Your best friend just shared the exciting news that she is pregnant so you know what that means: baby shower planning time. You have a bit of time as the shower usually isn’t held until the last trimester, but it is better to get the planning started sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, it is not just a matter of throwing up a few balloons and streamers with a few fun games on hand. A few things to consider are what theme you want, what type of budget you are working with, who you are going to invite, and what food and snacks the guests are going to eat. Don’t get too overwhelmed though. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
If you are hosting the baby shower, first talk to the mother-to-be and see what date and time work best for her. From there you can discuss the guest list and see if she wants to invite her mothers cousins best friend, or if she only wants her nearest and dearest friends and family members. While traditionally baby showers have had female-only guests, the convention has shifted in recent years to include both expectant parents. Once the guests are decided, consider how formal you want to make the shower. Do you want to send out themed invites in the mail or is it better to just send out a quick e-mail invite? Either way, make sure to send them at least six weeks before the date.
Next, decide what location would be most ideal. Do you live in a place where the weather is warm and sunny? Why not have it at the local park? Or if you want something more intimate, choose someones home and have a garden party. If you really don't want to bother with going all out, see if her favorite restaurant will host it.
Once the logistics such as the date, location, budget and guest list are decided, the creative part of the planning can finally begin. There are many different themes to choose from. If you want a Beauty and the Beast theme, incorporate different decorating ideas such as tea sets, gold flatware, clocks and elegant invitations all accented with royal blue. If that seems like a bit over the top or the budget doesn’t allow for it, why not choose something more simple like the mother-to-be’s favorite nursery rhyme or just go for a simple color or animal theme that everyone is bound to appreciate.
Food and Drink
Choosing the right food takes some planning and should be decided roughly three weeks before the shower itself. If it is a morning or early afternoon party, having tasty and light appetizers and fun finger food should do the trick. If it is in the evening, a warm dish is recommended. Either way, sweet treats are a must but thankfully it doesn’t have to be an elaborate cake that looks much more impressive than it tastes. Look into purchasing or making your own fun cupcakes, cookies, cake pops or brownies.
Beverages are equally important and should not be forgotten. Mocktails, such as a ginger-orange spritz (a mix of ginger ale, pineapple and orange juice), are refreshing. Or how about a sparkling cherry limeade? To make one, simply mix together sparkling water, lime, maraschino cherry juice, margarita salt and limes. If your guests prefer water, add a bit of mint, lime and cucumber to freshen it up.
Games and Activities
A baby shower tends to last around three hours and often has games interspersed throughout. When guests arrive, hand out free printable shower games such as fun word searches, bingo cards where the guests fill in the squares with gifts they think the mother-to-be will get or mad lib cards which will get all guests laughing.
Once the shower has started to get underway, incorporate some fun activities such as spreading out white onesies on a table with fabric paint, rubber stamps, paint brushes and other bits and bobs available for guests to use as they design their own unique onesie for the new arrival. If you don't have the time or resources to put that together, just supply square pieces of fabric that guests can write a message or draw a picture on. Then post-party, someone can sew them together and the mother will have a gift to remember for a lifetime.
A fun game to add into the day is to have each guest bring a baby picture of themselves and then pin them to a poster or cork board and have everyone guess who they think is in the photo. The list of games and activities for baby showers is endless so consider the personality of the guest of honor and what games she would enjoy the most.
Gifts, gifts and more gifts. If the mother-to-be has a gift list at one of her favorite stores, that makes things easy. All you have to do is pick it up and wrap it, knowing that she will love it and get plenty of use out of it. If this isn't the case and you need to come up with a gift yourself, don't worry. Mothers always need practical things like diapers, soft muslin-washcloths and baby wipes. Get creative and make your own little baby goodie bag for the mom filled with things that you think she would find useful. If you are really struggling for ideas, why not get her an online gift certificate to her favorite store that doesn't have an expiration date and she can use whenever it suits her.