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Baby showers!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Boots suggested I start a thread on baby showers! Here we can share our questions, experiences, stories, gifts, etc. from these events in which our family, friends, and colleagues show their excitement about our babies before they make their appearance in our lives. There are lots of traditions and beliefs around showers that differ from the model in the US, and I have friends and colleagues in whose culture this does not happen until after the baby has arrived. I have also attended and heard about a few different models for showers, including book showers, diaper cakes, and others, so if you've planned, attended, or had your own, please share! Moms with more experience can reminisce about their showers in the past, adding to the wisdom of the group! 

 

(This is the cake that one of my talented colleagues made for my work shower)

cake.JPG

 

Because of the work schedules of me and dh, both of our workplaces decided to throw us showers in May, his will be in a few weeks, and my family and friends back home will do a celebration via skype in a few months. Since I'm a first time mom, and have never directly organized a shower, and since dh and I never had a typical wedding, the baby shower is my first experience with registries and the somewhat awkward prospect of requesting gifts from people, while still in the process of researching many of our needs and wants. I also haven't had a birthday party with gifts since adolescence, so it definitely felt weird to be showered with gifts yesterday at work. 

 

We tried to register for useful items and things we wanted to try out at Amazon, Target, Babies-r-us, and Buy buy baby. At my work shower, four people bought different items from our babies-r-us registry and that's it. The rest of the gifts were overwhelmingly cute clothes, followed by toys, and most clearly reflected the personality of the giver. We got some receipts, which we'll save just in case the sizes are wildly off, but I have to admit I think I'll feel bad if I exchange some of these things. Here is our amazing stash of items, I really feel so grateful for the generosity of everyone who participated! Some people confided that they have hand-me-downs that they want us to check out and others who prefer to wait until the baby is here, which I respect!

 

Of course, our current "baby" had to investigate everything thoroughly!

 

exploring_gifts.JPG

 

I love how she chose to settle down on the animal-footed pjs! 

 

gifts.JPG

 

Looking forward to hearing more about everyone's shower thoughts and experiences!

post #2 of 25

Fun new thread!  I just found out that my wonderful MIL is scheduling ours for July 7, which is just one month before our due date.  I'm a little disappointed, since it makes planning things more difficult (and I won't be able to glory in little onesies for the next three months), but the timing is better for her and my SIL.  Does anyone have any experience with late showers?  My main concern is having to run around getting things that we don't get when I'm 9 months pregnant and really hot.  Maybe I'm overthinking this?

 

At any rate, we're also doing a co-ed BBQ shower, since I have a few hilarious friends who are ideologically opposed to coming to lady showers.  We'll have beer and my husband can test out the new smoker we got him for his birthday.  So that should be a fun alternative.  And hopefully my friend who is throwing it gets it planned soon... we've been slacking on setting a date and putting together an invite list.  I've been slacking on everything due to teaching stress, etc.

 

That cake is awesome, Andaluza!  You've got a lot of nice neutral stuff there too, in case you decide to do this all again.

post #3 of 25

wow! how fun! you got some wonderful stuff andaluza, and a pretty neat cake// was it tasty?? I love boy clothes!

post #4 of 25

My friend is throwing us a shower, and suggested July 14 - I'm due August 26.  A month & a half seems reasonable to me, but I'm not sure of the protocol.  I'm going to be out of town the last 2 weeks of June and the last 2 weeks of July, and we don't want to do it 4th of July weekend, so it looks like the 14th is all we've got.  I've never had or planned a shower before, so I have no idea when we're supposed to do it.

post #5 of 25

Andaluza - What a great cake! I'm glad the shower went well. It looks like your 'baby' isn't waisting any time getting comfy amidst the new surroundings. :) So cute!

 

Penny - I think your July date is fine for a shower. I don't really think there's a 'right' way to do it. It's just what works best for your sched/planning. Most of my friends have actually waited until after baby was born to have a shower. That way everyone gets to meet baby and it takes some of the pressure/spotlight off mom. We've had Mother Blessings a month or so before their guess date to love on mom and help her get prepared for her birth in leu of a more traditional shower w gifts. There are so many ways you can prepare for and celebrate baby, no need to sweat it!

