What Happens at a Baby Shower

If you’re an expecting mum, or you have a sister, a friend, or a colleague who is pregnant, chances are you’re now quite familiar with the words “baby shower”.

Whether you’ve been tasked with organizing the party, invited to attend, or you’re actually the mum-to-be, one question that you should know the answer to is: what happens at a baby shower in the UK?

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing everything there is to know about baby showers. From the best time to host a baby shower all the way to baby shower gift ideas and party planning tips, we’re covering it all to help you create an unforgettable stay day!

What is the point of a baby shower?

A baby shower is simply a party that people throw in celebration of the upcoming birth of a new baby. It’s a gathering for future grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends, and other loved ones to congratulate the parents and express their joy at the new pregnancy.

In a baby shower party, the guests share time with the expectant parents and “shower” them with love, good wishes, and of course, gifts. While modern-day baby showers are a relatively new invention, the concept of giving gifts to pregnant parents is pretty much ancient.

Why do people host baby showers?

People host baby showers to bring together the family members, friends, and other loved ones of the expectant mummy and daddy who are eager to welcome the newest member of the family for a cheerful celebration.

It’s also a great way for these guests to help out the new parents get everything they need for the baby. As cute as babies are, they need a lot of stuff which can be a rather expensive list, especially for first-time parents.

Who throws a baby shower?

Since the main point of a baby shower is for the parents’ loved ones to “shower” them with gifts, mums-to-be should have a baby shower thrown for them. Etiquette dictates that expectant parents shouldn’t throw their own party so they don’t look like they’re asking for gifts; a no-no in the rule book of manners.

Instead, the host is typically a close friend, sister, or mother. Mums can talk to them about details, such as the guest list, but leave the reins in the hands of the host.

What is the importance of attending a baby shower?

Attending a baby shower is important because it’s a way for guests to express their happiness with the upcoming birth and show their support for the parents-to-be. Having a baby can be quite stressful, so it’s a good idea to “be there” for the expectant mum and dad.

Who should be invited to a baby shower?

The guest list can include whoever matters to the expectant mum and dad, which usually means family and friends. You don’t want to overdo it though; the party venue can only take so many people! In other words, it’s not necessary to invite every friend they have on Facebook.

Additionally, you should check if any of the guests are dealing with fertility issues and respect how hard it may be for then to be confronted with other pregnancies. Don’t be offended if they can’t attend.

Are baby showers a thing in the UK?

Yes, now more than ever! While it’s true that baby showers are recognized as an American tradition, tons of British mums-to-be are getting in on the party action. In fact, baby showers are becoming so popular in the UK that almost 3 quarters (73%) of parents surveyed by American Express in 2019 are holding pre-birth events.

What happens at a baby shower in the UK?

Baby showers in the UK are all about food, games, chats, and laughing. The expectant mum and all the guests will engage in fun games, share silly baby stories, present helpful advice, and enjoy delicious treats.

If you’re the mummy-to-be, your only job at the baby shower party is to be a gracious guest of honour, receive gifts, and just have a good time. You may want to help your host a bit (or at least offer) with the following aspects:

  • Refreshments – since no one wants to end up hungry at their own party, it’s a smart idea to ask your host how you can help with the food and drinks. If the budget is getting tight, you can suggest that each guest brings a dish to share.
  • Party favours – you don’t really have to offer baby shower party favours, but it’s a nice gesture to send off your guests with a small, inexpensive trinket. For example, a bag of tasty chocolates and pink or blue nail polish.

What gifts do you take to a baby shower?

Gifts are a crucial part of any baby shower party. You want to buy the expectant mum and dad something that can actually help them with the baby, but at the same time, you want it to be something unique and interesting.

Here’s a list of baby shower gift ideas that are guaranteed to get you all the “awws” and “oohs”!

