You’re pregnant with your second baby. Is that an occasion for another party? When is a second baby shower okay, and does it depend on the sex of the baby or years between pregnancies? We asked moms to share what is appropriate and what’s not.
Baby showers traditionally were thrown for the expectant mother by a close friend or co-worker (usually not a relative) and only for her first baby. In modern times, baby showers are given not just for the first child, but the rest as well. While Miss Manners may be shocked to discover the way the tradition is unfolding, it makes sense on many levels.
We talked with moms to find out if they thought baby showers for second (or more) babies were okay, or if the practice is still seen as gift-grabbing and — gulp — tacky.
Every baby deserves a party
Most moms we talked to had no issue with second — and subsequent — showers because they felt that every pregnancy deserves to be recognized. “I had a shower for all three of my children,” shared Dawn. “They are all special and all deserved to have a celebration of their impending birth.”
Older and wiser
There are many valid reasons to have baby showers for your second and subsequent pregnancies. One reason is that having been through babyhood once already, you’re wise enough to know you really won’t use the wipe warmer this time around. “I’m on my second baby and will be having another shower,” shared Sarah from Missouri. “There are a few things I didn’t know I wanted last time around, but more than that, I want to celebrate this new addition.”
Big gap or different sex
If there’s a big gap between your last pregnancy and this one, you might find that your hand-me-down baby gear may have expired or have been recalled by the time your new baby is born. You also may have misplaced or given away some of your baby-care items, such as your breast pump or crib sheets. Clothes are the best things to hand down to your next child, but if you had a girl the first time, you’ll probably opt to not dress a boy in pink or lace-trimmed dresses. A shower for baby clothes makes practical sense in this case, as everyone loves to buy baby clothes.
But keep in mind that in the absence of a big gap or expecting a different sex, even moms with closely-spaced pregnancies would love and enjoy a baby shower too.
Alternatives to traditional showers
Even first-timers may want to consider these alternatives to traditional baby showers. If you’re hosting a baby shower for a family member or friend, try one of these ideas instead.
- Host a “sprinkle” — a casual get-together with family and close friends
- Have a “sip and see” or “meet and greet” after the baby is born
- Do a diaper shower — have participants bring a package of disposable diapers or a few cloth diapers instead of a traditional baby gift
- Coordinate with the guests and have everyone chip in on a big-ticket item, like a stroller Mom is coveting
- Have a craft session — everyone can design a fabric square to be made into a quilt, for example
- Pool cash and buy the parents-to-be a gift card to their favorite store so they can get what they need
- Have guests write letters to the parents or the baby and have them professionally bound into a keepsake book
The key is celebration
Moms expecting their second baby can sometimes feel like this one is less important or exciting than their first, so having a celebration to honor her and the baby is a great way to help her feel loved. As Jessica, mom of five, explained, “It doesn’t have to be about gifts, it can be about everyone getting together to celebrate the new baby and spend time together.”