Welcoming a baby can be not only exciting, but nerve-inducing, for both the parent-to-be and their support system. So keep things simple yet joyful where you can, like with the baby shower — the lighthearted gathering where parents get prepared for their newest chapter. Every baby shower deserves to be flawless, just like the forthcoming bundle of joy it celebrates, and planning the ultimate party shouldn’t be a headache. Below you’ll find our tips on how to host (and attend) a perfect baby shower, but first, a touch of history to explore the thoughtful tradition of showering mothers-to-be with gifts.
Contrary to what one might think, baby showers were invented long before capitalism. Welcoming a child into a new family or community and extending one's best wishes has been practiced throughout history, cultures, and religions for thousands of years. The timeline, however, is obscure and entangled, but here are some of the checkpoints we found while searching for the truth on why we adopted this tradition.
The Origin of Baby Showers
In those times, women of a village or family would gather to give a new mother homemade gifts like blankets, knitted clothes, and extra cloth diapers, which she could use to care for her baby. Unlike modern baby showers, the new mom and baby were separated to ‘contain and eliminate the pollution of birth.’ Not much of this history is known, though, since female-oriented events were not considered important in that time.
Named a pregnancy ritual, in India, they would give new mothers dry fruits and sweets as gifts that help the baby grow. There was also music at the party to please the unborn baby’s ears as well as a variety of prayers for a happy delivery and motherhood.
Victorian manners considered pregnancy a taboo public topic, and sometimes, acquaintances would discover a woman was pregnant only when she stopped going out. After the baby was born, wealthy ladies would organize afternoon tea parties, with only ladies allowed to attend. Gifts to the new mother were generally handmade.
The baby shower, as we know it, began in the years following World War II. As record numbers of young people began starting new families and buying homes, the baby shower became a way to celebrate each new child's arrival. Similar to a birthday party, the baby shower became a way to celebrate a unique occasion among the new mother's family and friends. Baby shower favors, baby shower games, and baby shower cakes all became traditional necessities for the baby shower event. The typical guest list expanded as well, from a small circle of close family and friends to a wide selection of women (and later men) from the new mother's life. Nowadays, the baby shower might come in two different events—one for friends and family, and another for colleagues and acquaintances.
All in all, baby showers started by women as a way to voluntarily lend a helping hand to other women, who actually needed that. To support women further, we compiled a list of tips on how to host and attend a sweet and memorable baby shower.
5 Tips For a Perfect Baby Shower
Set a time limit
Socializing is exhausting, especially when one’s in their third pregnancy trimester. The baby shower rule of thumb is to make the gathering last three hours, max. If you’re the organizer, set a time limit on the shower, and the party will leave guests wanting more instead of covertly checking the time on their phones.
Make it co-ed
Hosting a baby shower doesn’t have to mean only including the ladies. Co-ed showers include fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and any other male loved ones in the celebration. This type of event is a fun and relaxed way for the expecting parents to spend time with their favorite people before their little one arrives. So don’t leave the dad out—it’s an exciting time for him as well, and the new mom will love his participation. If the party is for the ladies, have the men (dad, the grandpas-to-be, dad’s friends) make an appearance toward the end of the affair.
Keep the menu simple
Don’t host a brunch or lunchtime shower unless you’re planning a sit-down affair. Serve easy-to-eat nibbles so guests aren’t balancing their meals, cutlery, and drinks on their laps. If it’s a themed party, choose a menu that sticks with the theme or color palette. Some little touches you can incorporate: a rainbow-of-fruit display, a pregnancy-safe charcuterie board, an ice cream sandwich bar, an all-sweets buffet. Pregnancy also means no foods like soft cheeses, raw shellfish, pâté, or deli meat, and no alcohol, among others.
Don’t be afraid to censor
Whose family doesn’t love to tell horror stories as a form of support? The last thing you need to hear about at your baby shower is someone’s wisdom about their labor, which is better to discuss with the physician, and which the mom has surely already done a million times. You want the mom-to-be to feel encouraged and excited about the upcoming adventure with her new little one, so be ready to ban all TMI birth stories—at least, until the baby has arrived.
Serve NA drinks
When planning a baby shower, make sure to offer a variety of beverages that appeal to teetotalers and drinkers alike. With the mother-to-be's permission, you can of course choose to also serve alcohol, but still make sure that there are plenty of equally festive drinks for her to enjoy as well. For this occasion, we have a special offer—we made two baby shower bundles available in two sizes — the Ultimate Baby Shower Bundle and the Baby Bump Bundle — its smaller version for more intimate gatherings. Both are packed with a variety of sparkling crowd pleasers from Leitz and Domaine Dupont to the all-time favorite French Bloom, all of which will pair beautifully with snacks and desserts from the buffet. If you’re hosting or invited to the follow up version of this party called a sip-and-see party, held when the baby is born, these bundles are a perfectly giftable way to toast the baby, too.
We’re always grateful when you let us be part of such important and intimate milestones. Last month, we joined the stunning top model Jasmine Tookes for her baby shower. French Bloom Le Blanc and Le Rosé were pouring freely, and guests walked away with Boisson goody bags.
Send off guests with party favors
Speaking of goodies, whether you’re a host or the mom-to-be, at the end of the party, send your guests home with a party favor they’ll enjoy. Stick to classic baby-themed gifts, or opt for a more personalized shower favor like soaps, candles, or picture frames. Whatever you choose, the party favor should show appreciation for your guests’ attendance and contributions to the shower.