  • A multi-stage baby bathtub: A bathtub is an essential baby item for all new mums and dads, and trust us, they’re going to be using it A LOT, especially when it’s a multi-stage like this one.
  • A white noise machine: New mums and dads can use every bit of help to get their babies to sleep, so they can also get some as well! This machine makes soothing sounds to calm down babies and gently put them to sleep.
  • A rattle toy: This toy produces a soothing chime rattle to relax and comfort the baby is a staple item for every new parent. This particular plush rattle comes with a soft blanket to calm the baby.
  • A fun teething toy: Soon enough, the new parents will have to deal with a grumpy, teething baby. In this case, a teething toy can be a real lifesaver because it helps relieve the pain of sore gums.
  • A cosy hooded baby towel: Both cute and functional, a hooded baby towel can really go a long way, especially when it’s unisex and built to last.
  • A grooming/healthcare kit: From cutting and filing nails to combing hair and brushing teeth, a baby grooming kit is a must-have item for all first-time parents.
  • A nursery set: This Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit 3-piece nursery set consists of a plate, bowl, and mug made of bone china. Each piece features a beautiful illustration from the original book.
  • A personalized handprint & footprint photo frame: A handprint & footprint photo frame is a great gift not only because the expectant parents get to keep a memento of their little one forever, but they can also use the frame to decorate the baby’s room.
  • A versatile baby carrier: It’s a terrific idea to get new parents stuff that they can use in more than one way. A baby wrap sling is a perfect example of such a gift.
  • A pair of funny mum socks: These mummy-to-be socks will earn a lot of laughs from the guests with the joking text ” Keep Calm And Push”.
  • A set of cute baby socks: This set of precious baby socks will keep the baby’s tootsies warm and looking adorable. They’re part of a gift basket which also includes a pair of pyjamas, a baby bib, and a traditional style Bertie bear.
  • A fun book for mum: The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People is all about entertaining new mums with an added sense of humour. It’s part diary, part colouring book, and part hysterically honest advice! There are also lists, pictures, quizzes, and check-in sheets.
  • Heartfelt letters from the past: The basic idea here is for parents to write letters addressed to the baby and have them read these letters at some point in the future.
  • Matching mugs for baby, mummy & daddy: Matching mugs are sweet, useful, and straight to the point. These ceramic mugs feature the words “new mummy”, “new daddy”, and ” for baby” in elegant gold foil.
  • Adorable baby shoes: Cranking up the “aww” factor, baby shoes are undoubtedly one of the most adorable things you can ever lay your eyes on, which makes for a perfect baby shower gift.
  • A Pampering Spa Set: Show the soon-to-be baby mummy some love with a pampering gift set so she can indulge in a spa experience before and after the baby arrives. Don’t worry, this kit also includes a little something for the baby.
  • A hilarious door sign: It’s a universal rule that you should never wake up a sleeping baby unless you want the parents to kill you! So, why not take the initiative and warn everyone dropping by to visit your expectant friends with a funny sign that explains the situation? This door sign says “Shhh… Baby Is Sleeping Do Not Knock OR Ring The Bell”, which is a piece of advice that all mums and dads can definitely appreciate!
  • A plush baby blanket: Last but not least, you can never go wrong with a nice, soft, and comfortable blanket! This lush fleece blanket is gentle on the skin and offers endless possibilities as to how the mum can use it for the baby.

When do you have a baby shower in the UK?

Baby showers in the UK, and anywhere really, can take place anytime before the baby is born. However, it’s preferred to happen 6-7 months into the pregnancy for a couple of reasons:

  • First, the gender of the baby will probably be known so the gifts can be bought accordingly if necessary.
  • Second, you don’t want to host a party so early that you jinx the pregnancy.
  • Third and last, you don’t want to leave the event too late just in case the baby comes early.

As for the matter of day or evening, most baby showers take place during the day because they’re non-drinking events. However, you can have your baby shower party in the evening if it’s the more convenient option – there’s no specific rule here.

What happens at a baby shower: Baby shower planning tips

Organising a baby shower party isn’t as complicated as it may seem at first, but to help you on your mission, here are some planning tips for having the smoothest baby shower party!

  • Make a checklist of all the tasks that need to be completed before the baby shower.
  • If you’re the host, be sure to have the guest list ready a couple of weeks in advance. This way, the guests will have enough time to free up their schedules on the day of the event. You’ll also have enough time to revise the list and make sure you didn’t forget someone important, say, the expectant mum’s own mother!
  • Let your guests know about the date at least 1 month ahead of the baby shower
  • Pick a theme to make it easy to tie all the details together. It can be a certain children’s book, mum’s favourite country or baby inspired animals.
  • Don’t forget baby shower decorations. These can be as basic as some decorations, a sash for the expectant mummy, and confetti balloons.
  • Plan some fun games. This can be just one big activity for everyone like having guests decorate plain onesies for the new baby or a few small games like ‘name that celebrity baby’ or ‘name a song with the word baby in it’.
  • Include baby pictures of the soon-to-be mum and dad (maybe even of the future grandparents, relatives, and close friends), or cute shots of the expectant mum throughout various stages of the pregnancy. This is a fantastic way to personalise the party.

What Happens at a Baby Shower in the UK: A Wrap Up

A baby shower party is a gathering of family and friends to show the expectant parents and their new baby lots of love and support. Now that you know what happens at a baby shower in the UK, you can better plan your party and get inspired when choosing gifts for the soon-to-be mum and dad.

Looking for more baby gift ideas? Check out our post on what to put in a baby time capsule, as well as our article on what gift to give our 1 year old.