Showers for Baby #2 and Beyond
There are fewer traditional pink or blue decorations and silly games. Second showers are often coed events planned by the parents themselves, rather than by family or friends. They can be anything the parents want – a barbecue in the backyard or brunch at a nice restaurant.
“There are no rules. This is true not just for showers for the second child, this is true for all showers,” says Stacey Dillion, owner of Stacey & Company, a Bay Area event planning company. “You should do something that is your style. Do what works for your family and budget.”
Sip & See
Parents celebrating another child often plan a low-key affair for after the birth. They usually don’t need a lot of gear and just want to give family and friends a chance to see the baby. The “Sip and See” shower can be similar to an open house, where guests admire the baby and have a cocktail/mocktail and hors d’oeuvres. It’s also a good opportunity for family and friends to get their picture taken with the guest of honor. To make it more fun, consider renting a photo booth, which ranges in price from $300-1,300, depending on the hours and extras.
A “Sip and See” works well if you have other young children around, says Dillion, who hosted such an event when her son was born. “Your other kids can nap, and it’s not wreaking havoc on your life,” she says.
You can also use it to create something for the baby’s nursery by displaying a photo of the baby or artwork for guests to sign.
With a second or third baby, parents are often planning the shower themselves and can get a little more creative, says Lindsay Becht, co-owner of 2 Friends Events, which plans parties throughout the Bay Area.
“More eclectic themes are becoming more popular,” she says. “I’ve seen things like safari themes and under-the-sea themes.”
Some parents opt for crafts, Becht says. For example, guests are invited to decorate onesies for the baby or paint pictures for the nursery.
For her third child, Dillion of Stacey & Company wanted to be practical. She looked for a theme that would work with existing elements in her house and be suitable for a boy or girl baby. Since the family had already collected artwork on their travels to France and Italy, she went with the theme: “The World Awaits.”
World map letters were the centerpieces of the invitations. The cake and cookies had a travel theme, with colorful frosted suitcases, world maps and airplanes. Each place setting had a mini-suitcase favor with passport stamps with the date.
“We used all the traditional baby colors, so the palette worked for either a boy or girl,” Dillion says. “We continued the travel language on the menu with ‘Bon appetite’ and ‘Thanks! It means the world’ on the thank-you card. Then for the birth announcement, we used ‘Hello World.’”&pagebreaking&Stock the Frig Party
By the time Sarah Fetter of Oakland was on her third child, she was thinking less about baby gear and more about how to feed her family while caring for a newborn. That’s why she was thrilled when friends set up a meal registry. At the shower, someone collected e-mail addresses for those willing to help. There are websites, such as mealbaby.com and takethemameal.com, that coordinate everything – days when meals are needed, culinary likes and dislikes and allergy restrictions.
Another idea is a “Stock the Frig” shower; guests are asked to bring a freezer-friendly entrée. Fetter highly recommends giving a gift card for a meal delivery service, such as Munchery.com. The food is made by some of the best local chefs in the area with fresh and natural foods. And each time an order is made, Munchery.com provides a meal to someone in need.
“When it’s your second child, you really appreciate getting those meals,” says Fetter, who is pregnant with her fourth child. “It’s a great way to give something meaningful.”
While Fetter didn’t register when she had baby number two, experts say it’s socially acceptable – especially if your second baby is a different gender or many years separate the new baby from your first.
Both Fetter and Dillion agree that second showers become less about gifts and more about celebrating with friends and family.
“For my third baby, I really wanted a day to sit back and celebrate with friends,” Dillion says. “It was less about the baby and more about mom. I think when you get to that point, you’re over the novelty of having a baby, but you still want to celebrate.”
Teresa Mills-Faraudo is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent and mother of two.