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Baby Showers... are they the ultimate in pregnancy chic or pregnancy naffness?

(47 Posts)
Picante Thu 04-Jun-09 07:28:33

Am thinking about it. Don't want people to think they have to buy me something though, I just see it as an excuse for my friends to get together and eat!

BellaBear Thu 04-Jun-09 07:30:45

I'm planning one for a friend who says she doesn't want presents, so we are all bringing a voucher (say for a meal, or an hour's babysitting or somesuch little favour after the baby is born)

More an excuse for a getogether

Wilkiepedia Thu 04-Jun-09 07:36:02

Baby shower per se a bit naff IMO but a get together with good mates before beforehand with maybe a takeout etc is a great idea. I perosnally would ask for no presents then they can just get you something when LO arrives.

I find the whole 'baby shower' thing a bit american TBH.

ninedragons Thu 04-Jun-09 07:37:19

I had a sort of child-free last blast with my friends in the pub the day before DD was born (no booze for me, obviously), but didn't call it a baby shower because I didn't want people to bring gifts.

BellaBear Thu 04-Jun-09 07:38:05

having said that I went to one that was very american, with presents requested to come from a certain line from mothercare and the highlight of the evenign was watching my friend open all the presents while oohing and aahing. I didn't enjoy it, but she did.

Picante Thu 04-Jun-09 07:50:00

Ew no way I'd do that.

Picante Thu 04-Jun-09 09:03:00

Ok I've sent a tentative email round to close girly friends... any ideas for what to do?

oliverboliverbutt Thu 04-Jun-09 09:07:08

It IS american! Don't knock it til you've tried it. If it's for a good friend then you would be happy to bring her a gift for her baby and enjoy the day.
Usually you play silly games and eat lots of lovely food and just enjoy being together.
I can see why it might seem naff here, but if you are American (or just have a silly side) it can be a good get together.

I'll be having one, I want my UK friends to experience a proper American baby shower. It will also let me know which of my friends is a wet blanket!

Picante - look up baby shower games on google and you will find a whole array of silly things to do.

HensMum Thu 04-Jun-09 09:12:16

I had one. I don't think it's the done thing to organise your own - can be seen as a bit grasping. My SIL organised mine, after asking me what kind of thing I'd like and who to invite.

It was lovely. Really nice change to get all my friends and female relations together before the baby arrived. Everyone was asked to give a gift of their favourite childhood book which was fantastic. We had an excellent library before DS was even born! We had lots of tea and cake, and played "pin the dummy on the baby". Everyone had to guess the arrival date weight and sex of the baby, and do advice cards.

I can see how some people would find them a bit twee and tacky but I just thought it was a good excuse for a party and for everoyne to go a bit gooey about babies for a bit!

callalilies Thu 04-Jun-09 09:19:27

Bit naff in my opinion, and unless you make it very very clear you don't want presents, people will assume they have to buy you something. It's not the 'norm' in this country - people normally buy presents when baby comes instead ime so any implication they're expected to buy stuff before might get a bit of a hmm face.

If you want a get together with your friends and it's not involving present-gathering why call it a 'baby shower'? I'd just invite people round for a BBQ or whatever without reference to the baby.

I expect there will be lots of people along now to tell me how everyone they know has baby showers and I'm talking a load of nonsense... grin

MrsJamin Thu 04-Jun-09 09:20:22

I agree, they are fun and a lovely way for a pregnant lady to feel the support of friends before the birth and the baby arriving.
Gutted I can't be at yours Picante no chance of you changing the date?!

pippa251 Thu 04-Jun-09 09:20:26

I had one at 24 weeks and it was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy.

My best mates organised it and asked if they could throw me one- as I'm the first person out of our crowd to get pregnant they really wanted to celebrate it.
I besically had an open house for the day and served afternoon tea- lots of cakes etc. I really would reccomend throwing one before you buy loads of stuff as I got loads of things I wasn't expecting.

I had 2 sort of sittings- my mum and her mates (who were all pregnant at the same time and met at antenatal 26 years ago) came in the morning and then it was a bit of a younger affair in the afternoon.

We had a guest book that everyone could write messgaes in and I'm keeping it for the baby as a gift when she's older.

