by Courtney Sullivan
Do you envision baby-themed games, piles of presents, cutesy snacks and banished husbands when you consider baby shower invitations? Do they make you cringe?
We have good news for the wary! Savvy moms and their friends are changing things up for the better with unique baby showers. Check out the up and coming trends for 2012!
Cuter than the bakery's frosting-coated version but not quite as tasty. Some crafty friend designs a many-tiered cake out of new diapers, toys, gadgets, ribbons and curls. These non-culinary treats range from simple to elaborate but all are much more useful than their calorie-laden counterparts.
At one time, the baby shower was filled with giggling maidens in proper dresses and heels. Often the men arrived with their wives only to retire to the "den" for some cigars and a little bourbon. Now, the men party right along with the women, participating in games, helping to open gifts and offering a hand where needed.
Maybe you have a smallish house, or no one can agree on who's place would be more appropriate for the event? Rent or "borrow" a space for the afternoon. The facilities can provide more room and an endless supply of tables and chairs! Alternatively, book tables at a restaurant. You get the food catered and no mess to clean up at all!
The amount of baby clothes on this planet could sink a continent. Many moms are taking that to heart and throwing "used" showers, or "green showers." Guests are asked to only bring gently used clothing items and any other recycled products that can be used for baby. Being environmentally conscious, many of these same moms re-fuel the cloth diaper revolution and use their shower as an opportunity to "diaper swap" as well.
Even before someone pondered the "chicken and the egg," the social acceptability of a subsequent shower has been in question. While that war rages on like an untamed wildfire, moms of more than one utilize a loophole. A sprinkle is meant to only give the mom a few things she needs for the new baby -- no big tickets items as gifts, just the things a new baby would need.
If you find registries a total pain the rear but don't want to run the risk of duplicating gifts, consider a gift card shower. It allows the parents to purchase all that they need without the hassle of mismatched themes or time consuming store returns. Not to mention the guests save on the expensive wrapping elements!
What? Grandma? Well as it were, many grandparents end up footing the bill for extra baby gear to keep at their house when mom and dad take a much needed break. Responding to the need, friends or co-workers throw the "grandparents–in-wait" a small shower of their own helping them collect the basics for their newest bundle of pride!
Once the gender ultrasound became popular (and somewhat reliable) spilling the beans as soon as you knew became the norm. Now, people seem to be backtracking and trying to put a little mystery back into pregnancy. They reveal the sex of the baby at the shower, usually by a cute and clever method such as a blue or pink cake, or releasing balloons of the same color.
Another twist: "Sip and see" showers after baby arrives. Friends and family are invited to drop by "open house style" within a certain time frame to meet the baby (see) and enjoy light food and drinks (sip).
Popular for moms of more than one, guests bring scrapping elements such as paper or stickers to help build a book for the new arrival. Often these parties are accompanied by other crafts such as quilts and knitting.
Yep, that's all we need. Thanks! 455,000 diapers. This will probably be more popular for second time or more parents. Guests are asked to only bring diapers as gifts. Offer anyone who brings a pack or two is automatically entered into a drawing for a larger gift in lieu of playing games.
What are some trends you see at the baby showers you go to?
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