Baby showers. Love them or hate them, the invitations sure seem to roll in more frequently as you get into our late 20s and 30s.
But before you turn your nose up at the tradition, you should know that the milestone celebration has come leaps and bounds from its “guess the baby name” roots.
“Gone are the days of simple sandwiches and cringe-worthy dirty nappy-changing games. Like other key milestone celebrations, baby showers are definitely getting more elaborate and highly personal, and it’s not uncommon to have an event planner,” Miriam Karsten, party stylist, entertaining expert and founder of Miss Bunting told The Huffington Post Australia.
Often hosted by a close friend or family member, the 2016 baby shower is still very much a show of female support for the expectant mum-to-be however, that’s not to say it's 'no men allowed'.
“It’s not unusual for a female to have a really close male friend or even her immediate family in attendance,” Karsten said.
“The day will have key touches in the theming that are special to the expectant mum, including baby photos, or foods that have been craved throughout pregnancy,” Karsten said.
Look no further than the Kardashians to see just how personable the occasion has become.
“Kardashian themes have included Kourtney’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel or Kim’s lavish ‘Troop Beverly Hills’ girl-scout themed breakfast, complete with teepees and seersucker pyjamas for guests,” Karsten said.
Karsten recalls one of her client's even hosted a sleepover version just so she could have a pyjama party baby shower, complete with pancakes and a DIY Bloody Mary bar in the morning.
Brunches and afternoon high teas are still the most favoured time to host a baby shower though and mostly, will take place in someone’s home.
“This is because it does tend to be quite an intimate event and the present opening is always a lengthy process,” Karsten said.
That said, hiring a venue means you don’t have to deal with the clean up.
“If choosing a venue for lunch, it’s important to have some time to have guests to mingle to allow the mum-to-be get around to speaking with everyone. This may mean mimosas and canapés on arrival before being seated for lunch,” Karsten said.
When it comes to choosing whether you have a gift registry, it's an individual choice but more and more expectant mums are taking a minimal approach in the gifting stakes. For example, asking guests to bring their favourite childhood book to start off their child's nursery library.
As for the decorations, Karsten said flower crowns are still a big hit.
"They're also a simple way of allowing the mum-to-be to feel special, even if she feels bloated!" Karsten said.
"It’s also memorable to give the lady of the hour a unique place to sit for the day -- like a Peacock Chair or something eye-catching that is decorated with flowers and really makes her the centre of attention. This also provides a great focal point to get photos with guests for the day," Karsten said.
As for etiquette around whether there should be a first child-only baby shower rule, Karsten said it's a personal decision.
“A baby shower for any children after your first is a personal decision, and like your first -- should be hosted by someone close to you on your behalf,” Karsten said.
“If you still have all your baby gear from baby number one, consider an alternative, less formal arrangement. This can be an open house after your baby has been born to allow all your nearest and dearest to meet the newest addition and allow you to feel like you’re still celebrating each individual child,” Karsten said.