We Indians love celebrations and festivals! We love big get togethers and parties where family, friends, and relatives all join together to share happiness. What good news could bring more happiness than the arrival of a little one? The Godh Bharai is a celebration of the forthcoming arrival of a new bundle of joy.
If you though Godh Bharai is a boring event where women dance around in traditional attire and sing songs in high pitch chorus, you are so wrong! Here are some excitingly unique ideas for you to transform this Indian Baby Shower into a memorable day of fun!
What is the Godh Bharai?
Whether you call it the Shaad in Bengali, Seemandham in Kerala, Valakappu in Tamil Nadu, or the Baby Shower in the contemporary group, they are all the same in essence – a festivity to bestow gifts and blessings to the unborn little baby and the new mother to be. Godh Bharai means ‘filling the lap’ in Hindi, and is celebrated by the near and dear of the mother to be to bless her to welcome her to the joyful motherhood awaiting in the corner. It is an auspicious occasion and holds a great sentimental value to many of us around the world.
In which month do we celebrate Godh Bharai?
In the first 3 months, the pregnancy is considered sensitive and unsettled, so a Godh Bharai is never celebrated in the first trimester. Months 7 to 9 are the usual periods of celebration of a pregnancy because the chances of a mishap occurring after that are very low. The 9th month is very close to the due date and the mother to be might begin to feel cramps from the 8th month, so she may not be able to enjoy the festivities arranged for her in those periods. So, the 7th month is the most ideal choice for the Indian Baby Shower across many families.
It also sometimes depends on the culture or religious customs. Some families skip any celebration entirely before birth and only have a pooja and celebration after the baby is born safe.
How does the Godh Bharai unfold?
Every godh bharai party is unique and takes upon the customs and traditions of the family and the community. It generally revolves around the elders and loved ones blessing the mother to be and the little one growing inside. A haven or a pooja might be carried out to invoke the blessings of the gods. An exchange of gifts and a few fun games may be present with a lavish lunch. In some families, the women join together to sing some songs with a simple dance and give advice to the mother. The occasion is filled with warmth and love for the mother to be and is a memorable moment for all.
Fun Godh Bharai Games
Coming up with interesting ideas to make the baby shower memorable for the mom to be can be hard. Though in India the baby shower is more a traditional affair, you make some twists to turn the occasion something unforgettable for all. When you are planning a baby shower, think from the shoes of a very pregnant woman – watch the duration of different activities, see if they are physically taxing or not something a pregnant lady would enjoy. Here are some interesting ideas for you.
1. Ribbon Game
Get few rolls of ribbons or threads of different colours. Each participant is required to cut the length of the ribbon of the same length as would be the size of the mom-to-be’s tummy. The closest match is the winner.
DIAPER CAKE: Make a cake with diapers and place it on the table as decoration.
Make a list of traits like:
Nose……………………………… (eg. Mom)
Ears……………………………….. (eg. Dad)
Eyes………………………………. (eg. Mom)
Hair……………………………….. (eg. Mom)
Face………………………………. (eg. Mom)
Complexion…………………… (eg. Dad)
Nature…………………………… (eg. Dad)
Intelligence……………………. (eg. Mom)
Now the mom-to-be will write down her answers (which possible traits the child should inherit from the father and which possible traits the child should inherit from the mother). Let the guests guess each trait’s resemblance to mom or dad. The answers need to be matched by mom-to-be’s answers and the one with the most matches is the winner.
3. Draw the Baby
This is going to be a funny game. You will need some sketch pens and square pieces of paper/card (big enough for a forehead). Ask the guests to take a paper and sketch pen each. Keeping the paper on their forehead such that they cannot see it, blindly draw an image of the baby. Most of the time the images come out shapeless, which adds to the humour. The mom-to-be has to decide the winner among the badly drawn images. Keep some wipes ready in case the guests get colour on their face.
4. Fill in the blanks
Hickory Dickory Dock, the _____________ran up the clock (Mouse).
Jack and Jill went up the hill ______________________________________. Jack fell down broke his crown and Jill came back ______________________ after. (to fetch a pale of water, tumbling).
The wheels on the bus go __________________________________ (round and round).
The wipers on the bus go ___________________________________ (Swish, swish, swish).
The doors on the bus go____________________________________(open and shut/close).
The coins on the bus go_____________________________________ (Cling, cling, cling)
Hot cross buns, hot cross buns ____________________________________ hot cross buns (One a penny, two a penny).
