A (very unconventional) baby shower for #2

When my sisters emailed me about the need to start planning a baby shower for Kiwi, I told them no. “People don’t throw a shower for second babies,” I told them.

The idea of registering for things we didn’t need, playing games and opening a mountain of presents in front of guests—read, the usual baby shower—didn’t appeal.

Undeterred, my sisters convinced me by proposing a thoroughly unconventional baby shower (or sprinkle, as some folks call the more minimal baby showers).

Pirate Putt-Putt Baby Shower Black light putt putt baby shower Read more

NW’s Biggest Baby Shower Recap

I’d never seen so many preggers bumps in one place.

On Saturday Peeper and I joined what seemed to be every pregnant woman and new mother in Portland at the NW’s Biggest Baby Shower. Hundreds of families piled into the Left Bank Annex (where, mercifully, they turned on the air conditioning after a little while—I was unbearably hot with my drooly space heater strapped to my front). We bustled around, checking out companies, organizations and services tailored for expecting and new parents.

Three floors of baby gear—plus the blessed air conditioner
Three floors of baby gear—plus the blessed air conditioner

Despite it not being so up my alley—I don’t usually love packed crowds of people—I had a good time. I was glad I went early, before it became difficult to sidle up to a booth. (I took the above photo around 12:30, by which time it was hard to maneuver my babywearing self between other babywearing selves.)

I learned a lot—not just about products but techniques, too (e.g. essential oils for napping and a tip about using acupuncture for lactation problems), but you have to strike up a conversation with the people at the booths to learn about this. Overall, then, it’s not for everyone, but if you want to know more about baby gear and get your hands on products to try before buying, or you want to talk to the people who know a ton about baby stuff, I do recommend going.

If you’re bummed you missed the event, or you live outside of Portland, you can hit up the baby shower in Seattle on September 27.

Here are a few of the highlights from the shower.  Read more

Avoid baby shower registry hell [Giveaway]

When I was pregnant, I checked a pregnancy web site weekly, mostly to find out what fruit Peeper was. TheBump.com also had tips and to-dos that expecting mamas should keep in mind. Never having been pregnant before, it was helpful to have someone tell me to, say, interview pediatricians and buy life insurance.

The reminder to register for baby shower gifts, then, was a needed if unwelcome kick in the maternity pants.

I  had no idea what to add to my online registry. (I ended up using MyRegistry.com so I wouldn’t be limited to one or two stores, by the way.)  Sure, I figured I should ask for bibs and bottles, but what kind? How many? And what is a layette?

Online articles with a checklist of registry items were only moderately helpful. I don’t like shopping, so the idea of wandering through Baby Hell Babies R Us with a scanner gun sounded like torture. A friend who had recently given birth offered tips, but I would have loved a way to compare products and test brands out before asking friends and family to buy gifts for me and the growing bun.

In a few weekends, there will be just such an event for parents-to-be and already-parents such as myself: The Northwest’s Biggest Baby Shower, Saturday May 31 from 10 am – 5 pm in Portland’s Left Bank Annex. The mondo event is a way to poke around, check out eco-friendly baby products, learn about services for after Tiny arrives (like postpartum doulas, which I’d never heard of when I was preggers), get mini-spa treatments (yes, please) and leave with a bag chock full o’ samples.

Man, I love samples.

Personally, I think the expert speakers lined up are worth a visit in and of themselves. There are workshops on baby wearing, post-birth physical recovery, babyproofing and—here’s the cherry on top—baby sleep.

Seriously, someone will tell you how to help your cute-but-squalling baby sleep better. And you don’t even have to read a book.

The folks over at the NW’s Biggest Baby Shower have given me 10 sets of couples passes to give away here. Peeper and I are going, and we’d love to see you! (I’ll be the blond circling the booths giving away freebies; Peeper will be the even blonder baby grabbing at anything remotely shiny or crinkly.)

Simply click the link below, follow directions to multiply your chances of having your name drawn, and you could be joining me and about a bajillion other parents at the NW’s Biggest Baby Shower.

I’ll be choosing 10 winners on Friday and you’ll hear from me on Saturday if you win. There are some options you can do once a day, so check back throughout the week.

Let me know if you are going—I’d love to meet you in person! (I’ll also have some materials at the blogger booth—stop by and say hello!) See you there!

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I received a free pass to the NW’s Biggest Baby Shower. All opinions on this blog are entirely my own. I tell it like it is.