Party Planning: Baby Shower!
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Party Planning: Personal Party Directory, Baby Shower!
"In the United States, a baby shower is a well known tradition and a popular way to celebrate the future birth of a child. Parents receive gifts for their newborn or expected child. The party is intended to help parents get items that they need for their baby, such as baby clothes.

The term "shower" is often assumed to mean that the guests "shower" the expectant mother with gifts; this is a false etymology. The tradition started by a German immigrant, Franz Schauer, in the 18th century. Schauer was a German silversmith and merchant who encouraged gift-giving among the upper-classes of New York."

Traditions and trends
"Traditionally, a baby shower is held only for the mother-to-be and only women attend. However, recently men are also starting to participate in a couple's baby shower, although the original intent was for women to share wisdom and lessons on the art of becoming a mother."

"Many people choose to have baby showers for both parents, and some people have a men-only shower. In Jewish tradition and Ethiopian tradition since long ago, a celebration and gift reception is held only after the birth of a child. Though some American Jews may be the exception regarding this tradition."

"In countries like UK, France and other European countries, baby showers are a new phenomenon, recently imported from the United States. Malika Dalamal, a fashion writer for The Daily Telegraph, notes that a few UK businesses are now starting to respond to this opportunity. In some countries some shops provide Newborn Lists, where the parents select the gifts that they need for the baby, to avoid duplicate or unnecessary presents."

"Baby showers are increasingly popular in Africa, Asia and Latin America, but are "women-only" social gatherings. In Hindu tradition, they are called by different names depending on the community the family belongs to. In the North Indian region its known as Godbharaai; then within the western region ,especially Maharashtra state this celebration is know as Dohaaljewan. These two types of celebrations are very similar to each other and are 'only women' events. There is music played, the expecting mother is decked in traditional attire with lots of flowers and garlands made of Jasmine or Mogra. A swing is decorated with flowers of her choice which she uses to sit and swing. At times there are symbolic cut-outs of Moons and Stars that are put up. There are blessings showered on her by the elderly ladies from the household and community.There are gifts given to the expecting mother. It is a very affection and fun filled event for most of the expecting mothers since they are on the threshold of motherhood and entering a new life."

"Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family's first child, but over time, it has become more common to hold them for subsequent or adopted children. Even when a shower is held for only the first child, it is not uncommon for a parent to have more than one baby shower, such as one with friends and another with co-workers."

"While there are no established guidelines for what constitutes a baby shower, there are some traditional activities that are common at baby showers. Traditionally, the shower is given for the expected parent(s) by someone else as opposed to the parent(s) hosting it. Usually, the mother's maid of honour, or bridesmaids at her wedding, hosts this final event into motherhood for their bride. There are favours, gifts, and games all coordinated by the host(s). Invitations are sent out, by the organizers, on behalf of the Mother/Parents, just like at a traditional bridal shower. Because the party centres on gift-giving, the baby shower is generally arranged by a close friend. There is no set rule for when or where showers are to be held and the party can thus be held at a variety of places and at various times. It is common for the host to provide baby-themed games during the shower. In some regions, it is common to give party favours, small gifts for the guests. Baby showers, like bridal showers and bachelorette parties, are more open to new ideas, concepts, themes, games, and changes in etiquette. For instance, once it was unacceptable in America for guests to rub the expectant mother's abdomen. Beginning in the 1970s, however, if permitted by the mother and if asked politely, "tummy-rubbing" is now a baby shower event."

"There is great variance in practices and themes of baby showers. Some people prefer to hold showers after the birth of the baby. Some believe that giving gifts before the baby is born can bring bad luck. Others believe that the concept of celebrating a coming child is a private family event or does not mandate a party at all."
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Some classic activities at baby showers include:
Baby shower bingo.
Guess the birth date or guess the sex.
Guess the expectant mother's girth: guests cut pieces of ribbon, yarn, or toilet paper to a length they believe matches the mother-to-be's tummy circumference. Another similar game is tying a string around her abdomen, and if it breaks for one person, it's expected she or he's the next new parent.
Guess the baby food flavour: guests have to taste-test several flavours of baby food and try to identify them.
Other games include a diaper throw game, and the diapers have candies or chocolates.
Opening the gifts in front of the guests.
Serving cake, though any type of food or beverage might be served.
Pass the package

"In cultures where the baby shower is done before the birth of the baby, there may be a tendency of the baby shower being less focused on the baby and more on the mother and preparation of the mother for the new baby."

"Some pregnant mothers share 3D ultrasound pictures of their unborn baby at the baby shower as a way to "include the baby" in the baby shower."
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Terms
Grandma's shower refers to a shower at which people bring items for the grandparents to keep at their house, such as a collapsible crib and a changing pad.

Diaper shower refers to a small-scale baby shower, generally for subsequent children, when the parents don't need as many items.

Where can I buy party supplies?
It's Party Time! - Every Holiday deserves a party right?!  So get ready for your next party by shopping for the latest supplies to make your holiday a real hit. You'll find fun stuff for children and adults.


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See also:
Invitations for Baby Shower: Internet Greetings

Resources:  This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article babyshower / and other related pages. Top Photo:
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