1. I've been to several baby showers and just threw one for my best friend in early April. Every baby shower I have ever even heard abot has been pre-baby. I didn't even know people had them post-baby, ever.
2. I think every mother is entitled to one per child, possibly more, as most people I know have at least two per child. I live in the Southern US though, so that may be why.
3. I've seen that idea before and I always thought it was adorable :)
RE: showers for each pregnancy
I have never heard of this before. I think it's rather tacky. The shower is for the mom, not the baby. Of course every baby should be celebrated! However, in the States, the baby shower is to celebrate the first-time mom and to help her and her partner prepare for their transition into parenthood. The celebration of the actual babies occurs when the babies are born, so with each birth, each baby is celebrated and smaller gifts are given. I am not sure how a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time mom could actually create a baby registry for gifts with a straight face. I honestly feel weird enough having my friends throw me a baby shower. My family lives across the country so the task falls on the shoulders of good girl friends, and I feel strange that they have to foot the bill for the party and that my friends all have to purchase a gift to give to me just to attend the party. I am trying to make myself feel better by reminding myself that pretty much all of my friends FORGOT my birthday in Feb., so the shower makes up for it ;)
Anyway, I love the idea of the children's books as shower gifts. Wish I'd heard of that before my invitations went out.
Most showers I've been to have been pre-baby (except when said baby decided to come early and change the plan!) I just had mine at 30 weeks and another small one (local this time) planned at 34.
I don't plan on having showers for future babies...it's very much a first time mom thing to me. I do like when parents throw a little party for additional children though, kind of a casual "meet the baby" gathering for close family/friends.
I think a post-baby shower makes sense if you have people traveling to come. Mostly I think we have the shower pre-baby so that the parents can get everything put away and set up. Also, you can't be sure what you're going to get at the shower, so if you have the shower before the baby gets here, you know what you're going to need to buy. Maybe for those coming out of town, have a post baby welcome party?
I think having multiple baby showers depends on need. I think it's tacky to have one for a 2nd or 3rd baby if you don't really need anything. But maybe the second baby is a boy and all you have is girly stuff or maybe you're having twins. I would imagine that after 5 years, your friend has gotten rid of a lot of her baby stuff.
I wouldn't not go to a baby shower because it's my friends second or third baby. I would assume that she wouldn't register for stuff if she didn't need it.
Our friends threw us a baby shower after we adopted our son. We already had all of the baby stuff, so we asked that it just be a party. People really wanted to give gifts, so they ended up surprising us w. a book shower. It was awesome! Everyone brought their favorite kids books and now we have this great meaningful library for our son. It was also co-Ed, which was nice.
For people unfamiliar w. baby showers, they tend to be women only, which makes no sense seeing as how men are unavoidably involved in this whole baby making process. It is usually an afternoon event, and everyone sits around and eats dainty things. Horrifying games are often played, like Guess the Girth of the pregnant woman, or the one where you put melted chocolate bars in diapers and guess which kind they are. Tales of childbirth are often exchanged.
I really hate registeries. It just seems so grabby to me. I guess I understand registering for big stuff, if your family/friends ask you to do that, so they can go in on major items. But when people register for all of the specific onesies they want, that is annoying to me. It's not fun to just go buy the baby clothes someone else picked out, you know? There should be a rule, no registering for toys, books, or clothes. If people want to give you those, they want to pick out cute things themselves.
I have actually been to a baby shower for a FOURTH baby. He was also the third son. And the oldest was only six at that point- so yeah, that seemed excessive. But they did really need a new carseat. We all chipped in for that. He came earlier than expected and the baby shower ended up being after he was born, at the birthing center. It was one of the best baby showers I have ever been to, actually, probably b.c the baby was there.
I think it is really just the sense of entitlement that gets annoying. There is nothing wrong w. having a party and people bringing gifts for the new baby, but the expectation that a new mom is somehow owed that does get tiresome. I really dislike diaper showers for this reason. I mean, they made sense back when we threw them for girls getting knocked up in high school. But when you're a thirty-something professional you can buy your own diapers, thanks. And I totally get that your friends will often set these up and that is very nice of them. But we have had friends who throw their own diaper showers. That is just crazy talk.
Never having been to a baby shower, all of the ones I've heard about have been pre-baby. I feel like it makes more sense that way; if you're having a baby shower, you KNOW you're going to get a bunch of stuff for the baby, but if the baby comes before the shower then you probably already have most of it. I mean, MORE clothes and diapers are always welcome, certainly, but things like toys and equipment...
