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Baby Shower
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:27 pm    Post subject: Baby Shower Reply with quote

I am throwing a baby shower for a friend in April and need a little help. I am totally against games, unless there is a way to preserve dignity. What are your customs or suggestions for this sort of thing?

Seriously nothing that would be embarassing. I banned my bridesmaids from having games at my bridal shower, that's how much I hate them.

Oh and I know nothing about what one needs to take care of a child, so parents do you have any suggestions?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are books out there that have things like anagram games with a baby shower themes. They're not too frenetic or undignified. Try a party store to find one. But if you don't like games, why not just do it as a party or lunch among friends and skip 'em? Good food, good company and presents should be more than enough to wish someone well.

What are you asking about babies? Are you looking for suggestions about useful gifts? Or do you anticipate women bringing babies along and want to provide for them? If so, what ages?
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MJBodell



Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Baby Shower Reply with quote

We played a fun game at a party I hosted.

We got baby pictures of all of the spouses (the baby was a boy) and created a digital slide show. We then had everyone match up the baby picture to a name. It was very fun.

We had a contest that was very low key but fun..

We created a list of words that were off limits.

Baby
Girl
Boy
Due date
Birth etc.

We then gave out mardi gras beads to each person. If another person caught you saying any of the forbidden words you gave up your mardi gras beads.
Whoever ended up with all of the beads won a prize.


Good Luck!
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like that game of "banning words"... it would make for a bit of fun without getting stupid.

The last baby shower we had here was just a really nice afternoon tea. The few babies that were there just played at our feet and we all kept an eye on them. Plenty of toys were brought along by their Mum's and we left the television on but without sound and they were fascinated with watching the flashing colours (ages 0 to 15 months).

We are planning another one in feb (all the girls here seem to be pregnant or newly delivered at present ..... must be the water Shocked )

For the one in Feb we will once again just have a really nice afternoon tea. There will be even more babies at this one, but again we just play "pass the parcel" with them and everyone shares the load.

For food we have small tasty sandwiches (not huge whoppers that require 2 hands), cheese and baguette, foi gras (but not for the Mum to be unfortunately), champagne, fruit juice, hot savouries and then we have a really fancy gateau from this fabulous pastisserie in the area. (they do one which has flakes of gold leaf and miniature fruit etc as decoration - really pretty and a bit different).

Most of the time we just sit around and eat and chat. The only game we have is passing the babies around, and opening the presents.

Good luck with planning it. Just make it simple and relaxing and the Mum to be will have a great time.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I am asking about useful gifts. As parents what was a godsend as far as a present?
I am planning the shower with a friend and she wants some games, so even though I want to just take over and put the kibosh on them that would be mean of me. Some of the games are embarassing or just down right gross. You guys have already suggested some really great things.

My neighbor suggested we play a game to guess the circumfrence of the mother. I am not letting that one happen, the mother is already pretty sensitive about her ever increasing size I don't want to make her feel bad. Besides I need to think about guest safety. ha, ha.

This is all a mystery to me......a scary, scary mystery. My best friend is also pregnant and asked me to fly in to attend the birth. I haven't decided, I am afraid of passing out. She is hoping being part of the birthing process will jump start my biological clock. I think it may reverse it.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was the emergency birthing partner for my best friend a few years ago..... (her husband had to go away in her last month of pregnancy for his work)... my only advice is not to do it if you have any doubts about it. What you will see is so intimate and personal that it can change your whole friendship. If you cannot stand watching people in pain, struggling, blood, sweat, tears etc... don't do it. On the other hand, if you can cope with all that, it is one of the most amazing things you will ever experience. Traumatic, but wonderful. Don't know who cried most, me or my friend... Embarassed

For gifts, try practical things. Why don't you ask her what she needs to complete her nursery? Maybe there is a big item that a few people could all chip in and pay for.

