Baby showers are a fairly recent phenomenon to hit the event circuit in the last few years. What self-respecting expectant Mama would let the imminent birth of her child go unnoticed and without celebration?
Traditionally in the USA, baby showers were given only for a woman’s first child, and only women attended. Now the sky is the limit and anything goes – from a small intimate gathering or brunch to large all out bash!
But what about the current etiquette for the ultimate mum-to-be bash? And how do you make sure your baby shower is fun, fresh and enjoyable for all? Whether planning a shower for your bestie, your sister or for yourself, here are some great baby shower ideas for holding the ultimate get together.
- As there are no hard and fast rules, some women have more than one baby shower – perhaps one for work colleagues, another for friends, and an extra one for family.
- It’s still pretty unusual for the mum-to-be to host her own shower. The party will usually be planned by a relative or close friend.
- Get your baby shower invitations out at least six weeks ahead of time. Don’t forget to include an address, plus your phone number or e-mail.
Choose a date
The ideal time for a baby shower is during the last trimester. Allow a few weeks’ cushion from the due date – you don’t want any unexpected surprises before or during the party! Showers are typically organised around 5 weeks before the baby’s due date.
Find a theme
If you know the mum-to-be well enough then you know what her likes and interests are. Some mothers enjoy traditional baby showers while others may be delighted to have something a little bit different! If mum’s due date is close to a special holiday or occasion (Easter, Halloween, etc.), you can choose a theme based on that. Some parents choose to learn the gender of their expected little one so you could use that to determine a theme as well.
Find a venue
Depending on your expected guest list size, you may choose to host the party at someone’s home, in a church hall or a community centre. Make sure the venue properly accommodates the number of guests, food and any special activities planned. Book the venue as far in advance as possible.
Make a guest list and send invites
Whether you plan on having a grand affair or an intimate gathering, always begin with those closest to the mum-to-be: mothers, grandmothers, aunts, best friends, sisters, etc. If the party is not a surprise it is a good idea to run the list by mum-to-be to make sure that nobody important is left out.
You can always use informal ways to invite the guests: email, phone or even a Facebook event. However, invitation cards or letters are more personal and tangible. They make the invitee feel special while giving them a meaningful memento of the special day.
Set up a baby gift list
Baby gift lists are a great way to ensure that soon-to-be parents do not receive multiples of one item and that they receive the baby items they want. Have the mum or both parents choose a store and create a gift list. This can be shared with guests via their invitations. Make sure the parents choose a variety of items in a wide price range.
Decorate the Crib!
Sweet jars. They look pretty, and are great for baby shower favours, too! Fill large glass jars to the brim with different kinds of sweets, put a scoop in each one, and hand guests brown paper bags to fill up with whatever they’d like.
Props to you. Jump on the bandwagon and personalise a flower wall or backdrop to get some Instagram worthy shots of you and your tribe that you can treasure for always . Create or hire in a party photo booth and layout some cute themed props for your guests to take selfies and fun group photos. Baby blocks and a sweety cart would also work well and would tie in with your theme. You could use a specific colour scheme if you already know the gender of the new baby.
Balloons. Balloon clouds, balloon garlands and balloon walls are all currently in vogue for 2020 and can transform any space into something spectacular. The sky is the limit in respect of colour, shape and design and can be use alone or to decorate a wall, staircase, entrance or to hang on a backdrop or flower wall. Personalisation is also very much on trend with Neon signage being the most p to date addition to any party!
Fancy food. An easy way to reinforce your party theme. Decorate cakes with little flags, lay out pretty napkins and plates, and deck out glasses with cute stirrers, umbrellas, and straws.
Part games and entertainment
Even if an elaborate party sounds like way too much hard work, it’s a good idea to plan a couple of activities for your guests. Get inspired with our favourite baby shower game ideas and activities below.
Big chill. Set up a mini-spa with manicures, pedicures and massages. Or ditch the traditional setup completely – get in touch with your local salon, and let them do it all for you!
Bucket list. Create a baby bucket list. The first year with a new baby flies by so quickly, so get guests to suggest special things that mum and baby can do in their first year. Buy a cute jar or vase, and give guests a small piece of card to write down ideas to pop into it. The mum-to-be can pick one out at random throughout the year.
Sing baby sing. Give your guests a pen and paper and pop five minutes on a timer. Get them to write down as many song titles that have “baby” in the title as they can. The person with most wins! You may need Google at the ready to help adjudicate, though.
Get crafty. Give each guest a quilt square to decorate. Provide some creative craft supplies – think tie dye kit, ribbons, and some iron-on appliques. When the squares are all sewn together, it makes a super cute and personal gift for mum-to-be that she can actually use.
Cute keepsake. Buy a beautiful scrapbook and get your guests to write inspirational quotes, sweet messages, and motherhood advice in the book. You could even personalise it with photos of all the party guests.
Plan the refreshments
When it comes to food, the four main things to think about are your budget, the time of day, location, and theme (if you have one!).
If all the planning gets a bit overwhelming, keep the party menu simple. Remember, a baby shower doesn’t have to mean lots of expensive or elaborate food. Hold a barbecue if it’s summer, or plan an afternoon tea party and ask your guests to bring a baked treat each.
An intimate brunch is a great option when you’re planning a small and relaxed gathering. Get a few guests to help out cooking the eggs and whipping up pancakes. Or for garden showers, spread blankets on the grass and fill large picnic baskets with finger foods like tea sandwiches, cut fruit, and cupcakes.
If you can’t or don’t want to cook, ready-made tapas and salad dishes, crudités, and dips are always popular. Don’t be shy to ask friends or family to bring something along!
Now all that’s left to do is to get organised and enjoy the party. With all that hard work and blood sweat and tears, the soon to be mama will just be blown away!