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

LilyT, I don't have any experience with late showers or the means of the people being invited to the shower your mil is throwing you, but from my limited experience I don't know how much I would depend on a shower to bring me a big ticket item. I bet your mil will consult with you about some of the bigger needs you have at that point, unless she's really into surprises. I am hoping that the people who are inclined to give a gift through my hometown family/friend shower that is through skype later on will consult the registry, since it would make sense that they mail the items to us. But, judging from the shower I had, people want to buy cute things that appeal to them, not so much diapers and breast feeding supplies (I did get some of that stuff, but from recent parents only!). I just spoke to my dad the other day and he said that he and my mom want to buy us a big item that we don't get off our registry, but then he agreed that they might just send us money because of the completion discounts and coupons.

 

Speaking of which, a friend mentioned that she had accumulated a lot of coupons and percentages off from places like Babies-r-us and she went in with the items she had received gift receipts for and they were happy to let her return/re-buy the items with the discounts. She then ended up with a nice store credit, which she put towards a big item they hadn't bought. Sounds like a great idea to me, if a little laborious!

 

I know we've also heard the advice on the first-time mom thread that with a newborn a lot of things are not yet essential if you have the basics, so I wouldn't stress out about having every little thing in place before the arrival. A new mom friend told me that she was at babies-r-us exchanging things the night before her scheduled c-section, though maybe that had more to do with the anxiety of knowing with certainty that she's have a baby at home so soon.

 

Dovemama, the cake was tasty, but by the end of my piece at the shower my teeth hurt from the sugar in the frosting. Since we ended up with the booties and cap as leftovers, dh and I've been eating them for breakfast, but scraping off the frosting. It also weighs a ton! I feel bad, but I have my gd test coming up on Tuesday and, even without the frosting, this is the most refined sugar I've eaten all pregnancy. Speaking of which, I need to go for a long power walk this morning!

 

 

Penny, I don't know either, but that sounds like a good balance for dates! 

 

LeAnn, I know, the cat is starting to get curious about the baby stuff, I wonder how she'll react when we install the co-sleeper and bring in some storage for the clothes. Those are some great options for alternatives to the "traditional" shower.

post #7 of 25

LilyTiger-  Our shower is going to be a month before our due date and a BBQ, also!  My parents are traveling in Europe for most of June, then I'm working on the weekends in July except for my birthday weekend and the last weekend.  So luckily our EDD is Sept 1 since the party is going to be on July 28th!  We are doing co-ed and just want it to be a fun party, lots of food and swimming. I've never been a fan of the girl only showers or any of the games.  

 

I think they will throw me one at work as well.  There is another woman who is pregnant and due a month after me, so they will probably do something for both of us.  From the ones we have had before, it will just be clothes and toys, but that is fine.

 

My SIL's shower ended up being after the baby was born.  He is only 20 months younger than his brother, so they already had most of the necessities. We did a "Welcome to the World" cake for him-

 

2011 670 NOV.JPG

post #8 of 25

Love the cakes!! I had a big shower for my first, but I want to hear all your thoughts about having a shower for the second.

 

I would like to have one because:

- It would make this pregnancy feel more special since it's sort of been flying by in comparison to my first, and I've had less time to feel special and pregnant

- There are a few items that I really could use some help paying for (cloth diapers, baby carrier, breast milk pads, breast milk bags, nursing bra etc.)

 

I don't want to have one because:

- I don't want a bunch of stuff. I have *most* of the baby stuff I need and I'm on a huge minimalist/decluttering kick. Random baby stuff doesn't sound cool. I think people like to get you all the cutsey, fun, stuff and less so the practical stuff.

- Is it greedy to want a second shower for the second baby? I think its a bit overkill, and maybe kind of snotty.

