Baby shower tea party food

Tea Party Baby Shower - Gift of Hospitality

A tea party theme is an adorable way to celebrate a baby shower. I’m sharing menu and decor ideas, as well as games to play!

I recently threw a Tea Party Baby Shower for my friend Kelley, who is having TWINS! Like many, she and her husband’s journey to being parents was not easy, and they are so grateful to have a double blessing coming this fall.

I landed on a “Tea for Two” tea party theme. Afternoon tea is such a fun activity with the girls, so I knew this would be perfect.


I highly recommend setting the table the day before the shower. There’s nothing like trying to match silverware when there are guests on the way and food is in the oven!

So I set the table the day before so I could concentrate on the food on the morning of the shower.

For the table, I used the following:

  • My Auntie Carol’s 1970s wedding china
  • My Grandma’s silver
  • A simple white tablecloth from Target
  • Peony napkin rings—I got mine at Crate & Barrel and they have been discontinued, but these napkin rings are similar.
  • Blue cloth napkins from World Market (I’m loving these lighter blue fringe napkins, too!)

Tip: World Market has one of the best deals on good-quality cloth napkins ($10 for 6), and they come in a variety of colors (like pink for a baby girl shower). They wash really nicely and require just light ironing, or maybe even no ironing if you take them out of the dryer in a timely manner, which I do not. 🙂

Baby Shower Menu

The nice thing about a tea party is that you don’t need a main dish. A variety of food comes together to create a meal.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to make everything from scratch, so I used a few store-bought options to fill in.


Scones are traditional for English tea parties. I used my white chocolate and orange scone recipe and tweaked it to create two flavors: chocolate chip and lemon blueberry.

While a “proper” scone recipe does not include egg, this recipe creates a slightly more moist scone than the crumbly British ones.

For the lemon blueberry scones, I used fresh blueberries in place of the white chocolate chips, and lemon zest in place of the orange zest in the scone recipe.

For the chocolate chip scones, I simply replaced the white chocolate chips with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, and left out the zest.

Tea sandwiches

It’s not a tea party baby shower without tea sandwiches! I used my recipe for cucumber sandwiches, but topped them with another slice of pumpernickel and cut them into triangles.

I also made ham and pimento cheese tea sandwiches with Sara Lee very thinly sliced white bread (you can find it in the bread aisle in a white package), thinly sliced ham, and store-bought pimento cheese spread.

Tea party food tends to be on the sweeter side, so a few dozen Quiche Lorraine-influenced frittata bites balanced out the menu nicely.

To make the mini frittatas, I stirred together 7 eggs, ½ cup of shredded Gruyere, 2 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon, and a few slices of chopped deli ham. I baked them in mini muffin tins.

Fruit salad

The fruit salad is a mixture of halved green grapes, sliced strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I tossed the fruit with a simple syrup made with sugar, mint, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Cucumber appetizers

To add some veggies to the party, I piped Boursin cheese between two cucumber rounds, and then piped a little more on top.

As soon as everyone found out that it was Boursin, they flew off the plate. What is it about that amazing cheese that makes it so irresistible?

Chicken salad in puff pastry cups

The hit of the party were these Chicken Salad Puff Pastry Bites.

It’s store-bought chicken salad (thank you, Trader Joe’s) in homemade puff pastry rounds. Get the how-to on that here!


Dessert was a mixture of homemade + store-bought. Trader Joe’s carries amazing French macarons in the freezer section. I also picked up a few boxes of Trader Joe’s flower-shaped chocolate mousse cakes.

They were darling alongside homemade bite-sized Lemon Bars (the recipe is from Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering


I served them all on a big round glass platter.


The Tea Party Baby Shower was on a warm June day, so everyone passed on drinking hot tea. But that was undoubtedly because my friend Jackie made some amazing mocktails and cocktails!

She made both Watermelon Mint Mocktails/Cocktails and Grapefruit Rosemary Mocktails/Cocktails. Both recipes have an option to use either sparkling wine or sparkling mineral water, so it was nice to have both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic option.

Jackie brought a set of champagne glasses and we used my inexpensive set of toasting flutes so everyone could try both of the beverages.

The flutes are great to have on hand for parties (particularly baby showers or New Year’s Eve parties). And at $10 for a set of 12, you can’t go wrong. They can go in the dishwasher, too!

