Mountain View, California (EastBayDaily) — Beau-coup (http://www.beau-coup.com), an online destination for favors, supplies, decorations, and gifts for all of life’s special events, predicts today that non-traditional baby showers will be the norm in the new year. The company has observed a trend among its baby shower customers – many are opting to skip traditional baby showers in favor of celebrations that more closely reflect their personal style and beliefs. Below are the top ten baby shower alternatives Beau-coup predicts will be big in 2013.
1. Diaper Showers
How it works: Diapers are the one thing every new parent needs – and they will need a mountain of diapers in the coming months. Each guest is asked to bring diapers and diaper changing supplies like wipes and ointments in lieu of gifts. Diaper showers are common for mothers who are having a second or third child, but they are also a great way to help out a new mom.
Make it unique: Request a particular brand or type of diaper –biodegradable diapers are popular among eco-conscious new mothers right now. Cloth diapers and diaper rental services are also growing in popularity. To encourage participation, enter guests into a “Diaper raffle” – one entry per pack of diapers. Have a drawing at the end of the shower, and present a prize to the winner.
2. Casserole Showers
How it works: It is important for mom and dad to stay happy and healthy while they focus on those crucial first months of their new baby’s life. With a casserole shower, friends and family can ensure the new parents have enough food to last them through those first few weeks of sleepless nights spent looking after the little one. Between caring for baby and work, many a mom and dad would forget to eat entirely if it were not for caring friends and family.
Make it unique: Request that guests bring an easily-stored family meal designed to go directly from freezer to oven. For guests who do not cook, they can opt to bring a gift card to a local take out restaurant, or be on call to babysit in the event mom and dad need a night out. If freezer space is an issue (and it likely will be!), have some participants sign up to bring their home-cooked dishes on a designated day instead.
3. Book Showers
How it works: Parents who are bibliophiles may hope to pass on their love of books to their little ones. By having a book shower complete with cute bookmark favors, mom and dad can build a child-friendly library of books that will help their little bookworm grow and learn.
Make it unique: Encourage guests to be creative with their books. Have a “Once Upon a Time” or “Tall Tale” theme, or ask people to bring a copy of their favorite childhood books to share.
4. "Dadchelor" Parties
How it works: New dads are celebrating their impending fatherhood the same way they are celebrating their weddings – with one last day of freedom before the big day. With a “dadchelor” party, the father-to-be gets to spend a day with his buddies doing…well, whatever he wishes.
Make it unique: These celebrations can be as elaborate as the bachelor party, complete with a trip to Vegas and guys’ night out. Alternatively, they can be a low key day of golf, or gathering of guys who come together to grill, drink beer, and watch sports before baby’s arrival.
5. Girls' Night
How it works: Instead of showering the new mom with gifts, her best gal pals can get together with mom-to-be and spoil her rotten before baby arrives. Many new moms truly enjoy one last day of pampering with close friends before their lives become all about baby.
Make it unique: This kind of celebration can suit any number of personalities. Make it a girls’ night in with a home-cooked meal and “mocktails” (non-alcoholic for mom, of course!). Or the girls can take mom-to-be out for manicures, pedicures, and a shopping spree.
6. Gender Reveal Party
How it works: A gender reveal party requires early planning. Parents-to-be have to keep the baby’s gender a secret from friends and family, and maybe even themselves, for it to work. Ask the ultrasound technician to write the sex down on a piece of paper, and seal it in an envelope. That envelope gets handed to the baker who then bakes either a pink cake or blue cake depending on whether the baby is a girl or a boy. The cake then gets covered in white frosting until the pink or blue cake is completely hidden. Have guests show up at the party dressed in either pink or blue to indicate which sex they believe the cake will reveal. The fun and exciting moment arrives when everyone finds out the gender at the same time as the new mom and dad cut into the cake to discover whether they are welcoming a boy or girl!
Make it unique: Get creative with the reveal – it does not need to be colored cake. Fill a giant box with pink or blue colored helium balloons for a dramatic and pretty way to share the big news. Or, get custom-printed scratch-off cards. Each guest can feel like a winner as they scratch off their cards to expose the new baby's gender.
7. Adoption Celebrations
How it works: Many new parents adopt or foster rather than conceiving traditionally. Many of these new parents may have adoption celebrations called “Welcome Home” parties, or “Meet the Baby” gatherings. Adoption celebrations are a great way to ensure the new parents have everything they need to help raise their adoptive child.
Make it unique: Take into consideration the adoptive baby’s origins. Consider throwing a party that pays homage to their country of birth, or having a themed party that celebrates an older child’s interests.
8. Sip 'N' See
How it works: A sip 'n' see is a “meet the baby” party. It is the perfect opportunity for friends and family to come visit the new parents and their little bundle of joy a few weeks after the birth. A smaller production than a traditional baby shower, a sip ‘n’ see is a great way to get in some quiet bonding time with light refreshments.
Make it unique: Make it a themed event, whether it is tea time with mom and dad or happy hour with the happy family.
How it works: In a blessingway, the new mother’s friends and family share their well wishes and positive thoughts for mom and baby. Traditionally, a blessingway (also called a mother blessing ceremony) is a ritual carried out with the mother’s female friends and family members. It comes from a Navajo tradition meant to heal and invoke positive blessings. The focus is more on positive energy and shared bonds rather than gifts and games.
Make it unique: Plan the ceremony to celebrate mom-to-be and her interests. If she loves art, make a belly cast or have canvases on hand for guests to paint. If she loves jewelry, invite guests to make bracelets and necklaces for one another as a reminder of their special bond.
10. Baby Naming
How it works: A baby naming ceremony is a non-religious way for parents to make a spiritual and emotional commitment to their baby. Traditionally, the new parents choose the baby’s name and reveal it to close friends and family, while making a vow to love and protect the child. This is an increasingly popular event where parents can publicly welcome the new addition to their family.
Make it unique: Unlike Baptisms and Christenings, naming ceremonies are more informal and festive and can be held at any time, on any day of the week. Plan a themed naming ceremony at home with family, or have the ceremony in a public space with important people in the new parents’ lives. Then send guests home with beautiful baby shower favors as a special kee