A baby shower is a party held to celebrate a woman's impending motherhood. It is typically thrown by her friends, and guests include other friends, family, and co-workers, if the woman is close to them. In addition to being a good excuse for a party, it's also a great way to make sure that a new mom gets the supplies she needs, especially if the baby is her first child.
Typically, a shower features an assortment of baby-related games, as well as the opening of presents. Food may be served as well. Guests are invited by the person who hosts the baby shower, and in some cases, the party is a surprise for the new mother. In the case of a surprise party, the cooperation of the father or a family member is usually enlisted.
When purchasing gifts for a baby shower, most people try to get things that they think are practical or useful. In many cases, these gifts are products that people have used themselves. In some instances, parents with older children may offer old changing tables, cribs, car seats, and other potentially expensive baby equipment. As well as being a good use of otherwise idle equipment, these gifts are often greatly appreciated by lower income mothers who might not be able to readily afford them otherwise.
Common gifts include things like baby clothes in an assortment of sizes, toys, books, and baby supplies like diaper bags, changing tables, blankets, and monitors. Gift certificates for diaper laundering companies, nannies, and housekeeping services are also appreciated. Since some of these gifts can be redundant, it is an excellent idea to coordinate gifts with the attendees, to ensure that a mother does not receive unnecessary multiples. Coordinating also guarantees that a mother receives vitally useful items, like an infant car seat to take a child home from the hospital in.
In addition to practical gifts for mothers, a baby shower is also an opportunity to pamper the new mother. Gift certificates for spa visits, massage, and hair cuts are fun ways to celebrate a mother and to encourage her to take good care of herself after the birth. Other gifts, such as yard care, use of a car service, or meal delivery in the weeks following delivery, are also great practical gifts for both parents. Sometimes, thinking outside the box for presents can yield a very gratefully received gift.