The modern baby shower
A baby shower is a celebration of your momentous journey into motherhood. We take a look at how the touching celebration has evolved.
Celebrating the birth of a child with a baby shower has been a tradition for years. While the term ‘baby shower’ is a relatively new one, the ritual of celebrating pregnancy and birth across multiple cultures is an enduring one. Another pre-birth tradition which is starting to gain popularity as a wonderful alternative to the traditional shower is a Blessing Way (known by some as a ‘Mothers Blessing’). This old Navajo ceremony focuses on the Mom – and the gift of life that she is giving and her journey into motherhood – as opposed to just giving gifts to the infant.
Having planned several of these recently, and seen the beautiful bond the Blessing Way ritual creates between family and close friends, we wanted to show you how you can create one yourself with a modern twist.
The Blessing Way tradition
The Blessing Way was created to protect and bless the family’s pregnancy and home – and prevent misfortune. Having evolved over the years it has become popular recently for its focus on the beauty of motherhood and it includes elements of giving, sharing and bonding amongst women who are close to the Mother.
Here are several of the rituals that can be included and, depending on your taste, tweaked to suit you best:
- A birth necklace: Each woman brings a special bead to the ceremony along with her blessing and/or personal birth story. Everyone’s stories are shared and then a necklace is created for the Mother to wear whilst in labor. A more modern alternative is gifting a beautiful teething necklace such as the LouLou Lollipop Teething Necklace Beads, which is a gorgeous gift for mamas to wear and for tots to soothe their sore little gums with.
- Birth art: Whilst traditional baby showers often include games, the Blessing Way incorporates birth art. Simple pictures, paintings or stitched prayer flags are made by the attendees to be strung in the nursery or turned into a baby blanket. Natural Earth makes gorgeous paint kits that can be used for Birth Art, including a natural face paint kit which can be used for designs on Mom’s belly if you are feeling creative!
- Eating and drinking together: One of the joys of the Blessing Way is sitting in a circle sharing stories, memories and goodwill. Marking the occasion with a morning or afternoon tea makes it even more relaxed and special. Sharing tea – we love Birds and Bees – and having nibbles and cakes creates a calming environment for all… and what pregnant Mama doesn’t love a sweet treat!
Gifts with meaning for Mom
One of the nicest aspects of the Blessing Way is ‘pampering the mother’ and giving gifts with meaning. Marloe London makes beautiful swaddles that can be used both as a scarf for mother and also a blanket for baby.
During the ceremony mothers are often offered a massage for their head, neck and feet. Zoe Organics Belly Oil or Cream would be ideal to use for this. Alternatively, for a less hands-on approach, gifting any of the Kahina Giving Beauty products for Mama to use later would be a lovely touch.
Eco gifts for baby
Whilst the focus for Mama is on natural eco products, the same should very much apply for baby. Finn and Emma have wooden play gyms that are guaranteed to be a favorite with bubs. Alternatively smaller items such as the Bannor Toys Elephant Rattle, Twoodie Wooden Stacking Gems or Lil Pyar Nursery Mobiles would all make great gifts with meaning. A handwritten note with a blessing for the baby would make a lovely additional touch that Mama might keep – and possibly even frame in the baby’s room.
Recently we had a client ceremony where the guests collectively transformed the parents’ bedroom into a peaceful sleep environment for their impending Twins. We purchased two Moba bassinets with matching bedding and a DockATot for snuggles in bed. Divine!
Spreading love within the home
Often the Blessing Way ends with attendants being given a candle to light. We love the idea of reciprocating this tradition by having guests give Mom her own special candle. Alternatively, you could tweak it slightly with a home gift such as a beautiful Gathre leather mat which post-birth Mom can use for stretching and, of course, baby time or a luxurious bamboo lounger robe from Recliner NYC that she’s bound to fall in love with.
However you choose to tailor your modern baby shower, remember that it’s about celebrating you as a Mother. The day should include any and all of the elements you would wish to bring to your parenting. It’s your special day, so make it about your journey – and enjoy!