How to Throw a Baby Shower
Baby showers should be memorable, elegant and most of all, fun! Make the expecting mom feel special by inviting her friends and family and providing baby-themed decorations and food. This articles outlines steps to take to throw wonderful baby shower.
Guests and Invitations
Make the guest list.Who's coming to the shower? Invite the mother-to-be's mom, aunts, sisters, cousins, and her best friends. Once you figure out the final count, you'll be able to determine how many invitations to buy, the quantity of food you'll need, and what space will be big enough to accommodate everyone. You want to be organized for the event.
- If you don't already have the guests' addresses, email them to ask.
- If you're not sure who exactly should be invited, ask the new mom's sister or mother, or someone else who's close to her and can help you make sure no one who should be invited is left out.
Pick out invitations.There are many great ideas for invitations, from fill-in-the-blank, store bought cards, to computer generated and personalized invites. If you have the budget, sending a mini baby bottle with the party info is unique and cute. You could also get plain white boxes and decorate as baby blocks, with the information inside. The sky is the limit!
- You don't have to send invitations through the mail; e-invites work just as well, and they come in many cute designs.
- Make your own invitations by buying pink and blue cardstock and handwriting or printing the information on them. Include pink and blue confetti in the envelope.
Include the necessary information.Make it clear that the event is a baby shower and be sure to include the name of the person it's being held for. In addition to these essential details, include the following info:
- The date of the shower.
- The place where it's being held.
- The start and end times.
- Information about where the new mom is registered (this is only considered acceptable if you are not related to the mother. If you are related to her, it's not polite. You can also have registry information ready to give in print or over the phone, should anyone ask where the mom-to-be has registered).
- RSVP information or a regrets-only request, so you know who's coming. Give a date by which you'd like to hear whether people can make it.
Send the invitations at least 3 weeks in advance.Give people plenty of time to mark their calendars and plan ahead. You'll probably start receiving RSVPs within a few days.
Select a theme for the shower.Choose a character from a fairy tale, children's book, or cartoon. You could also choose baby animals, flowers, butterflies, or another fun, light-hearted theme. Find a party store in your area or search discount stores or the internet for plates, tablecloths, napkins, banners, balloons, favors and so on to match your theme or colors. Decorative plates and napkins look so cute on the refreshment table.
- Matching the theme to the baby's nursery is a special idea that the mother-to-be will enjoy.
- If the sex of the baby is unknown, you could do a simple pink and blue theme.
Create your own decorations.Streamers and helium balloons around the room and on the gift and refreshment tables are very festive and inexpensive to put up yourself. Baby playthings such as rubber duckies, stuffed animals, or blocks make great decorative accents to place around the room. Welcome guests and the mother-to-be to the shower in a special way with a baby shower banner and balloons at the shower entrance. If you have a Publisher program on your computer you may be able to make a banner yourself.
- Dollar stores are excellent places to pick up inexpensive items.
- You may also want to look into renting a lawn stork with a sign announcing the anticipated arrival of the baby.
- Another idea is to place a framed photo of the parents-to-be on the gift table for a personal touch.
- Be sure to provide the mother-to-be with her own special chair next to the gifts and mark it by tying a unique balloon to it (or a sash announcing her Soon To Be status...she could even wear this while opening gifts!).
Make a memorable centerpiece for your refreshment or gift table.Start with an inexpensive basket in natural, white, or another color that matches the shower colors. Place a stuffed animal, doll or other item that coordinates with the shower theme into the basket and then place a baby bottle or rattle in front of the animal or doll. Attach a decorative bow to the the basket handle and tie 4-5 pastel helium balloons to the top of the basket handle. Place the decorated centerpiece in the middle of the refreshment or punch table and sprinkle around some baby shower confetti.
- As a special gift, give the decorative centerpiece to the mother to be as a memento of her baby shower or to display in the baby's nursery.
- Diaper Cakes also make very cute and functional centerpieces and double as a baby gift. You can make one yourself or find a diaper cake company that will create one that matches your shower theme.
- A simple fresh floral arrangement featuring the shower colors makes an elegant and appropriate centerpiece as well.
Food and Drinks
Decide on the menu.Prepare a variety of snacks and desserts for your menu. You could simply have cake and punch or you can prepare a more elaborate spread. If your shower falls during lunch or dinner time you may want to provide a more substantial menu than just dessert.
- Finger foods are easy to prepare and the choice of finger foods is endless. Pigs-in-a blanket, miniature ham biscuits, mini quiches, assorted finger sandwiches of meat and cheese or chicken/egg salad croissants are always great options.
- Prepare either a fruit or fresh vegetable tray and serve with a delicious dip. Strawberries and grapes make good fruit selections because they require no cutting up.
- You can round out your shower menu with small snack items such as chips n dip, snack mix, assorted cubed cheeses and crackers, nuts, mints or whatever else you can think of that your guests would like. If you have a specialty dish or dessert, make it for the shower.
Prepare fruit punch and drinks.Make your own punch using sherbet and ginger ale, or buy a prepared frozen punch starter from the ice cream section of your grocery store and simply add ginger ale. Float a couple of small rubber duckies in the punch bowl for a truly fun accent! Serve the punch in goblets for a more elegant touch. You will probably want to have some chilled bottled water, coffee or diet drinks available for guests who would prefer.
Buy or make a cake.Cake is a baby shower staple. Special ordering a cake for a group can be expensive, so baking your own cake or cupcakes from a box mix and canned icing then decorating them with simple colored candy sprinkles or decorative cupcake picks is a less costly option.
