Where other cultures have celebrated the transition to motherhood with sacred rituals after baby is born, we typically get together several weeks before the birth to eat, drink, and play cheesy games.
The baby shower or “sprinkle” is the modern equivalent of an age-old tradition to celebrate the coming or recent birth of a baby. Cultural traditions, such as who pays for a baby shower and when to plan it, have changed over time.
Planning of the party is up to the hostess. A hostess is someone close to the mother-to-be who volunteers to hold the event in honor of the mother and baby.
Traditionally, one of the grandmothers-to-be will happily offer to host, but this is not always the case! It's a rare mother-to-be indeed who will accept her mother-in-law’s offer to throw the party.
What Does The Hostess Do?
In short, the hostess does everything related to the baby shower. The mother-to-be isn't expected to do anything for the baby shower, except show up, since the party is essentially for her.
While she isn't usually allowed to plan, she should be consulted during the planning process.
Pregnant women can be understandably moody and sensitive. You could end up with 50 tuna sandwiches and a mother-to-be who happens to get nauseous at the sight of tuna this week!
It's up to the hostess to decide what to do about:
Theme - choosing colors and patterns, decorations, tableware, centerpieces
When and Where - securing a location or renting the venue
Guest list - managing invitations and RSVP
Food and Beverages - choosing what to serve, preparing snacks, providing drinks
Games - planning activities for the guests, with prizes
Gifts and Mementos - accepting gifts for the mom-to-be and preparing mementos from the shower
It's also up to the hostess to cover all of the expenses. A baby shower can cost between $100 and $1,000. It's up to the hostess.
Who Pays For Baby Shower Without Family?
We are not all close to our families, either literally or figuratively, so you might prefer to have a friend handling the baby shower.
A baby shower thrown by friends is often better. While your family may ultimately know more about your childhood, you might not be keeping them up-to-date about your current interests and tastes. Your friends are more in-the-know.
One close friend can volunteer to host the party, but sometimes it's necessary for several friends to pool together on the expenses. Most of my friends have kids themselves, and we all know that doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room in their budgets!
Distant family who can't attend may still want to send gifts.
Setting up a gift registry at a store or online can streamline the process. It will allow them to see what the mother-to-be needs for the baby and sometimes even keeps track of what gifts have already been purchased.
What If It's Not Your First Baby?
While some cultures celebrate only the first child, or the mother's first birth, you can have a shower to celebrate every baby.
A baby shower honors the mother-to-be and helps her prepare for the baby, and to prepare for her new role as a mother if it is her first, but it's not explicitly a celebration of her transition to motherhood.
You can have a baby shower even when it will be the 5th baby in the family and the mom surely has everything she needs. Items given at her shower may be some of the only new items the baby will have.
Cutting Cost of Baby Shower
There are many aspects of baby shower planning where you can choose to either spend money or save money.
You can avoid the cost of a venue by hosting the party at home. If you're expecting too many guests for your home, many churches and community centers will rent space for a small donation. Depending on the time of year and weather in your region, you could plan to have the party outdoors.
Making the food and baking the cake yourself can save you money on catering. Getting creative and crafty with things you already have on hand can save you money on decorations.
We hope you're a little more prepared for planning a baby shower after reading this.
No matter who pays for the baby shower or what the cost, the important thing is the experience of the celebration for the mother-to-be and the guests. The atmosphere should be comfortable and relaxed for mom and baby.
Do you have a baby shower story? Please tell us about yours in the comments section and share this post to include your friends.