Baby showers are special events filled with excitement; first-time moms-to-be will be doted on and showered with the things they will need for their new little one. People love to buy little baby outfits and baby wash and swaddle blankets and swings. But after that first baby? Well, the guidelines for celebrating new babies get a bit fuzzier.
Is it kosher to have a baby shower for second (or third or fourth) babies?
I have a feeling that most etiquette experts would probably say no, but I believe that each and every pregnancy and baby deserves to be celebrated. It’s not about the gifts, but celebrating the creation of a human life! So here are a few fun alternative baby shower ideas for how you can do just that.
1. Host a girl’s night in.
Even though I am about to have my third baby, it’s still fun to get together with friends and celebrate the impending arrival of new life. That said, with No. 3, the occasion becomes far more low key, which is actually perfect.
Some friends are hosting a little wine and cookie night for me. It’ll be later in the evening (i.e. post-bedtime since most of us already have kids), and friends can bring booze (or something non-alcoholic) and/or their favorite cookies to share. We’ll hang out and chat about life and motherhood, and I can’t wait!
2. Have a “treat yo self” day.
I did this for a friend when she was pregnant with her second child. In lieu of a shower, we spent the entire day doing fun things that she wanted to do (sans kids). We went shopping, got pedicures, and indulged in the pregnancy craving she had been avoiding for the past nine months: Red Robin “clucks and fries”… and a milkshake! Some friends did something similar with me when I was pregnant with my second as well. We went and got blowouts and had our makeup done and then went to dinner and ate a fancy dessert. It was simple, but so fun for all of us!
When you’re a mama with one or more little ones already at home, a day all to yourself with a friend (or a few friends!) to just do little things you love is such a luxury. It is a great way to celebrate a mama-to-be, before she finds herself busy meeting the needs of a new baby.
3. Craft it up.
Some friends and I did this before the birth of my son. We had snacks and spent an evening crafting. I worked on things for my son’s nursery and everyone else brought whatever craft project they were currently working on. We had a chance to be creative and productive, while also having a fun time relaxing and chatting. It was the perfect, simple activity to bond over before Baby arrived.
4. Collect well wishes from friends.
In lieu of gifts, reach out to your tribe of friends and family and ask them to write well wishes and thoughts for the pregnant mama. She may not need as much advice after her first, but affirmations about what a good mama she is and encouraging quotes can be a beautiful way to make her feel loved. Have them all placed into a book for her — interspersed with photos of her and her loved ones — and it will surely be a gift she treasures for years to come.
5. Chip in for a practical group gift.
First babies get overly spoiled in the gift department, and by the time more babies come, it’s likely that families are well-stocked with most of the baby items they need. Instead of purchasing a new outfit or a pack of diapers, a group gift can be a great way to go.
Gather up friends and family to surprise the mama-to-be with a practical gift that wouldn’t typically be on a registry. A few ideas are: a deep house clean (I recently had one done and it was AMAZING!), gift cards for takeout at her favorite restaurants, a massage, or even a gift card to Amazon to help her purchase some things to spruce up Baby’s new nursery. Think about what your friend would most appreciate, and team up with a group to try and make it happen. Your friend will love it!
6. Go out for brunch.
Sometimes a mama-to-be who is pregnant with a subsequent baby actually does need a proper baby shower (i.e. one with baby gifts). Perhaps she is pregnant with multiples and her one set of hand-me-downs isn’t going to cut it, or perhaps she is pregnant with a boy after having a girl and all the pink clothes that come with it. Whatever the case, you can still keep things low-key by hosting a shower, but making it a brunch out at a local spot.
As sweet as baby shower décor and favors are, things are much more laid back the second (or third, or fourth … ) time around, and a brunch is perfect for all involved. The host doesn’t have to deal with clean up or crafting, and the mama-to-be will still feel special and loved.