A baby shower can be the perfect way to set families up for success!
I’m going to start this blog post by saying I love me a good baby shower. Oh, I love the gathering of women, the devilled eggs and the swooning over the tiny little baby jumpers.
I had all of that and more when I was thrown a baby shower for my first baby, and now that I am gearing up for my second and am a bit wiser, there are many (many) things that I would have changed.
“Now that I am gearing up for my second and am a bit wiser, there are many (many) things that I would have changed.”
There were things missing that would have set me up for success as a new parent in a way that my traditional shower did not (sorry friends and family!) and in a way that is integral for new mothers.
And yes, I am aware they do not throw baby showers for 2nd time moms, even if I am craving tiny triangle sandwiches…
The reason I am writing this post today is because, as both a parent and a professional in the birth/baby field, I want to make a case for putting an end to baby showers that only benefits the babies. Instead, I want to start cheerleading for showers that focus on setting moms up for an easier time during the postpartum period. I want to ‘mom-up’ the baby shower!
And I am not doing it on my own, oh no. Here at bebo mia we polled our doula training graduates and found out how they help their clients prepare for baby and what women truly need as they transition into motherhood. Here is what we came up with:
Our Top 5 ways to ‘mom-up’ your baby shower (to get what you actually need!):
1. Add in elements of a Mother Blessing. Never heard of a Mother Blessing or think it’s too out there? Trust me, long before my first kid I would have been right there with you, eye-rolling so hard. And then I did some research. First, I want to acknowledge that the Mother Blessing is a North American adaptation of a blessingway. A blessingway is an old Navajo ceremony that celebrates a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood.
Out of respect for the ceremonial traditions of the Navajo, the name Mother Blessing emerged. At a Mother Blessing, the goal is to pamper the mother, prepare her for birth and most importantly connect her to her support system which she will truly need after baby arrives. More importantly, she will need to feel comfortable reaching out to her support system. Personally, I love the bead ceremony but check this out to get more ideas!
2. Set up an online registry that is easy and has everything you need (including gifts for mom!). We are 100% in love with Baby Cubby because they are so much more than just a registry, they want to make planning for baby easy. And, they want to support you every step of the way! Plus, everything you need is there for you in one place, and they price match everyday (even against amazon!). They have a whole section just for mom that includes some ‘must have’ items like diaper bags that you will actually like carrying around… long after you need to be carrying around a diaper bag.
3. Ride the meal train! This is hands down the one thing I would have changed for my baby shower, and everyone in our poll agreed. For far too long baby showers have been focused on gifts for baby (some of which you will NEVER use) when really they should be preparing parents to get through the first few weeks (and months!) with a brand spanking new human in the house.
New babies are around the clock work and most parents are not prepared for the fact that preparing a meal and tending to household chores can become nearly impossible. Gather a group of friends/family and set up a meal train. A meal train makes sure that sure mom-to-be (or mommy-again, holla!) will be eating the healthy/nutritious foods she needs, at least for a few months. Bonus: You can also set up a train for other chores like caring for older children, taking out the trash, and/or cleaning the bathroom (gross right? And oh so necessary!).
4. Shop like a doula and put mom first. There is nothing worse than setting up your nursery only to find that when your baby gets here you have everything you don’t need and nothing you do, like a break!! Here’s a little wayback playback from me to you, it’s a blog post we wrote listing what you really need for baby. And yes, it’s true, this list is pretty minimal (we have lofty goals of living minimally one day… ha!) we do believe that list focuses on what’s truly important as far as ‘gifts’ go.
If these items are covered, shop outside the box and focus on mama. Does she love getting out and socializing? Maybe a gift certificate for a mom/baby yoga class will be just what she needs after a few weeks of recovery. Or maybe a gift certificate to watch the baby for an hour or two? That way she can go out alone for a walk or coffee date. Does she love to feel pampered? Maybe a spa gift certificate will do the trick!
5. Set up the chill station. So I’m just going to say it, having a newborn is not always the most exciting experience. You spend many hours feeding and many more hours trapped under a sleeping baby. Quite often, being trapped under a sleeping baby means you have no access to food and drink, or even worse, no access to the remote.
When we talk with soon-to-be parents we talk about setting up a nursing station where you have everything you need all in one spot. Want to really ‘mom-up’ your baby shower? Ask baby shower guests to stock up a nursing station basket with things every mom needs. Magazines, good books, water bottles, travel change pads, breast pads and most importantly snacks and bottled water. You may also want to set them up with a list of your favourite Netflix selections; for sure they’ll make it through a few seasons 😉
I hope this list is another step towards putting the mom back in baby shower… uh… well you know what I mean. Being a new parent is tough and we need to do all we can to make it easier for each other. If you love a soon-to-be mama, set her and her family up for success. Most importantly, let her know you are just a phone call away should she need some help. Scratch that, call her the next time you are at the store and ask her what she needs and tell her you’ll be right over to drop it off!!
I would like a latte please 😉
Natasha Marchand is a birth doula trainer, hypnobirthing instructor, prenatal fitness/yoga instructor and business consultant. She is the co-founder of bebo mia and Baby & Me Fitness and is also the proud mother of 5yo Sadie with another on the way!
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