Sharing the joy of an expectant mother by hosting a baby shower is a kind and loving thing to do. From party games to food to decorations and invitations, it also requires a lot of work on your part. However, you don’t have to feel stressed by your to-do list when you start getting organized for the baby shower as early as possible. Below are 12 tips to make the day enjoyable for everyone, including you.
Don’t Schedule the Shower Too Close to the Due Date
The 6th to 7th month of pregnancy is often an ideal time to throw a shower. The expectant mother is obviously pregnant but hasn’t yet reached the point where moving is uncomfortable for her. Allow the guest of honor to choose the date that works best with her schedule and the schedule of people she would like to invite. There’s nothing wrong with asking her to give you as much time as possible to get everything ready for the big day.
Preparing the Guest List
When you help the honoree prepare the guest list, suggest that it includes relatives from her side as well as the father’s side of the family unless she plans to have separate showers. It should be the expectant mother’s job to get you the names and addresses of the people on her guest list several weeks in advance of the shower. If you can only accommodate a certain number of guests due to space limitations, let her know in the early planning stages.
Send Invitations Two to Four Weeks in Advance
If the guest list includes several people from out of town, send the invitations closer to the four-week time limit. Otherwise, two weeks should be adequate if most guests are local. Base your decision on whether to send the invitations by postal mail or electronically depending on feedback regarding guest preferences from your honoree. It’s perfectly acceptable to include information about the guest of honor’s baby registry in the invitations as well as the gender of the baby if she already knows it.
Keep Decorations Simple
Although decorations aren’t mandatory at a baby shower, they can certainly make it a lot more fun. Sticking with a single color scheme for tablecloths, napkins, balloons, and other supplies makes the buying process easier for you. Remember that you can be creative and don’t have to decorate in all pink for a girl or all blue for a boy.
Consider Finger Foods and Light Foods
Baby shower guests don’t expect to sit down to a full meal, but it is customary to serve lighter foods and not just snacks. Cheese and crackers, small sandwiches, spring rolls, chicken drumsticks, and sausage rolls are just some examples of this type of food. Lemonade or water are typical baby shower drinks that go well with lighter finger foods. You can also add a few snack items such as mints, mixed nuts, or candy.
A Buffet Makes a Nice Alternate Food Arrangement
If you would rather not work with finger foods, consider setting up a buffet where guests walk through and serve themselves. Taco and sandwich bars are especially popular as are fruit plates and large platter salads. This option can keep the shower more focused since most guests will only fill their plates once or twice rather than potentially pick up finger foods several times.
Choose Someone to Record Gifts Before the Day of the Shower
One rule of etiquette that hasn’t changed over the years is that guests will expect a written acknowledgement of their gift from the mother-to-be. With the whirlwind of gift opening, it can be challenging for her to remember who gave her what. The ideal solution to this dilemma is to assign someone the job of gift secretary in advance. This person will write down a description of the gift inside of each card to ensure that the expectant mother can match a name to a gift when it comes time to send out her thank-you notes.
Keep Gift Opening More Organized by Assembling a Kit Before the Party
When getting ready for the shower, be sure to set up a large recycling bin for the guest of honor to place wrapping paper so your home doesn’t quickly become a cluttered mess. You will also want to provide a pair of scissors for cutting bows that won’t budge on their own. A notebook and pen can also make a good alternative to the gift secretary writing a description inside the card of each guest. Having everything ready to go allows you to avoid a last-minute scramble for supplies so you can watch your guest of honor open gifts as well.
Provide Low-Pressure Games to Keep the Shower Moving
Baby showers sometimes have the unfortunate reputation of being a place where guests must play awkward or embarrassing games. The good news is that you can choose to do things entirely differently. Instead of passing around jars of baby food for guests to try to guess the flavor or playing the dirty diaper game where they have to guess the melted candy bar inside of a real diaper, opt for something they can play at their leisure.
For example baby name race. Each person writes down a baby name that begins with each letter of the alphabet. Another option is to place note cards and pens around the room where guests can share their best parenting advice with the new mother. This approach allows people to participate voluntarily and doesn’t make them the center of attention during formal baby shower games if they don’t want to be. It also allows more time for gift opening, eating, and visiting.
Don’t Go Shopping for Supplies without a List
You will end up spending a lot more money than intended if you head to the store to buy party supplies without a list. By doing a quick inventory before you leave home, you may find that you have some of the supplies already. Additionally, there is no need to break your budget when most dollar stores have an abundance of party supplies.
Don’t Forget the Cake!
A cake at baby showers is a time-honored tradition. It’s also a way to personalize the experience even more for your expectant friend or relative by writing a congratulatory message on the cake. Be sure to ask her about favorite flavors and other cake preferences. Although you may not be able to accommodate everyone’s needs, it doesn’t hurt to ask if she knows of guests with dietary restrictions such as gluten sensitivity. You should allow up to several days before the shower to order a personalized cake from a local bakery.
Throw a Breakfast or Brunch Baby Shower Instead
While the most common time of day to throw a baby shower is the early afternoon, you’re not limited to this time frame. Deciding to host the shower in the mid-morning gives you entirely different food options such as French toast sticks and an omelet bar that guests are sure to enjoy. It also gives guests the rest of the day after the shower ends to get their errands done or enjoy other activities.
One Last Thing
Above all else, relax and have fun at the upcoming baby shower. A new life and the chance to catch up with old friends are always good occasions to celebrate. Don’t forget that Digitaldoodlebug offers stickers and other party favors for your big event. We look forward to helping you prepare to honor this special time in the life of your loved one.
To make it easier you can download a free baby shower checklist.