Don't forget things like nappies - or a voucher for a nappy service for the first few months after the baby arrives, bottles and sterilisers (even if she breast feeds, she will probably keep some to hand for emergencies, and she can either express or use formula), baby cloths (normally muslin or something else light that washes easily), wraps for swaddling the newborn, bibs (can't have enough good bibs).

Things for when the baby grows are also good. Everyone tends to focus on the newborn, and then the parents have nothing to dress the child in at 6months old etc.

A cute money box (piggybank?), bedside light (you can get some lovely ones that play a tune and are on a timer and put shadow pictures around the walls for a set length of time - I love them), baby monitor, mobile, plate/bowl/cup set for when older....so many things

Go for a walk through a nursery store or the baby dept of a large shop or a toy store and see what inspires you.... and no you can't have the mini oven and stove set that is battery operated and comes with all the cute tiny accessories and cooks real food and .... I asked Santa for it and if I didn't get it - you can't have it either Laughing

Sorry for the length of this.... I am in the midst of these parties so have so many ideas etc floating around in my head...
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll tell you what I loved as a mother and I don't think anyone else will think about it: http://www.onestepahead.com/product/85206/1182/117.html If you want it to be more glamorous, at one time Whole Foods had such a thing in a little soft lunchbox carry case with perhaps some food storage cups, a spoon and a bib. I think it would make a lovely gift for a foodie.

I'll tell you why I liked it. 1) You get to feed your kid what YOU think is appropriate. It will be the same foods your kid will grow up with and it will be prepared as freshly as you eat without a tiny bit of crap/additives that you wouldn't eat. 2) You can carry it along with you to restaurants/friends' and make their food into baby food too with zero fuss. 3) You can puree a whole meal or you can puree a bite or two at a time so if it gets knocked over (and everything gets knocked over all the time when you're talking little ones) you don't have a lot of drama. You just run it through hot water and put in another piece of carrot. 4) It has four tiny, uncomplicated parts that are a breeze to clean. Actually, I think it has five because, if I remember correctly, there is one screen that finely purees food and a second more coarse one that lets toddlers enjoy finely chopped. All of them can go in the dishwasher but are extremely easily washed by hand. 5) It purees cooked meat as easily as a steamed carrot or mushy peas. And you can puree it all into a single mash if that's the way your baby likes it best, or you can put veggies on one side and meat on the other and feed them to baby separately. You have control over it.

When my oldest, Rachel, used one I was seriously happy to know she was getting what I knew was good food. At the time there was a major scandal when it was discovered that Gerber was deliberately mislabeling their food, using cheap, crappy fillers and representing it as full-protein meat. She also grew up sampling everything from the time she was fully introduced to solids. As a 3yo she was eating Indian and Mexican and still enjoys a complete range of foods.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wow, what a good idea. If I was a mom I would totally use that. Thanks Rainey.

Debbie, It took a minute for nappie to compute. Aussie word? I love your idea, she will be a working mom so that would be helpful.

Thanks guys!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! Debbie reminds me of something else I used for my kids. http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/germanwool.htm

This is, clearly, only useful if you know how the mom feels about the issue of real vs. disposable diapers. But I LOVED 'em.

I'll tell you why: 1) They wash surprisingly easily in the washing machine along with all the other baby laundry. 2) It's soooo simple to lay out a cotton diaper inside the wool liner and pull it around baby as easily as a disposable diaper. 3) They're NOT disposable. And disposable diapers are one of the outstanding burdens on our public sanitation systems. 4) They breathe and you're not hermetically sealing up your precious baby with what a precious baby does. We had almost zero diaper rash with three kids because they weren't in plastic enclosed hot houses. 5) What's next to your baby's skin is soft absorbent cotton. 6) And I didn't appreciate this until I was a pre-school teacher, the toddler can feel what "wet" is. This will be an enormous aid when it comes to potty training. They will have the natural motivation to not want to be wet that's missing in those synthetic one-way liners in all the disposable products. But, in truth, the cotton wicks the urine away so effectively that within 2 minutes all they have next to their skin is some dampness. 7) Speaking of "wet", the wool will NOT get wet — honestly, you'll never feel the wet on the public side of the wrap — and double diapers will fit inside too for overnight insurance. Cool I couldn't say if it ever made the kids feel too hot but in the summer we skipped the diaper wraps and just did double diapers. 9) They're 100% compatible with a diaper service. At the time we were using them the manufacturer I used had heavy cotton models too but I never bothered with them.

