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Growing up I never thought much of it. When a woman was expecting a baby she had a baby shower. It didn't matter if it was her first, second, or third. It didn't matter if the new baby was the same sex as her older siblings or not. It didn't even matter whether we all brought presents or not. What mattered was getting together to celebrate new life.
But then my husband and I moved to the South and I discovered that baby showers for second-born children were a big no-no. When I became pregnant with my own child and entered the world of mommy forums (a word of advice for mamas-to-be, stay away from the forums!) I would watch passionate debates play out between women on proper baby shower etiquette. I didn't get why everyone was making a big deal over a simple party.
Recently an old friend of mine posed the question on her Facebook page. She is expecting her second child and wondered if she should have a baby shower. She received various responses but no one was more intense about their opinions than those who insisted that she should not. I was astounded. I basically told her she should do whatever she wants and forget what anyone else thinks.
Personally I don't care if anyone buys me or my baby anything, I just want an excuse to get together with family and friends to celebrate a precious new addition to our family.
The more I think about it, actually, the more I really believe every baby should get their own shower! I had a baby shower for both of my kids and I would do it again. And yes, I had a registry for each baby too. Admittedly the second registry had less on it because I still had my first baby's crib, car seat, and other essentials. But there are always items that are needed brand new for each baby: diapers, wipes, perhaps a few clothing items.
I can understand feeling uncomfortable asking for gifts, but I just don't see it that way. To me a registry is simply a list of suggested items if one wants to purchase a present, it's not a list of demands. Personally I don't care if anyone buys me or my baby anything, I just want an excuse to get together with family and friends to celebrate a precious new addition to our family. Call it a shower, call it a sprinkle, call it a get-together—I don't care. Just come over, have a mimosa, and say, "Congratulations!"
Honestly, there are bigger faux-pas in the world to get bent out of shape over and I don't see this as a hill to die on. If you really feel so strongly about it, just decline the invitation and move on with your life, no need to make the mother-to-be feel bad about wanting to celebrate her baby. But can we just put this debate to rest? In a world where we have to deal with so much craziness: mass shootings, terrorist attacks, racism—let's find every opportunity we can to celebrate love, family, and the hope of new life.