Non Traditional Shower Ideas

Updated on January 12, 2009
A.H. asks from Geneseo, IL
21 answers

I have a friend who is going to have her 3rd baby. I know that a traditional baby shower is not appropriate, but she and her family have recently moved here and thus she has an entirely different local support network and set of friends. We want her to know that even though she may have most of the things she needs, we would still like to celebrate the fact that she is a great woman having a baby! Any suggestions for a non-traditional "shower" of sorts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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answers from Duluth on

i heard of a good idea once, a 'recycling shower' - where people can feel free to bring either items that are recycled, or 2nd hand! :D

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

I threw a 'non-traditional' shower for my SIL when she got married. I hosted a fancy evening dinner. It was on the invites, so everyone came in 'nice' clothes, and I had lots of small card tables covered in table clothes and candles, had twinkle lights and cooked ITalian food and served lots of wine. Everyone said it was a blast. I think something like that would work; make it a party or celebration, not necessarily a shower. People will most likely bring gifts anyway!

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answers from Minneapolis on

If she wants, you could do a cast of her stomach. (I *really* regret not doing this!)

You could also make a necklace or bracelet for her to wear during labor. Each person could bring a bead that they have selected, and then they could explain why they chose that particular bead. You could also make or decorate a candle that she can burn during labor, or post-partum.

Ask everyone attending to bring a frozen meal or nonperishable food item, for the first few weeks after the birth.

Get her a gift certificate for the salon she gets her haircut at. It is easy to forget about yourself after a baby is born, and this would be a great incentive for her to pamper herself.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Duluth on

I have heard of something called a "Blessingway," where gifts are optional and only positive birthing and baby stories are allowed. You could do a little research on these.

Another couple of fun ideas: have each guest bring a meal for her freezer so that her busy family has yummy food, and she can still get good rest and recover.

You can do a scrapbook shower, where people with the supplies bring them for everyone to use. You have to purchase a scrapbook and a few accessories, but it is really fun. Each guest makes a page or two and signs it. Then when the mama gets some pictures developed, she has a ready-made place to put them. Each person signs their page, and it becomes a bit like a guest book as well as a memory book!

You can do a mama shower--have the gifts focus on her comfort. Things like nursing pjs, body butter, bath accessories, gift cards to the local coffee shop, etc.

Oh, you can also have a party where you have both men and women. There are lots of good ideas online about ways to do this, and then all of the friends get together-instead of just the women. You can give the dad-to-be a diaper change survival tool belt, and other fun things. It can be a cookout with alternative games, etc. Definitely not your typical shower. :)

Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I've been to lots of unnecessary, just-for-fun showers. My friends and I believe in celebrating every baby, and who doesn't love a party?
The most fun ones are the ones you can come and relax, socialize, and eat. Finger foods are great, brunch is always a hit, and there is NO NEED for games.
You can do a diaper party, where everyone brings diapers and wipes instead of a gift. EVERY mom of a new baby needs diapers and wipes, not matter how many children they've already had. For the shower I'm hosting next week, we're going to put everyone's name who brings a package of diapers into a drawing and the winner will get a basket of pampering products.
Another idea is to have everyone bring a casserole to freeze, a freezer meal, or all-in-one meal (where all the ingredients are included in one box) so mom doesn't have to think about, shop for, or prepare dinners beyond preheating the oven and popping it in.
If you want to focus on the mom, have a pampering party for her and either give her products or purchase a gift certificate to a spa or for a manicure/pedicure, etc. Or just take a group to a spa for a relaxing time.
Go out to a moms-only lunch.
Have a service party where everyone gives her coupons for some sort of service like babysitting, a hot meal, hosting a play date for her kids, taking her out to lunch, etc. You get the idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Waterloo on