Baby shower game ideas

It’s not a baby shower without games! My friend Stephanie selected a few activities including “guess the baby food”. If you’re looking for a challenging game for your guests, this is it!

Take off the label from each jar and label the jars with numbers. Give guests a mini plastic spoon for each jar, and a piece of paper and a pen to write down their guesses.

Heads up: the chicken and gravy baby food tastes terrible. 🙂

With the mama-to-be’s permission, we also played “how big is mommy’s belly?”. Each guest received a long piece of string. The goal is to cut the string to the exact length around of mama’s belly. The person who is closest with their string wins!

We passed around a few pairs of scissors in order to play. Hilarity ensued as many of us were VERY wrong in guessing how big her belly was!

Finally, we played an animal match game, where you match the animal to the name of their babies.

It was such a lovely day of celebrating the mama-to-be’s double blessing.

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How to Host the Most Elegant Baby Shower Tea Party

My older sister is having her first baby this month. So it was only natural that I wanted to throw her an extra special shower to celebrate her growing bundle of baby this spring. But because I live in a different state than she does, my amazing friends volunteered to host the shower at their house. And they suggested the idea of having a tea party instead of a traditional shower so we could let the phrase: “A Baby is Brewing” serve as the shower or tea theme.

So that is exactly what we did. And let me tell you, it could not have been any lovelier! Or elegant. The only thing missing was Downton Abbey in the background. So for all of you who might be in charge of hosting a baby shower in your future, here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to transform an ordinary baby shower into an elegant tea party:


Choose a Tea-Themed Invite

As I searched online, I found many fun tea-themed invitations. But I wanted to choose one that had the right feel. And as soon we saw this invite on Zazzle, we all agreed it was the perfect fit! The old-fashioned picture of a baby boy in a teacup seemed to be the perfect choice for our vintage tea party theme! Link to Invite HERE.

2. Pick a Menu True to Teas

For a tea party, it is fun to have food that keeps in the theme of classy and elegant. So our tea included fun finger foods:

  1. Cucumber Sandwiches with fresh dill {here}
  2. Egg Salad Sandwiches on Marble Rye {here}
  3. Fruit Salad with Basil, Lime and Honey {here}
  4. Homemade Biscuits and Jam
  5. Homemade Chocolate Chip and Lemon Strawberry Scones
  6. Macaroons in Several Flavors
  7. Cheesecake Bites
  8. Tea and Mimosas

3. Offer a Wide Array of Teas for Sipping

To draw out the tea theme, it is fun to offer various tea choices. One of the hostesses drove to a local coffee brewery for my sister’s shower and picked out several of her favorite kinds of tea. This served as a great conversation starter as guests told the hostesses what kind of tea they wanted to drink because it let them say a little about themselves. Are you a “Breakfast in Paris” tea type of girl or a “Mojito Mint” type?

4. Use Fresh Flowers

What is a tea party without flowers? In an ideal world, you could host the tea party outside near a garden, but we were unsure of rain with the time of year we hosted. So we chose to sit indoors and bring the flowers inside. And boy did we ever! The hostesses bought flowers, flowers, and more flowers and adorned the tables with them. They were beautiful and feminine and fragrant.

5. Wear Fascinator Hats

On the invitation, we included the phrase, “Please wear your best tea party attire.” So the shower hostess thought it would be fun if the three hostesses and mommy of honor all wore fascinator hats. So we did. She ordered them from Light in the Box. And if I do say so myself, they looked so chic and festive.

6. Be Great Hostesses

One of the best ways to make an event seem extra special is to truly host the event. And the hostesses of the event did a great job doing just that. When guests entered the door, they were asked what they would like to drink and then received a warm cup of tea or a refreshing mimosa. The hostesses made sure to refill guests’ plates with food throughout the event and kept their drinks filled. An extra special touch that makes such a difference!

7. Have Guests Sit at Tables with Real China and Tableware

At many showers, guests are just standing and talking while munching on food or sitting in chairs for opening gifts. But for a tea party, it is much more fun to let guests sit and eat from a table. It allows for more conversation amongst the group and allows the party to feel dressier. As for the tableware, using real china (or at least plates that are not plastic) makes such a difference in creating an elegant feel. We used family heirloom plates and napkins from my mother in combination with some tableware my friends bought at an auction for this tea party. It came together beautifully.

