Hosting a Baby Shower and Need Help Getting Started?

Duck InvitationBaby Shower Planning Ideas

Are you hosting a Baby Shower and need help getting started? Are you admitting defeat as to how to go about making arrangements for your friend’s or family member’s baby shower?  Can’t even think of an appropriate present to give?  Then let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?

Party preparations should begin when the new mom is about five to six months along in her pregnancy.

1.  Make sure with all family members that they know that you are planning the event.  I am sure no one minds giving the new parents two baby showers, but it would be nice if they are not both being held on the same day and time.  So make sure you set the day and time of the event well in advance to eliminate would-be controversy.  Customarily, baby showers are planned for about six weeks prior to the expected due date.  Pick a convenient day and time for those guests who work.  Be sure to add on the invitation if the event is to be surprise.  And, always ask for a R.S.V.P. no later than 30 days in advance of the event date.

2.  Determine how many people you want to invite.  Do you want to include co-workers? Spouses? Children?  Or, do you want to limit invitations to the event to the new mother and her closest friends?  Do you want to hold the event at your house, another friend’s house, a restaurant, or another venue?  Once you know how many people will be invited and where it will be held, you need to set your budget and start deciding your menu.  If you want to cut down on some of the food expenses, consider making your event pot luck and ask everyone to bring a dish – keep track of who is bringing what, otherwise you could end up with a bunch of potato chips and dip.

3.  Are you going to ask that everyone tell you what they plan to bring as a present?  This is a special service the baby shower hostess can perform to help the new parents receive gifts they need and get only one present of each.  I highly recommend that each hostess seriously consider setting up a gift registry and keep track of who is bringing what present.  There are also stores and websites where parents can go and register for the gifts they would like to receive.  As hostess, you can help your guests to find the stores or websites where the parents have listed their favorite picks, thus making sure they will get at least some of the items they really want.

 4.  Next you must need to settle on on a theme for the event.  Does your new mother know the sex of the baby?  Knowing the sex can help decide the best theme and decorations for the shower, particularly if the new mom has a favorite color, animal, or already plans to decorate the nursery in a specific theme.  Let say the new mom is going for the jungle theme with the nursery decor.  Continue with that scheme for the baby shower with your invitations and decorations.  You can use a jungle themed diaper cake or baby gift basket as a wonderful centerpiece.  This type of decoration serves a dual purpose; it is both decoration and a functional present.  Advise your guests on your invitations that where applicable, gifts matching the nursery’s decor will be appreciated.

5.  Now that you have your celebration’s date, invitations, have decided the theme and location of the shower; next you need to decide on the menu.  I prefer to cater when possible and use menus that are within the context of the theme of the party.  So name your dishes with your theme in mind and put little cards next to them advising each guest what the dish is.  Example:  for deviled eggs, a suitable jungle theme name could be Crocodile Eggs or Snake Eyes.

6.  Next settle on on the games you plan to play at the shower.  There are some really excellent games available online – or check our Baby Shower Game page.  Your guest list will decide the type of games to pick.  If you are having couples than you will want games where one or two couples can be teamed together.  If you are having kids as well, remember to have games especially for them.  And if it’s just the ladies, then the games should be decided on with just them in mind.  Just remember that each game should have a prize for the winner(s).

7.  About 30 days prior to the party, your R.S.V.P.’s should all have been returned and you can see who is coming.  If you are going to track the gifts for the new baby, now is the time you will want to start your list.  If you included an announcement on your invitation about your gift registry, then it would be totally correct to start calling those attending (who didn’t note their present on the R.S.V.P.) and start noting what their gifts will be.  If any guest is still undecided, you can make suggestions based on what the new mom is already receiving from others.  If they new parents are having their first baby and need high-dollar items, you can suggest that several guests might wish to go-together and purchase a more expensive present.

If you follow these simple suggestions, by the time the party date arrives, you will be able to relax and enjoy the event with minimal fuss on your part.  And the new mother will be very grateful for all your thoughtfulness and hard work.

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