In some countries, a baby shower is a way to celebrate the pending or recent birth of a child by presenting gifts to the parents at a party. The term "shower" is often assumed to mean that the expectant mother is "showered" with gifts.
Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family's first child, and only women attended. The original intent was for women to share wisdom and lessons on the art of becoming a mother.Over time, it has become common to hold them for subsequent or adopted children, and/or invite men as well. It is not uncommon for a parent to have more than one baby shower, such as one with friends and another with co-workers.
Because the party centers on gift-giving, the baby shower is typically arranged and hosted by a close friend rather than a member of the family, since it is considered rude for families to beg for gifts on behalf of their members.
There is no set rule for when or where showers are to be held. The number of guests and style of entertainment are determined by the host. Most hosts invite only women to baby showers, although there is no firm rule requiring this. If the shower is held after the baby's birth, then the baby is usually brought, too. Showers typically include food but not a full meal.
Guests bring small or large gifts for the expectant mother. Typical gifts related to babies include diapers, baby bottles, clothes, and toys. It is common to open the gifts during the party.
Some hosts arrange baby-themed activities, such as games to taste baby foods or to guess the baby's birth date or gender.