Baby Showers? No! Baby Parties? Hell yeah!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in My Pregnancy, Pregnancy Q of the week

 

I’ve had a few people ask me about my baby shower, so I thought I’d tell you my stance on them.

I am not crazy about baby showers. I think they can be boring and lame. And yes, you get gifts and stuff, but honestly, all the people who care about us and Alexis, know we’re registered on Amazon and would get/have gotten us a gift anyways. And I’m not concerned about missing out on a few cheap onesies. What I am concerned about, however, is having a good time with my friends and family while celebrating this new life. It seems silly to gather up all the girls BEFORE you have the baby to celebrate said baby. And what about the boys, too? I have guyfriends who I would love to share this celebration with. So pretty much from the very beginning, I was determined NOT to have a baby shower, but to have a baby party, instead. One that would be co-ed, that would be fun, and not about opening gifts and playing silly games. And more importantly one that would happen AFTER Alexis arrives, because the celebration is in HER honor. That way all my friends and extended family can meet her, rather than fly down just to sit there and look at my big belly with a big smile.

That being said, if you still live in the same place you grew up in, with your whole family and all  your friends right by your side, sure – have a girls- only baby shower, if that’s what you want. But when half of your friends and family have to fly down to attend that baby shower, I feel it’s more appropriate to have them make that trip to see something other than my cute belly.

{photo from our last All White New Year’s party}

Oh and let’s not forget the selfish aspect of it all, I WANT TO ENJOY IT TOO. And I will only be able to fully enjoy the food and the company, if I am feeling well and fit and beautiful, rather than heartburny, tired and big.  So there you have it. No baby shower while pregnant, but YES to a big baby party once Alexis is here.

Question for you : When would be the safest time for Alexis ( from the germ exposure and immune system standpoint) to have that baby party? I don’t want to wait till she’s 6 months old, but I am not sure if it’s safe for her to have that many visitors before? Thoughts?

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Comments (40)

  • Lindsey

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    Sometime in the spring would be okay I think, especially since you live in FL. Maybe April? I think based on what I recall your EDD being she would be about 3 months old then.

    Reply

  • Em

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    I had one because mostly of our friends live close to us. So this were a way to celebrate our baby. BUT if I had thought of this idea before,I would FOR SURE have this “after baby party”. Its completely fun to have all that girlfriends there and play that silly games,but as you said its so awful being that big and have the heartburning all over you.
    Anyway,my idea for you is to have a baby party when she’s 3-4 months It wouldn’t had pass so much time and she’s has grown a bit.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I think if ALL my friends and family were here, I’d be ok with one for their sake. But I still would probably want to do one after. To show off the baby to everyone and enjoy myself!

      Reply

  • Michelle

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    As much as I love playing all those tacky baby shower games at other people’s showers, I have to agree with you about the baby party! Being so sick when I was pregnant, I had to listen to everyone at my shower tell me how awful I looked LOL! I would have much preferred to have a party after Charlotte was born so everyone could meet her and when I was feeling better so I could enjoy myself too!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Aaaww I can’t believe they told you you looked awful. I’d definitely blow the shower off if I was really sick. But even not being sick, you still don’t feel like yourself during pregnancy.

      Reply

  • Katie

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    I love the idea of a baby party! So awesome! I’m not really sure about the timing, but I would wait at least a couple of months. Fortunately, she will have a nice little immunity building up from breastfeeding, which will help! :)

    Reply

  • MeganB.B.

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    Many cultures observe the 40 day rule. I think that’s fairly acceptable as well. After a month, your baby will be putting on weight, you will have an established routine (not schedule- ha, funny thought of a “schedule”)

    Here’s some info on it, but like I said, where I lived in Michigan there was a huge Lebanese culture there, and they all wouldn’t leave the house with the baby until after the 40 day rule.

    http://community.babycenter.com/post/a9021035/40_day_rule

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      That’s funny because I believe it’s also a Russian tradition. 40 days for newborns and 40 days for funerals. Obviously, I won’t be following it, but it’s probably a good guideline to go by. Thanks for reminding me of it!

      Reply

  • VernaStephenson

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    I wouldn’t do it before 3 months myself. Sounds like fun though!! Plus everyone gets to meet Alexis, what could be better!

    Reply

  • liz

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    My pediatrician recommended 2 months or so, if you are feeling more worried you could wait until 12 weeks, their immune systems are better and if they do get sick they won’t have to get a spinal tap. But ask your pediatrician what they recommend everyone is different

    Reply

  • christinashearin

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    I absolutely HATE shower games. I specifically told anyone who would listen (since I didn’t know who was planning my bridal shower), that I did not want a single game. I wanted to be about having fun! So I totally think your idea about an after baby party sounds great. I was always told two or three months, personally I would wait till after cold and flu season is over, so spring sounds about right.