The one with the maximum number of right answers is obviously the winner.
5. Clay Babies
Another easy-to-arrange game, you’ll just need to buy a few packs of clay (different colors if possible). Give a portion of clay to each of the guests and ask them to make a baby from it. This is a messy and fun game, a sure hit in the party. Again the mom-to-be has to decide the winner.
The one with the maximum number of right answers is obviously the winner.
6. Passing the parcel
Play some music and let the cushion or a pillow be passed from one to another. Stop the music randomly; whoever is holding the pillow in the hand when the music stops is the loser.
The loser is then made to either sing or dance or do some activity of choice.
7. What do you think I should know
Every guest is required to jot down any best three questions related to mothering a new born that they think a new mom should know.
The one with best chosen questions is the winner. After the game, mom-to-be can ask some questions to the experienced mothers to get her concerns answered.
For instance, some of the questions could be:
What is not safe to be fed to the baby in the first year?
Is it required for the new mom to get a regular massage done?
What are the precautions to be taken post-delivery?
The immediate Do’s and Don’ts for the mothers post-delivery?
Which is the best way to lull the baby to sleep?
Which are the right postures for breast feeding?
Which oil should be used to massage the baby?
What should be the diet for a new mom-to-be in the first three months?
Which are the foods that enhance lactation?
Any other important thing that a mom to a new born should know?
Well, frankly the advises and suggestions vary from customs, beliefs and cultures. Some elderly women or your well-meaning relatives would present themselves as experts in these areas while answering.
Their beliefs, suggestions and advises may not match yours.
So, the wisest way of handling it is to pay attention to everyone but do what you feel like doing for yourself and your baby.
Doctors are indeed the best guides and needless to say are most dependable in this matter.
You can choose to omit this game or can modify or change the questions as per your desire. It is only an activity to help you prepare what is coming your way but this activity is useful till when it influences you positively.
8. Gender guess
The mystery of whether it is a boy or a girl is timeless. While there are countless methods to predict the gender of your baby from the Chinese calendar to peeing on wheat germs, what could be more fun than letting your guests battle it out? Use pink and blue strips of paper or balloons to see which side wins.
9. Feed the baby
Fill some feeding bottles with juice or coffee and see who finishes his / her bottle first.
10. Whose water broke?
Gather some time tiny edible or toy babies and freeze them in ice cubes. Let your friends race by putting one of these in their drink and see whose water breaks first!
11. Name suggestions
Of course, as parents to be, you would have your own secret stash of name lists for your little one, but it is no harm asking for the best advice from family. Besides, collecting cute names can spare you some brain cells in the last minute and you can get to know what names the grandparents have in heart.
12. Feel and Guess
Throw a mix of some baby stuff and some other stuff into a big bag. Blindfold the guests and ask them to guess what’s each thing as they hold it up out of the bag. You can have a mix of two or three bags to cycle through and do throw in some weird lifelike cockroaches for the brave hearted.
13. Eat baby food
Let your friends have a go in tasting some real baby food you brought – but make double sure that you pick up the craziest flavours available! Castor oil, anyone?
14. Draw or make the baby
Ask your guests to draw a baby blindfolded or make a playdoh baby blindfolded. Celebrate the most beautiful, funniest, and creepiest babies that were born out of their art.
It is a nice gesture to give a return gift to all your guests as a token of remembrance. For this, some of the most creative ideas would be:
1. Give a decorative photo frame to each of your guests and send them the hard copies of the pictures of your Godh Bharai with them in it to put it up on the frames. This will always be a memory to cherish forever.
Amazon.in ( click on the images below )
Amazon.in ( click on the images below )
3. You could choose to give some homemade sweets or pickles or any such thing as a gift. This will give a personalised touch to your gifts.
4. Bath salts and aromas are fantastic gift options for the ladies.
Amazon.in ( click on the images below )
6. You could choose to gift them with any decorative house items like beautiful bedsheets, curtains, pots, tablecloth and table mats, cutleries, glass wares etc.
Exciting Godh Bharai Ideas
Coming up with interesting ideas to make the baby shower memorable for the mom to be can be hard. Though in India the baby shower is more a traditional affair, you make some twists to turn the occasion something unforgettable for all. Here are some interesting ideas for you.
A walk down the memory lane
Gather lovely childhood pictures of the parents to be and make them the highlight of the decorating. You can include the childhood toys they grew up with and other memorable trinkets for a nostalgic cosy party. As a bonus, everyone can share stories of all the cute things the mother to be and the father to be did as a child for a fun filled party.
