Baby Showers

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Post-birth baby shower?

Sept 2004

Because of past experiences with pregnancy loss, I am considering having a shower after our baby is born instead of before. Has anyone done this? Were you up for it or was it a chore? How long after the birth did you have the shower? Any thoughts on post-birth showers welcome. curious

Hi, I had a ''post baby'' baby shower with my second baby. It was definitely better than if we had tried to do it before the baby was born. We decided to keep the sex of the baby a surprise so although we already had baby items from our daughter, we didn't know what we might need for a second ''unknown'' baby. We ended up having a son so it was wonderful to get boy baby clothes which we did not have (he spent his first night home from the hospital in a pink blanket!). My wonderful friend did all the shower arrangements at my home so I didn't have to do anything or go anywhere with a newborn. It was about a month after he was born. We had lots of family and friends, everyone got to see the baby - definitely a good call. I think a ''post'' baby shower is a great idea no matter whether it's your first, second or whatever. You always realize the things you Really needed after the baby comes anyway! Good luck, Kristie
I think a baby shower ANYTIME is a reason to celebrate, especially in your circumstance. However, I would check with your baby's pediatrician (or ask your OB/GYN if you don't have a pediatrician yet) what the guidelines are for exposing your newborn to a large group of people--you might have to wait a few weeks until the baby's immune system is stronger. And if you can have a friend or family member help you with the party, that would definitely be a great help. But I would think people would be delighted to come and shower gifts upon you, before OR after the birth (and as an added bonus they get to meet the baby!) Congrats, & have fun!
Wow. What a great idea. I would suggest that you give over the planning to a dear friend or relative. You will be very tired and maybe not up for the 'games' but seeing everyone and having a short intimate party would probably be great and everyone will be very excited to see your new one. Any time after the birth would probably be great, but do allow some time for post partum recovery. liz

How Do I Organize a Babyshower?

May 2004

I am throwing a babyshower for my friend, but I have no idea how to do it. What kind of food should I serve? Just cookies, or real food like chicken, etc.? Should I organize games? If yes, what kind of games? Should I get prizes for the ones who win the games? How long is the shower suppose to last? What about decoration? Where can I get the cheapest things that I would need for this? How long in advance should I start planning? Who should I invite? Is it really just for girls? Planning a Babyshower

