If you ask most pregnant women, they will feel as though they are carrying a dozen babies. When there isn’t an arm pushing through your belly button, there is a kick to your kidneys. But statistics tell a different story. Twins make up only 1 out of every 200 births and triplets are even rarer with 1 out of every 20,000 births. Not only are these births rare, but the parents need double or even triple the essentials. So, it makes sense that these special births should have special showers.
While parents of multiples don’t need two of everything, there are many things that cannot be shared. And a lot of those are expensive items such as car seats, high chairs, cribs and a double or triple stroller. This can overwhelm the finances of many new parents. But it might also be too much to expect guests from a single shower to provide them all. So why not split the celebration and have more than one shower. Talk to the Mom about different areas in her life that may be conducive to a shower. It may be work, neighborhood, church or even her gym. You might also think about having a couple’s shower to celebrate with her partner’s work and social groups as well. This can be a great way to help the new parents get what they really need.
There are a wide range of twin and triplet shower invitations available. If the couple already knows the gender of their babies, there are even invitations that specialize in gender specific cards such as invitations for two girls or for a boy and a girl. But you are not limited pre-printed invitations. Thankfully, we live in a digital age that gives you the opportunity to create your own custom invitations. You can then either print them off and mail them, or just create a digital file and send them through email. Whichever method you use, be sure to order or prepare matching thank you notes at the same time. That way, as you address the invitations, you can address the envelopes for the thank you notes.
A gift registry is never more important than when expecting multiples. No parent wants to deal with the emotional baggage that comes with choosing which of the five swings they want to keep while neither baby has a car seat. It is also important to talk about the family’s needs with the mother. Some of the big gifts the family will need have already been mentioned. But there are also smaller needs that can really add up. Parent’s of multiples go through record numbers of things such as baby bottles, blankets, diapers and even nose bulbs. Larger gifts that need to be multiplied are car seats, bouncers, cribs, play pens, and high chair. While the parent’s will need a double stroller, it’s also a good idea to have at least one, and preferably two single strollers for those times when parents are taking children in two different directions.
Don’t neglect adding books to her gift registry. Traditional parenting books don’t always tackle the special issues that parents of multiples deal with. Breastfeeding and sleep are two areas that are very different with more than one baby.
Be sure to assign one of the guests to keep an accurate list of who gave what gift. You can make the entire process easier by writing the gift on a small sticky note, and sticking it to the thank you note you have already addressed for each guest.
There are many different ways to decorate for multiples. One common theme for twins is to use banners or signage that say “Twice Blessed” or simply “Twins.” There are fewer banners or signage for triplets, but there a few available. Or you can simply use the phrase “Oh Babies!”
But you don’t have to spend a lot on decorations. You can decorate with balloons grouped in pink or blue if you already know the gender of the babies. You can also just decorate with whatever linens and silverware you already own.
While there really is no social or medical reason to change the menu for a multiple mom. But, especially if you will be planning more than one shower for the happy parents you may want to think about a varied menu for each one. For example, a morning shower might feature a light brunch menu with fruit and Danish. You might serve a more substantial meal at an evening or a couple’s shower. For those, think about grilling out. For an office shower, think about catering a lunch with the office’s favorite sandwich or salad shop.
Feeding your guests doesn’t have to be expensive. You can always ask guests to bring a dish to pass and have a pot luck meal at the shower. In fact, you can ask your guests to bring extras, ready for the freezer, just for the happy parents. That way they have meals when they are so busy in those first few days with the new babies.
There are several things that, as the party host, you plan for after the shower. The first thing you need to do is collect the list of gifts from each guest. Keep the thank you notes and the list together and set up a time to sit with the parent to fill them out. If the mother wants to fill them out alone, make sure that you have already stamped each envelope to make it easy for her.
The second vital task after the shower is setting up a way for the new parents to get gifts home. This is especially important in urban areas where the parents might have arrived at the shower using public transportation. Ask a guest who has a large car or van to be the official gift transport for the happy parents. Just making sure that this little detail is covered frees up your guests, and lets them truly enjoy each other and this magical moment in their lives.