Nothing says Welcome Baby! quite like a baby shower. Family and friends come together in person, virtually, or a combination of both, to celebrate the arrival of a new little one. It is a great opportunity to shower the parents-to-be with support and love as they grow their family. But the question is when to have a baby shower? Is there such a thing as having it too early? Too late? What about a virtual shower and who pays? Read on for some things to think about when scheduling your baby shower. You’ll be sending out those invitations in no time!
Setting a date for when should a baby shower be held
Traditionally, baby showers are held in the third trimester of pregnancy. The beginning of the third trimester, from 28 to 32 weeks, is a great time for a baby shower! Mom-to-be is still comfortable and mobile enough to enjoy herself but far enough along to be getting excited about the very real and near prospect of holding her newborn. Sannice1979 shared on thebump.com that “You want to be able to enjoy it as well as have the energy to deal with everything afterwards.” Dads are often getting more enthusiastic at this point as well. The physical reminder of a baby bump that squirms and kicks helps them connect with their unborn child in new ways.
This is also a great time for parents to receive and open their gifts. Little onesies will need to be washed and put away in time for baby, who may choose to arrive earlier than the “due date.” Larger items, such as cribs and car seats, can also be put together and installed without waiting until the last minute. Having a shower in the third trimester allows mom and dad to return duplicate items, as well as pick up things they still need, while they are still able to get around easily.
How long is the timing of a virtual shower?
A virtual shower has the added benefit of flexibility, it can be held at roughly the same time in pregnancy or earlier. Rather than setting one specific date and hoping that guests are free, guests from all over the globe can participate over the span of a few days or even weeks. This allows for maximum participation and even more love showered on the parents-to-be.
Extra consideration for an online shower should be taken when planning any live events, such as video calls or chats. If guests are joining from vastly different time zones, try to choose a time that is within waking hours for everyone. Guests will understand if they need to wake up a little early or stay up a little late, but may not be so happy about a chat scheduled for 2 AM. The priority consideration should go to the parents-to-be, as they need all the rest they can get before baby arrives. Mom’s energy may also be starting to wane, so allowing her much-needed rest is important.
Special circumstances to how many hours
There are always cases where the traditional guidelines do not apply. If that applies to you, feel free to bend the guidelines to make the parents-to-be comfortable. Family and friends are there to support you, not judge. If they know your situation, they are probably even expecting some deviation from the norm.
Twins or multiples– Moms of multiples often delivery early, either because their medical professional recommends it or the babies simply run out of room and are ready to see the world! Having an earlier baby shower, such as towards the end of the second trimester, for twins or multiples is completely normal.
Pregnancy complications– If mom has experienced some complications that necessitate bed rest or limited activity, this should impact the baby shower plans. It may mean an earlier shower to accommodate an earlier delivery or just simply limiting the number of guests or activities at the shower. Whatever the case, the most important thing is to keep mother and baby safe.
Family gatherings– If the timing of your shower falls close to a holiday or other family event, consider having the shower while guests from out-of-town are together. This can help create a hybrid virtual and in-person shower, where two groups get together in person and join virtually to create a mega shower. Guests will be glad to celebrate the new baby earlier or later than traditionally expected if it means that they are able to be together.
Religious or cultural practices– Some religions and cultures wait to celebrate a new baby until after he or she is born. This may also just be the preference of the parents-to-be. If this is the case for the parents-to-be, guests should respect their traditions and beliefs. Instead, shower the parents and baby with love and gifts after the delivery. This has the added benefit of having the baby as a guest of honor.
A baby shower is a joyous occasion, filled with fun, laughter, and lots of love for a growing family. Having your baby shower at the right time can help you celebrate without worry or discomfort, with plenty of time to get those last minute details ready for the new baby. Virtual options offer even more flexibility. Whatever you decide, you’ll be sure to be welcoming baby to a home filled with love, laughter, and gifts thanks to your generous family and friends. Now it’s time to get celebrating!
Thebump.com’s When to Have Your Baby Shower (https://www.thebump.com/a/when-should-i-have-my-baby-shower)
Parents Magazine’s A Quick Etiquette Guide to Baby Celebrations (http://www.parents.com/baby/shower/planning/a-quick-etiquette-guide-to-baby-celebrations/)
The Emily Post Institute’s Advice on Baby Showers (http://emilypost.com/advice/baby-showers-welcoming-the-new-baby/)
New Kids Center’s When Do You Have a Baby Shower? (http://www.newkidscenter.com/When-Do-You-Have-A-Baby-Shower.html)
By Katie Begley