A baby is about to arrive and its time to celebrate! You’re thinking about planning a baby shower, and have many questions about how to do it and where to begin. When should I have it? Where should it be? What kind of food should I serve? What kind of decorations to use? In today’s modern world, there are many options for throwing the perfect baby shower celebration, both conventional and unconventional.
What is a baby shower?
A baby shower is a way to celebrate the pending or recent birth of a child by “showering” gifts on the expectant mother at a Baby Shower party. Today, baby showers can be given for every child that is born or adopted to a family (not just the first child), and both men and women can attend the celebration. Often, there is more than one baby shower for expectant parents, for example, one with family and another at the workplace. Baby showers are the perfect setting for the attendees to celebrate with the mom-to-be and impart great ideas and tips on raising children. Guests will give small gifts to the expectant mother, who will open the gifts during the party. A Baby Shower usually lasts a few hours, and includes food and some entertainment or games.
Who gives the baby shower?
A baby shower can be hosted by a close friend or family member, such as an aunt, sister, or grandmother. Traditionally, the baby shower is thrown by a friend instead of a relative to avoid the impression that the family is asking for gifts. The host will work with the expectant mother on the guest list, selecting a venue, sending out invitations, deciding on the date, the food menu, decorations, baby shower favors, and entertainment. Normally, the host is someone that the expectant mother feels very comfortable with. If by chance, no one offers to host the baby shower, the expectant mom can ask a friend or family member to do it, or she can host it herself. As for who pays for the baby shower, usually the host pays for it, or a group of family and friends can split the cost.
When should a baby shower be given?
Usually, a baby shower is given before the baby is born, later in pregnancy, perhaps a few months before giving birth. The end of the third trimester is a good time. This ensures that the pregnancy is going well, and with only a few months to go, it’s a great time to start celebrating the coming birth of the expectant mom’s baby. And, at around the end of the third trimester, the expectant mom looks very pregnant yet is still comfortable enough to enjoy the celebration. Sometimes, a baby shower can be given after the baby has been born, and in which case the baby is also brought to the baby shower. Once a guest list is prepared, it’s a good idea to talk to the guests to make sure they will be free to come to the baby shower, especially guests that may be coming from out of town. And while talking to the guests, it’s a good opportunity to get their addresses and email addresses.
Who should be invited to a baby shower?
Practically anyone the expectant mom wants to attend the baby shower should be invited – such as her parents, grandparents, cousins, friends, co-workers, sisters, in-laws, and so on. If young children are coming to the baby shower, keep in mind that you’ll need kid-friendly food and activities to keep them happy and occupied. If there are relatives and friends who are far away, they can be “present” at the baby shower via Skype or Webcam.
Where should the baby shower be held?
There are many venue options for a baby shower. Once you have the guest list finished, then you can start to look for possible venues that will accommodate the number of people that will be attending the baby shower. Typically, the expectant mother’s home is not considered as a possible venue, so that she doesn’t have to worry about cleaning the house for the party. However, if the expectant mom prefers the baby shower to be in her home, friends and family members can help her with clean up before and after the party. Some ideas for venues would include: a friend or family member’s home, a club, community center, church hall, restaurant, or hotel suite. If the venue you’re considering is not a private home, it might be a good idea to see if they have kitchen facilities that you can use when preparing the food for the baby shower party. Another idea is to have the baby shower outdoors by having a picnic or bar-b-que, but be sure to check the weather forecasts, the availability of bathrooms, and whether there are enough tables to accommodate all of your guests.
Should there be a baby shower theme?
Having a theme for a baby shower is entirely optional. Either way, the baby shower will be great! But, if you do decide to have a theme, there are many to choose from. And the one you choose will help determine many aspects of the baby shower, such as the style of the invitations, the decorations, the baby shower favors, and even the menu. Below are pictures of some baby shower party decorations relating to certain types of baby shower themes.
|tea (baby is brewing)
|sailboat / nautical
|french / paris
|princess or prince
|bumblebees (bumble of joy)
|my little man
|little peanut elephant
|cats / kitten
|robots / spaceship
|hawaiian / luau
|sugar and spice
|bun in the oven
|...about to pop
|welcome to the world
|breakfast at Tiffanys
|ruffles and ribbons
|star of the show
|about to hatch
|a star is born
|it's about time
|cute as a button
What kind of Baby Shower invitation should be sent and when?