And as far as having more than one shower goes, I wouldn't see that as weird, but like a number of previous posters have said, subsequent ones should probably be smaller. Just diapers, clothes, maybe a few more books (you can NEVER have enough books for your children), the like. No big-ticket items, since you probably already have most of them. Invite fewer people. But I'd still have one for each subsequent baby, because it can't really hurt, and they sound like fun.
I'm surprised that both these things are controversial. I've never heard of a post-baby shower and can't fathom why people would get upset at someone for having the shower pre-baby. That seems to be the norm. Of course, a post-baby shower would be just as much fun, but it seems like it would be more stressful for the mom. Pre-baby makes sense, as she can inventory the gifts, put them away, set up her nursery how she wants it, and know what she still needs to purchase for herself to prepare for baby's arrival. Post-baby would be fun for the relatives who want to meet the little one, but either way it's nothing to get upset over.
I am taken aback by the idea that having a shower for any baby but the first is tacky. O.o Every baby deserves to be celebrated! And the argument that a shower is really for the mom so it should only be a one-time thing doesn't make sense to me either. Psychologically speaking, the bigger a family gets the more the mom's life becomes all about her children with no time left for herself. So if the party is supposed to be all about her, I think it should get bigger with every child ;) Either way, I don't see how celebrating the miracle of birth could ever be tacky. And how are we to know whether that second-time mother has everything she needs? Maybe her stroller came apart, or she had a terrible experience with a crib and wants a co-sleeper, or she has a new vehicle that doesn't accommodate her old carseat, or she's switching to cloth diapers. Babies are expensive to bring into this world and care for, and that fact is not affected by their birth order :)
Although I've never really heard of anyone using a baby registry, or throwing their own shower. Every shower I have been to, the mother is the guest of honor rather than the hostess...they're always thrown by a friend or family member or church group. I think I could see the tackiness factor if a mother is hosting her own baby shower every time and registering for extravagant gifts. But I would consider that an extreme situation, definitely not the norm.
I have only ever been to two baby showers. Both were held before the baby arrived. I think it would be strange to plan a shower for after the baby has arrived, I can't imagine being a new mum with a tiny weeks old baby and having to juggle feeds/changes/sleeps with actually trying to enjoy myself! Especially for a mother of brand new twins.
I didn't have a baby shower myself, but we still received SO many gifts and baby things after Leo was born from friends and family when they came to visit us at home. I'm now expecting my second, another boy and will not be having a shower for him.
I like the idea of having something like a blessingway (http://www.theblessingcircle.com/blessing-way) as an alternative to a baby shower, especially for subsequent children.
I actually love the book idea, and if I had had a baby shower for Leo, it would probably have been one of the ideas I would've discussed with the person in charge of hosting the party for me.
1. I had my baby shower before Bugsy was born. I've never been to one post-baby either. Maybe if you are planning on a surprise it might be easier if the baby is there for gift buying, but the baby shower is mostly about mum so before seems like a logical choice.
2. Now I'm a little torn on this one. I had a big over the top crazy baby shower for Bugsy, thrown by my closest friends. Then my parents took a group out for dinner about 4 weeks before he was born. He was their first grandchild in 14 years so I guess he got a lot of attention. However I decided I didn't really need another shower for this baby, we have most of the stuff we need and anything we don't have, we have the capacity to buy ourselves, unlike 2 years ago. But then I felt that there are so many photos and memories of Bugsy's baby shower that this baby would be missing out. So, instead of a big party at a friends house, I took everyone out for lunch, around 20 people or so. I asked that in lieu of presents people donate to The Smith Family, it is a charity in Australia that helps disadvantaged children. It was a lovely way to have a celebration without going over the top. Everyone really enjoyed themselves, it was sophisticated and grown-up, unlike my first shower that was all games and blue and pink! So, I guess it's up to the individual, although I loved the way I did it, both babies get memories, just in a less consumer impacted way for the second.
3. We did this too. Aside from the donations, I put a small card in each invite and asked for everyone to bring a book. Each person wither wrote a message to the baby or to us, with a little bit of advice for raising 2. It's a fantastic idea, what people wrote was beautiful and amazing guidance. I'd recommend this wholeheartedly!