What is a baby shower?

The tradition of so-called baby showers has reached Sweden. A fun party to celebrate the mother-to-be or an anxiety-ridden event to celebrate something that hasn’t happened yet?

Read time: 3 m

What is a baby shower?Photo: Preggers

Traditionally, a baby shower is an event where girlfriends, female friends, and relatives celebrate the pregnant woman and her much-anticipated baby, usually before the baby is born. Originally this was a gathering meant to introduce the mother-to-be to other, more experienced mothers and let her benefit from their expertise in pregnancies and the new life with a baby. Today, a baby shower is often a pretty ambitious party with lots of goodies and presents, decorations, and games. In Sweden, we have largely adopted the American version but you can find this phenomenon in many countries. In some cultures, these festivities are more of an initiation rite where they celebrate the woman’s transition into motherhood.

There are different theories as to why it’s called a ”shower”. Maybe it’s because the mother-to-be is showered with presents and good advice… Or maybe it’s a baby show(er)? A “first showing” of the new baby to family and friends. Regardless, a baby shower is a wonderful way to show the mother-to-be or new mother how festive it is to have a child!

There are different kinds of ”showers”; sometimes it’s an exclusive party, only for the long-time girlfriends, sometimes a more general “expecting a baby”-party with both parents. The idea is always that the party is arranged by someone else, by friends and not by the mother.

If nobody seems to have thought about it, you can ask your best friend, sister or aunt, if they would like to throw you a baby shower. It would be a lovely and fun way to prepare for and celebrate the arrival of your child.

Or maybe you don’t want a baby shower? You’re not alone. Many people think it feels difficult to celebrate something that hasn’t happened yet, some even talk about not wanting to jinx it in case something doesn’t turn out as it should. If that’s how you feel, it’s a good idea to mention it to your kith and kin so they don’t plan something you don’t feel comfortable with. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t catch up anyway! Get the gang together – or let the person who planned a baby shower do it – over a lovely brunch or dinner without a focus on the baby. Then you have the chance to spend some quality time together before the baby arrives. So take the opportunity, it’ll be trickier to get together like this in the future…




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