I've never understood the social etiquette rule that an expectant mom should have a baby shower for their first child only, except maybe if the next one is a different gender. I just don't get it! Are people against the idea that more gifts could be given? Are they afraid of giving a mom too much support and love on the new baby too much? Is it selfish for an expectant mom to want to celebrate each new addition to the family? It makes no sense.
Here's why I have had a shower with each of my six pregnancies regardless of gender — and even regardless of my adoption placement when I was sixteen years old.
Celebrate every baby
Why should only the first baby get a party while still in momma's tummy? That's like saying only the oldest can celebrate their birthday every year. Each new life and new addition should have their time to shine, just like they will for their birthday in the following years. The first is no more special or loved than the second — or fifth!
It's not just about the baby
Moms are pretty amazing if you think about it. Our bodies create a child from a miniscule little egg, grow it to the size of a watermelon, succumbing to insane fatigue, dealing with achy hips, weight gain, and then push a baby out (or enduring a major abdominal surgery!) — all for the love of a child. Therefore, moms deserve just as much love and attention as the new baby — if not more. A shower is a beautiful way to encase the momma with support and help make her feel special, and force her to take a break from being a serving mom for a day and just soak in the love! I feel like the more kids you have, all the more reason for a mom to have a dedicated day to relax and celebrate all she is doing and will do — being a mom of many is hard! Plus, the more kids she has, the more support from her “village” is needed. There are so many ways to honor a momma and help make her load easier as her family ushers in a new person. A shower can trigger that help to happen or be easier for her to ask for her true needs.
It doesn't have to be traditional!
A shower does not have to mean the traditional cheesy baby shower games with candy melted in diapers grossly looking like poo and pastel decorations plastered everywhere. Times have evolved! Now there are creative options like a freezer meal shower where, instead of typical baby gifts, the mom is gifted with freezer meals to prepare for the postpartum time so she doesn't have to cook. Or, there is a Mother Blessingway, which is stemmed off of ancient Navajo Native American traditions and is meant to pamper the expectant mom as she prepares not just for the baby but for the laboring as well, surrounded with positive birth stories and strength for the task ahead.
Gifts don't all have to be traditional either
As mentioned above, gifts don't have to be baby focused; why not make it more mother focused? When a mom is well cared for, that support will affect her mothering to the new baby in a positive way as well. For example, one of my most favorite baby gifts at my recent Blessingway shower was a postpartum basket that was filled with things to put by my bed to make postpartum relaxing easier. It was such a great help to have diapers, snacks, nipple cream, a nail file, and books ready within reach while I rested and nursed. There also can be unconventional gifts of time or service, like for house cleaning, a doula for birth, a postpartum doula, baby sitting, or meals prepared for the family. Ask her what she needs!
Things get well used overtime
I have four girls and one boy. You can only imagine how the girl stuff has been well worn over the past 10 years — and even then most of their clothes have been hand-me-downs! Our baby clothes and even some bigger baby gear items needed to be replaced for my newest little girl's arrival this past February. The swing that my 10-year-old swung in as an infant had corroded battery juice leaking on the seat, no way my sweet new baby was going to swing in that! A shower — whatever the shower may look like — is a great opportunity for moms with many kids to get some help to replace the well-loved items.
New products come out
New inventions are coming out all the time and, while they aren't all needed for each new baby, some of them are nice to make things easier with new additions. For example, 10 years ago with my oldest the invention of the Nose Frieda wasn't there yet, but years later I'm so glad I now have one because it works so much better than the old bulb suckers!
Friends and family often love to give gifts for new babies regardless if a shower is thrown or not, but having a dedicated shower helps the momma feel special along with spurring friends and family to give some new items to the newest little one or simply help the family’s transition. How can that be anything but a good thing?