How to Throw a Great Baby Shower
Planning a Baby Shower
Planning ahead will help you with all the details that come up after you decide on the date, time and guest list for the shower. You then have to think about the menu, decorations and theme, party favours, and which activities will be a hit with the group. The best way to stay organized is to make a checklist to ensure you get everything you need for the occasion, including food, beverages, disposable party plates and napkins, and of course, a gift for the baby. Creating an agenda will help you set an enjoyable pace so there’s plenty of time for all the activities you’ve planned.
When to Have a Baby Shower
Baby showers usually take place about two months before the baby’s arrival but some expectant parents prefer to wait until after the baby is born. Talk to mom first before choosing the date and time of the party, and when it comes to deciding between a daytime or evening shower, ask if she’s up for an evening party before locking in the time.
Baby Shower Guest List and Invitations
Whether the shower is going to be just for women or co-ed, the parents-to-be can help you create the guest list. Depending on the size of the space you have for the baby shower, the guest list could include close friends and family, co-workers and neighbours. The invitations should be sent about four weeks prior to the party, and be sure to request that guests RSVP two weeks before the date so you can finalize your planning. If the party has a theme, or if the mom-to-be will be given a group gift (or is registered for gifts), that information should be noted on the invitation.
Baby Shower Themes
A themed baby shower is a great way to focus your choice of decorations, games, menu and baby gifts. On the practical side, a ‘baby safety’ shower is all about the gadgets needed to baby-proof a home such as baby gates, cabinet locks, or a baby monitor. A ‘bath time’ shower lends itself to rubber ducky décor and gifts ranging from bath toys and tubs, to baby towels, baby wash and lotion. With a nursery rhyme or fairy tale shower, you can select one or two stories for themed decorations and ask guests to help stock the nursery library with gifts of their favourite storybooks. A music-themed shower is a fun idea for having karaoke and baby gifts such as musical mobiles and lullaby CDs.
Baby Shower Decorations
Decorations can run from simple flowers and brightly coloured paper plates and napkins to themed décor like teddy bears and pink or blue baby booties. Another choice is to use a baby receiving blanket as a table runner and rolled-up newborn diapers tied with colourful ribbon at each end to mimic party crackers. The table decorations make a great .
How to Make a Diaper Cake
A ‘diaper’ cake is not only a great shower decoration; it’s also a very practical gift for mom. A diaper cake requires 58 newborn diapers tightly rolled and secured with elastic bands. The bottom tier is made up of 33 diapers. Stand them upright in a circular shape using a round piece of sturdy cardboard as the base. The middle tier of the cake uses 18 diapers with seven diapers on the top. Secure each layer with ribbon, garnish with paper garland ‘icing’ and top it off with a small teddy bear or other soft baby toy.
Baby Shower Menu
Select the menu according to the theme of the shower, the time of day and the time you have available to prepare the food. Quiche, salad, and veggies with dip work well for a brunch or lunch menu and are easy to prepare ahead of time. An afternoon ‘high tea’ shower is perfect for finger sandwiches, scones with jam, and strawberries and cream. Serve tea in china cups and complete the theme with party favours of flavoured teas in pretty containers. An evening shower could be a potluck, a make-ahead casserole or an after-dinner dessert party with cheese, crackers, fruit, cake or cupcakes. Respect the health of the mother-to-be by serving non-alcoholic beverages like fruit punch.
Baby Shower Games
Entertainment at a baby shower can include games like the ‘Diaper Toss’ or ‘Guess the Baby’. For the ‘Diaper Toss’, wet and fold up at least 10 diapers. Set up a diaper pail and a starting line within tossing distance of the pail. The guest that tosses the most diapers into the pail is the winner. ‘Guess the baby’ is a great game for large groups. All the guests provide their own baby photo prior to the shower, which are then mounted on poster board. The object is to have guests match the photo to the person. The winner is the one with the most correct guesses. If games aren’t your style, plan a fun activity that will get everyone involved like ‘bodysuit’ painting. Buy enough white bodysuits for all the guests along with fabric paint or markers. Not only is creating the ‘designer’ baby clothes fun for all, it also gives the new mom a lot of daily changes for baby.
Baby Shower Party Favours
The party favours and game prizes can be based on the theme of the shower or your budget. Favours can range from pretty blank journals, memo pads and photo albums to candles, scented soaps, or body lotions. You can also fill small gift bags or glass coffee mugs with a selection of chocolates or pink and blue wrapped candies. Home-baked cookies or cupcakes in colourful gift bags are always welcome and do double-duty as pretty table decorations during the party.
Baby Shower Gifts
Many baby showers today are planned around the presentation of one large gift from all the guests. This is an ideal way to make sure the parents-to-be get something they really need, such as a car seat or stroller, and it removes the pressure of “choose the perfect gift”. Themed showers can also direct guests to the type of gifts to buy. If the new mom doesn’t have a gift registry, you can ask guests to help stock the nursery with baby bottles, pacifiers, a diaper bag, diapers and related items such as baby wipes or baby washes and lotions. A baby record book, photo album, or photo frame are thoughtful gifts too, as are feeding sets and baby bibs. Newborns do need many clothing changes each day so baby basics such as bodysuits and sleepers are always welcome gifts.
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