Baby showers provide new parents with a fun way of acquiring all the accessories, clothing, and supplies they will need to welcome their new baby into the family. Most popular with first-time-mothers, baby showers have historically been an all-female event. However, they have become increasingly more gender neutral throughout the years. The opening of this special occasions to male family and friends is only one of the current events surrounding baby showers.
Parents Holding More Control
In addition to becoming less focused on female bonding, it has also become far common for the parents-to-be to either throw their own party or exercise a greater level of control over the event. In the past, showers were generally thrown in honor of the mother, by another female family member.
Greater Freedom Over Timing
With the added control they are afforded, today’s parents-in-waiting may opt to go many routes when it comes to preparing for baby. While some choose to avoid the baby shower event all together, others opt to have a more family-oriented event where friends and family of both gender are welcome to celebrate with open arms. Still others, due to religious or health reasons, opt to have this momentous event following the birth of their baby rather than before. For those who do celebrate baby showers at the traditional time, during gestation, it most commonly takes place somewhere near the end of the third trimester.
Mother-Centered Blessing Way Ceremonies
Another big trend in the world of baby showers is that mothers-to-be are getting more gifts, as opposed to just the baby. Some women even opt for the ultra-spiritual, mother blessing or blessingway. Blessingways or mother blessing ceremonies are based on the spiritual events of many ancient cultures, Native American tradition in particular. These events have remained strictly female for the most part and are intended to prepare the mother for childbirth. Often guests will each bring a special bead to string together in preparation for the mother’s big day. She can use these beads during labor and delivery to maintain focus through meditative reflection, akin to prayer beads or a rosary.
The Baby Sprinkle
Whereas baby showers were once only for first-time parents, with second, third, and fourth children expected to wear hand me downs and sleep in passed down cribs, today more parents are having celebrations for subsequent children. Sometimes referred to as baby sprinkles, these events mark the birth of siblings with fun and excitement. Though gifts tend to be more practical at a sprinkle, the love and warmth of celebrating a new life is ever-present.