Baby Shower Planning Tips
The birth of a baby is an exciting time for the new parents and a baby shower is a great way to celebrate that joy and to show support.
Who should host a baby shower?
The shower can be hosted by a close friend or relative of the mother-to-be. Traditionally, it was considered improper for a family member to host a shower because it is primarily a gift-giving event. However, today family members commonly help or host the shower.
How many and who should be invited?
A shower typically ranges from 5-20 people. Occasionally, expecting couples request a co-ed shower. It is of course always best to consult with the mother-to-be when making up the guest list.
When should the shower be held?
A good time for the shower is 2-3 months before the due date or after the baby is born. Check with the mother-to-be to see which she prefers.
Shower themes can be carried through to the invitations and decorations, tableware and food. Themes can be as general as "teddy bears", "Noah's Ark", or "storks". Other ideas can revolve around gift ideas to help the new parents stock their nursery:
- Baby Clothes (diapers, sleepers, rompers)
- Baby Toys (rattles, stuffed animals, teethers)
- Bath Items (plastic tub, powders and ointments)
- Baby Nursery (sheet sets, blankets, night light, changing table)
- Mother's Suitcase (nightgown, slippers, robe)
- Personalized Baby Items (booties, birth certificate holder, picture frames, picture albums, blankets, first spoon and fork, first curl box)
Invitations are a great way to reflect the spirit and theme of your shower. They should be sent about 6 weeks in advance for out-of-town guests and about 4 weeks in advance for local guests. Here are a few suggestions:
Little Diaper Invites- Cut out triangles from pink and blue construction paper or felt. Write the party details on one side, then fold like a diaper and secure with a diaper pin.
Bubble Gum Cigar - Send your guests a bubble gum cigar with a tag describing the party details.
Building Blocks - Cut out 3 squares of different color construction paper. Draw an "A", "B" and "C" on one side. Overlap them slightly and tape or glue in place. Write the party information on the back. Enclose a baby charm inside.
Store Bought or Custom - Choose from a variety of store bought invitations that match your tableware, or have personalized custom invitations.
Using a theme from a tableware pattern is easy because of the matching centerpieces, paper cutouts, banners and other items that are available. Here are a few other ideas to create the right atmosphere:
- Ask several guests to wrap packages of diapers in solid color wrap and draw a large letter on each side in a contrasting color. Stack the diaper "building blocks" in a corner of the room.
- Use a basket stuffed with baby items as a centerpiece. Attach a balloon bouquet to it.
- Tie pink and blue balloons around the room and on the back of chairs. Mix in coordinating mylar balloons. Weigh them down with a stuffed animal or baby toy.
A shower usually lasts about 2 hours. Here is a "typical" schedule:
- Have each guest introduce themselves and how they know the mother-to-be.
- Play 2-4 shower games. Playing the games at the beginning makes a nice "ice breaker".
- Serve food or have guests help themselves to a buffet.
- Have the mother-to-be open her gifts.
- Give party favors to guests as they leave
Matter of Size: You'll need a ball of string or yarn and a pair of scissors.
Directions: Pass the ball of yarn to each guest and have them cut off the amount they believe most closely matches the waistline of the mother-to-be. Have the mother-to-be wrap each one around her waist. The one with the closest measurement wins.
Baby Food: You'll need an assortment of at least 10 baby food jars filled with different foods, a pen and paper for each guest.
Preparations: Number the bottom of each jar. Write down which baby food goes with which number, then take off the labels.
Directions: Pass the jars around the room. Have guests write down what they think is in each jar. The person with the most matches wins a prize.
Find the Diaper Pins: Fill several bowls with uncooked oatmeal flakes. Add one or two packages of miniature gold safety pins and mix. Blindfold players and give each person the same amount of time to find the most pins.
Guess the Number: Fill a baby bottle with a counted amount of small candy. The person who guesses the closest amount wins the bottle.
Name Scramble: Have everyone write down the first and last name of the mother-to-be. Using those letters only, see who can come up with the most first names for the baby. (example: Danielle Smith - Tim, Neil, Dan, Sandi, Elaine, etc.)
Party Favors and Prizes
While it is not necessary, it is gracious to give your guests a little memento - a prize from a game or a party favor.
- Plastic baby bottle filled with candy
- A box of Sugar Babies or a Baby Ruth candy bar
- Potpourri satchel, candles or soap
- Gift certificate to a book store or department store
- A photograph of you and your guests taken at the shower.
Smart Party Tips
Paper the Mother-To-Be: Provide a corsage for the mother-to-be and a comfortable chair to sit in.
Gift Note Taker: While the mother-to-be is opening her gifts, have a designated person write down each gift and who it is from. Not only will it create a nice memory, it will make writing thank-you notes much easier.
Envelope Addressing: Before playing any games, have each guest address an envelope to themselves. Put all of the envelopes in a box, choose one, and award a prize. Not only is this a quick game, but it will also help the mother-to-be get out the thank-you's quicker.
Disposable Cameras: Have 1 camera for every 5 guests. Let people know they can take pictures. They will capture a lot of different perspectives. Have the mother-to-be send a photo along with each 'thank you' note.
Beverages: Always provide non-alcoholic versions of special beverages for designated drivers, non-drinkers, and of course, the mother-to-be.
Buffet: If serving buffet-style, set up plates at the beginning of the table and place utensils and napkins at the end so no one has to juggle while filling a plate.
Party America has hundreds of tableware patterns covering every party occasion, holiday, milestone or seasonal event, complete with decorations and matching invitations.
You'll find a rainbow of solid color plates, napkins, table covers, and cutlery to mix and match with your party theme.
Our stores carry over 100 mylar balloons in various shapes, sizes and colors, including your favorite licensed characters. The styles are really fantastic and you can create your own balloon bouquets or let us help you create a custom one just for your event. Either have us fill them with helium or inquire about our helium tank rentals.
Print out our Party Checklist.