Thanks to Terri of Tides Events for letting us in on the secret of planning a baby shower.
Did you ever see the episode of Friends where they threw Rachel a baby shower, and she ended up freaked out and thinking she was going to be a useless mother? Or the one where they threw Phoebe a shower for the triplets but she ended up with a load of gifts that she couldn’t use? Who’d have thought throwing a small party for someone having a baby would be so difficult?!
The truth is, planning a baby shower actually takes more thought than you realise if you’re to do it well, but with a few tips to bear in mind you’ll be fine.
This is absolutely NOT the mum-to-be!! Please please make sure that someone else hosts the party. The mum may want to have some input but this is essentially a bit of pampering for her and no party host ever feels rested after the party! Traditionally it is the mum-to-be’s closest friend that is the host, and this enables the female relatives such as the mums and sisters to attend and enjoy the shower too. The host should invite the guests and written invitation is best etiquette (well, it is a big occasion after all), but it may be best to work with the mum-to-be on that one to avoid any awkward “missing” invitations.
“Isn’t the fact that it’s a baby shower a theme?” – it can be if you want it to be, of course, but a theme might help it to feel more like a party. Theming is easy enough though. Maybe you choose a colour, such as pink or blue if you know the sex of the baby, and then decorate in that colour, or maybe the baby already has a pet name and you base the theme on that? No theme is absolutely fine though if you make a bit of an effort with the decorations. The attention will ultimately be on the mum-to-be but pretty surroundings are always appreciated. Try to make sure there is something that will provide a lasting memory of the day in there somewhere. A nice book for guests to give words of encouragement or advice is often a lovely memento.
Food & Drink
I’m sure everyone would love to be drinking cocktails and champagne but in reality it’s probably not very thoughtful when poor mum-to-be can’t drink. Instead, why not have some fun with some mocktails (cocktails with no alcohol in them). Be sure to have plenty of ice too, so that your mocktails are nice and chilled. Food wise, steer clear of rich foods that may upset mum-to-be’s delicate digestive system. Heartburn is very common in pregnancy and you should do everything you can to avoid this for her. Also, check the up to date advice on what pregnant ladies can and cannot eat. For example soft cheese was always a no-no, but I don’t want to advise on this area since things change all the time. Food can be as big or as little a part of the day as you choose, there are no rights or wrongs here. A full buffet is fine, but just nibbles are equally as good.
Now then, this is one to think carefully about. There are many games that you can play at a baby shower, and these range from the very tame baby themed bingo, to the more risqué melting chocolate bars into nappies and have guests try to figure out which chocolate it is. Think about your mum-to-be and her sense of humour, and think about the guests, and then go with what the majority will enjoy. Usually a good mix of both styles will work well.
Gifts are a fun part of the shower and usually a nice ending and calming down of the shower before people go home. The mum-to-be gets to open gifts and the rest of the party get to coo over the cute baby clothes and laugh at the prospect of using breast pumps! It’s not considered polite to issue a gift list, but to allow people to buy as they see fit. Another option is for the members of the party to ‘club together’ to buy a bigger present that the mum-to-be really needs. It might be an idea to see if there is anything in particular she needs and go from there.
Whatever you choose to do remember that mum-to-be will be tired at the end and partying at 7-9 months pregnant takes its toll. Clean up, especially if the shower is held at her home or a member of her family’s home, and make sure she is left with nothing to do but rest and smile about the lovely memorable baby shower she’s just had.
Enjoy the planning, enjoy the shower, and enjoy giving the mum-to-be some lovely memories x