I love to host Baby Showers and have done quite a few for friends and clients. I even hosted one for my best friend who is a guy. Most ladies who I know have either had a Baby Shower thrown for them or have thrown one for their friends. Baby Showers are generally very smooth sailing because once you know what the mom or parents-to-be like as far as themes go, the rest of the details fall into place. If you still aren’t convinced that it’s a pretty easy event to put together, here are a few tips and ideas to help you along:
1. If the honoree is a friend of yours, then you probably already know what he/she likes as far as favorite things and what the new baby’s nursery theme will be. The theme may be a favorite cartoon character, favorite sports team or favorite color. If you would rather remain neutral or if the parents-to-be have yet to decide on a nursery theme, then you may want to go with a brunch, tea party or buffet-style lunch and include mom’s favorite colors. The important thing is to go with what the mom or parents-to-be are interested in. This is not about what grandma, auntie or best friend likes. The Baby Shower is all about the parents-to-be.
2. Composing the guest list should not be a daunting task. If this is a family Baby Shower, then invite close friends and family. If the guest of honor is a co-worker, then invite co-workers that he/she is close to. Either way, you don’t want to upset the mom-to-be by inviting someone whom she isn’t very fond of. A Baby Shower is a happy occasion and the last thing you want to do is upset the mom at her own party. Keep one thing is mind, even though the average pregnancy lasts around 9 months, that time frame is not the same for every woman. Plan for the baby shower to happen somewhere around 7 or 8 months. If the mom has to travel a long distance for the shower, then plan for the 5th or 6th month of pregnancy.
3. The theme can be used throughout the planning process and carried out in the invitations, decorations, food, games and party favors. If you are creative, have fun making invites by hand, using baby items such as bottles, rattles, pacifiers, mini-footballs, etc. The sky is the limit! There are a ton of websites that not only offer ideas but sell cute, ready-made and personalized invites, games, favors, candy and food as well. I have come across some moms-to-be that want to be hands-on and help with the party. If this is the case, let her assist with making invites and/or party favors. This sometimes happens when the mom-to-be is on bed rest or is already a stay-at-home mom with prior children.
4. The menu is very important for this party. Women sometimes are sensitive to certain foods during their pregnancy and some foods should simply not be eaten during pregnancy. Yes, the food menu should be based on the above. I’m not saying to ignore the likes of the guests attending the party but you don’t want the mom-to-be to get sick either. There should be a variety of foods that she can choose from on the menu. Finger foods are the most convenient for baby showers. There is so much going on as far as everyone asking mom a zillion questions about her pregnancy, playing games, and opening presents. Choose appetizers that can be eaten at room temperature or order some of those 3-foot subs from the deli with a couple of cold sides and call it a day. If she has been craving any special foods, you would be a rock star if you included them on the menu. And of course, no alcoholic drinks should be present. I have hosted and attended showers, where alcohol was available. In my opinion, it should be totally omitted. Guests can survive for a couple of hours without cocktails. A fun idea it to make a big bowl of punch the same color as the theme that everyone can enjoy. Throw some teeny baby rattles in it, fruit cocktail or colored iced cubes and no one will miss the alcohol.
5. Deciding on what the parents need for the new baby will require a little help from mom and dad-to-be. If the mom has some time on her hands and is able to, ask her to choose one or two of her favorite stores, then go online to create a baby registry. Baby registries are simply the best way to go. If you leave it up to the guests to choose what they want to bring, the parents will most likely end up with 3 baby strollers, 5 tubs and 100 bottles of baby wash. Trust me, I have seen it happen. Yes, the stuff may be returnable to the store but who has time for that. Besides, the person that gave the gift may get offended if mom wants to return the gift for something else. I have seen it all! Creating a baby registry will also allow dad to participate in choosing items and this gives them something that they can do as a couple.
6. Now a days, men are not only welcome to attend Baby Showers but are encouraged to be present. Be sure to keep the fellas busy during the shower so that they do not get bored. Have food on the menu that they can enjoy and do not let them get out of playing the games. (LOL) When it’s time to open presents, the mom and dad-to-be should both have chairs and take turns opening the gifts. Most of the time, I find that the dads want to participate and not be left out. The women usually get so much of the attention throughout the pregnancy, so this is a time for dads to feel some love from friends and family.
7. On the day of the shower, have a couple of people on hand to help with facilitating games, serving food and drinks, keeping the gifts organized and cleaning up. This should be the last thing that the parents-to-be should have to worry about. If the Baby Shower is taking place at their house, they should not have to set-up for the party and definitely not have to clean-up afterwards. This is the day for them to be spoiled and relaxed. It may the last time that this will happen for a lonnngggg time.
The main thing is that the Baby Shower be as fun as possible. This is a party that the parents will remember for the rest of their lives. Not to mention, the baby will get to see the pictures and memorabilia one day and he/she will know that they were loved before they were even born. That’s the best!