For some folks, the arrival of a new baby carries a more complex range of emotions than it does for others. Quinn’s Mercantile reflects on everything you should know about a rainbow baby shower, starting with explaining what the term “rainbow baby” means.
What Is a Rainbow Baby?
The term “rainbow baby” is used to refer to a baby that is born following the loss of a previous child due to a miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in infancy. The phrase is meant to highlight the hope and joy this new child brings, analogous to a welcoming rainbow that shows after a storm.
Is a Rainbow Baby Shower Different From Any Other Baby Shower?
Parents welcoming a rainbow baby often experience a variety of emotions surrounding the anticipation and celebrations of their new baby. Of course, there’s much joy, excitement, and hope for the anticipated little one, but there may also be a lot of conflicting feelings up until, or even following, the birth.
It’s common for rainbow baby parents to experience some apprehension—fear that others think they’re replacing their lost child or have moved on, fear that there will be trouble with the current pregnancy, fear that happiness brought on by the rainbow baby will overshadow mourning of their lost baby or vice versa. Because of the mixed bag of emotions that rainbow baby parents may experience throughout the pregnancy, it can be tough to determine what an appropriate baby shower may look like.
The difference between a typical baby shower and a rainbow baby shower depends on the parents and their wishes. While some expecting folks wish to celebrate their new baby with confetti and cake, others have a harder time doing so. Whatever revelry festivities you and your loved ones prefer, we have some tips for a smooth and joyful time.
The Dos and Don’ts of Rainbow Baby Showers
Assure your rainbow baby shower goes as planned by following the dos and avoiding the don’ts of rainbow baby showers. Below is everything you should know about a rainbow baby shower’s proper etiquette.
Dos of Rainbow Baby Showers
- Include the parents in the planning process: Yes, the festivities are to celebrate their child, but they’re also to celebrate parenthood in general. If you’re planning a rainbow shower for the expecting parents, be sure to include them throughout the process to avoid throwing a shower that goes overboard.
- Consider an open invitation beyond family and friends who are women: Stereotypically, baby showers are known for being “women-only” events. While a narrowed guest list is totally fine, consider opening the invitation to others as well.
- Help with the shower registry: Baby shower registries are common for many expecting parents to take part in. Ask whether the parents plan on accepting gifts at their shower and help them organize a shower registry with appropriate online stores.
Don’ts of Rainbow Baby Showers
- Overdo it: You must remember that a rainbow baby can cause a stir of emotions—some great, some negative. Always be sensitive to parents’ needs and recognize when the décor or games get to be too much. And always be mindful of those you’re inviting and their personal experiences with pregnancy, if applicable.
- Assume the parents’ wishes: The easiest way to create an event that makes the expecting parents uncomfortable is to miscommunicate or fail to communicate your planning process.
- Overstep your boundaries: If it’s not your baby shower, be sure to ask the parents how involved they would like you to be. Some rainbow baby showers are best when organized by the parents, but other times, it takes a village. Sincerely offer your help and accept when your help may not be needed or wanted.
Rainbow Baby Shower Décor Ideas
Rainbow baby parents may wish to throw a mini party with family and friends to celebrate the arrival of the new baby. Should that be the case, Quinn’s Mercantile has a few celebratory décor ideas to help set the planning in motion. When planning rainbow baby showers, it’s especially important to maintain a sensitive lens and always confirm with the parents that your shower ideas suit their celebratory wishes. Below are a few decorative items that you can use to bring pops of color and joy to the celebration:
- Rainbow Cake Topper
- Rainbow Balloon Arch
- Rainbow and Cloud Mylar Balloons
- Rainbow Pom Poms
Alternative Options To a Big Celebration
Sometimes, the idea of streamers and cake can get to be a bit much for the expecting mother. If you or your loved one wishes to opt out of the typical baby shower celebrations, there are still several low-key ways to rejoice over your bun in the oven with friends and family. Just because the festivities are a bit more intimate, that doesn’t make the arrival of your rainbow baby any less exciting.
Reduce the Number of Invites
Perhaps a large gathering is too overwhelming at the moment. It might be tough to reduce a guest list of family and friends, but it can help take some pressure off the celebration and its planning.
Nix the Need for Decorations
If the decorations are too much, avoid them altogether. A simple meal with close loved ones could be just what the parents need to celebrate their rainbow baby. This get-together can be anything that suits their style, whether that’s a potluck lunch, a backyard barbecue, or a restaurant reservation.
Take It To the Spa
To counteract the stress of planning for a new child (however positive it may be), take the rainbow baby shower to the spa. This can be a limited invite of a few close family members or friends. It takes the pressure off planning and gives everyone an opportunity to simply relax.
Reschedule for After the Baby’s Arrival
Some individuals prefer to have their baby shower after the baby’s arrival, which is just fine! Sip-N-See’s are actually a very common way to celebrate a newborn and show them off to the world. Having the festivities after the birth of a rainbow baby can alleviate some stressors for the parents.
You can find an array of special baby shower gifts at Quinn’s Mercantile. From nursery décor to baby onesies, we have everything you need to treat the expecting parents in your life. Between the deep lows of losing a child and the extreme highs of welcoming a new child, having a rainbow baby is an entirely unique experience. With ample preparation and a fitting celebration, you can help comfortably welcome a hopeful new life into the world.