Baby Shower History
The Victorian baby shower was the grandmother of today's modern showers. In the Victorian times of the late 1800s, ladies would organize afternoon tea parties for new mothers. At that time only wealthy families held these celebrations, the celebration was held after the child was born and was only attended by ladies. Gifts to the new mother were generally handmade.
Baby showers as we know them today grew in popularity during the baby boom of post World War II United States. At that point they became parties celebrated prior to the arrival of the baby. Close friends and family of the mom-to-be were invited to shower her with useful gifts for the new baby. As parenting was still seen as the mother's role, these parties were still only attended by women. Generally a shower was only thrown for the first born child.
Today baby showers are customary and take on all sorts of forms from the most informal to a catered party at a country club or restaurant. They may be celebrated for a first child or a fourth. Men and children are generally invited. Gifts may be personal, useful or light-hearted and party games are the norm.