Last Sunday my sister Missy and my best friend Sarah threw me a baby shower. These two ladies should seriously go into business together, they planned my hen do and it was the most organised hen do on the planet. The fact they had reunited for my baby shower filled me with joy, the dynamic duo back again, and they didn’t disappoint! Willy straws were replaced with baby bottles with straws, drinking games were replaced with eating fake poo out of nappies and ways to embarrass Cat opportunities were …. Well … they didn’t change.
I know baby showers are an American thing and such stateside traditions are beginning to infiltrate the UK but I have to say I’m all on board with the baby shower. Not sure about you but my friends are quite spread out in location, we all get busy and meeting up can sometimes be a challenge, even with the best of intentions. I realised my whole pregnancy has almost passed without me seeing some of my friends! To get everyone together before I pop was really lovely.
I’m fully aware that when you’re invited to a baby shower you think “gift!” and it can sometimes be hard to know what to buy so I’m going to help you out with some tips. I have to say all the gifts I got were outstanding (I know my friends will be reading this)!
- Clothes – naturally I have been shopping and couldn’t resist buying tiny little mini cuteness on a hanger (obligatory that you squeal in a high pitched voice when you see it) but on the most part, I think parents resist going overboard knowing they’ll be given clothes from friends or relatives as hand me downs or some new items as presents. So clothes are a good move in my book
- Mummy – presents for mummy are a lovely idea and always unexpected. With all the planning and build up (and I may be generalising here) but I think most mums will be thinking of the baby. The nursery. What they will need. What they don’t need but someone told you they couldn’t live without. It’s all baby baby baby. The only things I’ve bought for myself are ever increasing in size, unflattering pants. Receiving something for you is a great surprise, whether it’s clothes, bath products, creams, prosecco … it doesn’t matter, it’s mummy time!
- Anything that saves you money! – sounds tight but being given nappies, breast pads, nipple cream, nappy rash cream … this all adds up and with everything else you’re paying out for, it’s a godsend. Plus, experienced mum’s have tested the products and you know you’re getting the good stuff
- Homemade – I love a homemade gift. If you can knit … knit. It’s original and the time and thought that’s gone into it won’t go unnoticed. And in years to come it’s nice to say ‘your Auntie Jodie knitted you that’. I got some blankets from my nanny from beyond the grave, the label freaked me out a bit but the blankets were lovely
- Toys – I have seriously neglected this department in my baby prep. I’ve been so busy sorting out the essential kit that’s required, I forgot to buy things to entertain the little one. Rattles, stuffed toys, anything squidgy that makes a funny noise I’m sure will be a godsend and good to have to hand
- Photo Album – Sarah got us a photo album. I know I will be a nightmare for taking pictures and keeping them on my camera roll. Given the fact that I’ve been married for 18 months and still haven’t chosen photos for the wedding book, it’s a fair assumption. This will prompt me to actually do something with them!
If you’re planning a baby shower, these games we played at mine were a hit:
- Guess the poo – nappies were filled with different melted chocolate bars and we all had to tuck in and guess the correct flavour. I did terribly! Chocolate chilli poo was a particular low point
- Mush Tucker Trial – I had to eat baby food and guess the main ingredients (this was horrendous, poor babies having to eat that)
- Pin the dummy on the bunny (a tame take on pin the willy on the hunk, that wouldn’t be appropriate)
- Match the celebrity baby to the mum
- Decorate a muslin (all done with fabric paints and pens so I can actually use the muslins)
- Name the baby (photo’s of the attendees and I had to guess who was who)
- Draw the Face – draw my face during stages of labour
- Sweepstake – guess the weight, name and date of birth of the baby
All great fun and well worth doing, especially the poo one!
One gift I got that I’d like to give special mention is my baby’s bed from ‘The British Baby Box’. Since I saw these at a baby show I knew I wanted one. My husband is Danish so we are all on board with the Scandic ways and this tradition originates from Finland where they have one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. In Finland you get given a box when you leave hospital. It contains a starter kit and also a mattress which fits into the box, converting the box to a bed. You may think “I’m not putting my baby in a box!” but don’t worry, you don’t put the lid on! The box is bigger than a moses basket and more comfortable than a moses basket. I love it. I love everything about it. I love how safe it is, I love how it looks and I love the look on people’s faces when I say my baby will be sleeping in a box. I’ll be doing another blog about it when the baby arrives!
The box comes with a lid for storage (which also could be used as a changing mat facility), a fitted mattress, a waterproof matress cover and an organic cotton fitted sheet. The box is 70cm L x 43cm W x 27cm H and all materials are non toxic and environmentally safe. The above set costs £50, very reasonable in my opinion. They do additional sets with more included at £100 and £150. It’s worth noting the box is easily transportable with easy grab side handles so you can move baby around undisturbed. If you’re travelling somewhere, just pack the box with your chosen essentials and go!
Have a peek at the baby boxes at www.britishbabybox.com.