8. Adorn tables with Floral or Lace Tablecloths

Flowers and lace always add a tea theme to a party. So we wanted our tablecloths to be floral or lace. However, we struggled to find the right size and length of tablecloths we needed for both tables. So we used one floral table cloth on one table and then a plain colored table cloth on the other covered by a lace curtain. We just picked out the hem of the curtains to make them long enough.

9. Play a Classy Game

Baby shower games can be fun, but for a tea shower, the games should fit the theme. So, for this shower, we chose a different type of game. Before opening presents, we had everyone in the room tell the group how their parents chose their name or chose their children’s names. And let me say this is one of the best games I have ever played at a shower.

It immediately breaks the ice and allows people to instantly get to know each other. And if the mommy of honor already has her baby’s name picked out (like my sister did), she gets a chance to tell all her family and friends why they chose the name she did. And if she is like most expecting mommies, there is a lot of meaning and thought put into name choosing, so it’s very rewarding to share!

All in all, the shower went off without a hitch, and the guests had a great time! It was memorable, elegant, and classy. But like anything in motherhood, no matter how elegant or classy the event, real-life comes back in full swing when the kids get involved! And the heels come off.

(Kitchen) Setting the Table for a Tea Party Correct: 50 Photo

How could Russian Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich imagine accepting boxes of “overseas herbs” from Chinese ambassadors in 1618, which gives rise to the most pleasant tradition in Rus' - Russian tea drinking. Russian tea table, Russian tea ceremonies are an integral part of everyday life in classical works of literature, painting, music…

The tea table of our ancestors

And mankind owes the appearance of tea itself to China. A hieroglyph that looks like a twig with leaves or the roof of a house peeping through the trees is pronounced "cha". Hence the name "tea". Even France cannot boast of such a variety of wines as China has a variety of teas. nine0004


  1. How they drank tea our ancestors
  2. Tea and tea drinks
  3. Features of tea table design
  4. Placement of guests and installation of table
  7. SCALLIPARY AND TOMEN for the table
  8. Table decor
  9. Sweet decor for a celebration
  10. Sweets for a friendly feast
  11. Tea table setting. Video
  12. Tea table setting examples. Photo gallery.

How our ancestors drank tea

The merchant class in Russia formed its own tea feast, different from Western and Eastern ceremonies. And in the highest aristocratic circles, the Western manner of consuming a fragrant drink spread.

Traditional Russian tea table

The most important attribute of Russian tradition is the samovar placed on the tea table. All business conversations in merchant houses were held under the "sipping" of tea saucers. This manner of drinking is still considered vulgar, but it looks very appetizing. They drank unsweetened tea, but honey, lumps of crushed sugar, fruits and jams from them, and pastries were brought to the table. nine0004

This drink at that time was not a cheap pleasure. People with low incomes could only afford low-grade teas or the so-called "Koporsky" tea (from Ivan-tea and other herbs).

Tea and tea drinks

Tea is a tonic drink, so it is recommended to drink strong tea only in the first half of the day.

Manufacturers now offer various types of tea and various forms of release: tea bags, granules, loose and crushed tea. There are a huge number of varieties of tea and the color of the drink is not the main thing here. The main thing is the taste and aroma. Oddly enough, but tea can be just transparent and have no color, but it will have an excellent taste, special qualities. nine0004

Fragrant tea with milk and cinnamon

Teas with various aromatic additives (fruit, flower, herbal) are gaining more and more popularity. Tea with lemon is a traditional Russian version of the drink. Delicious and fragrant, it perfectly quenches thirst.

A common way of brewing tea has developed. One teaspoon of loose leaf tea is used per cup. The teapot is warmed up, poured with boiling water, put the right amount of tea leaves and aromatic herbs. Then pour boiling water in three passes (every 3-5 minutes). Since tea tends to give up its valuable substances gradually, three parts of boiling water allow it to do this in full. nine0003

Features of the design of the tea table

Well, who will forget their school years, when at the end of each term the whole class together moved the desks and laid out sweets brought with them on the tables. Birthdays were congratulated, parents exchanged recipes, held a small concert (poems, songs, sketches . ..).

Everyone came with their favorite cup… And everything is easier at school. There are no special requirements for etiquette, for table decoration. But now even tea drinking has its own rules and subtleties. nine0004

Autumn tea table decor

Guest accommodation and table setting

Since ancient times, the table in the house was located in the middle, the guests were placed along the perimeter of the table. And in our time, many are trying to buy apartments with a large kitchen, living room or studio apartment, so that the space allows you to create a comfortable environment for a family meal.

