Baby showers are becoming increasingly popular here in Ireland, and many of the older generation Irish mammies that we have been speaking to about them think that they are just another way to extract presents from people. Nothing like an Irish mammy to have an opinion and not be afeared to voice it.
Of course, an element of a baby shower is the gifts, and let’s be honest, there’s very few among us who doesn’t like to be showered in presents every now and again. But there are other, more wholesome and less materialistic reasons for holding one for the soon to hatch mammy-to-be in your life.
The first, and most important reason, is to celebrate the mother-to-be just as she is, because let’s face it, from here on in everything is going to be about the baby! This is the last precious time before the arrival of the little one that she will be the centre of attention. And that deserves a party.
And as for the gifts, for there will be gifts. We get asked a lot about what kind of gifts should you get for a baby shower. In our humble opinion, it should be something for the mother-to-be, ideally something pampering, like a massage, or a facial, or some beautiful candles or body oils.
The baby will be inundated with gifts you see. When they’re born, we shower the proud parents with baby things, at the christening, more baby things. The baby generally has a better wardrobe than anyone else by the time they are 6 months old.
The second reason to have a baby shower is to share generations of wisdom, knowledge and support with the mammy-to-be. Grannies and aunties and mammies and friends alike will have, from experience, stories of motherhood gone before to soothe any fears and anxieties the mother-to-be may be having.
I remember two things I learned about having babies vividly from the first baby shower that I attended. The first was that a breast pump was a product. The second was that boiled and cooled cabbage can be put on bleeding nipples to calm them down! To be fair, both practical pieces of advice.
We are a nation of storytellers here in Ireland, and to be able to come together, chat and pass on knowledge and advice through the generations is a wonderful thing that I hope we never lose in this time of technology and google. I would much rather my Mam told me about the boiled cabbage than to stumble across a disturbing google image.
The third reason is perhaps a tad self-indulgent, but it is another excuse for us to get together and spend time with one another, and that is what life’s all about really. There’s the excitement of inviting people round, getting dressed up, bit of pampering, lots of yummy cake and tea, and of course good conversation.
The bonus of a baby shower is this; given that it is generally a female type of gathering (not excluding anyone here just going on our stats!) you can rope the menfolk in to be the servants, sorry servers, for the afternoon to wait on you ladies hand and foot. That’s nearly another reason in itself to have a baby shower isn’t it?