    Reply

  • Grace

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    Sounds such a fun idea! I would wait maybe 3-4 months, like the other commentators suggest because of 1. her immune system (my doctor said 8 weeks before my baby could go out in public); 2. your appearance (at 2 months out I was still 15 pounds overweight; I didn’t lose all the weight until about 4 months out); 3. her cuteness level (little babies aren’t very cute except to their parents. By 3 or 4 months, she will be smiling and darling.)

    Also, I would get a designated baby watcher for the party so that you can relax and enjoy yourself. Otherwise, you will be busy the whole time with baby care and won’t have time to eat, etc. I went to a big party with my six month old and it wasn’t very fun (I wrote about it here: http://opinionationblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/us-trip-day-9.html).

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      These are really helpful- thank you. I will have my mom here till April (my DD is end of January), so I was planning on having her help us take care of the baby at the party. I’m not worried about extra weight since on my tall frame extra 10- 15 lb doesn’t look miserable with the right choice of outfit (some people actually prefer me that way). I’ll just be happy to not have a huge belly with 4-5 pounds inside lol
      So I’ve got those two things covered. Totally agree and understand the whole cute baby thing, and immunity thing, so 3 months sounds like my best bet.

      Reply

  • Amanda

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    Three months should be perfect, not only for her health but for you too! I know that around 3 months the whole thing got so much easier for me. A lot of people refer to the first 12 weeks as the Fourth Trimester. It was really challenging for me.Good luck and have fun planning!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Yes! I have read about the fourth trimester and it makes total sense! Good to know that by then you start feeling more or less normal too

      Reply

  • Kristin

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    We call that a “Sip and See” in the South. I love that idea, you should definitely be able to enjoy it too!

    Reply

  • Julie

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    I felt exactly the same way about baby showers when I was pregnant but ended up having THREE of them. Yikes. My mom and mother-in-law both had one and so did my closest girl friends. They were all really late in my pregnancy and the family ones were kind of stressful for me.

    But I have to say, the one my friends threw was beautiful and really empowering. There were only eight of us and we made wishes on nice papers that now hang on a branch above my daughter’s crib. She loves seeing them move in the breeze and I love that all the women who love me also took the time to do something loving for my daughter. We also had a wrist binding ceremony and we all wore the string around our wrists until after Lucia was born. Knowing that I was bound to those women, some of whom had given birth, some who hope to some day, really made me feel connected and supported and strong when I was giving birth.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh wow! I gotta say that shower you described is awesome. That’s what it should be like. You must have a very special creative friend who did this for you!

      Reply

      • Julie

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        Thanks! The wrist binding made for some really gorgeous photos…which might be right up your alley!

        I should add, the thing I learned from the family showers is that it isn’t all about me. All of those women loved me. They threw me showers because I was giving birth to their grandchild and they really wanted to be a part of it. I think it felt strange to me because current generations of women in the US aren’t used to the same feelings of ‘community’ that our parents felt. You, I, your readers – we’re all online but my mother and mother-in-law and aunts and cousins wouldn’t have felt satisfied with just shipping a gift from my registry. That’s not what the shower is about for them and they would have felt shut out.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Yes, I see that and it’s beautiful! While I love being connected to people all over the world, I do wish sometimes that my whole extended family and Andrew’s family and all my friends were right here next to me. My friends and I often dream about how cool it’d be to live close to each other. And while I do have quite a few local friends, we don’t have ANYONE here family-wise :(

          Reply

  • ElenaTroupp

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    Having read all the comments above I second the idea of having the baby party when Alexis is around 3 months old :)
    With your mom being there and watching her you’ll totally be able to fully enjoy the party and all the attention!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      How awesome would it be to have you here? But I know you’ll be busy with “something that’s equally as important” :)))))

      Reply

  • Jamie

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    I’m going to be the opposite and say I was more relaxed at my baby shower with some aches and heartburn when I didn’t have to entertain guests on a few hours’ broken sleep and a baby that wanted to nurse every hour or so. :) All depends on your little one.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I see that too. Since I don’t know how it’s gonna be with a baby, it seems to me that I feel worse now. Also what will help is my mom will be here, do she’ll be able to help me feed her (I’d pump beforehand) and put her to sleep after a bit.