Traditional arrangement of guests around the table

In small apartments, tea drinking often takes place at a table against the wall, which creates inconvenience. In such cases, the hosts got out of the situation, allowing guests to sit on the sofa, in armchairs - to take comfortable places with a cup of tea in their hands. nine0004

However, such a ceremony of holding a tea party is also characteristic of organizing social events. For example, at the solemn opening of the exhibition, guests could move around with a cup in their hands, while simultaneously examining the exhibits (baskets, pictures, cardboard boxes, etc.). This way of serving food (when all the food, tea or coffee utensils are placed on the tables, without the opportunity to sit down) is called "buffet" or "sandwich table".

Wall-mounted Swedish tea table

The theme of the tea party

There must be a reason to organize a tea party. As already mentioned, at school it can be the end of a quarter, congratulations to birthdays, a celebration on the occasion of a public holiday.

Birthdays of adults and children are celebrated at home in the circle of friends and relatives. Where is it easier to create a festive mood for the kids? Balloons tied to the backs of chairs or flying freely over the festive table are perfect. Chocolate animals, a sea of ​​all kinds of sweets, cakes and eclairs - everything must be present. After all, the main thing is to be bright and sweet. nine0004

Tea table for a children's party

Well, how not to set the table in your favorite team at work, when everyone remembers how much the birthday boy "knocked". Everyone tries to make his tea party different from many others, choosing a certain plot or theme, subordinating the design of the event to a certain style.

A tea party on the occasion of a memorable date for the family can also be easily made original. In this case, the favorite photos from the family album will become the decoration of the table. Also, the table can be decorated with signs with interesting facts about the “heads of the celebration” or places that they visited during their long lives. And an edible picture on a birthday cake can be the main highlight of the evening. nine0004

Easter tea table

Tea table setting can be done in the style of the Japanese tea ceremony, or in a marine style, where even the pictures on the dishes will have the desired motifs. In the New Year, the table can be decorated with tinsel, Christmas balls, candles, real pine branches with cones. And create a magical smell with tangerines and cinnamon. You can buy New Year's tablecloths and crockery in advance.

And what is a wedding without tea and a traditional cake? At the wedding, the young people solemnly distribute pieces of cake and tea to the guests. And if each cup is made with the image of the young? A beautiful, memorable celebration should be “immersed” in flowers, and tea drinking is no exception. nine0004

Tea table for a wedding

Styles of tea drinking

In whatever country “comes” tea everywhere its use became a part of the customs of the people, a facet of its culture. In Japan, the tea ceremony was a strictly practiced action, a kind of performance where all things and acts are imbued with a special meaning.

Japanese-style tea drinking

English afternoon tea also has its own style. Since in England tea is drunk quite strong, it is more often diluted with milk and even water. On the table are sandwiches and bread with raisins. At the end of this “picture” of English tea drinking, a glass of sherry “fits in”. nine0004

English-style tea-drinking

Among all styles of tea-drinking, Russian was distinguished by its cheerfulness, a kind of playful approach to drinking. The Russian people even came up with several ways to drink tea with sugar (after all, not everyone could afford to buy sugar): bite, overlay, look, after. And they began to start brewing precious herbs when the samovar “sang”.

Russian style tea party

Crockery and cutlery

Tea pair - a cup with a saucer - a must-have dish for traditional tea drinking. Giving a wedding present or buying a tea (or coffee) set for a housewarming meant laying the foundation for the formation of family customs and the observance of already established ones.

Porcelain tableware was and is highly valued. Graceful cups, translucent in the sun, add solemnity to tea drinking.

Variety of teaware

A tea set could include not only a teapot, cups and saucers, but also dessert plates, a sugar bowl, a candy bowl, and a milk jug. It can also be: a butter dish, a large kettle for boiling water, a cake dish, bowls. The service allows you to beautifully set a table for 6 or 12 people in one style.

A tea (coffee) spoon is placed on the saucer of a tea (coffee) cup. When the guest believes that he is satisfied, he puts the spoon into the cup.