- Display your decorated cupcakes by placing them on a footed cake plate scattered with candy sprinkles and add a cute figurine or rubber ducky in the center.
- A cheesecake sampler is a good alternative to your standard cake, especially for a small number of guests. These are found in most supermarket bakeries.
Plan a variety of games.Games are a good way to get the guests involved and break the ice. A mix of active and written games is good. You can create your own written games such as "Unscramble the Baby Words","Match the Baby to the Celebrity Mother", or see how many words you can make out of the mother and father's names. Remember to supply pens or pencils to your guests for written games. Prizes can be inexpensive items such as candles, scented lotions, boxes of candy, cute stationary, gift cards or lottery tickets.
- Some more active games are "Baby Hot Potato" where you pass a baby doll around a circle while you play a lullaby. Whoever is holding the baby when the music stops is out. Keep going until one person is left.
- Baby bingo is fun and can be found at most party stores or you can get creative and make your own cards with a computer. This is played like regular bingo except the numbers are replaced with baby related words.
- For "Diaper a Doll while Blind-folded" all you need is a doll, a diaper and safety pins and a dark blind-fold.
- "Baby Bottle Drink-off" is a hilarious game." Put about an ounce of punch, water or some other drink in baby bottles and have party participants race to drink their bottle. First person to finish wins.
- Another really fun game that will be memorable is "Baby Sculptures". Assign each participant a baby related item such as bottle, pacifier, baby's first tooth, or another small item and have them make it out of Playdoh. The person who guesses the most correct sculptures wins.
Provide favors.Have a few party favors to send home with the shower attendees. Chocolate kisses or pastel candies wrapped in colored tulle and tied with ribbon along with a personalized tag make classic and low cost favors. Design and print your own tags using your computer.
- A really fun and original favor that doubles as a game are scratch off tickets that are printed with the mother-to-be's name and shower date. Each person gets a ticket to scratch off with one ticket as a winner. Guests who don't win still have a personalized keepsake from the shower.
QuestionWe have a small space and 21 people coming. It is a small L-shaped living and dining area. Should I be looking for a bigger venue?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThat is a lot of people, I would suggest looking for a larger venue.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of food can I make?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFinger foods are great for a baby shower.Thanks!
QuestionWhere should I place balloons?Top AnswererBalloons should be placed out near the mail or newspaper box, as well as sporadically around the house nearest the room where the shower will be held.Thanks!
QuestionWho should pay for the baby shower?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhoever is hosting it. If it's the parents-to-be, then they would pay.Thanks!
QuestionHow many games should I plan?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPlan on two or three main games, and have two or three on reserve, and play it by ear.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do you ask for at a baby shower?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost people ask for gifts that can help them take care of their new baby, such as diapers, bottles, onesies, and so forth.Thanks!
QuestionWhat month should I have the baby shower?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is mostly up to you, although most mothers prefer to have theirs during the start of the third trimester--around 32 weeks, or 8th month of pregnancy.Thanks!
QuestionDo fathers go to baby showers?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is entirely up to you. Some people like to have both mothers and fathers in attendance, including the hosts. Other people prefer to just have a ladies-only event.Thanks!
QuestionWhat types of games do I need to plan?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionWhat are the sequence of events in terms of games, food, presents, etc.?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would suggest having everyone eat first, then play some games to get the fun rolling, and then do presents after that.Thanks!
- Be prepared. Lists are a lifesaver! Make a list of things that need to be done and mark them off as they are completed. If the shower will be at a location other than your home, make a list of EVERY single thing you need to take and mark each item off as it is loaded in the car. List every single thing you will need- from food items to serving spoons, from prizes to pencils for the games! This way you will not forget anything in the shower day rush.
- For easy clean-up, use disposable cups, plates, napkins and eating utensils. Choose decorative colors and designs that will work well with the theme you have chosen for your shower.
- Have someone record the gifts/gift giver's name as they are opened. In the gift opening confusion it's easy for cards to get separated from their gifts and very hard to remember who gave what.
- You may want to present a corsage to the mother to be and grandmother(s) to be. Another fun and different idea is to give her a 'Mother To Be' sash or button to wear. These are found at most party stores. Be sure to take lots of pictures of her wearing it and opening her gifts.
- Another good idea to help out the parents to be is to ask guests on the invitations to bring a pack of diapers to be entered in a drawing. You can keep the prize under . Make sure to ask people to bring more sizes than just newborn, otherwise you will end up with nothing but that.
- Background music at the shower is always nice. Pick up a lullaby CD or a contemporary lullaby CD and play that softly during the shower...it sets a nice tone and can be handed over to the new parents at the end of the baby shower.
- If you're short on time, you might consider skipping the games; feed the mom-to-be first, have her open gifts while others are eating. As mom opens each persons gift, have them come up to front table to select their favor. This can quickly help people get to know who's who and it will shorten the time, if that's an issue.
- Break the ice by going around the room and asking each guest to give their name and state how they know the mother-to-be.
- Home showers are always a delight. However, if expense isn't an issue (or if there will be more people at the party than your home will fit comfortably), rent a club house at an apartment complex or community center, or even a hotel or restaurant function hall. (You may have better luck referring to your function as a "party" than as a "shower" though. Function hall coordinators know that showers tend to run long during the gift opening phase, and may not want to risk your function running into the function after yours.)
- Don't forget to designate a gift table. Cover it with a simple tablecloth and place a small balloon bouquet at the back of the table. To make it special, place a framed photo of the parents-to-be on the table.
- A diaper wreath is a fun and practical project that is sure to be appreciated.
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