These aren't for everyone but I found them effective, simple, responsible and very pleasant and I recommend them highly for people who have similar goals and expectations.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everyone's ideas so far. Rainey and I must have kids the same age, because I used the food mill and the diaper covers also! Both would be great shower gifts.

Someone else mentioned stuff for an older child. When my son was born we received a little outfit for a one year old - I sneered (mentally) at it! I guess my imagination was lacking (Lack of sleep no doubt). One day at age 7 months, it fit him PERFECTLY and I was so happy to have it! So, if I'm buying clothes I always try to buy clothes for an older child - expecially if it's the first baby.

However, since I'm a reading teacher, I usually buy books. I am the book fairy for many of my friend's grandbabies. Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown), Pat the Bunny, Where's Spot?, Time for Bed (by Mem Fox), Baby's Bellybutton, Make Way for Ducklings (McCloskey), Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak). I try to buy the classics; the ones I read to my son (Some of which were read to me!). There's some wonderful children's literature out there now, but the classics are abiding. I will give 3-4 for a shower and then make sure that birthdays and Christmases are book times too.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debbie wrote:
I was the emergency birthing partner for my best friend a few years ago..... (her husband had to go away in her last month of pregnancy for his work)... my only advice is not to do it if you have any doubts about it. What you will see is so intimate and personal that it can change your whole friendship. If you cannot stand watching people in pain, struggling, blood, sweat, tears etc... don't do it. On the other hand, if you can cope with all that, it is one of the most amazing things you will ever experience. Traumatic, but wonderful. Don't know who cried most, me or my friend... Embarassed


We had all our babies at home. Steve was with me all the time and he says the same thing you did. Having experienced the labor part of the equation, I always thought he was being a bit of a drama queen but the part about watching someone you love be in pain and not being able to do anything about it is what got to him.

How exciting that you've had that experience that not everyone gets to be part of! ...I noticed, however, that you left out swearing. I definitely remember swearing. I would have made a lousy Scientologist. Wink
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that a baby shower is a party you do before the baby is born. Nice custom.
In our culture /tradition ( jewish ) that's forbidden, it is considered as bad luck to celebrate a baby not yet born. No gifts are allowed, it's considerd bad omen. The preparations for the child's birth e.g. buying of furniture, appliances, clothes etc, are done before, but not brought to the house before the baby is born. As the mother stays usually 3 days at the hospital, everything is brought and arranged during these days after the birth. The reason for this custom is that things can unfortunately happen at birth ( it did in my close family), and nobody should come home at an empty children room.
I am not a believer, but still we don't do that. Nobody will come. BUt we do a great party after the child's birth, a "brith" ( circumcision) if it's a boy and a party for a girl.
Are there any traditions in other cultures evolving around birth , besides the baby shower?

No more war, more love, more babies ( natural consequence )
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simona,
That is very logical thinking, and I am sure a great stress reliever for the parents. I would imagine the home coming is very explosive and joyous. If I ever have a kid this is totally the way I want to do it, how fun.
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MJBodell



Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:21 pm    Post subject: Baby Shower Traditions Reply with quote

In my culture we have a party on the 120th day. This is when we believe that the soul enters the fetus.

The party is a celebration of the mother and gifts are brought for her.

We later have a baby shower.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, okay, it's not a GENERAL custom here but I do have a number of feminist/pagan friends who invite their women friends over for an evening burial of the child's umbilical cord a few months after birth.
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