Unlike coffee cups, tea cups are wider and more capacious. In the East, tea is drunk from bowls (a bowl without a handle). Such dishes are less fragile. The tea in it cools down faster. nine0004

The bookcase will become indispensable tableware if you have a small table, but with an abundance of goodies.

Tea tableware

Comparing adult ceremonies with children's, the last festive gatherings are noisier and more active. Therefore, dishes for the holiday are selected cheerful, with pictures - one that can be accidentally dropped on the floor. After all, children are such fidgets!

But, if someone has such a family heirloom as a samovar at home, then they definitely exhibit it. The classic samovar is heated by coals. Therefore, in city apartments it is not possible to “rake up” it. An alternative would be electric samovars. The effect, of course, is not the same, but the mood will be created. nine0004

Tablecloths and napkins for the table

Before starting to arrange dishes with treats, the table is covered with a smart tablecloth. To create the effect of pomp and layering, they are even covered with two thin tablecloths of different colors. Tablecloths with hand embroidery (satin stitch, hemstitch, cutwork) are highly valued. Previously, girls prepared such things for themselves as a dowry for a wedding, then they passed it on by inheritance.

An example of tea table cloth

Tablecloths can emphasize the interior style (Provence, Classicism, Shabby Chic). However, in some styles, tablecloths are not used at all. In such cases, cloth or paper napkins can be placed on the tables. Using napkins as an element of table decor, they make beautiful flowers, figurines of birds, animals, folding them in a special way. nine0004

Napkins for the tea table

Table decor

The table is a great place to decorate with flowers and fruits. For example, in Japan, the traditional decoration of the tea ceremony is even considered a whole science and is a separate direction in the art of arranging flowers (ikebana).

When decorating a table, it is important that decor and flowers do not interfere with guests' communication - they do not block the view. Therefore, it is not recommended to place objects higher than 40 cm on the table.

Tea table decor with flowers

If there are a lot of guests, in order to avoid fuss when boarding, name plates or flags can be placed near each device. On such an occasion as the New Year, Christmas, a romantic evening, candles and decor with holiday symbols (hearts, fir cones, branches, rose petals) are still on the tables.

New Year's tea table

When decorating a children's party, compositions of sweets and toys, paper figures (it is possible with riddles) are put on the table, balloons are tied to chairs. All decor for such events can now be easily bought in specialized stores. nine0004

Tea table decor for a children's party

Sweet decor for a celebration

The most voluminous and beautiful dessert is a cake. If it is very large, then a separate table is allocated.

Modern chefs have mastered the art of carving beautiful exotic flowers from fruits. As a basis, “baskets”, they take a whole watermelon or melon, then fill it with carved fruit delicacies.

Dishes with sweet and fruit canapés look very aesthetically pleasing. This option is perfect for decorating a buffet. nine0004

Tea table decor with fruit canapes

Sweets for a friendly feast

When laying a table for close friends and relatives, the hostess will definitely get all the most delicious from her stocks: chocolates, caramel, sherbet, Turkish delight ... In Russia, they usually invite "for pies" or "for pancakes." Abroad, national pastries are croissants, strudel, pizzas, cupcakes, muffins, macaroons, etc.

Tea treats

Flavored jam, condensed milk, honey are served with pancakes and just for tea. Behind friendly conversations, there is always a discussion of new recipes.

Tea drinking with pancakes in Russian traditions

In big cities people are increasingly invited to tea in cafes, cafeterias or tea houses. But drinking tea at home is a completely different atmosphere. It encourages more open, trusting communication. It's a kind of therapy. Do you want to talk about it? - Come for a cup of tea. nine0003

Tea service. Video

Examples of serving a tea table. Photo gallery.

Baby shower - Wikipedia

For other uses, see Baby shower (disambiguation).

Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (July 2013) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message )

Baby shower cake of a crib different names in different cultures. It celebrates the delivery or expected birth of a child or the transformation of a woman into a mother.


  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 Description
  • 3 Gifts
  • 4 Family bonding
  • 5 History
  • 6 In different countries
  • 7 Baby showers for fathers
  • 8 Names for events
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


The term shower is often assumed to mean that the expectant mother is "showered" with gifts. A related custom, called a bridal shower, may have derived its name from the custom in the 19th century for the presents to be put inside a parasol, which when opened would "shower" the bride-to-be with gifts. [1] alternatively the term possibly denotes a "first showing" of the new baby to the wider family and circle of friends, although the baby shower is usually held before the birth of the baby.


