Hi gentle reader,
Sorry for disappearing for a while. Life got rather busy, and I’m glad to be out the other side of it!
In the midst of the chaos, I threw a really fun baby shower for my friend A-M, who was having her third child.
I wanted to celebrate because A-M is someone who tends to keep in the background, and she is someone who gives, gives, gives to others. She is a quiet hero who deserves a fuss made of her! I also think that every child deserves to be celebrated. You know how it is, the first baby gets a massive party, and by the time you’re on kid number three or four, no one cares as much. A-M also had a valid reason for needing a shower: her other two children were born in the opposite season, so she had no warm stuff to pass down to this baby.
I’m going to share a secret. Most baby showers make me cringe. I find games like name-the-baby-food, guessing how big Mama’s belly is, and what-poop-is-that (I kid you not, someone invented a game where you smear different chocolate bars into a nappy! Such fun!) quite demeaning. I just feel like, I know it’s a bit of fun, but really? That’s the best we can come up with?
However, showers that focus on supporting the Mama have such a different feel. Some friends here have a tradition of gifting a bead that is then taken with others to make bracelet or necklace. The beads can then be used as a focus tool (a bit like a rosary) during birth – a beautiful reminder of all the friends who have your back.
So it was with the second sort of shower in mind that I arranged A-M’s little party. I invited A-M’s 4-year old daughter, and my own daughter, as I think there are so few female-celebrating spaces in my culture. Sausage and J were so excited about the party, and they definitely had a ball. I had an activity in mind that I knew even 4-year olds could do…
I had a few little things for everyone to do while they mingled and had something to eat. I printed out a calendar for people to guess the due date (A-M’s mother won), and provided a pack of newborn nappies to write words of encouragement and put a smile on A-M’s face during those 2:00am feeds. We also played ‘Name the Baby’, as A-M and her husband had been unable to agree upon a name. I still can’t believe they didn’t go with my suggestion of Agamemnon…
My piece de resistance, was sparked by an idea I saw on Pinterest, where people had used Sharpies to sign their names on a onesie for the baby.
I remembered seeing self-adhesive fabric squares for sale at one of our local dollar stores, and thinking at the time, ‘What on earth would you want that for?’
Now I know.
Here’s how to create a fun baby shower gift that is made with love, and very, very practical.
I downloaded cute images from the internet that I thought would be great shapes to decorate a onesie with. I put them on card, used them as a stencil on the fabric, et voila!
I bought enough onesies for each guest, and got them in different sizes, just to be even more useful. I got a wide selection of adhesive fabric, put out the onesies and stencils and told the guests to go for it. I made a variety of stencils that had nothing to do with princesses or any other gendered stuff that gets shoved down our throats by clothing retailers.
We had a wonderful time crafting together, and everyone wanted to do something like it again (tote bags, next time?). The results were beautiful, and now A-M’s baby girl has several one-of-a-kind onesies made with love.
Between the decorated onesies, and the other fabulous gifts the baby received at her shower, she is going to be the best-dressed baby in town.
So there you have folks, a cringe-free, practical and fun baby shower activity. And for my Dollar Diet followers, it’s frugal too. The packs of fabric cost $3 each, the cardboard for the stencils I had to hand anyway, and I got several of the onesies second-hand (in mint condition).