Baby Shower/Sprinkle

Got my dress from Ross--stretchy, scrunchy, and black--hides a world of sins! (It's not even maternity.)

My shower, thrown by my incredible SIL and friends, used this wording on the evite:
A baby bookworm is on the way
Let's shower, Joy
our literary mama
with love and books

Although cards are nice
They're read once or twice
A book is a treasure
Forever and Forever
So instead of a card
To be put aside
Please give the little baby ninja
A book with your name inside, along with your gift

Could you pick a more perfect invite for an editor/writer's baby shower? I love it!

My shower was fabulous! And I'll tell you the key to making it really fabulous--not knowing the gender of the baby. I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. If you don't know the gender of the baby, you're forced to buy from the registry (or buy practical stuff any baby could use). That means I had a shower packed with practical stuff (cloth diapers & accessories, baby shampoo, bedding, and gift cards). It's all practical stuff I know I'll use, so it's a big blessing.

I dare you to find one item in that bounty pile that I won't use and need to take back--double dog dare you!

I'll let you in on a little secret new moms won't tell you--cute gifts are usually just that--cute. They don't get used. They collect dust on a shelf in the nursery until enough time has passed that it isn't offensive to sell them in a garage sale or throw them away. Meanwhile, Mama is rocking her baby to sleep trying to count up the cost of all the cute-but-not-usable toys and clothes she got and wishing she had that extra cash to buy diapers, wipes, and fun items like humidifiers, convertible car seats, and baby thermometers (note my sarcasm). If you really want to bless the person you're buying for (this includes wedding presents too), BUY FROM THE REGISTRY!

Okay, rant over. Don't tell me I didn't warn you.

Back to my shower--the whole time I was opening presents, I kept exclaiming how wonderful each present was--and I meant it! It's encouraging and calming to know that after the shower my to-buy list has actually shrunk, and I might be able to invest a little more in my furniture and nursery decor. I don't think anyone (except the other mamas in the room) believed me, but it's true. I loved my shower and all of my gifts!

While we're on the topic of baby showers, I thought I'd share a few tips to keeping the shower affordable and a blessing for the mama-to-be.

1. Set your priorities and stick to them. If getting a big group gift is the priority (which it usually is for me--guarantees the mama is spoiled, which is most important), then don't spend all the hostesses' money on frivolous decorations, favors, and whatnot that's going to be thrown away after the shower.

2. Get lots of help. If anyone volunteers to help--say yes! Delegate the parts that cost money, so each person feels as though they're contributing yet not going broke in the process. Have everyone make something to eat/bring something to drink--again, it keeps costs down.

The lovely ladies who volunteered to host my shower (my sister is missing from this picture). I am so blessed to have so many people care enough to invest in my second shower. Thanks, ladies!

3. If you're going to splurge on a professional cake/cookies/etc., then cut the rest of the food costs way back so you're not breaking the bank.

These are my all-time FAVORITE cookies I requested. Mmm mmm good! Definitely worth the splurge!

4. Make it a come-and-go shower (check with your guest of honor first to make sure she isn't expecting a traditional shower, and be sure to state that it's come-and-g0 on the invite). Here are my favorite reasons for having a come-and-go shower--people are more likely to show up if they know they aren't going to get sucked into a couple of hours of games and sitting around talking to strangers. Also, if you make it a come-and-go shower, you don't have to do games--that means there's no money needed for the game supplies or the gifts for the winners.

But if you're going to do games, be sure to get lots of pictures of classic moments like this!

5. RSVP-ing is quickly fading away as a lost tradition. There are a couple of ways to deal with this. Number one, if you use evite.com for your invite (another great cost-saving idea), there's a better chance of people RSVP-ing, but it's still not a guarantee. The other nice part of an evite is it sends out an email reminder a day or two before the event and reminds people it's coming up. It also gives people a chance to see who's coming--if they see their friends are coming, they're more likely to show up--which means a better turnout for you.

