What is a baby shower?

This is when an expectant mother is showered with gifts and that’s where the name baby shower comes from. Traditionally, this party is thrown by friends and is attended only be women.

Traditions all over the world have rituals and practices to welcome baby even before the baby is born and celebrate motherhood. In India we call it by different names. It is Godh Bharai in North India. In some parts of Eastern India it is called Saadhroshi.Down south, it is called as Seemantham or Valaikaapu.

The western concept of a baby shower is however different in many ways. If in India the ceremony is conducted by the mother-to-be’s family members, in the west it is held by friends of the mother-to-be. This is because a baby shower involves gifting the mother-to-be things that her baby would need. If the family gave the baby shower, it would be like asking for ‘baby’s things’ from people outside the family or immediate family and therefore considered rude.

Therefore a baby shower is given by the friends of the mother-to-be.

Generally, friends get together and decide on a suitable date and invite other friends as well. But there are times when it is also called by the grandmother. It all depends on the region and the practices there. Also baby showers are only organized for your first child, not every child.

Break-all-the-rules baby shower

So what happens if you are looking forward to a baby shower and everyone in your world is busy? Well, you organize your own baby shower! Just remember to ask your closest friend to send out the invite. And before you send it out, decide on who you want to have for the party.

It’s perfectly OK these days to call your male friends as well if they are an inseparable part of your life. Generally, it would be best to call your most intimate circle of friends and family. That way people will really share in your joy rather be obliged to attend. And also see if you really want to mix family and friends. It’s your baby shower and you want to remember it as one of the best times you have had.

So what do you do at the baby shower?

Very simply put, you have a fun time. Now fun can mean the usual fun you guys have together at your parties or you could spruce it up a notch with some fun activities. But make sure these activities are ones that truly gel with your bunch. Don’t have them just for the sake of novelty, rather have them because it would be fun for everyone. What that would be, only you can decide because you know your friends best. But here are some ideas.

Hand-made painted bibs for baby

Here’s what you would need. Plain white bibs. Fabric paints. Brushes. And a table to get the creativity flowing. People could take turns while the party is on to make their own designs on the bibs. This will be a fun activity for your friends. Just be sure to have the table placed at a corner so it doesn’t come in the way. You can have many other games too. Here’s one more example.

Spot me as a baby

This a great game too. Ask each of your guests to send their own picture as a baby – ask them to mail it to you in advance so you can take prints of all and place them on a board. Then while the party is on, bring out the board and ask your guests to guess who’s who. An alternate of this game is matching baby names to the names of their famous parents.

Consider what you want to serve

You can have fun with food and drinks too, if you want.Imagine getting bibs for everyone to wear while they have food. You could just buy extra bibs while buying them for the hand-made painted bibs and use. This adds a fun element to the whole gathering.

As for food, consider having food that remind you of children or even your childhood. That’s fun isn’t it? You can keep it on the healthier side and avoid all the fries and sugar if you want. So you could have a toothpick skewer of fruit and cheese cubes, puddings of your choice, mocktails with fruit juices, tea sandwiches with fillings like palak-potato-cheese or potato-chicken.

While doing all of these things also make sure that there is some filling food alongside for those who would rather have some “real food”. So you could have flavoured rice or biriyani or flat breads (chapattis, naan, parathas etc.) along with suitable sides for vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Return gifts

As guests are leaving give them a small bag of return gifts. Choose from an array of things you can buy either at the store or online. Simply search online if you have no idea what you want to give as a return gift. You could give away mouth freshener containers, or a small box of dry fruits, a traditional small jewellery box etc.

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