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Trends in Baby Showers

Everyone loves a party, and what better reason can there be to celebrate than the imminent arrival of a new baby? A baby shower has usually been an event for the mother-to-be with friends and family where whacky games are played, cake is eaten, and lots of baby gifts are given. But now, with our every changing world, many expectant families are opting to try a different version of the baby shower. With changing tastes and new things available through technology, there are several trends in baby showers that are emerging.

Green showers have become very popular. Instead of buying new items for the baby, parents request that ‘gently used’ items be given. To take it a step further, go paperless in the wrapping of the gifts. Instead of purchasing gift wrap or bags, use newspaper, cloth diapers, or baby blankets to wrap the present. Take care with items such as a car seat, to make sure it hasn’t been in an accident or recalled.

Another very popular shower is the book shower. Instead of traditional baby gifts, guests are asked to bring books. Many parents are using educational programs to start babies reading early on, so having a ready library of books will help with their early education. The books can also be used for years to come and be shared with other sibling. Have each guest write an inscription in the front of the book, so the child can read it later.

Traditional showers are usually held for the mother-to-be, while the father-to-be finds someplace else to spend the day. But why not have a shower for Dad? That’s what the man shower does. The father-to-be and all his friends spend a night at a poker party or barbeque or whatever their favorite pass time is, with each guest bringing a gift of diapers. Not only do the men enjoy themselves, but the new family will be supplied with diapers for months to come.

The gender reveal shower is another innovation. There are two options here. The parents can choose to find out the gender of the baby along with everyone else at the shower, or they can reveal the gender to all their friends. For the first option, the parents-to-be make sure the doctor does not reveal the gender to them, but instead writes it down and seals it in an envelope. At the shower, the envelope is opened and everyone finds out the gender at the same time. In the second case, the parents-to-be know the gender, and reveal it at the shower. A unique way to do this is to prepare a cake that is gender neutral on the outside, but has pink or blue coloring on the inside, so the gender is revealed with the first slice of cake.

Technology is changing everything, even showers. Now, it is possible to have a cash registry shower. Instead of asking guests to bring gifts, the expectant parents register for cash itself. Online companies collect the cash and provide cash coupons to give as the shower gift. When they register, the parents can post pictures of the things they plan on buying with the coupons. The guest can then choose what they want their cash to be used for, which is reflected on the coupon. This is very practical for the parents, as they get the items they really need, and there are no duplicate gifts to be returned or exchanged. And if a guest really wants to give that ‘special item’ they can include a coupon along with the gift.

Another type of shower hugely helpful for the mother-to-be is the scrap booking shower. Guests are asked to bring supplies to create 2 scrapbook pages. Instead of playing games, pages are put together, and then put into a scrapbook. Since things are so hectic after the baby is born, the new mother can just add pictures and some details or comments to the pages, and have memories preserved with much less stress.

While baby showers are usually held for the firstborn baby, there is now a trend to throw a ‘sprinkle’ instead of a ‘shower’ for later children. It is scaled down, but still celebrates the birth of the new baby. Gifts usually consist of necessities such as diapers, or a ‘stock the freezer’ theme can be used so the freezer is stocked with food to help the mother through the first few weeks after the birth.

No matter what type of shower is held, celebrating the birth of an infant is always a wonderful time. Expressing all the love and hopes for the child brings friends and family together and allows us all to reflect on the miracle of life.

Beth Moore is a quilter that turned her passion for baby quilts into a website – Currently, the site offers a wide variety of baby quilts, baby blankets, crib sets, and baby gifts. In the future, hand made quilts will be featured on the site as well.

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Coordinate a March Madness baby shower for a bouncing baby boy

If there's one thing that comes with spring, it's basketball fever. Thanks to March Madness and the NCAA tournament, people all over the country are taking part in their office betting pools and filling out their brackets in order to join in on the fun.

If you know a pregnant lady who's been knitting blue baby socks as opposed to pink ones, why not take this theme and run with it while planning an upcoming shower? It doesn't matter if the mom-to-be is a fan of the sport or not – coordinating a shindig based on this motif will certainly get her excited to have her beautiful newborn boy in her arms.

First, send out invitations. Remember, the finals take place the first week of April, so you're going to want to get started on these right now.

Also, make sure to pick out baby shower favors that feature adorable images. Candy in the shape of basketballs or even personalized lollipops that feature your home state's team logo on them will surely be appreciated by all.

Throw a non-traditional baby shower

Baby showers can be stressful on all parties involved. Watching the expecting mother open gift after gift can get kinda dull, and as the mom-to-be you may not be so keen on being watched closely as you judge presents for a couple hours. Consider a low-key baby shower instead!

One popular choice is throwing a co-ed shindig. Serve drinks and hors d'oeuvres and you've got a nice little party to celebrate your pregnancy. Encourage your friends to skip the $800 strollers and ask for something simple like diapers, or even just the promise of a future babysitting session. An afternoon full of corny baby games with loved ones will keep everyone happy and preserve the celebratory sentiment of the occasion.

