Great Alternatives to Traditional Baby Showers

women sharing presents at a baby shower

Does the idea of having your pregnant belly wrapped in toilet paper to determine its circumference make you cringe? What about taste testing baby food flavors? How about pink and blue baby decor? If so, you don’t have to forgo celebrating the pending arrival of your child, just break free from the restrictions of a traditional baby shower. Whether you want to include the men who will be an important part of your child’s life or just have a day to celebrate this momentous transition in your life, read on for suggestions for unique alternatives to traditional baby showers that will help you celebrate the arrival of your new child while being true to your own style and values.

Don’t Forget Dad—Go Co-Ed

Baby showers that were limited to women-only may have made sense in days when women bore the sole responsibility for child-rearing, but dads are often just as pumped about baby gear and tiny Chuck Taylor’s as moms. Co-ed showers are a great way to include male family members and friends who are going to be a big part of the child’s life too, like uncles and grandfathers. Co-ed baby showers are a must for the couple that isn’t looking to participate in traditional baby shower activities like guessing the number of pacifiers in a jar, playing baby bingo, or eating tiny cucumber sandwiches. Instead, invite all of your friends and family over, fire up the grill, enjoy some creative mocktails, and bust out the cornhole. And when it comes to gifts, don’t forget that dad’s enjoy cool baby gear, too!

a group of women sitting in a circle at a baby shower
Image via The Birth Hour

Focus on the Mother-to-Be with a Blessingway

A blessingway is a sacred pre-birth ceremony originated by the Navajo people to celebrate a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood. Also known as a, ‘Mother’s Blessing,” these ceremonies are gaining popularity in North America. Unlike a traditional baby shower where the focus is on gifts and the baby, a blessingway focuses on nurturing the mother-to-be. At a blessingway, you would gather your closest friends and family to help provide you with the encouragement you’ll need to be full of strength, confidence, and love in your journey to motherhood.

Your guests may choose to celebrate you by adorning you with a floral crown, providing you with nourishing food, and offering gifts to help keep you calm during labor—like candles, birth affirmation flags, and special messages of encouragement. A blessingway is typically held near the end of your pregnancy to help you stay calm as you draw closer to bringing your baby into the world.

Forgo the Shower and Just Enjoy a Sprinkle

If you already have a child, chances are that you may have a lot of the things that you need for subsequent children in terms of cribs, strollers, toys, and swings. A baby “sprinkle” is essentially a baby shower, but on a smaller scale. Guests are encouraged to bring items that you will need plenty of—diapers, food, baby bath products, and well wishes. If you are having a child of a different gender, this is also an opportunity for guests to pick up some gender-specific items for the new baby. Like a traditional baby shower, a sprinkle is typically held toward the end of your pregnancy, but it’s typically just for very close family and friends. A sprinkle is also a great way to include your other children in preparing for and celebrating the arrival of their new brother or sister.

Wait Until Mom and Baby are Ready for Company during a Sip and See

For many expecting mothers, just the idea of a baby-shower is exhausting. Some women are waiting until after their baby is born to celebrate their child’s birth with a “sip and see.” Most friends and family will want to drop-in after the baby is born to meet your new baby anyway. Setting up a sip and see allows you to plan the visit for a time when you are feeling well after childbirth and have had the opportunity to get into a routine with your new baby—most likely a few months after the baby has been born. A sip and see is a great option if you, as well as your friends and family, aren’t particularly excited about traditional baby shower activities. In some cultures it is considered bad luck to have the baby shower before you have the baby and we are noticing more and more moms choosing this option in America as well.

Just remember, this is your pregnancy. You’re under no obligation to participate in traditions that don’t appeal to you. Pregnancy is stressful enough without having to worry about people-pleasing! Celebrate your transition to motherhood and the arrival of your new child in a way that feels right to you—you won’t regret it!