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Baby Showers: Celebrating a New Baby

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Someone near and dear to you is having a baby. Everyone wants to celebrate. The mother-to-be could also use some words of wisdom, a little emotional support, and help putting together the nursery. Good news! That’s exactly what baby showers are for — to “shower” expectant moms with everything they need, from advice and encouragement to baby booties and diaper pails. As such, they are traditionally focused on first-time moms.

You may wonder, then, if it’s appropriate to hold showers for second or third babies, since by the time baby number two comes along, a woman likely knows what’s what and has most everything she needs. The answer is yes. Every baby is a cause for celebration, and it’s perfectly acceptable nowadays to welcome any and all babies with a baby shower. Some things to think about when planning a baby shower:

For firstborns: These can be no-holds-barred events. Being a parent is totally new to the mom-to-be, making it thrilling and confusing at the same time. Be sure to shower her with plenty of love, encouragement, advice, and baby gear to get her started on the right foot.

For second babies:  When throwing a baby shower for a second (or third or fourth ...) baby, consider what the expectant mom really needs. If her firstborn was a boy and she’s expecting a girl, it’s the perfect opportunity to outfit her with all the cute little dresses, accessories, and nursery decorations made just for baby girls. Or maybe she’s all set with baby gear and what she really needs is a girl’s night out. Instead of nursery items, guests might bring pampering just-for-mom presents, frozen casseroles that she can pop in the microwave, babysitting “coupons” to be cashed in when she needs a break — or they might chip in for one group gift instead of each bringing an individual present. Finally, celebrations for second babies might include the big-sibling-to-be with toddler friends on the guest list, and gifts and games for the big brother- or big sister-to-be.

For caboose babies: Sometimes babies come as a surprise. And when parents-to-be already have older kids and thought their diaper-changing days were over, it’s time for another baby shower! Parents expecting “caboose” babies have usually given away all their baby clothes and nursery equipment, so it’s just like starting all over again. 

For adopted babies: Adopted babies deserve a celebration, too! Just like birth parents, adoptive parents need parenting advice, baby clothes, nursery accoutrements, and all the other things a new child requires. Be sure to let guests know the age of the child, since not all adopted babies are newborn. That way clothes and other gifts will be for the appropriate age.

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