Baby Shower

Whenever a couple is expecting their first baby, a baby shower is sure to be part of the plan! Baby showers are fun celebrations in which friends of the parents-to-be throw and attend a party in honor of the baby to come. When it comes to planning a baby shower, anything goes!

Although tradition dictates that family members shouldnt host baby showers (due to the fact that these are gift-giving parties), in modern times, it isnt considered taboo for either family or friends of a new mom to throw a baby shower.

Baby Shower Check List

If you are planning a baby shower, start planning early to ensure that as many guests as possible can attend. Here is a checklist of some things you will need to consider as you start planning a baby shower:

  • the budget
  • the decorations
  • the games and/or entertainment
  • the guest list
  • the invitations
  • the location of the party
  • the presents and/or gift registry so other guests know what the mom-to-be needs
  • the refreshments you plan to serve
  • the shower party favors, if budget allows.

In general, plan to hold the baby shower about one to two months before the babys due date to ensure that the new mom will get the gear she needs before the babys arrival.

Did You Know . . .

Prior to the 1900s, baby showers were not thrown before the baby was born. Instead, get-togethers were organized a month after the birth so the baby was less likely to be infected with diseases.

What to Plan First

First and foremost, set a budget, a party date, a location and a guest list. While some hosts can afford to take on the costs of the baby shower, dont assume that you have to carry the bill by yourself. Consider asking all of the party guests to contribute a reasonable amount, or delegate a responsibility (i.e. a dish, decorations, etc.) to reliable guests to save you stress, money and time.

Keep in mind that the budget will likely include the cost of invitations, refreshments, decorations, game supplies and party favors (if you choose to give them out). Although you may have to pay to rent the location of the party, most baby showers are thrown at someones home, which not only reduces the cost but also adds a degree of comfort and intimacy to the party.

If your home doesnt accommodate a party, ask a close friend if she is willing to have the baby shower at her home. Likely, you wont have trouble finding a free, comfortable location.

Once you set the budget, you will know how many people you can afford to invite. If you are close to the mom-to-be, you can compile the guest list yourself. However, its always a good idea to consult the new mom and make sure that you didnt leave anyone out. Generally, family, friends and co-workers (usually all women) are invited to baby showers.

While modern trends have included men at these parties, women are traditionally the only people invited. If you are considering inviting men, check with the mom-to-be first to see whether or not she is comfortable with the idea. As soon as you have sorted out the guest list, send out the baby shower invitations, asking for an RSVP about two weeks before the party date so you can plan the refreshments and party favors.

Baby Shower Details: Games and Refreshments

Once you have a list of the expected guests, you can start planning the details of the baby shower. Although hosts usually plan for guests to play baby shower games, playing them isnt an absolute rule. Again, consult the mom-to-be on whether or not she wants games at her party.

If the mother-to-be is okay with baby shower games, plan anywhere from two to four games (any more than four is likely to be tedious). Here are some ideas for baby shower games:

  • The baby bingo game: Play bingo with baby-related words, rather than numbers.
  • The dont say “BABY” game: Give each guest a certain number of pennies, clothespins or other tokens. Each time someone says the word “baby,” she has to give a token to the person who catches it. Whoever has the most tokens at the end of the party wins.
  • The baby food game: Have each guest differentiate between different types of baby food based on the appearance of each.
  • The baby picture game: Have each guest bring a baby picture of themselves with their names written on the back to the party. Arrange the pictures around the room and have each guest guess who is whom.

While guests can begin enjoying refreshments from the time the party starts, after the games are done, you can serve lunch or cake, depending on what you have planned. Keep in mind that the food and drinks you serve can be as formal or informal as you (and the mom-to-be) prefers.

If you want to plan a sit down brunch or lunch (as baby showers generally happen during the day), then plan for the meal to happen once the games are finished. However, you can also plan to have a series of appetizers and finger foods (even potluck-style, if you like!) to keep the baby shower more relaxed and affordable.

Baby Shower Gifts

Whether or not the mom-to-be registers for gifts at a specific store, check with the host to see what the mom needs. Then, pick a gift within your budget. Here are some ideas for baby shower gifts:

  • a pregnancy massage
  • baby bath products, including a tub, tear-free shampoo, a sponge, etc.
  • baby blankets, pajamas, bedding, etc.
  • baby clothes
  • furniture, such as a rocking chair, crib, etc.
  • gift baskets, including bottles, bibs, toys, etc.
  • heirlooms, such as a baby bracelet (with the due date or babys name inscribed), a silver rattle, etc.
  • strollers, baby backpacks and other travel-related gear

Showers for Second Babies?

Although baby showers are traditionally only held for the first baby, it is perfectly fine to throw a baby shower for second or third babies. Keep in mind that baby showers other than the first are typically less formal. Because baby showers are gift-giving parties, and current moms are expected to already have baby gear, have guests bring “baby essentials,” such as formula and diapers, rather than bigger gifts, such as a crib or stroller.