Grandma Showers Latest Trend in Baby Welcomes

PHOTO: "Grandma Showers" celebrate the increasing role a grandmother-to-be will have in their grandchilds life.

There was a time, way back when, when a woman had a baby, and she brought the baby home and they lived happily ever after.

Today, there's almost always a baby shower. Sometimes more than one. Most of us have come to accept baby shower attendance as part of our societal obligations.

It doesn't end, however, with a bunch of women sitting around sipping tea and oohing over tiny baby clothes. Nope. There's couples' showers now too. And sip and sees. And, of course, the ever-more-creative gender-reveal parties.

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But there's one more baby-welcoming party you may not have heard of. Behold, the grandma shower.

At TheBump.com, the site's popular message boards are buzzing about the trend. Editorial Director Shannon Guyton told ABC News that there's more to grandma showers than gift grabbing.

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"Grandmas are a lot more involved these days, whether it's picking the baby up from day care or keeping the kids for the weekend. They need their own set of gear," she said.

Ellen Breslau, editor-in-chief for Grandparents.com, the No. 2 website in 50-plus age segment of the U.S. population, agreed. "Grandparents are much more involved in grandchildren's lives than ever before." Grandma showers, she said, "are a way to celebrate one of life's most exciting events."

But not everyone thinks the trend is a positive one.

"I'm totally fine with celebrating the milestone by getting together with friends for some quality time. However, a full-on shower requesting two gifts? Big side eye," wrote one mom who goes by the name BakerMommy on TheBump.com's message boards.

Another mom described a grandma shower filled with potential awkwardness. She was close to one of the grandmas but not the other. But she didn't want to give one a more expensive gift than the other. Plus, she had not even attended the shower for the actual mother yet, and expects to spend money on that gift too. She ended up giving both grandmas some favorite children's books.

That situation, according to Guyton, broke the cardinal rule of grandma showers: Let the mom-to-be have her shower first. Another broken rule? Inviting the same people to multiple showers and having them bring two gifts. Big no no, said Guyton.

But the choice of children's books on the part of the party-goer was a good one, according to Breslau. Small, token gifts, she said, "are completely appropriate."

But that's not to say Grams wouldn't appreciate her own stroller or car seat, Breslau said. "Grandparents are taking care of grandkids and need a high chair and pack and play and everything else that goes along with having a baby."

Up next: Grandma registries.

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