Baby Showers in Sweden – Better than Halloween!

Last week my friend and I threw a baby shower for a dear girlfriend of ours. Most of you non-anglophones are probably wondering what is a baby shower.

Tissue pompom fun – so cute!
dessert table with tissue pompoms

A baby shower is a party thrown for a mom to be having her first child one to two months prior to her due date. A couple best friends throw the party to welcome the mom-to-be into the ‘club of moms.’ Women have an afternoon to chat, eat, and enjoy each other’s company.

A usual women-only event, baby showers can be tailored to be co-ed; add in the beer baby bottle game and you’re set. But for guys attending, let them skip the present opening time. They will die with the amount of of ‘ooohing’ and ‘awwwing’ happening.

Plus, guests bring gifts for the newborn baby which are opened at the end of the shower. The gifts are practical: onesies, diapers, bottles, and anything new parents may need. A baby shower helps offset the expensive cost of clothes and items for newborns.

The baby shower we hosted mixed American and Swedish culture. The party itself was of course American but we kept to simple styles and colors to be elegant, which brought out the Swedish style.

Mom to be with her presents!
mom-to-be with gifts

We played a couple fun games such as matching guests names to their meanings and a short story game.

We skipped the super gross game where you smash different type of chocolate candies in diapers and then everyone has to guess which candy it is. It’s meant to look like poop. Ewww.

And of course we had a food table since the party was late afternoon along with a dessert table. A dessert table is a must!

I baked a whole ton of cookies, cupcakes, and a four layer cake. It was catatonically wonderful.

All the girls enjoyed the shower, especially the Swedes. As one girl remarked, “why did we have to import Halloween? Baby showers are much more fun!”

True! How can you not love whimsical and happy?

I think every mom-to-be should have an opportunity for a baby shower. It’s an afternoon to feel special and enjoy time with your friends.

If you want to throw a baby shower in Sweden, here’s what you need:
1. 10-20 female guests – this includes friends, sisters, mom-to-be’s mom, and sister in laws. However one to two best friends hold the shower.

2. Invitations – Ecards work best and are cheap and easy to keep track of.

3. Decoration – Cutlery – Cute, baby decoration is hard to come by in Sweden so I suggest going with whimsical colors instead. Solid or polka dotted pastel colored napkins and tablecloths are perfect. Buy little plates or pull out your dessert plate collection (I picked up 18 porcelain dessert plates for 200:- at Stockholm Stadsmission).

4. Decoration – Tissue pompoms – Tissue papper {silkespapper} is really hard to find. You can find 8 sheets for 30:- but when you need to make 15-20 pompoms, that will be ridiculously expensive.

And forget Panduro, they are the worst craft store ever. Ever. Go to Matton (store on Luntmakagatan 66 at Rådsmansgatan) for tissue papper, crepe papper, pens, and basic art supplies. For paint, oil pastel, pencil and canvases visit Kreatima on Sveavägen.

5. Desserts – Cake – A cake is a must. Ours was a four layer cake in pink ombres. It’s easy to make provided a layer does not crack apart, which happened to me. Still delicious and with a cream cheese frosting. Yum!

pink ombre cake

6. Desserts – Cookies – Whimsical cookies according to the theme of the party are great. For the baby shower I did a take on Noah’s Ark so did a pair of animals. If you want the recipe for the sugar cookie and royal icing, post a comment and I’ll throw one together. And if you have to buy cookie cutters {pepparkaksformar} in Sweden, which is expensive, I recommend here or here but not Kakburken.

Mums…desserts!
dessert area

7. Games – Two to three games are plenty to get the group involved with each other, especially if you notice people are not mingling. My favorite games are:

* Meaning of Names – Take all the guest names and find their meaning through one of the baby name or Swedish name sites. Print out a sheet with the guest names and meanings jumbled up and the players have to match the correct ones to each other.

* Story game – Give everyone 20 words, 10 baby words (barnvagn for example), 10 non baby words (beer for example). Players have five minutes to write a story using all the words. Players can be as silly or serious as you want.