How about a "Shower you with Meals". And have everyone bring a meal that can be frozen or the supplies to quickly put it together. Having someone cook is one of the greatest gifts I received after I had my daughter. This shows her the support system she has now moved into without it being a gift expense for people. Or if there is a group of you - ask people to sign up for one day that they can take the meal over to her. It gives people a chance to visit, her a chance to see others, plus it's a quick short visit b/c they are dropping supper off



answers from Milwaukee on

You already have a great list of ideas! My mom threw me my baby shower for my first baby, but I don't like the whole games and traditional thing, so she just made a bunch of food and invited all my friends and family and we just had a big party basically. I did get tons of baby presents because it was my first birthday, but I think all the suggestions you've gotten about prepared meal gifts is really an awesome idea, as well as "coupons" to help after the baby is born. Either way I think every baby should get a party because what's better than arriving on the planet!



answers from Davenport on

I really liked Cassandra's idea about having eveyone bring a frozen meal for after the birth, or they could bring a resturant certificate to help out with those days they could just use a takeout meal. Or for the party everyone could make the meals together. If you got ideas of what kinds of things the family likes, you could assign different ingredients or disposable pans, etc for guests to bring in leui(sp?) of traditional gifts, then pair up guests to work on the meals while enjoying good conversation with one another and the mommy to be. Of course still take a break for cake and punch!

Another idea would be to have a diaper shower, what mommy wouldn't appreciate that!

If anyone is into scrapbooking, everyone could get together for light lunch, then decorate pages for mom to easily add pictures to later for an instant, and super cute, photo album!



answers from Appleton on

I don't understand why we cling to outdated ideas. At a time when gay marriage is accepted and living together without marriage has become more common than marriage. We still cling to the out dated ideas of our grandmothers: only one shower allowed, a bride can only where white once!!
Every baby should be celebrated. Yes the mother may have all the big things she needs for a new baby: crib, highchair, etc. However the new baby should have some new clothes and blankets and toys and diapers are always welcome. You could invite guests to purchase one new item for the baby and one new item for a baby at a homeless or domestic violence shelter. You can also have a casserole shower, or other food themed idea. Each guest can bring a food item that is easily frozen and then easily prepared by the very busy new parents. You can also give the gift of one day, if each person gives a day to run errands, clean her home, take her older children for a play date etc.
As far as gifts go I worked for a major department store for over 3 yrs and when my daughter announced that they were expecting I kept my eye on all the clearance racks in the children's dept. I found the most adorable clothes for $1-$5 since this was my grandchild I gave my daughter a huge bag of clothes in sizes from newborn to 3T. I still have some stuff leftover because when I started buying the clothes we weren't sure if she was having a boy or a girl but since she has many friends in the same age group I am sure I will be giving new baby gifts for a few years and baby clothes don't really go out of style.



answers from Sioux Falls on

Throw her a diaper party! My neighbor had one and she got diapers and wipes and was set for almost 9 months - Best shower she ever had AND it was a time and money saver too!!!



answers from Milwaukee on

What a great friend you are! Friends of my parents were having their third-they had two boys and my Dad put up a sign that said "Think pink, but blue will do" he hung rope on the bar with all small gifts hanging from it and they received sleepers and diapers as gifts. It turned out perfect- it was even a surprise since they always got together to play cards.
You won't find anyone thinking it's not a good idea to throw a baby shower because women love to get together and we all love babies! Have fun.




answers from Omaha on

Every baby needs to be welcomed and celebrated into the world no matter how many older siblings she or he has. Good for you for throwing a shower!

I have thrown many wedding and baby showers, as I always feel life is meant to be celebrated.

My most recent baby shower was a library shower. People brought books, music or DVD's that are special to help start a collection for the new baby. This was inspired when I was expecting my first, baby. I had several showers but the one that sticks out in my mind was the library shower thrown by my students. My students (I am a dance teacher) did this for me and each student brought a book or two. (This is also nice because you can spend a little or a lot on wonderful books, so it is flexible for so many people and really great for students on a budget)

Each book had a story behind the story "My grandma used to read me this..." etc. I was teary eyed as I opened each gift and heard the student's story of the story. We have a wonderful library for our two girls and they LOVE to read. Books are often enjoyed much longer than any of the cute outfits that are quickly outgrown. Books can also be passed down to others and enjoyed for years to come.

Another thing I saw mentioned was a food shower and I have to say one of the nicest things people did for me right after a baby was born was to bring food. I didn't care so much about the cute "things" when I was sleep deprived and really wanted to have a decent meal without the hassle. A frozen casserole was so appreciated!

