4 Alternative Baby Shower Ideas

Gift box wrapped in black paper with silver ribbon on wooden surface

Baby showers are great, but some moms just aren’t into them. If you fall into this group, maybe an alternative baby shower is more your style. Instead of the traditional awwing and cooing over onesies, you can host a spiritual celebration or wait until after the baby is born to plan an event. Below are four alternative baby shower ideas for moms who want something a little different:

1. Charitable donations

If you’re dreading the onslaught of gifts that a baby shower brings, or you simply have enough already, ask your guests to donate to charity. Research a list of nonprofit organizations that support your values and list them on your invitations, or provide a helpful handout to your friends and family as they arrive. Choosing a topic close to your heart will help you narrow down your list of charitable organizations. For example, Prince William and Kate Middleton asked well-wishers to donate to the Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which helps fund the hospital where Prince George was born.

In fact, having a baby shower in the first place was a bit unconventional – Kate was the first Royal to have such a celebration.

“It isn’t royal tradition but Kate isn’t a traditional Royal,” a friend told tabloid newspaper The Sun.

If the Duchess of Cambridge can break from tradition, then so can you.

A woman in front of a computer, browsing a charity website.Have friends and family donate to charity instead of giving gifts.

2. A mother blessing

This practice is based on the Navajo ceremony blessingway, which celebrates the transition from woman to mother. Whereas baby showers focus on gifts for the unborn infant, mother blessings are more about mom’s support, nurture and preparation. The mother-to-be’s friends and family sit with her in a circle and share their stories on giving birth and raising children. This isn’t to induce fear or anxiety – rather, it’s to normalize the birth process and bring comfort to the expecting mom. It’s also a chance for mom to express her own nervousness about the process and release any last-minute emotional blocks before the baby arrives. You should leave a mother blessing feeling loved, comforted and supported.

That said, mother blessings don’t have to focus solely on sharing feelings. You can still have mom-related activities if you choose. Prayer rituals, crafting and massages are also fun options for your blessing.

3. Sip and see

If you want to get the stress of childbirth over with before you even begin thinking of celebrations, consider a sip and see. These events are similar to baby showers but occur after your child is born. The same friends and family show up, and gifts are involved if you want, but the party is less concerned with preparing for the baby and more about welcoming and meeting him or her for the first time.

Sip and sees originated in the South but are growing popular across the country. Guests usually consume light refreshments, and the whole event has a casual, relaxed atmosphere. That said, sip and sees are still parties, so you have the opportunity to get dressed up if you want to. As Parenting Magazine pointed out, a sip and see is probably the first chance you get to wear your nice clothes after coming home from the hospital.

A smiling baby in pink holding a stuffed rabbit.Sip and sees invite friends and family to see your baby for the first time.

4. Baby sprinkle

A baby shower is typically held for your first born, but don’t their siblings deserve a similar celebration? Subsequent showers are called sprinkles, and they’re growing increasingly common. Typically, sprinkles are smaller than showers. Only close friends and family are invited, and menus are usually simple. Some people see sprinkles as a breech of etiquette, but most of their concerns have to do with being asked to buy additional gifts. Forgo the presents if you want – doing so is quite common, actually – or have your guests bring single-use or disposable items like diapers. Just don’t let someone else’s opinion dictate whether or not you hold a party for your unborn child.

These are just a few alternative baby shower ideas, but you can do so much more if you choose. Let your imagination run wild and celebrate your baby in whatever manner you wish.

Autumn Green is an artist-turned-writer who traded the sweet tea of the south for the deep dish pizza of Chicago. Her favorite subjects include art, culture, design, small business/entrepreneurship and healthful living.