If the new mom comes from a large family, be aware that she may actually be given more than one baby shower. So be sure to check with her – or the new dad if the party is to be a surprise – before setting your date and time in stone.
Once you have the date and time, the rest will fall into place easily as long as you remember two very important things – the new mom and the new baby. Plan your party based on what the new mom likes and needs. If she is first time mom, she may need a complete nursery. If there are previous children, she may need just the basics depending on what she has kept and given away from her previous children. Again, if you want to keep your party or gifts as a surprise, don’t be afraid to consult the new dad about your choices and what gifts are needed. He might even like to attend the party!
Choosing the Decorations…
Most baby showers have a special “theme” for the decorations and gifts. The most popular is to theme your party based on the room décor of the nursery. Another is to use the baby’s gender or the mother’s favorite colors as the basics for the party.
Becoming more and more popular is the “An around the clock shower”. With this theme each guest is assigned a time of day and asked to purchase their gift with that in mind. Example: If you are assigned 3 am. You may want to get bottles, formula or diapers for the middle of the night feedings. If you are assigned 10 am, appropriate gifts would include toys, stuffed animals, playpen, or other items that baby would find interesting to play with.
If the new mom has already has a family to take care of or is receiving more than one baby shower, there is another theme gaining wide popularity – instead of the usual baby gifts, you bring frozen meals for the new parents. Of course, this idea is dependent on the freezer space available, but definitely one worth considering. This is a gift that frees up time for the new parents to spend with the baby, gives them precious moments relaxing, and less time stressing over what to make for dinner, as well how to find the time to do it. With a little research into what types of foods they like, this type of baby shower will make a big hit.
If freezer space makes a “frozen meal” shower impractical, then consider having each guest bring a quick and easy recipe for the new mom, to help her minimize her – or the new dad’s – time in the kitchen.
Deciding on the Food…
I used to make all the food for any party I planned all by myself. However, those days are over! I’ve decided I no longer need the stress of having the cake come out perfectly, as well as worrying if the store has all the ingredients I need for my favorite dishes. For an easy, breezy, stress free shower do one of two things – make it a potluck and have each guest bring a dish, or have it catered. Whatever you spend on catering or having trays prepared is well worth not having the aggravation of doing it yourself. If money is an issue then have each of your guests chip in a few dollars to cover the catering costs.
Believe me you will thank me for this tip alone. There have been many parties where I never saw or talked to a guest because I was running around preparing and taking care of the food. Don’t make that mistake. Make sure you are able to enjoy the party and your guests; don’t get trapped in the kitchen.
Should you have Entertainment?
Keep in mind that some baby showers are nothing more than a family get-together where everyone catches up on family news while the new mom opens her gifts and everyone eats cake. That is a perfectly acceptable baby shower practice. Perhaps having entertainment isn’t your style; just remember you don’t have to have it.
However, if you plan to have games, remember to choose your games based on your guest list. Will it be a “Hen” party? Are husbands coming? Will children be in attendance? These factors will determine the types of games – and prizes – that best fit your party. If couples are coming you can choose a few games that pit men against women. If children are coming then choose a few games that are child-friendly or you can team kids with adults. Examples of team games with or without kids:
- Who can diaper better?
- Pictionary or Charades
- 3-legged sack race
- Bean Bag Toss
Keep your prizes generic for men or women, and remember kids don’t like to lose, so have plenty of prizes available for the small ones.
Whether you have entertainment or not, make sure you have plenty of film and batteries for the cameras. These will be priceless moments you will want to look back on.
The Big Day Arrives!
Its here; the day of the shower! All you have to do is pick up the food and decorate for the party. Decorating can be a chore, but don’t think of it as one. Have a little pre-party party and invite a few friends to help you with decorating.
Another way to get the decorating done quickly is to actually start your party about an hour or so ahead of the time the new mom or parents are suppose to arrive. Involve all your guests in putting up the decorations. Remember to have a special place for gifts, plenty of room for games and lots of chairs for friends to catch up on all the family gossip.
The biggest thing to remember is that it is a party! As long as everyone has fun what does it matter if the dip got spilled into the potato salad, or if the kids are running around like wild Indians? Who cares! It’s a party!