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Second-Time Baby Showers?

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Georgie Hockett: When you have your first baby shower, it's a big deal -- registries, decorations, themes. For a second shower, do you do it all up again, or go casual?

baby shower

My good friend, who also happens to be a party planner/wedding coordinator, says it's strictly up to the mother and father; so that means, it's up to the mother. "If the second baby is a different gender than the first, it's more acceptable to have another shower," she told me. "Because now you need all new boy or girl baby clothes."

A smaller, more intimate shower is another way to go. Just invite your core group of friends, have lunch, and cherish a last meal with your best friends ... at least, the last meal together for a little while.

Personally, I say "absolutely yes" to a second shower. As a second child myself, I feel the second child always gets the shaft, and it starts from birth. There's not the same level of excitement about the second pregnancy; it seems parents never take as many pictures of the second child as they did with the first; that child is destined for a lifetime of hand-me-downs and "Oh, you're so-and-so's little sister." This kid deserves his/her own shower.

Themes -- such as asking guests to bring their favorite children's book as a gift -- are a unique way to make the shower different from the first. After all, let's be realistic: you probably don't need all the major equipment that you needed the first time around.



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15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 7, 2009, 9:42 AM

Personally, we chose not to accept a 2nd shower although offered from my mom, mom-in-law, and an aunt. We also chose not to find out gender, as we did with our first. Same gender or nor, the 2nd child will always be 2nd. Yes, they receive some hand me downs, etc but there are also many plus such as parents being more comfortable and confident, more vocal about what they think is best for their child etc. which to us is priceless and worth more than any baby shower gift. On a side note though, my mom came in from out-of town and surprised me with a brunch a few weeks before 2nd baby with 3 aunts and mom-in-law; no presents other than paying for brunch, and again, their time and presence (not present) were priceless. So the idea for a special get-together is a lovely suggestion ;-).

Anonymous July 7, 2009, 9:43 AM

Personally, we chose not to accept a 2nd shower although offered from my mom, mom-in-law, and an aunt. We also chose not to find out gender, as we did with our first. Same gender or nor, the 2nd child will always be 2nd. Yes, they receive some hand me downs, etc but there are also many plus such as parents being more comfortable and confident, more vocal about what they think is best for their child etc. which to us is priceless and worth more than any baby shower gift. On a side note though, my mom came in from out-of town and surprised me with a brunch a few weeks before 2nd baby with 3 aunts and mom-in-law; no presents other than paying for brunch, and again, their time and presence (not present) were priceless. So the idea for a special get-together is a lovely suggestion ;-).

ame i. July 7, 2009, 1:47 PM

My shower for daughter the 1st didn’t have a theme. I didn’t register with any store.
Being from a family in a small Southern town, my aunts hosted my shower for my first daughter and for my second.
I did use some of daughter the 1st’s things for daughter the 2nd, but she had new things also.
My girls, now 9 & 11, have always had different tastes. Girl 1 never cared for Barbie & likes athletic wear. Girl 2 could spend hours changing Barbie’s clothes & loves dresses,jewelry & polishing her nails.
I think even baby #6 deserves a celebration & some new things all their own.

Anonymous July 7, 2009, 2:49 PM

My kids are 7 years apart, 1st one a girl and 2nd one a boy. My sister offered to throw a shower and I certainly accepted because I had absolutely nothing! I haver thrown my friends’ 2nd showers. They were more low key than their 1st.

Rachel July 7, 2009, 3:05 PM

Are you kidding? Do you really think a baby cares that they are wearing hand-me-downs? If you’re truly “celebrating” the baby, if that’s you’re excuse for having a second shower, then why not have a party after the baby is born - a meet and greet? One of our friends had a second baby and shower (different gender) 2 years after the first. I understand baby clothes and items that the first child will be using simultaneously, but she registered for new everything - a new pack n’ play, a new crib, new bouncy seat, new swing, etc. Ridiculous. No wonder there’s so much waste in the world!

Gigohead  July 7, 2009, 4:36 PM

I am now pregnant with my third and it’s a nine year difference between this one and my daughter. I am not asking anyone for a shower not even his family, which will be his first (and last) child for him. It’s a huge undertaking to feed people, rent a locale, etc. I will most likely send out announcements after the birth to garner a few gifts that way.

Kate July 7, 2009, 6:10 PM

The purpose of a baby shower is to ‘shower’ the new mother with gifts. It’s not acceptable to ask your friends and family to fund your reproductive choices. If you’d like to celebrate the new baby, have a ‘meet the baby’ party, where gifts are not the main focus.

skin July 7, 2009, 7:30 PM

A baby shower for a second child is crass, desparate and uncouth.

RachelAZ July 7, 2009, 7:39 PM

“Crass, desparate and uncouth” are pretty strong words!! Why not celebrate each child? It doesn’t have to be about gifts, but especially if the 2nd or 3rd child is a different gender then what is the big deal?!? And what if there is a huge age gap? It is not about having others fund your reproductive choices either. It’s fun to celebrate life! And celebrating life is not “desparate” or desperate.

haute mess July 7, 2009, 8:15 PM

our shower for our first daughter was coed and we had dinner and games and the whole nine yards. we were very blessed and got everything we needed.

so a few years later when we found out we were having another girl, we were set. my pals insisted that they throw me a “sprinkle”. it was only my closest pals and very low key. people brought essential gifts like diapers and baby lotion.

i don’t think that a sprinkle is crass or desperate at all. it was nice to still celebrate the new life! we didn’t ask for gift, in fact we ask people not bring gifts, but they still did.

haute mess July 7, 2009, 8:36 PM

“Crass, desparate and uncouth” seriously? i don’t think so. i had a big shower for my first and a sprinkle for my second. very low key, i asked for no gifts…but people brought diapers. we just had good food and good friends and celebrated the new life that was about to join us. it was lovely. uncouth, i think not.

Ms. Crass to you July 7, 2009, 11:14 PM

Wow, I must be very “Crass, desparate and uncouth” since I have 3 boys, 3 years apart, and had a shower for each of them. Want to know why? I donated every single baby item I had after I was done with it from Number 1. Every single thing. Never expected any more kids. So when Number 2 rolled around, I was totally unprepared. But guess what… almost everything I had for Number 2 was donated to me. Again, I freecycled or donated everything I could from Number 2. And when Number 3 came, despite the birth control pills, I was again totally unprepared. Lucky Number 3 was born in a new town, where I had new co-workers and new friends, so he got pretty much everything new, WHICH I DIDN’T ASK FOR, by the way. Think I’ve learned my lesson? Nope, youngest is now 3 and I have absolutely no baby gear in the house, all of it freecycled again or donated to our local women’s shelter. I sure hope hubby’s vasectomy holds up.

Barb July 8, 2009, 10:55 AM

If someone offers to throw you a shower, I say take them up on it! It’s fun to get together with friends and family, and if anyone doesn’t like it, they can simply reply “No” to the invite.

My second was born when my first was 4, but I had kept most of our things (or got them back after lending them out). However, my work INSISTED on throwing a shower (they do for anyone pregnant, regardless of which pregnancy), and it was a fun event where everyone brought in their children and we all visited and I got advice from those with two children. Showers don’t have to be all gift, gifts, gifts. It’s often more fun when it’s just friends telling stories, offering advice, giving hugs and words of encouragement, etc.

Ashley July 9, 2010, 9:42 AM

I think every baby is a gift from God, whether it be your 1st, 2nd, ect. If someone wants to host you a baby shower then I say, smile and gladly accept the offer. Ask how you may help to contribute toward the shower, for we all know that they can be costly.

baby shower February 11, 2011, 4:07 PM

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