A baby shower is usually a lot of fun. There are very few disputes about that. The problem comes in who gets a baby shower. One of the most controversial questions in polite society is about the appropriateness of a shower for a second baby (or more).
Side One: No Second Showers
One camp is of the absolutely not variety. No matter what a baby shower is only for a first baby. These people tend to shun invitations to baby showers other than for a first child. Not only that but you may likely find that they are also only up for one time showers, not the showers of today where a one mother might have three, four or more showers for the same baby!
Side Two: Showers for Special Circumstances
Another faction in the baby shower debate believes also in showers only for first borns. That is unless you fall into a special category. These categories tend to be situational like, first baby of an opposite sex first baby with this partner, first in a long time (though how many years in between is hotly contested)… and the list goes on.
These exceptions don’t really prove the rule, but they do make for interesting guessing about who is “allowed” to have a baby shower when.
Side Three: Showers for Every Baby
Many people have lightened up on the issue saying that every baby deserves a party. More and more moms are having showers for babies other than their first, even when they don’t fit any certain category. Though the showers they throw may not be typical at all and this might be the key to bridging the gap and making everyone feel welcome at the party.
Baby Shower Themes for Second Showers
Having a baby shower for every baby and making the guests feel like it's more about celebrating the baby and the mother and less of a present grab is a fine line to walk. One of the easiest ways to figure out how to do this is through the use of a baby shower theme. Many of these second baby showers have unique themes, including:
- Mom time: Shifting the focus to the mother instead of the baby can be helpful. In this shower situation, you have every guest brings a gift for mom instead of baby. This puts the focus on mom and the gifts on the less expensive side. Think a bottle of bubble bath versus a car seat.
- Books: This is a really popular option for a lot of reasons. Here you have every guest bring a book for the library of the new baby. Though you might wind up with duplicates, remember, so many books wind up as chew toys.
- Dinner Party: I don't know why more people don't choose this option, but here every guest brings something to be stored to eat when the new baby arrives, or a rain check on a meal. This is also easily set up as a meal delivery calendar for after the birth of the baby. You could also simply have a "preview" party and people bring a dish to share.
- Blessingway: A circle of women gathering to wish the mother-to-be well in her journey through birth. Gifts are rarely exchanged, though guests may be asked to bring a candle, a bead or something small to make a gift for the mother at the ceremony. There are a wide variety of activities that can be done.
There are those who oppose the showers in duplicate or for subsequent children because of the greed factor. This could be the key to the whole issue – greed. Is this why many babies are being denied parties, for fear that the celebration is all about greed?
While it’s always nice to have presents, the focus on baby showers is quickly becoming more about the life experience of having a baby. The gifts are those of time and thought than of cute baby booties to ooo and ahh over. In the end, the universal truth is that all babies deserve to be welcomed into the world with a celebration. Whether you call that celebration a baby shower, a blessingway, a welcoming or baby naming, it’s still a celebration of new life.