How big will this shower be? Is it a surprise? If it's not a surprise, get a list from the honored guest of who she would like to invite. Call or send invites to all these people with time, place, date adn rsvp number. (Be sure the place is a compatable size for the amount of people.) If the mom/parents to be are registered somewhere for gifts you can tell people that when they call to ask about gifts. It's considered ''gauche'' to write that in the invitation. So....also have a list of needed items and equipment. You can provide food, or ask specific people to bring things. Is it an afternoon shower? then you can do finger food. Is it lunch? Salads, stuff for sandwiches, Brunch? Bagels, fruit, pastries. I've put on a few showers and they are basically social gatherings. No games, just good company, eating and opening presents. Will other kids/babies be there? Have activities for them...crayons, paper, puzzles, or a few good videos in another room. Men are often invited to showers...I think more often these days than used to be. Decorations....Colored or baby theme napkins, plates etc. are always a nice touch and a few balloons. You don't have to go all out. You can also ask other good friends of the parents to be to help with purchasing decorations adn setting up. People are usually happy and wanting to help. Good luck, and have fun. Some people are really good at organizing this kind of stuff. I love it. If my husband had to do it, it would not be a happening thing!! organized mom
I'm not opposed to all-women's showers, but I prefer the message a coed shower sends. Dads are so often ignored in baby preparations and discussions of childrearing (for example, ''Parenting'' magazine actually refers to itself as being a resource for moms, as if dads aren't parents, too!). Expectant and new fathers are going through a big transition, too, and I hate the implication that only moms would care about preparing for the baby. It is possible to organize a party that celebrates both parents and isn't overly girly and gushy. That way the men will feel like they are wanted at the party and valued as parents. As for the other details, parties vary tremendously. A short party (90 minutes?) in the afternoon might require only a little snack food and a cake, for example, while a lunchtime or dinnertime party would be more elaborate. It also doesn't take tons of decorations to make it clear that this is a shower. Party stores (I think we used Party Warehouse in El Cerrito, though there are plenty of others) will have stork/baby/ teddybear decorations. If you think it would help, check out a book or two from the library on throwing showers. They'll have tips on games, themes, organization, etc. But really, the main thing is just to bring people together to help support the new parents. Enjoy! pro-dad mom
I have thrown several showers,had 3 showers thrown for me when I was pregnant and have attended many showers. There are many kinds of showers! The most conventional shower is usually for women only, has games and prizes and pastel decorations, and quaint little foods, like cucumber sandwiches. I suggest starting by asking your friend what she'd like. I've thrown really low-key night-time, coed, potluck showers that were great. I've also thrown afternoon, girls-only showers that were more of a production. Some people hate games; your friend will probably have an opinion about this. I had one shower with games and two without and both were equally fun! Generally, food can be a few salads (fruit salad, pasta salad), little sandwiches (white bread with various fillings like egg salad, tuna salad, cream cheese/cucumbers, ham & cheese and cut the crusts off and cut into little squares), a cake and cookies. Or you can have a brunch shower with egg casseroles, bagels and cream cheeses, etc. Most showers are 2-3 hours long, in my experience. Often a mom will have two showers -- one for family and one for friends. Games are too numerous to mention but prizes can be little trinkets like candles, bath soaps, journals. You can get great shower decorations at any party decoration store, but they can be as simple as streamers and hand-made signs. Try to send out invitations at least a month in advance, especially during the spring/summer months. There are tons of websites with baby shower info. Here's one: If you're throwing your friend's ''main'' baby shower, make sure you let the guests know where she is registered or what she needs. Anyway, it can be a lot of work, but lots of fun, too! I suggest you try to recruit people to help and to defray the cost, which can be considerable. Have fun! anon Shower veteran
HI! I'm not a big baby shower fan (but they made me have one anyway) and this is something I thought was fun and a break from the usual games: Buy onesies in various sizes, wash them and then at the shower give every guest one and supply them with fabric markers and let them make a unique shirt for the baby. It's lots of fun for guests and mom gets to take home the fun shirts for the baby. (oh, and cut some cardboard to fit inside the shirts so the markers don't run through) I've been to 2 recent showers and they were both quite informal, and simply had finger food laid out on the table when everyone arrived, beverages available and then a cake later on. The type of food depends on the time of day, mealtime or not. kristin
There really is no right or wrong way to host a baby shower. I think brunches are traditional, but you could do an afternoon tea or a bbq for expecting mom and dad. I'd start with the mom- to-be and find out what she'd like -- keeping in mind your budget and space limitations. I'd also check out -- they have a section on baby shower ideas. You can find invitations and decorations just about anywhere. When I've hosted babyshowers, I've always just had a beautiful bouquet of flowers -- no cut-out storks or anything. I'm also not a fan of games, but have found decorating onesies to be a really fun activiity that brings the group together. Get a bunch of plain white onesies in a variety of sizes - enough for each guest to do at least one -- and a bunch of fabric markers. It also helps to have pieces of cardboard to insert into the onesie. Each guest creates a special, one-of-a-kind onesie for the baby. It's a great activity and an extra treat for mom!
There really are no hard & fast rules for babyshowers. Remember it's just a party for your friend. The best approach is to ask her what she'd like to do. People often have really strong feelings about games v. no games, for example. Let her make the guest list (including whether men should be invited), maybe along with you if you have a lot of mutual friends. The best parties are those where the guests feel comfortable and get along well together. Usually babyshowers do include some sort of food, dictated by the time of day. If you don't like to cook, schedule it for mid afternoon when snacks and drinks will be sufficient. You could also go to a restaurant or tea shop if cost is not an issue. Leslie
Hi, I've thrown several showers in the last few years, and here's my advice. Food: cute little things are good--egg salad sandwiches, cut into quarters, mini-quiches, baby carrots & tomatoes with a dip, little cookies, etc. Think mini. Or...yes, you can just do desserty type things, along with fizzy waters, tea, etc. (Be sure to have food/drink the mom-to-be is allowed; I wouldn't serve alcohol.) Games are great. There are bunch of great ideas on line--just do a search on ''baby shower games''. A popular one I always do is go buy a regular baby bottle and a big bag of M's--count them out, and fill up the bottle--you can use all the colors, or pick and choose. I layered them in a rainbow pattern once. When full, write the number of M's on a piece of paper, fold, and stick to the bottom. People need to guess, and whoever comes closest wins the bottle & candy. Games like that, set up on a table, are easiest for larger parties (15+)--people can do it at their leisure. Others, that require group participation are best for smaller groups (5-10 or so). One I do is put a baby item (pacifier, bootie, baby nail clippers--just buy a bunch of things) in brown paper bags, staple together, number them, and have people feel them, and guess what's inside. (They write their names and guesses on pieces of paper). Prizes--YES! I've used little boxes of stationery (Long's has a nice selection, at less than $5 each) for all-women showers, and gift cards for $5 or so at Peet's, Starbuck's, Jamba Juice, Toys R Us...for mixed parties. People are psyched! Our showers last 2-4 hours, depending on who's there. Decorations: go to a party supply store; there's a good one in the Pinole shopping center, near Toys R Us, and a couple on San Pablo in Berkeley and El Cerrito. I would send out invites 2-3 weeks ahead. Consult with the mom to be about the guest list--this is HER party; she should decide who she wants there (I wanted my husband & other male friends at mine; some people prefer girls only). Good luck!!! It'll be great. Don't forget the camera! Heidi

