How to navigate your first baby shower
Baby showers tend to be the domain of ladies. Ask most twenty something men how many baby showers they have been to and they will probably look at you blankly, maybe not even knowing what a baby shower is. Obviously as they grow up and move towards a world where they have children of their own, that ignorance will slowly change, but it takes a long time for many guys to get to the space where they know what they doing around babies. So, with this in mind, if you are due to attend your first baby shower in the next week or two, here are a few tips to ensure that you don’t embarrass yourself.
Take a gift
The idea behind a baby shower is that you take a gift that will help the parents as they set about navigating the biggest and most complicated journey of their lives. Whatever you take it needs to be baby-centric but that is about the sum-total of the requirement. It can be something practical like nappies or nipple cream, it can be something for the parents or it can be something for the baby. And in buying something for the baby you don’t need to get something that will be used or needed on day one. While new-born baby clothing will be greatly appreciated, not everyone can give this. You can also look further into the future and get items like mobiles or a teething giraffe for when baby starts to get teeth. The options are plenty – just don’t show up empty handed.
Alcohol… not so much
Guys have a tendency to give alcohol as gifts. This is the one situation where it is not appropriate. The mom probably won’t be drinking while she is pregnant, and the baby certainly won’t drink either. Booze is only appropriate if it is a great bottle of wine or port that is given with the intention of being opened and consumed on the day that baby comes of age. But this is a big play and a long-term one and the reality is, you are probably better off taking something more conventional.
Baby showers are exciting as they herald the imminent arrival of a new life. But they can also be events that are mired in uncertainty, nerves and fear. So be considerate and sensitive, particularly the needs of the mother who by this stage will be pregnant fit-to-burst. Avoid talking about horror birth stories that you may have heard or of asking ignorant questions. The key is to be supportive. Tell he mom how good she looks and reassure the prospective father and mother that they will make great parents.
Cigars for the win
If you are close to the father-to-be then you might want to consider investing in a great quality cigar. There is an old tradition that has died out somewhat in recent times that involves smoking a cigar on the birth of the child. Traditionally this was something that the father and his friends did together while the mother and child recovered and relaxed in eth hospital. Now there is no reason why the mother should not be involved in the ritual as well. Most people don’t smoke cigars often, but the birth of a child is a good excuse to go there.