Do you have friends or family members who are expecting? If so, you may be thinking about throwing them a baby shower. Baby showers have been around in the US for years. But they’re a relatively new concept in the UK. I had one when I was pregnant with Daniel, but not the others – I wish I had done, it was such fun! If you’re thinking of hosting a celebration for a special mummy to be, here are some tips to help you plan a day to remember.
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Finding a venue
To throw any kind of party, you need a venue. Some expectant mums choose to have their baby shower at home. However, if you’re hosting a surprise bash, you’ll need to find an alternative location. You could invite friends and family to your home, or look at other options. You may wish to book an area of a restaurant or hire out a tea room, for example. You could also rent a community hall or brave the weather with an al fresco gathering by a lake or river. Think about how many people you want to invite and practical considerations, like catering. If you have the party at home, you can take charge of food or get caterers in. If you book tables in a cafe or restaurant, there may be a package, but it may be more expensive. If you’re hosting on a budget, you could ask guests to bring something along with them. If you’re having a tea party, for example, you could ask everyone to bring a cake or some biscuits.
Inviting your guests
When you’re planning the guest list, think about who your friend or family member would want there. If you’re not quite sure, check with their partner or get in touch with their best friend. Once you’ve got a list, send out some invitations with the time, date and venue. If there’s a theme, make sure you include a dress code. If you don’t want to send invitations through the post, you could use an online service to send virtual cards. Alternatively, you could set up an event on social media. Just make sure it’s private so that the special guest can’t do any snooping! Ask guests to respond by a set date, so that you have an idea of numbers.
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/javcon117/16358525339
Choosing a theme
Themes work really well for baby showers. You can go with a theme based on the sex of the baby, or opt for something neutral if it’s a surprise. Popular ideas include animals, bears and vintage tea parties. You can channel your theme in the invitations, decorations, and food choices. You may want to go for either pink or blue decorations if you know the sex of the baby. If you don’t, choose colours like white, grey, and yellow.
If you’re struggling for ideas, check out sites like Instagram and Pinterest. If you search online for baby shower decorations, you’ll also find hundreds of links. You can order online, and then get people to help you set up on the day.
Adding those all-important personal touches
When you’re hosting a party for somebody special, it’s nice to add a personal touch. You want to show them how excited you are about the imminent arrival, and spoil them. Pregnancy is hard work, so your friend, sister or cousin will be thrilled when they see what you’ve done. There are loads of different ways you can personalise your party. You can order bespoke banners and posters. You can print names on paper plates, cups, and bunting. You can hang photographs of the mummy to be and all her friends around the walls. You can also design cupcake wrappers and order custom beer labels. Your VIP guest may not be able to drink now, but they can put their personalised beer away and enjoy it once the baby arrives.
It’s customary to arrive at a baby shower with a gift for the baby. It’s also nice to make a fuss of mum. If everyone else is buying presents for the baby, why not spoil your loved one with a hamper of goodies? You could include special bathtime and body treats, chocolates, DVDs, a personalised CD and a candle. Popular gift ideas for babies include soft toys, clothes, and books. Practical gifts can also be really useful for expectant mums. You could liaise with the other guests to put together a bundle of essentials, for example. Stock up on nappies, wipes, cream and bathtime bubbles for the little one. Once you’ve got everything together, present the items in a basket or decorated box.
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Popular baby shower games
It’s common to play some baby-themed games at a shower. Games can be fun, and they’re a great way of breaking the ice and meeting new people if you don’t already know everyone. When you’re planning your shower, ask every guest to send in a photograph of them when they were a baby. Hang the photos up and number each image. Give everyone a numbered sheet. The aim of the game is to write down who you think each photo is next to the number. Another idea is to get a measuring tape and ask everyone to guess the size of the bump. You can also do a blind taste test with different baby foods. Buy some small prizes for the winners. We had a pinata filled with face masks and beauty treats.
Once you’ve finished playing, ask each guest to write a message in the baby shower book. You can also include a section to enable every person to guess the birthdate, name, and weight. Leave a couple of pages at the back of the book for photos of the shower. Afterwards, get your friends to send in their snaps, print them out and add them to the book.
Baby showers are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re keen to follow the trend and host an event for somebody special, take these tips into consideration. Find a venue, get a guest list sorted, and start planning themes, food, and games. Get together with some of the other girls to plan gifts, and don’t forget those essential personal touches.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own