I've never really understood this rule because it assumes two things:
A) People don't want to give you a gift for your new baby if you've already had one.
B) It's impossible for people to celebrate the birth of your new child without giving gifts.
But the biggest problem I have with the rule is that when spoken in casual conversation without clarifying or putting into context, it flippantly makes the insinuation that the child-to-be is somehow not worth celebrating, because they're "just another one".
Pregnant mamas are already on an emotional roller coaster. Not only is their body not their own, they are tired, bloated and constantly hungry. They worry over things beyond their control, both concrete and abstract. The health of the baby, the pain of delivery, how their first born will handle a new baby, how they will handle a new baby. Will there be enough love to go around?
This is not necessarily a call to throw a full blown baby shower. Celebrations do not have to be over the top. Keep it simple, intimate and meaningful. Here are a few ways that you can show love to your friends expecting another baby:
Host a Sip 'n See after the baby is born.
Unlike the traditional shower that is held before the baby arrives, a Sip 'n See is perfect for the second baby because it is not held until the babe is in arms. The main purpose is for friends and family to come and literally see the baby for the first time. A coming out party if you will. The host can serve beverages and light appetizers or finger foods, and no gifts are required. It's just a chance for a community of friends to shower love on the newest member.
Many times, when a family expands from 3 to 4 (or more), although many of the basics are already covered, there are some things they may find they need that they didn't when they only had one: like a double stroller for example. Gear like that can be pricey, and sometimes rather than giving a 2nd time mom more onesies and blankets, a large cash sum or gift card might be more appreciated, so it can go towards what is really needed. Taking donations from your circle of friends can be an easy way to show support, without having to go to the effort of organizing a big event.
Throw a diaper shower.
This is always an appreciated favorite among moms. With my first, I think I would have been a *teeny* bit disappointed if I only got diapers at my shower (yes, I know that's bratty. haha), but when I had my third and my office surprised me with a diaper shower, I was overjoyed. We didn't have to buy diapers for six months! That's HUGE people! A diaper shower can be a fun way to celebrate the birth of the baby, satisfy people's desire to bring a gift and yet still be practical and useful. Just make sure you know whether or not mom is cloth diapering, so you can specify which sort of diaper to bring.
By the time my fourth was born, this was my most appreciated gift. Having hot, fresh meals provided to us for two weeks following her birth was a God send, especially since I was recovering from a difficult delivery. Like the money tree, going this route does not require a big event, but does take some organization. Luckily, there are websites to help with that. CaringMeals.com allows you to coordinate and execute the delivery of meals to a postpartum family.
My dear friends, did you have anyone who took the time to shower love on your second, third, etc. baby? What experiences have you had with baby showers? Any other ideas for celebrating a birth?