Alternative To A Baby Shower| Pregnancy Diaries

When a new baby is expected it’s customary to celebrate its arrival in some form or another.  In America the big trend is obviously hosting a baby shower before the baby is born.

It’s a trend that is becoming more popular on these shores as well.  It’s taken the British a while to succumb to the concept but succumb we have it appears.

But because it’s still a fairly modern event here, for some it still feels sort of awkward.

Myself included.

I find the concept of hosting a baby shower difficult, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love attending them.

In fact going for afternoon tea with a close friend to celebrate her impending arrival amongst a party of other ladies is actually quite a delightful experience.

So why when it comes to myself do I just feel anguished by the idea?

I can only assume it’s because as a person I’m not one that likes to be the centre of attention, and as I’d be the centre of everyone’s attention because the baby hasn’t made its appearance, it would put me in a position where I know I’d feel uncomfortable.

It’s the same reason I’d hate to have a huge wedding and probably the reason why I’ve always panicked at the thought of doing a speech in front of a room of people.

I’d feel the pressure that others would be looking to me to make everything fun and enjoyable.

Some people have that confidence and others don’t.  I’m the kind of person who’s happy to take a back seat.

But with a new baby, it’s selfish to think that others won’t want to celebrate.  After all a new baby joining the family is something that should be considered a major event that involves other people.

Baby sister won’t just be our baby.  She’ll have grandparents, she’ll have aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents, my closest friends will want to celebrate her, Mr London Mum’s closest friends will want to as well.

But instead of a baby shower, I prefer the idea of having a ‘welcome to the world‘ party.  A concept I didn’t consider until a friend of mine had her baby about a year ago and that’s how she celebrated his arrival.

For me it made sense.  And as a concept it felt less awkward.

The star of the show is the baby- which it should be.  As long as she makes an appearance whether that’s asleep or not people will be happy because that’s ultimately who they’ve come to see.

They can bring presents for her if they wish but not feel obligated to, knowing that we will already have everything for her.

And I love the fact that it’s gender inclusive.  Baby showers are very female driven parties, but it takes two to tango and create a child so why should the Father not be part of a big event celebrating his child’s birth?

The other reason I love it is because quite simply I’d be allowed to have a drink… or ten.  Baby showers are great fun, but for the pregnant lady there lies a problem.  Alcohol is forbidden, and if she has gestational diabetes like I do you can take away all manner of fun tasty treats too.

Post birth nothing is off-limits anymore.  Give me that wine I couldn’t drink over Christmas.  And hand me that sugar filled cake!

Having a welcome to the world party also ensures control over how many visitors come in those early post birth days.

By having a party to celebrate her arrival, people know they have a date to look forward to to meet the new bundle and it takes that pressure off the parents and allows them that time to breathe and establish routines that work for them without the stream of constant people knocking on the door.

And it also allows good recovery time for the mum.  Because it’s often forgotten that childbirth is quite traumatic and having that time to recover is essential for mental, emotional and physical reasons.

Hosting still isn’t something I’m keen on.  I’m not a natural host but the idea of a party of this kind really resonates with me.  So an events management company would be great to take the pressure off.

I could leave all the hard work to them and seeing as her birth will coincide with what will be a nice summer (fingers crossed), the idea of an outdoor summer party in London sounds ideal.

All we’d need is the barbecue to be fired up by chefs willing to do the hard work and the champagne to be chilled on ice and my glass to always be full 😉

To me it sounds much more idyllic.

How do you feel about baby showers? And have you come up with any other ways to celebrate a child’s arrival?

thelondonmum

62 Comments

  1. I like the idea of having a party after the arrival, a time when everyone can get to meet the new addition and parents don’t have to worry about being read at a drop of a hat because yet another person wants to drop it.

    • Exactly, I think it just makes everything so much nicer and calmer to do it post birth.

  2. What a brilliant photo’ LondonMum!!! However you decide to celebrate your long awaited little Princess’s home-coming we think you’ll thoroughly t-h-o-r-o-u-g-h-l-y deserve something ‘a bit special’ … & YOU SHOULD be the joint centre of attraction – & no arguing either – (Little London, remove all “back-seats”) & you’ll also deserve to be ‘showered’ with H-U-G-E congratulations. I just hope there won’t be a water, champagne, cake or sugar shortage … or celebratory Pernod come to think of it ha … (we’ve already got ours – well, we did ‘ave … hic!) Almost there LondonMum – the radiant LondonMums Magnificent May Month countdown’s racing by now & we can’t wait. Dorset holds its breath!! C’mon LondonMum … C’MON LITTLE PRINCESS … If you haven’t already – TURN IT PRINCESS – never mind Mum having to clean floors to try & get you to – she’ll have to do hand-stands instead if you’re still just thinking about it … typical girl ha!
    Excuse my bad timing LondonMum – when you’ve a sec. a very quick (awaiting) “O” please … B&WC just needs some ‘teccie’ info.

    • She’s still upside down! typical hahaha. If there’s a cake shortage you may see me on the news on a wild rampage! hahah

  3. I’ve never been to a baby shower. I know many people who have had one

  4. This does sound like a good idea. I just get the impression that baby showers can be a bit awkward and forced fun. My sister just had a BBQ with all of the family and some friends (male and female) because she didn’t want a baby shower.

