Why Is It Called A Baby Shower? Answered (Updated)

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Several theories abound concerning the origin of the phrase “baby shower.” Some speculate that the nomenclature derives from the celebration of a forthcoming baby, while other opinions suggest it refers to the act of gift-giving to the soon-to-be parents in anticipation of their new arrival.

But why is it called a baby shower? Let’s take a closer look at what baby showers are all about and why they have become so popular in recent years.

Why Do They Call It A Baby Shower?

baby shower decoration with teddy bear theme

The term “baby shower” is quite a mystery. No one is quite sure where it originated or why it’s called that. There are a few theories, but the most likely explanation is that it’s simply a corruption of the term “bath.” 

In olden times, new mothers often took a post-natal bath to purify themselves and their newborns. This practice eventually morphed into the modern baby shower, which is now a celebration of the impending arrival of a new baby. 

The term “shower” may also be used to describe the act of giving gifts to the expectant mother. But how many babies are conceived on Valentine’s day?

Where Did The Baby Shower Tradition Come From?

Though the exact origin of baby showers is unknown, they are thought to have originated in Europe. 

The first recorded mention of a baby shower in America was in 1881 when Ladies Home Journal published an advice column about throwing a “shower” for a pregnant woman. 

However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that baby showers became popular. The tradition began gaining traction during World War I when many women worked outside the home and had less time to visit new mothers. 

Baby showers provided an opportunity for friends and family to gather and support a new mother. 

Today, baby showers are a fixture of American culture, and they continue to evolve to meet the needs of modern families. 

Thanks to advances in technology, there are various ways to throw a successful baby shower, whether a traditional in-person gathering or a virtual event. But how much does a baby shower cost?

What’s the Purpose of A Baby Shower?

mommy to be cut out letter design

While the specifics may vary depending on culture, tradition, and personal preference, the basic purpose of a baby shower is to celebrate the impending arrival of a new addition to the family. 

In many cases, baby showers are hosted by close friends or family members of the expectant mother. These showers allow guests to share their well-wishes and often result in the newly formed family receiving many of the supplies they will need to care for their newborn. 

Additionally, baby showers give guests a chance to meet and bond with one another, which can be especially helpful for those who live far from close relatives. 

Ultimately, a baby shower is meant to be a joyful occasion that helps prepare the parents-to-be and their loved ones for the exciting time ahead.

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How Do You Celebrate A Baby Shower Today?

Today, baby showers are typically hosted by the mother-to-be’s close friends or family members. The guest list is usually limited to women only, although men are sometimes included if the parents want a coed shower. 

The shower typically takes place at the home of the hostess, although it can also be held at a rented venue such as a banquet hall or community center. 

The purpose of the shower is to provide the parents-to-be with gifts to help them get ready for the new baby. Common gifts include clothes, diaper bags, cribs, and strollers. 

Guests often bring along cards and well wishes for the parents-to-be. The shower usually culminates with refreshments and cake, and a “baby” theme is often incorporated into the decor and food. 

For example, a “wild thing” themed baby shower might feature safari animal decorations and foods like roasted meats and vegetables served on skewers. 

A “little prince” themed shower could have royal blue decorations and Pinterest-worthy dishes like mini quiches and petit fours. Find out what to write on a baby shower cake here.


What do you call a baby shower after a baby is born?

There’s no official name for a baby shower after a baby is born, but some people call it a post-birth party or welcome-home party. 

This type of event is usually focused on helping the new parents adjust to life with a newborn, and guests often bring gifts that will be useful during those first few months (diapers, baby clothes, breastfeeding supplies, etc.). 

During what month of the pregnancy should you do a baby shower?

It’s typically recommended to do a baby shower during the seventh or eighth month of the pregnancy, but it depends on when the mother-to-be would like to have it. Some people prefer to wait until closer to the due date, while others want to celebrate sooner. [1]

Check out these best places to have a baby shower here.

Final Thoughts

A baby shower is a lovely way to celebrate the impending arrival of a new baby. It’s a time for family and friends to gather together, share their well-wishes, and give the parents-to-be some gifts to help them get ready for this exciting time in their lives. 

Today, baby showers come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s no wrong way to throw one. The most important thing is that everyone has a good time!

Do you have any other questions about baby showers? Let us know in the comments below!


Kimberlee Johnson
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