Baby Shower Registry?

March 2004

I'm having my first baby in July, a boy, and am starting to think about registering. I'm into groovy natural things, but want to give people who are kind enough to give us presents an accessible registry. I know about babies r us through amazon, but does any one have any other suggestions for good places, preferably with a web site? thanks! soon to be mama

Target is a good place to register for all the basic stuff you'll need. Pottery Barn Kids has lots of cute kids stuff. Both have websites.
I registered last year with Baby World which has three locations in Oakland (Piedmont Ave., College Ave and now Telegraph). They carry tons of great stuff, including more natural things than a place like Babies R Us. They will put your registry on a website (, I think) as well as fax your list to anyone who calls and requests. I like patronizing a small business, but I did notice some people used my registry to shop at stores like Target to save a few bucks on the more generic items. Elizabeth
I registered at Not quite as practical as amazon, but hey that's what gifts are all about! jar
I really like; it's a little pricey and yuppy-ish, but if you sift through it there are nice things, and if you're looking for a registry then it's not so terribly pricey. I especially like their ''Our Softest...'' line of clothing--hats, onesies, sleepers, etc. that are soft cotton, and plain and cute. And they have all the basics--baby bjorns, slings, co-sleepers and cribs, toys. anon
The Nurture Center in Lafayette has a baby registry that might meet your needs. It is both online and in-store, and the online portion is partnered with Felicite (, which allows you to select registry items from other stores as well. A unique feature of Felicite is that your gift givers can contribute to a large purchase, such as a glider or co-sleeper. You can set up an online registry through Felicite or The Nurture Center ( The Nurture Center has natural-oriented products such as breastfeeding supplies, nursing wear, and slings, so hopefully you can find some products that would suit you. Good luck! sherry
Check out They have a registry, carry alot of useful and natural items and while you're there, sign up to receive their catalog too! Have fun and congrats!
I thought Lullaby Lane was really good and they have a website and toll free number so it is easily accessible for everyone across the country. They are all and are located in San Bruno. new mom
Hi, I registered at a site called and it connected to a bunch of organic cotton, etc. sites. My friends seemed to have no trouble getting stuff to me. Also you could look at, they have a registry there. I believe it's connected with wishworld as well. Good luck with your pregnancy and happy organic shopping to you! Annie