    • Yes totally. A good bbq and all genders invited to celebrate just sounds so much more ideal to me!

    • Definitely!! I haik I’d cry if everyone got to eat cake around me and I couldn’t lol.

  5. Firstly, what a gorgeous photo of you guys! You look amazing Donna! But I also totally agree. I was very kindly thrown a baby shower when I was expecting Bella but I’m not very good with being centre of attention. There are no plans to have one this time and I too have been considering throwing a welcome to the world party in the Summer to celebrate our new arrival instead! xxx
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    • A surprise one is lovely, because I think at least all the stress is taken away from you but you’re still the centre of attention which is great if you don’t mind that. I just want to eat cake, drink tea and gossip! lol.

  6. I’ve never been to a baby shower, but I always pop over to a friend’s with presents for the little one when they arrive 🙂 x

    • I find it’s always hard to tell when to pop over. Like I said though I do love going to a baby shower so I hope my friends still have them 😉

  7. I don’t have children nor I have been to a baby shower before, so I wouldn’t know how they tend to go. But your idea of having a welcome to the world party rather than a baby shower sounds very good. It’s more important for the family and friends to meet the baby then just gather around to see them baby bump I guess.
    Joanna recently posted…The sweet taste of springMy Profile

    • Especially if the mum to be is feeling uncomfortable in pregnancy. Back ache… swollen legs… you name it! lol

  8. I had friends throw them for me for both of my kids – they were fun and it was fairly low key (which is good, as I sound like you and don’t like being the centre of attention)! A party afterwards sounds nice too as there will be lots of people that want to meet the baby x

    • A low key one would probably work better, bet that was lovely.

    • I learnt from my first that having that door policy is so important when trying to recover!

  9. I prefer having a party after the delivery, indeed showering the little angel with loves from my friends would be a nice idea.

    • Exactly… and you can pass the baby around quite happily 😉

    • There is a lot of work involved in them. A surprise shower is lovely though.

    • It’s so strange isn’t it.. because I love going to baby showers, but they just don’t sit right with me personally.

  10. I think that the concept of a welcome to the world party is such a good idea and like you said it puts the baby at the centre of the party which they should be x

    • It’s all about her and most certainly not about me (thankfully)!

  11. I have to agree wholeheartedly with you! I would hate to be the focus of everyone, and I think a “Welcome to the World” party sounds like a much better idea. That way you get to see people, everyone can see baby with having people drop in all day, every day unannounced x

    • Exactly, it lets me just be sociable and chat, enjoy a drink and some cake and pass the star of the show around

    • It’s a nice way to say good bye before maternity leave though!

  12. I know what you mean about being the center of attention, but last year my daughter in law offered a different perspective. She said that she didn’t want a baby shower, but went with it instead .. because it made all of the other women in the family feel good. Like they were contributing to her and her family. Plus, it was a great excuse for all of the family to get together!

    • That’s a good way of seeing it. It’s funny isn’t it, that stiff british upper lip where you don’t want to feel like you’re putting people out but realistically you probably aren’t!

  13. I live in the U.S. and I think baby showers are a great way to celebrate you and your baby!

    • It’s very much an ingrained part of US culture and I think if I’d grown up with it I’d find it more natural. I think over here baby showers have only recently started becoming a trend so it’s still not quite a comfortable experience for some.

  14. I love the idea of a welcome to the world party, I would definitely prefer that to a baby shower if I ever have a baby. Men don’t really get the chance to celebrate when it’s a baby shower so I love that it means everyone can join in the fun. Why shouldn’t Dad get to celebrate too
    Tanya recently posted…The Leigh Koslow Mystery Series, Edie ClaireMy Profile

    • I like the idea of dad being there too, takes the pressure off the mum 😉

  15. Welcome to the World party sounds great to me. I don’t like being the center of attention either! I am also quite minimal and was with my son’s “things” so I think I may have gotten overwhelmed with the gifts if I had one (I didn’t thankfully!). I think a welcome party would be much more suitable overall – I think everyone should do what best fits them and their family – make a new tradition of things and change things up!

  16. A welcome to the world party sounds so much better than a baby shower! I would much rather have one as I definitely think it’s nicer to celebrate with everyone!

  17. I like the idea of a party after as it seems to be expect to buy a gift for the shower, then maybe one for the arrival and another at the christening. This would cut at leat one of these out and while i’m all for celebrations it seems to get more and more with each year

    • I know what you mean, it gets a bit uncomfortable doesn’t it. Because you buy a gift for the shower but then when you finally meet the baby you feel like you have to buy a gift again…

  18. I like the way you think and do like this idea. baby showers aren’t something I think about to be honest. its like I never knew a push gift is a thing

    • A push gift sounds strange to me too, although I am trying to work on that one with the OH.. I’m never against the idea of extra gifts. He’s not falling for it though!

  19. I haven’t been to a baby shower yet but none of my besties have had children yet so I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity one day. I think a lot of people tend to have a party after the birth where I live xxx

    • It is a little awkward isn’t it. I find myself a bit confused over etiquette when it comes to presents- do I give it at the baby shower? Or when I meet the baby? Or does it require two separate gifts?

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