      Reply

  • Rachel

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    I think waiting until she is 3 or 4 months is appropriate for several reasons. First off, if she is high needs and only wants mommy, this will give you some time to really get into the swing of things. Plus, you might have a constant nurser or you might have over production which could lead to spraying all of your guests! :)

    And they smile as that age! Maybe I’m on the private side, but we only allowed a few people to come over the first few months. Doing too much results in an overwhelmed mommy!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Ahahaha that’d would be very funny if I were to milk spray my guests :)
      And something tells me we’ll have a high needs baby :)

      Reply

      • Rachel

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        High needs = strong bond!!

        It is quite amazing how far your milk can spray! My boy would never happily take a bottle and wasn’t interested in solids until closer to 12 months. I produced a LOT of milk and needed pads until he was 15 months. I only just found your blog but I was curious what your nursing goals are. I’ve always had a 2 year (minimum) goal. It was frustrating to explain why this isn’t weird to DHs family. :-/

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Yes, I am not afraid of high needs, because I know those babies grow up to be very smart and determined.
          I’ve been leaking since 28 weeks, I know my mom had A LOT of milk. My personal goal is 2 years. I know I won’t be stopping after she is 1 just because some people think it’s embarrassing or weird to have a toddler nurse ( i think it’s beautiful). But at the same time I also realize I don’t know how things are going to be for me and Alexis, so I’m keeping my eyes open. If she want to wean off sooner than that or if I find breastfeeding harder than I can handle ( i doubt it, but who knows), I’ll reassess everything.

          Sorry about DH’s family. I can’t believe how many people disapprove of things that are clearly better for the baby.

          Reply

          • Rachel

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            My son is 18 months and it is very amazing to nurse a toddler- especially in public! Everyone thinks of silly movies, but their head honestly covers everything. I’ve never been concerned about what others thought, but if they are nursing, there is no nipple to be seen! I don’t know why everyone complains.

            When his emotions goes crazy or he is teething, a little “mam-mam” as he calls it is a fantastic cure. Sleeping together has been a huge help from day 1. My mom helped me master the side lying position in bed and we lived happily ever after!

            DS was very high needs and he is turning into the sweetest, most empathetic kiddo ever! Glad your mom will be there to help and that you are realistic about normal newborn behavior!!

            Reply

  • Joy

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    My Mom is planning a Baby party 1 month after the baby is born. This is consistent with the Chinese tradition of allowing the Mom and Baby to heal and settled before having lots of visitors. The best part is, once folks know they’ll get to meet the new little one soon, they will stop bothering you to come “drop by”. I’m definitely not into entertaining while still feeling tired and sleep deprived during the first few weeks!

    Reply

      • Rachel

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        I had a friend stop talking to me when I wouldnt let her come over the first week! Lol

        Reply

  • Sasha

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    Well, to tell you the truth we had visitors right away – close family and friends only. It was easy that way because during the first two weeks newborns sleep all the time, so we had sooo much time for everything and everyone. I thought this baby thing is so easy. And then it started :).
    I didnt have a baby shower either. I guess it’s just not in our culture.

    Reply

  • my honest answer

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    ‘fit and beautiful’ might not come for a little while post partum. Tired and sore usually comes first. I sometimes think your expectations are a little high!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Fit and beautiful compared to what I feel like right now. Even if I don’t lose a single pound besides baby and placenta weight after birth, I’ll still look fine. As far as expectations, I am keeping an open mind, I like to plan and think about things, but I adjust everything pretty fast and easily when I get there.

      Reply

  • TJack

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    We plan on having a 100 day celebration! It is basically a party celebrating the babies first 100 days. My husband is Korean and in Asian cultures a long time ago they didn’t officially report a baby to the government until they were 100 days old due to high rates of infant mortality due to sickness. Now though it is more of a party.

    Here is a link to one: http://thegambles.wordpress.com/tag/korean-tradition/

    You also officially tell everyone the babies name and they dress the baby up in really cute cultural attire. It might be really cute for little Alexis to wear a traditional Russian outfit during your baby party.

    Reply

  • NataliaDeymonaz

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    Sounds like fun! I agree with others and think that after 3 months is a good time. I personally was comfortable with “public appearances” when my baby was 4 months (she was born in swine flu season, so I was scared). Truthfully, I think baby showers are boring for everyone but mommy-to-be who gets to open all the presents. lol

    Reply

  • Corinne

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    I’m curious; did you ever end up having a big baby party like you wanted?

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      No :(. Lexi was a tough newborn with the way she slept so we were in survival mode for many months.
      What’s interesting is that if we ever have another one, I don’t want to do a baby shower or a baby party. Just too much. 1st birthday was enough planning for me to just throw all my energy in that.

      Reply

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