It’s a good idea to send out the invitations to guests about 3 weeks before the party. This allows the guests enough time to make room in their schedules, and pick out a baby shower gift.
The different types of baby shower invitations are endless. There are fill-in-the-blank invitations, invitation cards, electronic e-vites, DIY invitations, and custom invitations. Baby Shower invitations can be sent out by mail, email, or by using an online party invitations web service such as Evite.com or Punchbowl.com. Using a web party invitation service provides many different invitation choices, gifting and gift registry options, and makes it easy to track the RSVPs. Using Evite.com or Punchbowl.com can also save money from not having to purchase invitations. The budget and theme for the baby shower will help steer you in the right direction for what type of invitation to use. The invitations you choose should contain the following information:
who the baby shower is for
the date of the baby shower
the venue for the baby shower
start and end times for the party
gift giving or registry information
Indicate the theme of the baby shower, if applicable
What kind of menu should I have for the baby shower?
When creating the Baby Shower menu, one must consider the time of day for the party, the length of time for the party, the budget, where the baby shower is being held, and how formal or informal you’d like it to be. If the party starts around a meal time, such as lunch or dinner, guests will probably be expecting more food than less. If the baby shower is in between meal times, having finger foods, some snacks or just dessert is fine. If the budget is tight, consider having a Pot Luck so that each guest can bring a dish, or provide just the cake and drinks (instead of a full meal). To save money, you can make your own punch and tea – a nice touch for the punch is to have some mini rubber duckies floating in the punch bowl. Also, instead of buying a cake, you can make one. Or, serve cupcakes, a cookie sampler, or brownies. Remember to decide on a menu that you know you’ll have time to prep and serve. If you have the baby shower in between meals, say at around 2:00pm, some snacks (such as fruit, chips or veggies and dip, hor d’oeuvres) and dessert are fine. Keep in mind to select foods and drinks that are easy to prepare and can be eaten by hand at room temperature.
Baby Shower Gift Ideas
There are a wide variety of gifts that guests can give to the expectant mother, that include baby supplies, baby clothes, baby toys, baby books, baby monitors, and more. Gift certificates for stores or services (such as housekeeping or meal delivery) are also a great idea for the expectant parents to pick and choose what they need the most. A baby shower gift registry can also be set up, which can include specific items that the expectant parents may need. A gift registry will normally include smaller items, such as clothes, diapers, books, toys, and bottles – bigger items such as baby furniture is usually excluded. Guests will appreciate it if the registry is at a store with affordable prices and that is easy to get to or has a online presence. If you’re having a baby shower for your 2nd or 3rd child, the expectant parents probably have a lot of baby supplies already, so opting out of gifts altogether, is a great alternative. Don’t forget, the gifts can be for the baby, but also to pamper the expectant mom! So, gift cards for spa visits, massages, getting her nails done, are wonderful ideas. And, let’s not forget about the hostess – getting her a gift is not necessary, but it is a considerate gesture and a way to say “thank you” for all of her hard work in planning the baby shower. Lastly, while the expectant mom is opening up the gifts, have friend or family member record who gave which gifts to her, which she’ll need when she writes her Thank You notes.
What kind of baby shower games are there?
Having a variety baby shower games at the party is a great way to get guests to let their hair down, relax, and have fun. Types of baby shower games include written games and physically active games. You can have prizes for the winners of the games, or opt out of prizes.
Here are some examples of games you can play:
- Guess What’s in the Diaper: Grab some diapers, and smear foods such as peas, peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas in them, and see which guests can guess what the smells are.
- Baby Hot Potato: Play a baby song while passing a baby doll around. Whoever has the baby when the music stops, is out. Continue the game until only 1 person is left holding the baby doll.
- Baby Shower Bingo: Bingo cards can be purchased online or you can try to make them yourself.
- Guess the Amount in the Baby Bottle: Put jelly beans, clothes pins, mini safety pins, etc., into a bottle and have your guests guess the amount. Whoever gets the closest, wins!