 

I was thinking of maybe just having a small "blessingway" with a few close friends (like less than 10) and just asking one of my friends to coordinate it and tell them that if they want to give gifts to contribute to my cloth diaper fund or all go in for a carrier. What do you think?

post #9 of 25

Youngspiritmom - I think the blessingway is a nice option. You could still set up a registry for cloth diapering supplies at a local shop or one online. It does set a different tone than having a second shower..

post #10 of 25

I have two different showers coming up: One on May 19th for wives/gfs of my husband's co-workers (this is the closest thing to a work shower I'll have, since I quit my own damn job), and then a bigger one Memorial Day weekend for friends and family. The first one will be girls-only and more traditional - the second one will be a co-ed barbeque with beer, etc, and is also kinda a housewarming party since we just bought a house! I am a little nervous about getting moved in and all cleaned up by then, but it's good to have a deadline with these kinds of things.

 

My mother, who lives on the opposite coast and can't make it to either shower, was hoping I would have the shower a WEEK BEFORE MY DUE DATE, when she will be in town, which just felt absolutely insane to me. There is a good chance I will already have the baby by then, if not be in actual labor, and I just don't want to wait until then to buy stuff and get organized. I'm enough of a cheapskate that I want to wait until after the showers to buy things, although I suspect you ladies are right that the shower gifts will be more cutesy than basic/practical. Still... My mom said she had showers the day before she gave birth, twice, and doesn't see what the big deal is. I am compromising with her by having an open house after the baby is born, when she is here. The idea is that it will not be gift-based or gift-focused, but will allow all our friends/family to come meet baby and see us, and will be a special event my mom can participate in/host. This is scheduled for three weeks after the due date, so hopefully baby will be at least 3 weeks old at that point and we will feel ready to meet the world :)

post #11 of 25
Andaluza, thanks for sharing!   I am having one in late May then another 5 weeks away from my due date, co-workers put together something too.   I feel honored by the showers but also feel uncomfortable with the whole gifts concept, even from close friends and family, much less co-workers.  
post #12 of 25

I didn't have one for my first because I was living in Texas and all of my family and friends are in MN. Since it was long distance and everyone wanted to buy us stuff, I registered online and everyone sent stuff in the mail. It worked perfectly. When we came home to show off our son (at 6 weeks) we had a couple of get togethers, but it wasn't a big gift occasion. The only thing you really need to get home is a car seat (if you are birthing away from your house), so if you have one of those, you are set. It honestly can get extremely overwhelming to get all of that "stuff" from other people. Since I didn't have a proper shower the first time around, my family and friends want to throw me one this time...but I don't need anything at all. All of my baby clothes are gender neutral for the first 6 months or so and I'm sure people will bring by clothes once the baby is born. The only thing I need is money. I am going to have a doula this time around, but I don't exactly have $500-$700 lying around. So...if people want to give me something, I'll just say to give me cash or bring me food after the baby is born. In my opinion, those are the two best gifts you can get! Massages and house cleaning services are also great gift ideas! Believe me, you won't have the energy to clean your house after that baby comes! I'm lucky to have my MIL and SIL staying with us after baby comes, but my MIL got me a cleaning voucher from Living Social for when they leave. :)

post #13 of 25

Penny, my shower will be later in the game too, EDD 8/28 and shower 7/21.  We have to fly back to Florida for the shower, since that is where everyone we know lives. I also wanted to get our maternity photos done by the photog that did my sister's, so I needed the shower to be later for the pictures (as the photographer told me, the goal is to have my belly stick out further than the boobs). 

 

I feel really guilty about the shower.  My friend and sister offered to throw the shower, but my sister has no money to be throwing a shower, and I get the feeling my friend is seeing it as a hassle and expense at this point.  I told my friend I don't expect any gifts from her, since she is throwing the shower, and they can be expensive, we ended up spending ~$150-200 to do a BBQ shower for her and her husband, so I really understand it can get pricey and I asked them to do it in between lunch and dinner so they don't have to feed people.  My mom doesn't have any money, my dad's wife made sure to tell me they don't, since they bought a second home 3 YEARS before they will move.... Ugh...  I sort of wish I could just cancel the trip and use all the money we spent on the plane tickets to buy what we need ourselves. I know my sister is stressed out about it, I was calling to let her know that another friend of mine specifically asked to help with the shower and her first response was "is she going to help pay for it," and then listed all of her expenses, including driving up for when Q is born.  I wanted to tell her to just not bother to drive up.  Her husband is originally the one who suggested she come up to be with me, and I would LOVE to have my sister here with me, but I don't want to have to feel guilty about it, and they probably can't afford it anyway. But it made me angry because it will cost B and I much more to have them up here, because we will need to pay for everything while they are up here, with the girls and my mom as well, but it was something we considered worth the expense because we love them, and nothing we would EVER bring up.  We honestly don't care about that as an expense  I KNOW they are not in the same financial position as we are, but we have to budget and plan too, so it isn't like it is not a consideration for us.