TheCrackFox Thu 04-Jun-09 09:33:35

I went to one quite recently (she wanted no presents but a lot brought pressies) and it was really quite nice.

Let's face it, once the baby is here, no one really notices the mother. Why not make a fuss of someone you care about?

Picante Fri 05-Jun-09 07:48:20

I think I'd have to organise it myself - everyone else has got such busy lives. Have sent email asking for no presents but maybe help with the food.

Will try to make it free of naffness - thanks for advice!

lastboxoftampons Fri 05-Jun-09 10:41:30

I'm American and have for the past year or so trying to get my head around why they're considered so tacky here in the UK. I think mostly it's because Brits tend to think it's something Americans do for themselves and it's seen as 'asking for presents'.

In the States, you don't ever throw your own shower - it's usually done by a close friend or family. People also don't tend to give presents after the baby is born like they do here either. Mostly it's a nice day with female friends and family and, please believe me, people do really enjoy "showering" the new mum with presents. I have been to countless and always love the shopping bit and then seeing the mum open the present. Everyone coos over all the gifts and there's lovely food, cake and games. That said I'm not sure the tradition will ever transcend the cultural divide, but I promise you they're not the evil onset of commercialism!!! smile

londonlottie Fri 05-Jun-09 11:22:37

Message withdrawn

lastboxoftampons Fri 05-Jun-09 11:31:39

Hi LL! smile congrats on your lovely news!!!

No they're done before, but pretty close to your due date - usually around 36 weeks or so. As someone else here said, it's also a great way to make a fuss over the mum - who tends to disappear into oblivion after the little one arrives! grin

MrsMattie Fri 05-Jun-09 11:36:12

You'll get all sorts of answers here.

Personally, I'd do what you feel inclined to do. I had one for my first pregnancy, at about 34 weeks preg. I was the first of my friends to have a baby and it was exciting. We went out to a nice restaurant for Sunday lunch, they bought small gifts for me or the baby (wasn't expected, but was lovely to receive them) and we had a bit of a bonding sesh, really. Everyone enjoyed it. No cheesy party games or over-Yankified stuff (sorry Yanks, but you know those Discovery H&H programmes always show American 'Moms' doing weird things with loo rolls and making big, long, weepy speeches to their unborn child....) grin

I like baby showers. They're lovely. Only for first babies, though. After that, nah.

skidoodle Fri 05-Jun-09 11:37:23

Picante you can't avoid naffness if you throw yourself a baby shower. The first rule of having an event based around the idea of soliticing presents (and that's what a "shower" is) is that it is a no no for them to be organised by you or a member of your immediate family.

Writing "no presents" on the invitation is naff btw, as is asking your guests to help you with the hosting by bringing/making/paying for food.

Even though showers are the height of grabby naffness, at least in the States they are pretty normal. Here they are not part of the culture, so it will just seem more weird that you are throwing yourself an American-style party that everyone knows is all about collecting presents (in this case for yourself hmm)

Galava Fri 05-Jun-09 11:40:10

I think its the having the party before the baby is born thats a but iffy.

Not my cuppa presonally.

Picante Fri 05-Jun-09 11:44:07

Oh dear I'm already naff then. sad

MirandaG Fri 05-Jun-09 11:51:38

Aside from the American-ness and the perception of it being present grabbing, to me it seems a bit like counting your chickens before they are hatched, which is why I would never do it, or organise one for anyone. I'd feel quite uncomfortable attending one for the same reason. Things do go wrong, so it seems a bit weird to me (and I would say to a lot of people on this side of the pond) to celebrate before the baby is actually here safe and sound... One of my friends had a tragic experience, so I may be biased.

lastboxoftampons Fri 05-Jun-09 11:52:35

Yes, MrsMattie - definitely only for first baby!!!

MrsJamin Fri 05-Jun-09 12:23:59

Why is it iffy? I don't get that point of view. I think it's very much to say 'we love you, will support you' and doing it before the baby lets the mum know that her friends are there primarily for her while she is going through a big change in her life.

Tamlin Fri 05-Jun-09 12:27:02

I think it is a bit tacky over here, to be honest. My DH is American, and over there, there's some tradition behind it (and everyone knows the rules such as never throwing the shower for yourself!) Over here, divorced of that background, it does seem like a gift-grab.

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