If you’ve organised the nursery, stocked up on adorable outfits, and you’re still in conflict with your partner over names, the chances are that you’re almost ready to meet your new baby. But before you do, will you be having a baby shower?
These days most of us are familiar with what a baby shower entails, and the likelihood is that you have been to one or two yourself already. Generally there’s a table filled with delicious treats, some games that revolve around babies and pregnancy, and a chance to catch up with girlfriends. At least, that is what a traditional baby shower looks like. But of course not everyone hosts the same style of party.
Some women are moving away from the more traditional baby shower and instead choosing to host a different kind of celebration. Whilst some are opting for co-ed showers enabling partners to join in on the day, others are choosing to put the celebrations on hold altogether until after the baby has arrived when family and friends are then invited to a ‘Sip and See’.
We speak to three women about their baby celebrations, and why they chose to ‘shower’ this way.
AMY DELL had a traditional baby shower with friends and family at her home in Newcastle
I chose to have a traditional baby shower as I saw it as a good way of catching up with girlfriends and family to celebrate the pending arrival of my first baby.
The shower was held as an afternoon tea in my backyard when I was 36 weeks pregnant, and was also planned to coincide with celebrating my 32nd birthday. There was never a question that men would be invited. It was always going to be girls, and the attendance of 30 people on the day was an even split between family members and friends.
My mum, grandma and sisters did the catering for the day and there was a strong decorative theme of both blue and pink, as I didn’t know the sex of my baby. They had even made pink and blue cupcakes and asked people to take the one that represented what they thought the baby was. I took a blue one as I was convinced I was having a boy!
As entertainment my best friend had organised a number of games for us to play. In one we had a race to dress a doll in about five layers, including nappies, and in another we had to smell the dirty nappies and guess the contents, which were different types of smashed up chocolate bars. We also guessed my belly circumference by measuring with toilet roll, and my sisters put together a CD of songs that all had the word ‘baby’ in them, and we had to guess the song and artist.
It was a great afternoon and I cherished being able to spend quality time with my friends and family, some of whom had travelled far and were able to make a weekend of it. I also received some lovely and very practical gifts.
I would definitely recommend women to have a baby shower, but I would advise on getting others to help. Organising and catering is tiring enough at the best of times, without being heavily pregnant!
NICOLE REANEY from Sydney teamed up with her husband to host a co-ed baby shower
I have never really been a fan of all those traditional girls’ get togethers, and didn’t have a traditional girls’ hens night. So, for me, having a co-ed baby shower was only natural. I believe that having a baby is about partnership, and it seemed only fair that a celebration should include my husband, too.
Having a co-ed baby shower wasn’t something that we discussed early on, but when it came to the stage where I started planning the party, I mentioned the idea to my husband. I told him that I didn’t want it to be just female guests, but rather a joint event with the men too, so that we could all enjoy it together. He agreed and was keen to be involved.
As far as the organisation of the day went, I did it all myself, sending out invites and doing lots of finger food cooking prior to the event. On the day itself, my husband manned the BBQ and handed out the drinks.
The shower was held when I was seven months pregnant, and was only a small gathering. We had about 20 guests attending on the day, with about a third of those guests male. Ironically enough, a lot of the females ended up coming alone and leaving the husbands at home to mind the kids!
There were times when there was a segregation of men around the BBQ and women indoors, but overall everyone mingled really well and there was a really nice vibe to the whole afternoon. There were no games organised as I am not keen on those, so it was just about keeping it casual.
Overall the event was really lovely. I wouldn’t change a thing but if I did it again I would like to have a cake as I think that would have been nice to have cut this together with my husband as part of the celebration.
More than anything, this event provided me with a really nice moment to stop and celebrate the imminent arrival of my baby alongside my husband. I think in the lead-up to a baby’s arrival, everything is such a mad rush with working and preparing things that you don’t really get that time. I also think that the pregnancy journey is very often all about the women because it’s her body that is changing, but with the co-ed shower, I felt like my husband became part of that change and journey, too.
AMBER LANE from Perth, celebrated the arrival of her daughter, Billie, by hosting a Sip and See party
When I was pregnant I was originally going to have a traditional baby shower, but that changed after I read about Sip and See parties. I thought that it sounded like a really good idea and, as I wanted to include my husband, felt it was a better alternative so that it could be a day for both of us where we could celebrate together. I also really liked the idea that we could invite all of our friends and family to meet our daughter at the same time, and not have the trail of ongoing visitors.
I arranged the party for two weeks after my due date, but because Billie was overdue by 11 days and I was then in hospital, it turned out that I arrived home two hours before the party started! I remember being so nervous on the way home, but actually having people around me made it much easier.
The party itself was really low-key. We had about 50 people that came and it was only held for three hours. My mum and best friend organised the food and put it together on the day, my husband did the decorations, and we had flowers from the hospital everywhere. We didn’t have a cake made or games or activities, but we did have some wine and beer so that my husband was able to do a toast and thank everyone for coming. It was more of a chance to catch up with everyone, and let them all meet Billie for the first time.
The best thing for me about the party was that we got the best of both worlds. We got to see everyone in one go, and then we had a few days on our own as a family without people dropping in or contacting us. Because of this, I felt it gave us the time to be together and bond properly, and I would definitely do it that way again.