Baby shower for baby #2

Feb 2003

what are people's experiences with baby showers for second children? I just found out that my second child (due in June) will be a boy; I already have a 2 1/2 year old girl. My dear friend offered to throw me a ''boy clothes'' shower. Obviously I do not need anything *but* boy clothes, but I wonder if it is unseemly to have a second shower? Has anyone had one, or been to one? If it makes any difference this second shower would have some overlapping guests with the first, but would also include new friends. Thanks! Christine

My sister, mom, and a few close friends threw a baby shower for my 2nd (a boy this time), and it was really fun. I had new friends whom I had met in my circle of parents after having my daughter, and then also my really close friends. We got so many wonderful boy clothes. I too had wondered if it was okay to have a shower, but a couple of friends said, ''it's a brand new life coming into the world...every child should have a shower.'' Congratulations! angela
I am expecting my 2nd too, along with several friends, so this topic has definitely come up for me. In the past, I always thought that it would be tacky to have a shower for a 2nd baby. However, so many of my friends have asked me if I would like one. When I said I preferred just a ''no-gift'' lunch or get-together, they said, no way--people always bring gifts and the few who follow the rules and don't feel like oafs. This sounded true enough. I have been to a couple 2nd baby showers and the only one that seemed unseemly had ''Registered at Babies R Us'' on the invitation. Otherwise, I agree that all expectant mamas deserve a party!

I think your idea to designate boy clothes as gifts is a great one. There are so many places to buy inexpensive things, this shouldn't be a burden for those who attended your first shower. I would suggest your host slip a note in the invitation stating something like ''Christine feels like she has most everything she needs for the new baby. Since it is a boy, gifts of clothing would be especially helpful and appreciated.'' Your old and new friends alike will be happy to bring something needed and useful. Congratulations! Elizabeth

I think it's a great idea to have a shower for baby #2, I would even be delighted to attend a pal's shower for baby #3, 4, & 5! in my opinion these parties are not only about helping a new family aquire the bric a brac needed for infant care but also a fun way for a circle of friends to celebrate each child. gael
I'm not sure why, but 2nd baby showers annoy me. I tend to give a gift anyway for second, third and all new babies. So I guess it is that baby showers in general annoy me, but for new moms I will put up with it and for second time moms I get annoyed. annon
I was in the same quandry last year, and I was having my second boy. My sister-in-law wanted to throw me a shower for my second, but when I told my mom she sounded horrified. I asked around, and came to the conclusion that the shower was for the baby, not me, so it didn't matter how many babies I had had, it was to welcome the new one. That being said, I did invite fewer people the second time around... real family intimates, as opposed to all the obligatory invitees from the first round... people who would have given him a gift anyway. While we were trying to figure out what the right thing to do would be we came across one alternate suggestion you might like, have a party to welcome the baby home after she is born. Regardless, feel free to celebrate the new baby, after all she will only be born once. mom of two
Well, I had showers thrown for me for the second baby, and I have thrown them for other people, so I obviously don't think it's unseemly. Heck, they were fun, and it seems to me that the birth of any child should be a cause for celebration. Go ahead and enjoy yourself. Wendy
We had two baby showers for baby #2, one given by friends and one by my work. Like you, I felt a bit uncomfortable because these same people had been so generous with our first baby. But I think the showers were really a celebration of the little one to come, and, since with the second pregnancy you're often not as focused on the pregnancy itself, it was a welcome moment to focus on this child. So, gifts were not as elaborate the second time around but the parties were very fun....and I think it would be quite appropriate to ask specifically for what you need. My friends and co-workers asked me, and that's what we got. I also went to another shower for a second baby where they collected money for gifts and gave the mom a baby catalog and asked her to pick things from it. That worked well too. suzanne