What is a Baby Shower?

friend giving mom-to-be a present during her baby shower

A baby shower is a celebratory event held in anticipation of the birth or arrival of a new baby. It’s a time for friends and family to come together to shower the expectant parents with well-wishes, love, and practical gifts. In addition to being a good excuse for a party, it’s also a great way to make sure that the new parents get the supplies and support they need, especially if the baby is their first child. Baby showers are typically organized by friends, family members, or coworkers of the parents-to-be, and baby-themed games and food are also common elements of a baby shower.

What is the Purpose of a Baby Shower?

The purpose of a baby shower is to provide the expecting parents with everything they need for their newborn. Loved ones referred to this as “showering” the future parents with practical and helpful gifts, which is how this event got its name. This tradition, which became popular during the postwar baby boom of the 1940’s and 1950’s, is an opportunity for a community of close friends and family to come together and celebrate new beginnings, share parenting wisdom and help make a dent in the haul of essentials that the new parents will need once the baby arrives.

Traditionally, a baby shower was a women-only event planned and hosted by family or close friends of the mom-to-be. Modern baby showers are much more inclusive and welcome anyone you please including in-laws, coworkers and the father-to-be. There are also showers thrown for couples who are adopting a child, or welcoming a child via surrogate. Regardless of how the baby or child is joining the family, there’s reason to celebrate and gather in support of the new addition to the family. 

While some couples use their baby shower to reveal the gender of their baby, gender-neutral showers are becoming quite common. Some may want to be surprised when the baby is actually born or simply don’t align with the pinks and blues and traditional gender identity norms. Baby showers are typically held in the second trimester of pregnancy, or a few months before the child arrives, which allows parents time to be prepared long before their arrival/due date. It’s also perfectly acceptable to have a shower after the baby comes.

What is a Baby Sprinkle Shower? 

Every baby should be celebrated, and it’s completely acceptable to host a shower for a second, third, or subsequent child. Sometimes hosts will throw a baby sprinkle, which is a lighter, less grandiose (a sprinkle rather than a full shower) version of a baby shower. They’re more about celebrating and cheering on the parents-to-be than helping them outfit a nursery for the first time.

The idea behind a baby sprinkle is that parents may already have many of the essential baby items from their previous children, like a carseat, crib, stroller, etc, especially if the age gap between the kids is relatively small. Instead of asking for big-ticket items or extensive gifts, a baby sprinkle focuses on celebrating the upcoming arrival of the new baby and providing some of the practical necessities and smaller gifts like diapers and wipes that the parents may need.

There’s no rule saying you have to have a baby shower, but it can be a great way for your family and community to come together to celebrate and show you support at this exciting time in your life. 

Our smaller space at Historic Acres, The Coop, is perfect for baby showers. This renovated banquet room boasts charming farmhouse details, exposed wood beam ceilings, large bay windows, and crystal chandeliers. If you’re looking for a baby shower venue in Hershey PA, give us a call at 717-298-6340 or contact us.