all-woman gathering is a cool idea in theory, but traditional showers with a ladies' luncheon and games are just so boring... not that I really feel I can dictate what happens at my own shower, of course; that's up to the person who is hosting it.

post #14 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scowgirl View Post

I think an all-woman gathering is a cool idea in theory, but traditional showers with a ladies' luncheon and games are just so boring... not that I really feel I can dictate what happens at my own shower, of course; that's up to the person who is hosting it.



Exactly why I decided to just do it with a friend instead of just putting it all on someone else. ;)

post #15 of 45

We're having a Diaper and Wipes coed bbq. We don't need a whole lot but we will need lots of diapers and wipes.

post #16 of 45

I've never had a baby shower :( but still, people buy a lot for us anyway. Usually a couple outfits and a bunch of blankets. Last time, we got a new bouncy seat... hubbys parents bought us a crib (it was hubbys first) and his grandparents bought us a high chair. Otherwise, just a bunch of cloths and blankets. Oh, and prefolds.

I don't see us having one this time either... or getting a lot. This is #4 for us and his brother and sister-in-law got pregnant about 2 months after us with their second and they live back home while we live 1100 miles away, so i'm sure she'll get a shower and all that and we'll pretty much be forgotten until the baby gets here.

post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimithee View Post

We're having a Diaper and Wipes coed bbq. We don't need a whole lot but we will need lots of diapers and wipes.



This is a great idea!

post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjdragonfly View Post



Exactly why I decided to just do it with a friend instead of just putting it all on someone else. ;)



Yeah, my family is old-school and it's not done to "host your own shower." Your MIL or SIL (or in this case, my mom) "hosts" it at the church fellowship hall or at their home and then you have no control over what happens. eyesroll.gif  I'm already wishing I had taken matters into my own hands and changed this tradition. I will have to make lots of unpopular decisions as a new mom so this would have been good practice. smile.gif Your shower sounds awesome!

post #19 of 45
Thread Starter 

I figure that I'm already a bit of a crunchy weirdo so none of my friends will be put out by it. Technically I'm just cohosting with a friend, but still, I hear what you're saying. None of my family lives near us and DP has only a sister in town and one 3 hours away. Otherwise, everyone is pretty much on the opposite coast family-wise except for my mother who lives 12 hours away. It's a bummer because they all won't get to see the baby as much, but kind of awesome when it comes to things like this because then there's no interference.

post #20 of 45

Does anyone else do Mother Blessings or Blessingways?? That's the route we go in our community, and it's so lovely! Most of us already have 2 or more kiddos, and there seemed to be a baby lull for a bit there and we were joking that we needed to recruit some newly married 20 somethings so we could have more blessings. It's just such a nice celebration for everyone.

 

I've had one shower in 3 pregnancies, and yet our super generous friends and family have flooded us with gifts and loans and hand me downs everytime. I've barely bought anything ever, to be honest.

 

Though a note about non-gender specific being great for subsequent babes-  I was all about that too, and then I had a HUGE baby in spring, followed by a tiny munchkin in late summer... they will never wear the same clothes. Even the giant's hand me down socks that I stored for 3 years are floppy and strange on her skinny litle ski feet. So I say dress the one you have, in blue, pink, or rainbows, and don't worry too much about the next one.

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