Cake and finger foods are often served at baby showers.

Traditionally, baby showers are given only for the family's first child, and only women are invited, [2] though this has changed in recent years, now allowing showers being split up for different audiences: workplace, mixed-sex, etc. [3] Activities at baby showers include gift-giving and playing themed games.

Baby shower games vary, sometimes including standard games such as bingo, and sometimes being pregnancy-themed, such as "guess the mother's measurements" or "guess the baby". These games help the close friends attend the shower bond with the mother and enable the new family to say thanks ahead of time, figuring out who is willing and able to help them with the challenges of bringing up. nine0004

According to etiquette authority Miss Manners, because the party centers on gift-giving, [4] the baby shower is typically arranged and hosted by a close friend rather than a member of the family, since it is considered improper for to beg for gifts on behalf of their members. [5] However, this custom varies by culture or region and in some it is expected and customary for a close female family member to host the baby shower, often the baby's maternal grandmother. nine0347 [6]

When a baby shower is held after a baby's birth, an invitation to attend the shower may be combined with a baby announcement. In the US, if a baby shower does not happen before the arrival of the baby, a sip-and-see party or other similar events can be organized after the birth.

Guests bring small gifts for the expectant mother. Typical gifts related to babies include diapers, blankets, baby bottles, clothes, and toys. It is common to open gifts during the party; sometimes the host will make a game of opening gifts. nine0004

Family bonding[edit]

The baby shower is a family's first opportunity to gather people together to help play a part in their child's life. The new parents may wish to call on people to assist in the upbringing of their child, and help educate the child over time. People around the family, who care for them, want to be involved in the child's life, and a baby shower presents an opportunity for them to give gifts and be of help, showing their love for the family. [7] If it happens before the birth, it allows the new family to thank everyone before the stress of a new baby and lack of sleep begins.


Baby shower shortbread biscuits

The term "baby shower" is relatively new, but the celebrations and rituals associated with pregnancy and childbirth are both ancient and enduring. [8]

Ancient Egypt
In ancient Egypt, rituals relating to the birth of a child took place after the event itself. Quite unlike modern baby showers, this involved the mother and the child being separated to "contain and eliminate the pollution of birth" – this may have included visiting local temples or shrines. After this, there may also have been household rituals that took place, but the specifics have been found hard to study as these are such female-centered events. nine0347 [8]
Ancient India
In India, a pregnancy ritual has been followed since the vedic ages: an event called seemantha, [ citation needed ] held in the 7th or 8th month. The mother-to-be is showered with dry fruits, sweets and other gifts that help the baby's growth. A musical event to please the baby's ears is the highlight of the ritual, as it was common knowledge that the baby's ears would start functioning within the womb. The ritual prays for a healthy baby and mother, as well as a happy delivery and motherhood. nine0009
Ancient Greece
The ancient Greeks also celebrated pregnancy after the birth, with a shout ( oloyge ) after the labor has ended, to indicate that "peace had arrived". Five to seven days later, there is a ceremony called Amphidromia , to indicate that the baby had integrated into the household. In wealthy families, the public decate ceremony, after ten days, indicated the mother's return to society. (The ten-day period is still observed in modern-day Iran.) [8]
Medieval Europe
Due to the likelihood a mother would die in childbirth, this time was recognized as having a great risk of spiritual danger in addition to the risk of physical danger. Priests would often visit women during labor so they could confess their sins. After the birth, usually on the same day, a baptism ceremony would take place for the baby. In this ceremony, the godparents would give gifts to the child, including a pair of silver spoons. [8]
Renaissance Europe
Pregnancies at this time were celebrated with many different kinds of birth gifts: functional items, like wooden trays and bowls, as well as paintings, sculptures, and food. Childbirth was seen as almost mystical, and mothers-to-be were often surrounded with references to the Annunciation by way of encouragement and celebration. [8]
Victorian Britain and North America
Superstitions sometimes led to speculation that a woman might be pregnant, such as two teaspoons being accidentally placed together on a saucer. Gifts were usually hand-made, but the grandmother would give silver, such as a spoon, mug, or porringer. nine0347 [8] In Britain, the manners of the upper-class (and, later, middle-class) required pregnancy to be treated with discretion: the declining of social invitations was often the only hint given. After the birth, a monthly nurse would be engaged, whose duties included regulating visitors. When the nanny took over, the mother began to resume normal domestic life, and the resumption of the weekly 'at home' afternoon tea an opportunity for female friends to visit. The Christening - usually held when the child was between 8-12 weeks old - was an important social event for the family, godparents and friends. nine0009
Modern North America
The modern baby shower in America started in the late 1940s and the 1950s, as post-war women were expecting the Baby Boom generation. As in earlier eras, when young women married and were provided with trousseau, the shower served the function of providing the mother and her home with useful material goods. [8]

