Throwing a baby shower for your friend/sister/daughter/coworker can be a lot of fun and is definitely an honor. You have an idea of the location, the food, the decorations, the games and all of the other super fun aspects of a baby shower, but what about the timing?
There is a strong superstition that baby showers should never be held too early due to the belief that it might jinx the pregnancy and end in tragedy for a mother who might miscarry. However, do you really want to throw the shower when the mom-to-be is huge and unable to do too much? Deciding on timing can be a tricky task, but hopefully this article will help you decide when you should throw the baby shower.
Be Considerate before Baby Shower Etiquette
Before you even start planning the shower, be sure to consult the expectant parents first on their preference for its time. Many women will not want any shower before the three-month mark, as that is the time of the pregnancy most likely to experience miscarriage. In addition, the parents-to-be might ask you to wait until their find out the sex of their baby (if they are planning to find out) so registering for gifts might be “easier”.
Also, be sure to ask them of any well-known plans, as it would be a huge disappointment to pick a date, send out the invitations, and then find out that most of the important people cannot attend due to a conflict with another event. Be aware as well that some family members or friends may need to make travel arrangements, so planning a shower on a holiday weekend or in the middle of the week may not be the best idea. As for time of day, consider that some guests may not be able to attend an evening shower should they have young children, be elderly, or for other reasons.
But what if the expecting parents have no preference and there will be no schedule conflicts with the important people in their lives? When should the shower be held then?
Planning Baby Shower Etiquette by Months
There is a considerable amount of debate for at which point in the mother’s pregnancy the shower should be held (after the three-month mark). Here are several arguments for and against the most common times to hold a shower to help you make your decision.
Four to Five Months: This is the earliest most people will choose to have a shower. It falls after the three-month mark, and the mother is finally out of the first trimester which means she should be leaving morning sickness behind her, as well as the fatigue that accompanies the first trimester. She should be feeling her best and will not be running into the exhaustion of the third trimester. The expecting mother will also probably have the most energy for big social events–such as showers–at this point. Some people might argue against this time frame, however, as some parents may not yet have been able to find out the sex of their bundle of joy, and are waiting to find out in order to register for gifts. Additionally, some argue that this is only halfway through the pregnancy and will give the new mother nothing to look forward to at the end of her pregnancy (beyond the obvious birth of her child).
Six Months: Six months is another popular choice to hold a baby shower. It is the end of the mothers second trimester, so as with the four to five month range, she still should be feeling and looking her best at this point. Many women have stated that six months was the best time to have their showers as they were still mobile enough to be able to sort through gifts and organize them. In addition, if they did not receive everything the needed off their registry they had plenty of time to go and shop for the rest of the items they needed. Other women suggest having a shower around this time because you never know if you might have a preterm delivery or not and waiting too long might increase the risk of not getting to have the shower in time.
Seven to Eight Months: This time frame is probably the most common time that people choose to throw a baby shower for their loved one, friend, or coworker. The argument for this period is that the expecting mother will know the gender of the baby (if she is finding out), will be well out of the danger zone for jinxing the pregnancy, and will have that quintessential big baby bump. If you are excited to play games about guessing the delivery date, measuring the size of the baby bump, and other baby shower games like that, this is probably the time in which you want to throw the shower. There are a few downsides to throwing a shower this late in the pregnancy, however. This is the third trimester for mom-to-be, and as such she may be physically uncomfortable and often exhausted. Also, if she is at risk for a preterm delivery, she might deliver her baby before you have a chance to throw the shower.
After Birth: Believe it or not, some people do wait until after the baby is born in order to throw a baby shower. This is more common for mothers who already have other children and so they may not need as much assistance with essentials like cribs. However, some women decide this is the best time, because all of the focus is instead off them and on their new little bundle of joy instead. The baby will also serve as an icebreaker as well. As a forewarning, though, some people may be thrown off by you waiting until after the baby has been born, and sometimes the mother will not like having many people touching and surrounding her newborn.
The moral of the story is, however, that no matter when you throw the baby shower, it is sure to be a fun and memorable experience that allows you and others to shower their love and affection on the parents-to-be.