Hosting a Baby ShowerAim to: Host the shower four to six weeks before the due date. Consult with the mother-to-be about timing: Some women, due to health complications or religious custom, prefer to wait until after the child is born.
If you are late: If a shower is delayed so long that the baby is already teething, consider offering to help out with an open house for the newly enlarged family, or to host a first-birthday party.
Tip: In the past, baby showers were held for first babies only. Today showers for second- and third-borns are more common, with gifts often focusing more on the mother than on the practical needs of a newborn.
Sending a Gift for a New BabyAim to: Get a gift to the house within three weeks of the birth, or bring it over the first time you see the baby. If you already gave a baby-shower gift, you don't have to send a second present.
If you are late: "Select something that can be used by the growing child," says Downing. Or give a gift card that lets the parents choose exactly what they need and spares them the hassle of store returns.
Tip: Check in with the new parents around the five-week point. By this time, the phone calls have died down and reality (and shell-shocked exhaustion) is setting in. Talking to an adult may be a treat.
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