Baby Showers in the USA

Baby in Bathtub

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Many people ask ‘What is a baby shower?’ Maybe they picture babies raining from the sky or little ones washing themselves in the shower. Well, no, that’s not what is meant by the term baby shower.

A baby shower is a party. It is a party for a pregnant woman where friends and family get together to ‘shower’ her with gifts for her new baby. Like at most parties there is food and a lot of fun. The reason for giving a baby shower is that a woman who is having her first baby does not already have the items she will need for that baby. For instance, she doesn’t have a bed, a car seat, clothes, blankets, diapers, or anything else. Buying all these things can be very expensive, so friends help out by giving some of them to the mother-to-be before her baby is born.

Baby in Pajamas

Traditionally, a woman’s close friend gave a baby shower and only other women attended. Nowadays, almost anyone can give a baby shower and sometimes both men and women are invited. Even so, many guest lists today are restricted to the pregnant woman’s mother, grandmothers, sisters, sisters-in-law, aunts, female cousins, and friends. Grandma or a special aunt might give a beautiful handmade afghan and friends might chip in together to give a stroller or other large item.

To help add to the fun and festive atmosphere, the party room is often decorated with a few baby items such as diapers or baby bottles. There is usually a cake which is often shaped and decorated to look like a baby, a baby bottle, a baby buggy, or a baby bed. Usually there are games that are related to babies or pregnancy. For instance, there might be games about fastening baby diapers, games about baby safety pins, games about nursery rhymes, or games about the mother’s weight. These are usually a lot of fun and there is a lot of laughter. The winner of every game usually gets a small prize.

Pregnant Woman

So the next time you hear of a baby shower, think about friends, family, and fun, and keep the umbrellas at home.