Social Traditions to Observe in Baby Showers
A baby shower is held to honor a woman who is about to become a mother. It is also a welcoming ceremony to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. It is a social event that emerged during the height of the baby boom phenomenon in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Through the years, traditions in baby showers evolved to make sure the occasion is filled with memorable fun and fits certain customs.
To Host or Not to Host
Baby shower traditions dictate that a friend or distant relative of the parents-to-be host the party. It means no close family member can assume the role of host to avoid the impression the family is soliciting gifts. As the coming baby brings much joy, it has become acceptable for a member of the family such as a sister, mother-in-law or the mother of the expecting mum to host or co-host the event. Expectant mums hosting their own baby showers to welcome their babies, however, are still not customary or considered appropriate.
The Composition of the Guest List
Traditionally, family members of the expectant parents and their closest friends are on the guest list. Adding more people to the list depends on the budget and venue. If the shower is not kept a secret, it is certainly wise to consult with the expectant mother so the people she wants to be present at the celebration would also be invited.
Now days, the chemistry of baby showers is changing to include men – a far cry from the traditional all-women bonding ritual of the past. If male guests are welcome, consider the future dad’s personality as well as other male guests. Usually, the expectant dad is asked to make an appearance during the final stage of the shower to thank guests for the gifts.
Choosing a Date
Ideally, a baby shower is timed four to six weeks prior to the expected date of delivery. It is the period when the pregnancy is well along but the mum-to-be is unlikely to give birth before the day of the party. In some cultures, it is considered bad luck to receive or acquire baby items before the baby’s birth. For these instances, preliminary planning can be started after the baby is born. If the shower is hosted for parents adopting a baby, the date can be set when the child is already at home.
There’s no strict rule that can’t be changed to adapt to the preference and beliefs of the expecting parents, but it would be good to know about these traditions in baby showers. More importantly, the baby shower is meant to make the future mum feel loved, supported and prepared for the big day.