While continuing the traditions from the 1950s, modern technology has altered the form a baby shower takes: games can include identifying baby parts on a sonogram. Moreover, although traditional baby showers were female-exclusive, mixed-sex showers have increased in frequency. nine0347 [8]

In different countries[edit]

Diaper cake

Baby showers and other social events to celebrate an impending or recent birth are popular around the world. They are often women-only social gatherings.

  • In Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, baby showers are a common tradition.
  • In Brazil, a party called "chá de bebê" (baby tea) is offered before birth.
  • In Bulgaria, as a superstition, no baby gifts are given to the family before the baby's birth. However, family and friends give or send unsolicited gifts to the newborn baby, even if some babies are kept from the public for the first 40 days to prevent early infections. nine0019
  • In Chinese tradition a baby shower, manyue (满月), is held one month after the baby is born.
  • In Hmong culture, a baby shower is called "Puv Hli", and is held one month after the baby is born. A ceremony would be hosted by the paternal grandparents or the father to welcome the baby to the family by tying the baby's wrist with white yarn and/or strings.
  • In Armenia, a baby shower is called "qarasunq" (քառասունք) and is celebrated 40 days after the birth. It is a mixed party for all relatives and friends. Guests usually bring gifts for the baby or parents. nine0019
  • In Iran, a baby shower (Persian:حمام زایمان) is also called a "sismooni party" (Persian:جشن سیسمونی). It is celebrated 1–3 months before the baby's birth. Family and close friends give gifts intended for the baby such as a cot, toys, and baby clothes.
  • In Costa Rica, a baby shower party is called té de canastilla ("basket tea"), and multiple events are held for a single pregnancy for the family, co-workers, and friends.
  • In Mongolia, a baby shower is called "huuhdyn ugaalga". nine0019
  • In Hindu tradition, they are called by different names depending on the family's community.
    • In northern India it is known as godbharaai (filled lap) , in the Punjab region, it is also known as " reet ". in Odisha it is called saadhroshi . In West Bengal, in many places a party named "sadh" (সাধ) or "sadhbhokkhon" (সাধভক্ষণ) is observed on the seventh month of pregnancy. After this, the woman resides in her father's house instead of her husband's until the birth. nine0019
    • In southern India, in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh it is called seemantham , valaikaapu or poochoottal . The expecting mother wears bangles and is adorned with flowers.
    • In Karnataka it is called seemanta (ಸೀಮಂತ) or kubasa (ಕುಬಸ). It is held when the woman is in her 5th, 7th, or 9th month of pregnancy.
    • In coastal Karnataka, especially in Tulunadu (Tulu speaking region), the ceremony is also known as "baayake" ('ಬಾಯಕೆ'). Baayake in Tulu means desire. It is popularly considered that pregnant women crave fruits and eatables during the pregnancy period; and the was ceremony designed in the olden days to fulfill the desire or food cravings of the mother-to-be. nine0019
    • Although these might be celebrated together, they are very different: seemantham is a religious ceremony, while valaikappu and poochoottal are purely social events much like Western baby showers. In a valaikappu or poochoottal , music is played and the expectant mother is decked in traditional attire with many flowers and garlands made of jasmine or mogra. A swing is decorated with flowers of her choice, which she uses to sit and swing. At times, symbolic cut-outs of moons and stars are put up. The elderly ladies from the household and community shower blessings on the expectant mother and gifts are given to her. nine0019
    • In Gujarat, it is known as seemant or kholo bharyo , a religious ritual for most Gujarati Hindus during the 5th or 7th month of pregnancy, usually only for the first child. The expectant mother can only go to her father's house for delivery after her seemant . They offer special prayer and food to the goddess "Randal, the wife of the Sun".
    • In Jain tradition, the baby shower ceremony is often called as "Shreemant". The expectant mother can go to her father's house in the 5th month of pregnancy and has to come back before the baby shower ceremony. After the ceremony, the expectant mother cannot go back to her father's house. The ceremony is only performed on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday of the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy. During the ceremony one of the practice is that the younger brother-in-law of the expectant mother dips his hands in Kumkuma water and slaps the expectant mother seven times on her cheeks and then the expectant mother slaps her younger brother-in-law seven times on his cheeks. nine0019
    • In Kerala it is known as pulikudi or vayattu pongala' , and is practiced predominantly in the Nair community, though its popularity has spread to other Hindu sects over the years. On an auspicious day, after being massaged with homemade ayurvedic oil the woman has a customary bath with the help of the elderly women in the family. After this, the family deity is worshipped, invoking all the paradevatas (family deities) and a concoction of herbal medicines prepared traditionally, is given to the woman. She is dressed in new clothes and jewelery used for such occasions. A big difference in the western concept of baby shower and Hindu tradition is that the Hindu ceremony is a religious ceremony to pray for the baby's well-being. In most conservative families, gifts are bought for the mother-to-be but not the baby. The baby is showered with gifts only after birth. nine0019
  • In the Islamic tradition of Aqiqah, an animal (such as a sheep) is slaughtered anytime after the birth, and the meat is distributed among relatives and the poor. The practice is considered sunnah and is not done universally. [9] [10]
  • In South Africa, a baby shower is called a stork party (named after the folk myth that a white stork delivers babies), and typically takes place during the mother's 6th month. Stork parties, usually not attended by men and often organized as a surprise for the mother, involve silliness such as dressing up, and mothers receive gifts of baby supplies. nine0019
  • In Nepal a baby shower is known as "dahi chiura khuwaune". The mother-to-be is given gifts from her elders and a meal is cooked for her according to her preferences. The pregnant mother is often invited by her relatives to eat meals with them. Pasni is a traditional celebration that often marks a baby boy's 6th month or a baby girl's fifth month, marking the transition to a diet higher in carbohydrates and allowing guests to bestow blessings, and money and other gifts.
  • In Guatemala, only women attend this event. Middle-class women usually celebrate more than one baby shower (one with close friends, co-workers, family, etc.). nine0019
  • In Russia, and Commonwealth of Independent States, there are no baby showers, though some of the younger generation are starting to adopt the custom.
  • In Egypt a baby shower is known as " Sebouh " (سبوع) (sebouh means week) which is usually celebrated one week after birth hence its name. This is usually celebrated with a DJ, much decoration, a food and candy buffet, activities and games.
  • In Puerto Rico, a baby shower is celebrated anytime after other family members are made aware of the pregnancy, but typically during the last trimester. The grandmother, sisters, or friends of the pregnant mother organize the celebration and invite other relatives and friends. It is not common for men to attend baby showers. The "bendicion" (blessing) is bestowed money and other gifts. nine0019