 

I'm frustrated that everyone seems to think it is a hassle when they are the ones who offered to host it, or come visit as the case may be.  Seriously, I don't expect people to help us out, or do things for us, but don't OFFER to and then make me feel bad about it. I'm pregnant, and hormonal...and it is just not a good combination with feeling guilty, and now angry. Sorry for the bummer post.  I was really excited to just go and get to see everyone, but now I'm sort of dreading it.

post #14 of 25

VV, I am sorry, I think it's a bit tacky of them to share their frustrations and worries about the shower with you, but I know money makes people crazy. They DID offer, so they should just do it uncomplainingly, but it doesn't sound like that's the case. Despite all of this, I think that you can still have a great shower and your loved ones, even the ones who are a bit cranky about planning the shower, want to and will be able to show their support. I'm just sorry you have to deal with all the preplanning. Wish it was a surprise!

 

To be honest, my huz knew how I felt about not having a wedding shower and how bummed I was that there was not really anyone that offered outright to throw me/us a baby shower, he started contacting people and planning it. One of my friends is flying in from out of state, and I think other people have stepped up to help, too. I am SO happy, was so surprised, and I want to know as few details beforehand as possible. I think it's June 23.

post #15 of 25

Ugh, I'm sorry VV, I have dealt with some similar "revelations" from sister #1 - she is apparently very upset at our SIL for saying she couldn't when asked to help with my shower. SIL is pregnant and due a month after me, and they are doing a military move to a different state within 5 DAYS of when they'll be visiting for sister #4's wedding/my shower. So SIL is understandably stressed enough for herself without having to do my sister's bidding. I am HORRIFIED and embarrassed that she would even ask SIL to help with my shower (since I can't attend SIL's shower) let alone get angry over her saying she'd like to help but can't. I don't even want a really elaborate shower and I have 2 other sisters who are helping with planning but sister #1 has to be in charge and do it her way. Sister #1 is also planning to come visit me & bring out a bunch of baby items a week before my due date, and I'm afraid she's going to turn it into a more stressful thing than it should be. She's already pretty much yelled at me over my baby registry and can't talk about sewing diaper covers for me without turning it into a debate. I really hate that her very generous & unsolicited offers of help often turn into her painting herself as a martyr. 

post #16 of 25

What is the general rule of thumb when having babies space fair apart?  I'll have 9 years between my youngest children and I don't have ANYthing left from when my older children were babies.  Is it selfish or tacky to really want / need a shower?  Plus, my older daughter (she's 12) is so excited about this whole process, I think she'll explode if we don't have some sort of party.  I think my sister and friend are going to plan it, which would be great.  

 

I think we're going to register today, just for the fun of it.  Again, Katie is chomping at the bit to be involved in every step of the process, so I'm sure she'll put things on the registry I don't really need.  Can I edit a Babies R Us registry after the fact? :)

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

Cool cake, DesertSunsets! A double shower sounds like fun.

 

CCoello, I think the housewarming idea sounds like a great compromise, especially if someone besides you will be there to organize and clean!

 

Sol, I know what you mean, but the way I have come to take it is that most people love baby stuff and buying a few things for our little one lets them live out a fantasy or show their support. In our case (dh and mine), many of our family members are so far away and will not be able to make it--possibly ever--to help first-person, but my mil is going to a great expense for her to mail us an outfit that she wants our little one to wear home from the hospital. She wants to be part of this in some way. Seeing who was involved in my shower at work also gives me something of an idea about who is supportive and willing to hear about baby later on, and who is not that interested in this aspect of my life. 

