I was blessed by family and friends to have been thrown several baby showers when I was pregnant with my daughter, nearly three years ago (yikes). I have also had the privileged of attending and throwing a many other showers. While all showers have elements of similarity, there are some key differences that change a shower from common to memorable. If you are planning a baby shower (someone is planning one for you), here are some tips to make your shower extraordinary.
- Invitations – The invitation sets the theme of the party (any party) and frankly this simple first step can make or break a baby shower. (Think about how much consideration went into your wedding invitation!) Your invitation doesn’t just tell the recipient time and date, it sets the tone. Swanky, cutesie, classic, modern – what’s the mama-to-be’s style? The invite should match.
- Location – You can have a baby shower anywhere, of course. But where you have your shower should be comfortable for you AND the mom to be. Personally, I am a sucker for in-home showers. While they may be a little more work, gotta scrub the toilet bowl, they can be cost effective and they have a uniquely homey feeling.
- Decor – Don’t just settle for pink, blue or yellow. Pick a theme and run with it. If the mom has a theme for the nursery, consider stick with that, but if not find something special to the mom and center the party around the theme. Does the mom love polka dots or flowers, or maybe something more elaborate like a forest or sports theme. (Remember, your invitations should reflect your theme so it puts your guests in the mood.)
- Handmade – If you are the crafty type, throwing a baby shower is your bread and butter. If you don’t consider yourself crafty, check out Etsy. Mom’s and guests will love oh and ah over handmade touches. I LOVE using a diaper cake as a centerpiece. They are adorable, totally practical and really easy (even if you aren’t crafty).
- Play a Game – While I don’t recommend games involving guessing what’s in the diaper (ewwww) a cute game with a word scramble or a “The Price is Right” style game can be a great ice breaker and fun. Google baby shower games and do your research, if you think you would have fun playing it, your guests probably will too.
- Don’t Forget Daddy – Couples showers are very in, but even if you decide to go all girls it’s nice to remember dad. Maybe you can arrange for dad and his buds to get together for a movie, beer, etc while the girls are doing their thing. Make dad feel special, he’s excited too.
- Photos – Make sure there is someone designated to take pictures, someone besides yourself! Yes, you have good intentions of doing everything, but you can’t. This is mom’s special day, and you want those memories to last, so enlist a friend to take pictures. And remind her that pixels are cheap, take TONS of pictures.
- Make it New Again – If guests have older children, encourage them to bring gently used hand-me-downs for the new baby. In addition to being totally green, it’s also a way to expand a wardrobe. And since kids outgrow their clothes long before they outwear them, it can be a wonderful way for “seasoned” moms to share the love with “newbie” moms.
- Keep it Snappy – There is nothing worse than receiving a baby shower with a four-hour time frame. No offence, no one wants to dedicate that much time. So keep it short and sweet. Most importantly, keep it flowing. Guests do not need/want to sit around chatting for an hour before anything happens (unless they are all BFFs), so get things started, keep them moving and encourage the fun.
- Thank You Notes – Since you worked so hard on a theme for this shower, why not give the mom-to-be a gift she can really use – thank you notes that coordinate with the theme. Please, do not ask guests to fill out an envelope for the mailing, blah. Just tie the matching notes up with a pretty bow and present them as part of your gift.
If you need more ideas for baby shower themes, you can find lots of great ideas by browsing through baby shower invitations. Tiny Prints has an adorable selection of baby shower invites, check them out.
Disclosure – I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program.