Baby showers for fathers[edit]

Some baby showers are directed at fathers. These may be more oriented towards drinking beer, watching sports, fishing, or playing video games. [11] [12] The primary nature of these gifts is diapers and/or diaper-related items. [13] [14] The organization of the diaper party is typically done by the friends of the father-to-be as a way of helping to prepare for the coming child. These parties may be held at local pubs/bars, a friend's house, or the soon-to-be grandfather's house. nine0347 [13] [15] In the United Kingdom, this is called wetting the baby's head , and is generally more common than baby showers. However, with the growth of American cultural influence- accelerated through celebrities via social media sites like Instagram, baby shower decorations are becoming more common in the United Kingdom. [16] Wetting the baby's head is traditionally when the father celebrates the birth by having a few drinks and getting drunk with a group of friends. nine0004

There has been some controversy over these, with Judith Martin calling them a "monstrous imposition", [14] although she was referring to the attitude of demanding gifts and not necessarily the male version of a baby shower.

In Hungary, such an event is called Milking party held by tradition in favor of the mother to be blessed with breast milk for the newborn. Practically it is the last day-off of the father for some time as he is expected to stay home to help. No similar domestic custom exists for mothers, such as a baby shower decoration. Gifts for the baby are given on the first visit to his/her home. This, due to health concerns, happens at the appropriate and suitable time for each counterpart. nine0004

Names for events[edit]

A buffet at a baby shower featuring an appropriately themed cake.