* Stoller race – If the weather is great then take a game outdoors. Strap in a teddy bear to a stroller and set up a makeshift racecourse. Players are timed for fastest racing as well as keeping teddy intact.

Baby showers usually take place in the afternoon or late afternoon. If you’re having a party in the late afternoon, provide some food of substance instead of desserts only.

And of course, in a non jante way, make the mom-to-be feel special!

11 thoughts on “Baby Showers in Sweden – Better than Halloween!”

  1. Ok, I have been in Sweden for 9 years, started crafting and mixed media art 2 years ago, and just received a box from Panduro yesterday, lol. Thank you for all of the shopping suggestions. I need to get into the city more often! :)

  2. @Gina – Hehe, yea Panduro is decent for really basic stuff. I need to put together a post of all the craft stores I recommend in Stockholm and online!

  3. Just commented on FB- but so lovely. I love everything you guys did. That cake is amazing! And those cookies. And babies! And pom-poms! Love, love, love!

  4. How Nice!!! What a great gesture to bring to Sweden- I know my husband was surprised by the amount of parties before the wedding, I didn’t think about there being no baby shower too. I guess we just like to celebrate!

  5. Looks great with the cake and decorating and everything!! I think it’s a nice idea with a baby shower, it sounds like a lot of fun! But, I just wan’t to point out, that there is a reason this is not a tradition i Sweden. Here it is commonly considered bad luck to bring baby gifts before the baby is born. Otherwise you sort of jinx the birth, even if it’s unusual things CAN go wrong. So people ususally bring gifts, but after the baby is born.

    Obviously this is not the case for all swedes, and I guess it is less so among younger people today. But it’s still a common thing, so make sure the mother to be is comfortable with the idea before throwing someone a baby shower! But if she is, it does sound wonderful!

  6. Thanks ladies!

    @Liv – I can see that. In India, you have a baby shower for the mother to be. You give the mom gifts and then give the baby gifts after it’s born. Plus the baby shower in Hindu culture is the pray for the safe birth and health of the newborn. It makes a lot of sense since the mortality rate is still high and has been extremely high in the past.

    I can see then for Sweden that more than 100 years ago, infant mortality was equally as high and giving a baby gifts before being born is superstitious.

    But I’m sure you can have a baby shower right after the baby is born too. Every new mom can have something fun.

  7. To Linda!
    I received your email but the address is bouncing back. Please email me again.
    //Sapphire

  8. My SIL is having a baby in Jan and they currently live in Sweden. We live in the USA. Where can she get baby supplies such as strollers, carseats, bottles, etc. We have Babies R Us in the US. Is there something like that there? I am going to try to plan a virtual baby shower, but wanted to make sure people could buy her things and save on shipping it from the USA. Thanks!

  9. Hi Sarah!

    There are LOTS of baby stores in Sweden because after all, Swedes do take baby making and baby raising seriously. Your SIL should visit Babyland (http://www.babyland.se/), Baby Proffsen (http://www.babyproffsen.se/), and Lindex – for clothes.

    I don’t know any Swedish stores online that let people buy with a non EU billing address. There might be some, but I don’t know.

    I suggest friends in the US buy small things like onesies and caps and have the Swedish friends buy other things. That’s what we did, though everyone did buy at least one onesie. :-)

    Things like strollers, cribs, carseats are extremely expensive and shouldn’t be given as gifts. Hint, a stroller costs between $700-1500.

  10. Great article! I live in Gothenburg and am so glad that the baby shower idea is getting bigger here. But, one store in my area seems to think they are “seasonal” and now that it is Halloween time they have stopped carrying the baby shower goodies! Hello, I am throwing one with friends next month and need stuff! So I went to Partyland and they saved me some what! So, I do agree with you to go to other stores for whimsicial like things..my favorite is Lagerhaus, they have cute “bsby shower” like things there. If one has time it is fun to buy from the UK but shipping can get a little ugly…so I am making due with wht is around me.

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