A pampering party
What best way to rejuvenate and relax the mother to be than with a refreshing spa session with her lovely family and best buddies? Play some rocking music and let the women and men enjoy the day followed by a hearty meal.
Messages for the mom
Give all the guests a piece of paper and ask them to jot down some helpful suggestions for the big change they are awaiting ahead. Collect them in a jar or paste them on a wall for the parents to be to look at them and enjoy the words of love whenever they need it.
Love for the little one
Collect handwritten messages for your little baby and preserve them in a strong book as a gift to your unborn little human.
Themed baby shower
Who said a Godh Bharai cannot have a theme? Let the parents to be pick their favourite them and have all the guests attend the party as lively favourite characters of the couple. It can be as simple as sticking with a black and white colour combination or get as whacky as you want with film characters.
Dress code flip
For a fun Godh Bharai, ask all the elderly gentlemen and ladies of your house to come in modern attire, with tiaras, gloves, and gowns. The younger folk have to dress up traditionally like their own grandparents.
Have all the boys and girls flaunt a belly as big as yours in your Godh Bharai party. Have fun seeing them waddle and keep adjusting their bellies with every move.
Bowling with bottles
For a very active Godh Bharai, you can try bowling with feeding bottles. Arrange the bottles in a triangle and knock them out with a soft tennis ball.
Precautions for the Mother-to-be!
Godh Bharai though exciting and fun-filled can be taxing on mom-to-be. You need to make sure that you are dressed lightly. You could go for a traditional attire till when the puja is being performed. After that just slip into something light and manageable.
The other thing to keep in mind is to take rest in between because fatigue is not the only thing that you have to be wary about, you may also have swelling in ankles or feet with too much running around. Everyone knows that you are in a pretty delicate condition and hence nobody minds your short episodes of bed rest through the function.
Ensure you have a helping hand whenever you do this function. Setting the house up and making all the arrangements is very taxing. Even when you are abroad or in a nuclear setup, just hire some help for a day.
You need to plan the arrangements one week in advance. Any kind of mental or physical stress could be harmful to your unborn baby too. Hence, it is advisable that you plan things well in advance and don’t hesitate to ask for help at this stage of pregnancy.
If you are a health freak and you want to watch out what you eat even on this special day of Godh Bharai then you need to plan your meals that you would want to serve. A few healthy salad varieties, with few baked dishes, will be great. Avoid fried food and junk food on this day. You could begin with some fresh juices or shakes rather than using the canned ones. And, the desserts could be sugar-free to help you keep a check on your food. This way you end up enjoying your Godh Bharai and remain guilt free forever.
If you don’t have much help in organizing your Godh Bharai, a better option is to go for a Pot Luck where each guest comes with a dish. This is extremely convenient and you would not tire yourself out in preparing the food for the guests.
How to decorate the place?
One of the most exciting ways of doing it is to put the pictures of mom-to-be’s childhood all over the walls.
It makes her feel really overwhelmed and takes her down the memory lane.
You could use her favourite toys, books or clothes from her childhood to decorate the place up. You could also involve the nice pictures of the couple and put them all over.
You could also think of buying a readymade swing with a backrest.
You could get it fixed in your living room and get it decorated with flowers.
This could be the place where Godh Bharai ceremony takes place after the puja gets done. It is a great way to enjoy your Godh bharai.
But, the swing chosen should be comfortable for you and you should not choose to sit for long periods on it. The best part about this swing would be that your newborn would love to go off to sleep in this swing and would later love to swing on it once he or she turns into a toddler.
Godh Bharai makes you feel very special as a mother.
This excitement, warmth and affection in your near and dear ones help you to forget your fears related to the painful delivery that is just nearing.
A tip for all moms-to-be is that the entire process of delivery is not so bad as it sounds.
You may hear many scary stories of how painful and agonizing the deliveries have been but as a matter of fact, it is not so tough as it sounds. Believe it or not, a right bent of mind with a positive approach gives you enough strength to handle everything that’s coming your way.
A positive thinker handles everything positively and hence the pain also reduces due to the secretion of favourable hormones due to positive thinking.
So, sit back and enjoy all the attention and pampering that you have been getting. But, make sure to eat right and to add some work out in your daily routine as per the advice of the doctor, to help your body handle the delivery pressure later.