It can get a little uncomfortable having all eyes constantly fixed on you and your belly. Baby shower favors are a great way to let your friends know how much their presence is appreciated. It's a humble gesture that will go over really well.

Creative and thoughtful thank you gifts

In today's fast-paced society, one tradition that has sadly fallen by the wayside is the giving of thank you gifts. Whether it's a neighbor shoveling your driveway, a teacher writing you a recommendation or just simple employee appreciation, make them feel extra-special by sending along a little token of your thanks. Here are a few ideas for some unique and affordable thank you gifts that will help you properly express your gratitude.

There are, of course, plenty of gift baskets you can buy that will do the trick, but a personal touch will show that you've really put thought into your gift (and save you money!) Personalized candy wrappers with "thank you" written on them are an effective and cute way to make your present a memorable one. Throw a few of these into a box of homemade cookies and you've got yourself a package anyone would be happy to receive.

Of course, don't forget to include a note! A simple "thank you for your help" will go a long way towards making your recipient feel appreciated.

Throw a princess baby shower for your loved one’s impending arrival

Thank heaven for little girls! Although having a son is a wonderful thing, there's something special about our daughters. It goes without saying that they can melt our hearts even when they're running amuck throughout the day and causing a commotion all evening.

If you currently have a close friend or family member who is expecting a girl, why not throw her a princess-inspired baby shower? By the time her little one is old enough to walk and talk, it's likely she'll be obsessed with frilly get-ups and pretty pink dresses anyway.

First, pick out some extra sweet baby shower invitations. Remember, if the affair isn't a surprise, you may want to get the expectant mama's input on what she loves best.

Additionally, don't forget to stock up on amazing party extras. Candy wrapper favors that feature the mom-to-be's image on them will be especially appreciated. Give guests one each and the woman of honor a few more – after all, she's currently eating for two, and you'll want to keep her sweet tooth satiated. 

Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon expecting twins

Superstar couple Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon may be shopping for two birth announcements, as the pair has revealed they are expecting both a boy and a girl in April, according to the New York Daily News.

After months of speculation about whether or not Carey was expecting, the couple confirmed pregnancy rumors in October but chose to keep the gender of their impending bundle a secret. Then, in December, they confirmed they are having twins.

"There were fan contests on Twitter about what gender they are and rumors about them being two boys or two girls – but nobody guessed this!" Carey told Life & Style magazine.

People magazine reports that the Grammy-winning singer is already working on decorating and designing the twins' nurseries in Los Angeles and New York, and that the parents-to-be have picked out a few names.

There's little doubt that the couple will be the guests of honor at a Hollywood-style baby shower before their children are born as well.

Whatever theme is chosen for the party, guests should expect custom party favors. Candy bars wrapped with twin-themed wrappers, personalized lollipops or other edible treats are great additions to any celebration and are appreciated by guests.

Unique birth announcement ideas

Welcoming a new baby into the world is reason to celebrate!

While spreading the word about a new addition to your family is sometimes done via email or text messages these days, there are many unique ways to send a birth announcement.

Traditional birth announcements are often cards that are sent to friends and family both near and far. These cards can now be customized with pictures or themes for almost any preference such as sports and animals, or blue designs for boys, and flowers, ladybugs and pink polka dots and stripes for girls.

Since these traditional cards often end up tacked to the refrigerators of your friends and family, why not send a personalized birth announcement magnet instead? These unique items can also feature a precious picture of your new bundle of joy.

Instead of giving out cigars to friends and co-workers to announce the birth of your baby, opt for candy bars or lifesavers wrapped in personalized candy wrappers or personalized lollipops. These items look and taste great (and unlike cigars, they won't offend anyone)!

Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem become first-time parents

It's been an eventful week for actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

In addition to Bardem's third Oscar nomination for the film "Biutiful," the couple, who has been married since July, welcomed their first child, a son.

Although Entertainment Tonight has confirmed that the couple had a baby boy last Saturday at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, reps have not released further details of the baby boy.

"Both parents and baby are doing great," an insider told the news provider.

The notoriously private couple was said to be surrounded by family members. The proud parents are most likely hard at work adjusting to life with an infant. Perhaps they're looking for the perfect birth announcements?

Just a few weeks ago, the couple attended a baby shower for themselves at their home in Los Angeles.

According to the New York Post, the shower was an all-girls' affair until Cruz's friend, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, joined the party.

"Leo wanted to show up to surprise her," a source told the newspaper.

Throwing a baby shower for an expectant friend or family member is a great way to celebrate the impending birth and help the parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby.

In addition to baby-themed decorations, cake and games, many parties often include baby shower favors such as personalized lollipops or candy bars wrapped in personalized candy wrappers.