When it comes to life’s big events they don’t get much bigger than the birth of a baby, it’s a very exciting time and one that should be memorable, so what better way to make an expectant mum feel special than a Baby Shower, it’s a great way for friends and family to get together per-birth to celebrate with mum-to-be.
The baby shower as a concept originated in America but its fast been growing in popularity in the UK. It’s essentially a celebration of baby’s imminent arrival and a chance for mum-to-be to be centre of attention, before baby becomes the focus, and its a time to celebrate new life and share advice on parenting with her friends and family.
To help you organise a successful event we written a few helpful hints and tips to help you plan your party and host a special day.
The Baby shower Host
Traditionally it’s always been close friends who throw the baby shower, not close family, this rule was meant to avoid the appearance that the family was simply on a mission to collect gifts,however these days the etiquette is a little more relaxed and it can be anyone from a close family member, such as a mother or sister to a co-worker. Basically anyone can host a baby shower, a relative, best friend or colleague, as long as the person hosting the party is comfortable about planning it.
Who Should be Invited?
Close friends and family members are a natural for the guest list. If you're thinking of adding others to the list, consider whether it would be appropriate for that person to buy a gift for the guest of honour, since that's the norm at a baby shower. If the mum-to-be isn’t comfortable with the idea of everyone having to bring gifts, you can always make it optional, and use the shower as an excuse to spend an enjoyable afternoon together before the birth, a "female-bonding ritual," with lots of oohing and aahing over all things babies and exchanging of labour tales.
As with bridal showers, baby showers today can certainly be coed, so the father-to-be and his friends can join in the celebration as well, but it will change the chemistry of the party so decide what format your mum to be would like, she might appreciate a chance to hang out with all her girlfriends, before she has other demands on her precious time.
Setting A Date For The Baby Shower
Generally speaking most mums-to-be appreciate a shower later in pregnancy, and a party can be a welcome distraction towards the end. Before setting a date for the party, talk to guests you really want to be there, they may be able to warn you about any prior commitments. There’s nothing is worse than planning a party, sending out invitations, only to find that the most important people can't make it. Alternatively you could decide to hold a baby shower after the baby is born. That way guests can bring gifts specific to your baby's gender. People generally buy a present for baby once they arrive so if you didn’t like the idea of a shower and gifts before the baby is here, then a later shower could be perfect, and with a newborn baby to fuss over, there’ll be lots to talk about too.
Consider the time too, an afternoon event is possible better for the expectant mum, that night time, as she could be feeling tired especially in the later stages of pregnancy.
Where should we hold the baby shower?
Anywhere you can comfortable entertain a group of people will fit the bill, a home, local restaurant or hired room. Ideally, the party shouldn’t be at mum’s-to-be, you don’t want her worrying about cleaning up before everyone arrives or after they leave. If the mum-to-be would prefer to have the event at home, then why not ask a few of the invitees if they'll stay behind to help clear up. What should we do at the baby shower?
There aren’t set guidelines for what happens at a baby shower, but you may wish to choose a theme to tie everything together, although it's not necessary. Should you wish to set a theme it can be simple, from a simple colour choice to an afternoon tea, the important thing is to consider mum-to-be after all this is her day, so consider her likes and dislikes and make sure to pick a theme that will suit her.
You'll probably want to serve some kind of refreshments. You may prefer to skip alcohol, in support of mum’s abstinence, but there are some lovely non-alcoholic, fruity cocktail recipes available, or an afternoon tea would suit.
Set the right tone for an event celebrating the start of a rich, full life with delightful, healthy tasty bites, with a few sinful options through in. Keep last-minute preparations to a minimum by choosing foods that are easy to prepare, there's no shame in asking guests to bring something either, share the load amongst mum-to-be friends, just make sure they don’t mind helping out.
If mum-to-be and her guests are down for a little silliness, you could break the ice with a few silly games, There are lots of ideas available on the internet but we especially like the following ones:
My Gorgeous Baby
Give guests some Play-Doh in a variety of colors. Set a timer for five minutes and have them sculpt a baby to the best or worst of their ability. Then have mum-to-be judge which one she likes best in different categories, such as most realistic, most creative and most disturbing. It's a great game to kick off the shower, and it will get guests laughing and talking.
If there are quite a few guests then a team game can be fun. Split the guests up into two teams and enjoy a game of charades, one player from the team acts out a word or phrase and her team mates trying to guess what it is. To theme the game, all the words being acted could be related to pregnancy, babies, parenthood, or the parents-to-be.
You can have the two teams write down words for each other on slips of paper and have the person whose turn it is has to draw one of the slips then act it out to try to earn points for her own team.
Everyone loves a guessing game. Before the shower, ask all the guests to bring a picture of themselves as a baby. Then for the shower, assemble all the photos on a board or post them on a wall and give each one a number. Then during the shower, pass out sheets of paper to the guests so they can write down which grown-up they think matches which baby picture. If the guests don't know each other well, name tags can help the process. The person who gets the most correct answers wins.
If you don’t think mum-to-be or guests would enjoy games why not keep guests entertained by asking them to add a wish, quote or piece of advise to a guest book, for mum to keep as a reminder of this special day.
What to bring as a Gift?
While it is customary to bring gifts to a baby shower it doesn’t have to be compulsory, make sure this is clear to your guests if this is how mum-to-be feels, the day can be about enjoying each others company and celebrating a new chapter in her life.
If gifts are to be given you can select a gift for baby and here at Izziwotnot we have a selection of gifts available to suit a newborn, or you can get something for mum-to-be, like a pampering treatment. Gifts don’t even have to cost money, why not make a voucher promising 2 hours of babysitting or cleaning, something to help her as she settles in to her new routine once baby arrives, just remember to make good on your promise.
Want a fabulous gift? .... here are some of our most popular
Final Word on your Celebration
A word of caution: think long and hard before deciding to throw a surprise party. If mum-to-be doesn't like surprises, she may feel awkward as the centre of the attention and the party may not be as memorable a time as you'd hoped. Unless you're sure she'd appreciate your clandestine efforts, it's safer to let them in on the arrangements. That way you can be confident that the star of the baby shower will treasure the memory for years to come.
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