Second valuable tip in lieu of RSVPs: In general, about 30 percent of the people you invite will come. So, as far as food and paper products go, if you're not getting a lot of RSVPs, plan on about 30 percent showing up. If you have a target number of people you want to show up to make the mama feel blessed, encourage her to invite anyone and everyone so that her total list is about triple the number you want to show up. This rule has yet to fail me.

BONUS TIP: As fun and romantic as a couples' shower sounds, it's usually a bust. Guys have a hard time wrapping their brains and their manhood around the idea of attending a "shower." And if the guy doesn't want to go, the girl won't show up alone. You'll probably have a better turnout if you keep it to the girls. And for the sake of your hostesses investing money in your shower, you'd rather have a good turnout than a bunch of leftover food, cute decorations, and empty promises from no-shows for a present.

Please don't think I'm being cynical. I know there are exceptions to all of these rules. I've had showers and attended showers that didn't follow these guidelines, and they were wonderful and a huge blessing. I just wanted to put some guidelines on the Internet that would be helpful to know if I was looking for baby shower advice. I think the most important factors of a shower are blessing the mama and having a good turnout--these are the top ways I can think of guaranteeing that both of those things happen.

Speaking of baby showers . . . in Michigan (my old stomping grounds), they call a shower for a second baby a "sprinkle." Here in Oklahoma, it's more common to have a "diaper shower" for the second one, and for the most part, people just fill your closet with diapers for the first few months. I have to admit, I'd never even heard the term "sprinkle" until recently. Is that a northern thing or do people use it across the country? Let me know in the comments section where you're from and what lingo you use for the second shower--or if you even bother having a shower for baby number two.
A friend of mine HAND KNIT this giraffe! Could it be any more perfect?


Steph said...

From Michigan and had a sprinkle! :-)

I think that the term Sprinkle is a new trend trying to make people more comfortable with the idea of having a shower for the second child. I know that a lot of my older church friends and some of my moms friends and family members thought the idea of having a second shower was tacky and I guess, against the rules because if you had a shower for your first you should still have everything from that child to use! My mom wanted to throw me a shower for this baby because we had a girl the first time and this child is to be a boy. From what I have researched online the term Sprinkle was thought of because instead of "showering" you with everything you need for your baby, it is assumed that you have everything left over from your first child, so this time you only need to be "sprinkled" with items.....lol...does that make sense?? Which proved to be appropriate for me. For my first child all of my large/furniture items were bought gender neutral on purpose so that I would be able to use them again but since most of the clothes that I had were girl clothes I needed boy stuff as well as diapers and general toiletry items so I just needed to be Sprinkled instead of Showered... :-) In reality they are the same thing though!

Ok....Sorry for the huge response! Love your dress and your bump!

This Is Us said...

Just thought I'd add that not knowing the gender does NOT guarantee useful gifts. For my first shower I received washcloths in every gift except for three! And those three washcloth-less gifts were the only ones from my registry. The washcloths were all accompanied by things the giver thought was cute, but I didn't necessarily agree. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I cried after my shower wondering how I was going to afford all of the things I really needed for my baby. I ALWAYS buy from the registry and then add a cute item or something I've found useful(with a gift receipt) if I can't resist. Thank you for sharing that tip with others!
Your belly is not nearly as big as I imagined from your past blogs! You look great, Joy!

lilskrimp01 said...

Great blog. Congrats to you and your family. I just got done with my third baby shower and it amazed me how much of the things on my baby registry I got. Maybe that is the key, have more than one shower!

ingrid said...

Thank you, I really enjoyed reading your post! I am throwing my sister a baby shower for her second baby girl (sprinkle), and am searching for ideas. Any chance you could offer the recipe for those amazing looking cookies?

Joy said...

I WISH I had the recipe for those cookies, but, alas, no, it's a secret. You can check them out www.barbeecookies.com; not sure if they ship =)