 

Sally, I keep being told by people about the food thing, I'll have to keep that in mind to tell people who want to help when the baby comes.

 

Veritas, so sorry you have to deal with hearing about the stress of the people planning your shower. This doesn't make it any easier, and it may not even have bearing on your situation, but since you just moved it reminded me of something I had to deal with in my relationship with my mom: her stress and anxiety about my moving away manifested itself in similar ways--it wasn't until a blow up when she let it slip that she was resentful that dh and I moved so far away that I suddenly understood. I really hope it doesn't get to that point with you.

 

Boots, it sounds like you have such a great, protective husband! 

 

Eleuthia, sorry about the sister angst. I just have a younger brother and he's totally clueless about stuff--he forgot my birthday this year and then sent me a larger than usual Amazon gift card saying that I should buy something for the baby, too. I don't know if this means it is his contribution to our baby prep or what. I am a little concerned about what kind of uncle he will make. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjacques View Post

 

I think we're going to register today, just for the fun of it.  Again, Katie is chomping at the bit to be involved in every step of the process, so I'm sure she'll put things on the registry I don't really need.  Can I edit a Babies R Us registry after the fact? :)

Yeah! When you sign up you choose a password to log on and you can go in and edit and see what purchases have been made.

post #18 of 25

Awe, Boots, that is so sweet of your DH.  How so very thoughtful.

 

Eluethia, I'm sorry about the sister drama.  I hope that everything goes smoothly when it comes down to it.

 

Desert, that is a really cute cake, what a neat idea.

 

Bjacques, I think you're good to have a shower given the separation, especially since it will be such a special event to help get your daughter involved as well.

 

Andaluza, I'm sure some of her frustration has to do with us being farther apart.  We used to live down the street from each other, and see each other several times a week.  The money stresses for them have been going on for years, and I feel so bad she has to constantly deal with it as her husband is trying to build up a business with his mother, and they're just not taking much money in.  She is a SAHM, and when she had her first baby, all 3 of us sisters were there to help, and now that she has 4, all of us are gone.  Her husband works all the time too, so I know it is frustrating for her to have her sisters gone, and to have her husband work all the time and still have to worry about money.   I laughed about the brother/uncle comment, I think uncles are generally a bit less involved than aunts.  But hey, he mentioned the baby too, so that's a start!

post #19 of 25

Great thread start, Andaluza!  And I love the cakes, how adorable!

 

YoungSpiritMom - I agree with LeAnn!

 

CCoello - great compromise.... I would be way too stressed to have a shower that soon before my due date!

 

VV & Eleuthia - ugh, sorry that you're getting sucked into the dramas around you - that definitely puts you in an uncomfortable position. Hopefully things will smooth out....

 

Boots - how sweet of your DH!!

 

BJacques - so nice to hear how excited your daughter is!  The shower will be a great way for her to get involved and connected to her new sibling.  :)

 

AFM - my MIL threw us a co-ed shower last month during our visit to Michigan since it was my last time traveling the distance before Baby comes (we currently live in Canada).  It went well, my FIL grilled while my MIL led some games w/prizes.  DH sat w/me and read out the cards as I opened the gifts.  We purposely registered for only small, soft items since we had to bring everything back with us in extra suitcases - and got a small % of those items from our registry.  As expected, people mostly bought what they thought was cute or reflected their personal tastes... (and many of the things we registered for online were not available in local stores either).  We got almost everything in "newborn" size which I know will be outgrown very quickly - I wish I had saved the tags so I could exchange for some larger sizes!

 

My family lives in Massachusetts and we'll be moving to NYC at the end of this year, so we plan to have a "meet the baby" shower/party after our move.  For this reason, we're keeping our Baby List to the bare minimum so that there's less to haul cross-country in a few months.  I've convinced myself that there's very little we actually need (at first), and that once we're re-settled on the East Coast we can update our registry for "older baby" things (larger clothes, winter gear, furniture, feeding utensils, toys, books, etc)....

post #20 of 25

Anyone else have a shower coming up or just happened? Ours is in 2 weeks :)

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