One other thought: since this is an experienced mom, she has the ability to know more of what she wants and needs. It took me until our second was born to realize the things I really wanted and needed. When you are expecting your first, you tend to look at everything that looks fun or cute and the scanner gun for the Super Target registry is often filled with items you think you will use and then realize something different. A registry will be helpful, regardless of what themed shower you have, as some people prefer to use a registry. They know that is something that the mom has looked at and wants. Giving people a choice to contribute to the theme, registry or both is great.

Hope these ideas help or inspire some other idea. Good luck and good for you for recognizing and doing something special for this mom and new baby. It will be truly appreciated!




answers from Cedar Rapids on

Before my friend had her third baby, we threw her a shower. Some people brought gifts because they just couldn't help themselves but the rest did not. It was more just a party to celebrate the mom and her growing family.

We had several activities so her other two kids were welcome to come:
-Food was "make your own personal pizza" - pita bread for the crust and then every topping imaginable. Fun for adults and her teenage son was in heaven.
-I bought several packages of plain onesies, bibs and baby socks, puffy paint, fabric markers, iron on decals, etc. Everyone decorated their hearts out and my friend had some new things for her little girl that were such personal gifts.
I remember we spent $120 for everything. Not too bad!

Also, for the shower my sisters in law threw for me, everyone just sat around my in laws house and ate and drank beer! (except me of course!) No games, just friends and lots of well wishers. There was still a diaper cake and gifts but it was very casual. More of an open house type of day. And my husband was there, along with all the other husbands/boyfriends/brothers/etc. I have never understood why the dad is excluded from everything?!

Maybe a "couples shower" like that would be good for your friend and her family since they are new to the area?



answers from La Crosse on

Being fairly new to the area, the new network group could individually or some group to gether and get gift certificates from some of the shops she will be needing to use, from 'those who already know' where the best products or bargins are.



answers from Omaha on

At our church we had a couple people have third babies who had had some time in between the last two (I was one of these). Usually the church does showers for everyone's first only. But since we had given away all our baby stuff the church wanted to do something for us. So what they did was throw a "sprinkle". And basically it was just a smaller version. It was like an open house where you didn't necessarily have to stay the whole time, and they had a cake and punch and people just brought gifts and would visit a little. I think they did like one game or something. It was nice to know they cared. Don't worry too much about being appropriate. As long as you aren't throwing your own shower, I think any are ok. ANd your friend will appreciate your thoughtfulness.



answers from Minneapolis on

One idea that I had for a friend recently having her 3rd child as well was to have people bring prepared meals, give her a "coupon" to help when the baby arrives with things like babysitting other kids, cleaning, grocery shopping, anything that helps a mom out having another baby. Hope this helps!



answers from Omaha on


I have a neice who just had her 4th baby and our church through a baby shower for her. We all just started going to a new church and that is what we decided to do.
We had a baby shower that had cakes made out of diapers, which were really cute.
But you could do a shower for the mom by giving her things for herself rather then the baby. Example:bath and body supplies, something to baby the mom rather then the baby. We have done both for a New mom that has other children. It's still fun to give gifts to the new baby. So I would think you could do whatever your friends and you would decide on, for that Mom would appreciate it very much.
Have fun,



answers from Milwaukee on

I have seen showers on TV where the women bring a dinner that the expecting mom can freeze and later bake or reheat to make things easier after the baby comes. I thought it was a great idea. They had coolers at the shower and the meals went right into the coolers when they got there. Of course the expecting mom would need some freezer space for the dinners.



answers from Madison on

I'm a little more on the practical side but instead of gifts everyone could chip in for a bond or some sort of small investment for the new baby.

Love the food idea too.



answers from Milwaukee on

Try doing a meet and greet after the baby is born. You can also do a guys and girls gathering for fun- forgoing the traditional baby games etc. You can do a diaper/wipes party. If she is having a different sex baby she may need more. I say if you want to give it to her do it. If people object to it they just won't go. Most people love to buy for babies no matter what.



answers from Fargo on

Through our MOPS group, we did just a small get together. We gave the mom diapers, wipes, and gift cards as we all know she was able to use them!!!

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