One of the most talked about pregnancies at the moment is that of The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, who’s supposed due date is in late April/early May. In February, she flew to New York to attend a baby shower with her Mother and some of her closest friends. The baby shower is an event that is quickly becoming more popular around the world as previously it has only really been a big thing in the US.
‘Baby shower’ is somewhat of a new term but people have been celebrating births for much, much longer. The word ‘shower’ means that the mother to be is showered with gifts. Currently, a baby shower is held before the birth of a woman’s child and she invites her closest female friends and family members and they bring gifts to the shower as well as playing pregnancy themed games. As well as baby showers, gender reveal parties are becoming popular as well. However, all around the world there are many different variations of the baby shower, differences in when they happen and what they do at them.
In Ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece, the mother and the baby were celebrated and showered after the birth rather than before. In the 19th century, a baby shower was only thrown for the first child that a woman would have and if she was to have more, she either didn’t have one or had a ‘sprinkling’ which was smaller because she was given less gifts as she would’ve had hand me downs from her first child.
“With the consumer ideology of the 1950s and 1960s, the modern baby shower started during the baby boom era and served the function of providing the mother and her home with material goods.”
Through research I have found a wide range of different types of games that are played at people’s baby showers. For example: guess the baby food, guess the mother to be’s measurements, sloppy nappy relay (split into teams, blindfold everyone and run to change the nappy on a doll,) customising onesies and many more. I also found out about a game where the guests at a baby shower can pass around nappies that are full with melted chocolates of all different kinds and then they have to smell the chocolate to try to figure out the type that it is!
In the office we have been discussing and coming up with ideas of what we think would be good gifts to give to Meghan for her baby, and for a budget of 50:
- A tree that can be planted in your garden that would be for your baby and as your baby grows up, so would the tree
- Baby nail clippers
- Socks, baby grows and other soft clothing could be wrapped up and shaped into the shape of a cupcake
- My first year photograph album
- Handmade or knitted clothes, gloves, hats, etc
- Baby scan frame
- Wooden memory keepsake box
- Sensory night light
- Ewan the Dream Sheep – a toy that mimics the noise babies hear in the womb which will help with settling and calming them
What would you wear if you were invited to a friend's baby shower or if you are lucky enough to be invited to Meghan Markle's baby shower?