- Word Find Game – Find a Baby Word: Remember those word find games where there are a bunch of letters in rows and columns and you’re supposed to find the words in it – vertically, horizontally, or diagonally? You can make this game on your own computer, using baby related words. This game can be timed, so that your guests will have a certain amount of time to find as many words as they can. The person who finds the most, wins!
- Diaper A Doll: Have each guest put on a blindfold, and see who can put a diaper on a baby doll the fastest. You’ll need a timer, a diaper, some safety pins (or tape), and a blindfold.
- Unscramble Baby Words Game: Create a list of baby words on your computer and jumble up the letters. Have each guest try to unscramble the words – whoever finishes first, wins!
- Guess the baby’s name: If your guests don’t already know the name you may have picked out for your baby, print a list of 10-15 girl and boy names, and whoever guesses the name correctly, wins!
- How Big is the Belly: Grab some yarn or string, and have each guest pull out a length of it that they believe would equal the measurement around the mom-to-be’s tummy. Whoever’s cut string is the closest measurement, wins!
- Bobbing For Baby Toys: Fill a large bin with water and place a handful of small floating baby toys in it. Whoever can grab the toys with their chin the fastest, wins! Make sure the baby toys are small enough to fit under a chin.
- Guess Who’s In The Photo: Have each guest bring a baby picture of themselves, and put them all up on the wall or a board. See if your guests can guess who’s who.
- Baby Food Guessing Game: Buy a variety of baby food in jars, and remove their labels. Have your guests smell each one and guess what’s in the jar.
- Small Baby Bottle Drinking Game: Fill small baby bottles with juice or water, and see which guest can drink it the fastest.
If you decide to have prizes for your baby shower games, small and inexpensive gifts are great to use. You can also have fake medal awards for the winners, if you’d like. Some small gift items to consider are: individually wrapped chocolates, soap, manicure set, bath salts, luggage tag, measuring tape, and more.
Baby Shower Decorations
The type of decorations you would have at your baby shower, depend on your budget, the theme (if any), and whether its for a boy or a girl. Using disposable plates, cups, napkins and utensils, will make clean up easy while also be budget friendly. A possible decoration or gift is a baby diaper cake, which can make a lovely table centerpiece. Cheap decorations such as balloons, streamers, and confetti, can be bought at a local party supply store. Some baby toys or stuffed animals can be used as table or room accents. Having a banner at the entrance to the party is a great way to greet guests. Having a picture of the expectant couple can be used as a table decoration. Centerpieces for the gift and guest tables can be made, purchased from a store (such as centerpieces that are available for specific baby shower themes), or even a pretty flower arrangement. Having some baby or lullaby music in the background can add a lot to the ambiance of the party. Another idea is to have an Advice Jar or Box, which guests can write notes of advice and slip it into the basket. And, don’t forget to set up a simply decorated gift table for guests to put their gifts on. For more decorating ideas, there are many websites such as Pinterest.com that can help.
Are Party Favors Necessary for a Baby Shower?
Baby Shower party favors are entirely optional. And, in some cases, if prizes are to be given out for the Baby Shower games, favors aren’t necessary. Party favors are given to guests as a thank you for attending the celebration, which also serves as a remembrance of the Baby Shower party. Party favors don’t have to be expensive – they can be a small item (soap, mini picture frame, etc.) or an edible treat (such as chocolates or cookies) wrapped in a bag with ribbon). Here are some examples of fun and festive baby shower party favors:
Last Minute To-Dos After The Party Ends
After the baby shower party ends, have some friends and family help clean up. The expectant mom will also need help packing up her gifts to take home. Its helpful if you have some large bags or boxes handy to put the gifts in. Then, she’ll need help putting them in her car. Be sure to include the list of gifts she received along with the giver’s name, so that she can do Thank You notes.
All in all, throwing a baby shower may seem daunting at first, but it can also be fun and a way to bring out your creative side. The goal is to have a baby shower that the expectant mom will love, feel happy about, and remember for the rest of her life. It’s a time to celebrate bringing a beautiful child into the world, and starting or adding to her family.