While the date and venue are the most important things to work out at the beginning, your next challenge is a pretty important one: what kind of baby shower are you going to have? Will it be casual or formal? Will it be girls-only? How much effort will you put into decorations?
The following baby shower ideas will help you tailor the party to suit your guest-of-honour, the mother (and perhaps father) – to-be, and of course, the guests who will be attending.
Baby Shower Party: Style of shower
Formal or casual?
A lot will depend on your budget for the baby shower. If you can afford to spend up a bit, you can supply some lovely food and really go to town on the decorations. Perhaps you can hire a venue that suits your theme. Or if you have a small budget and you’d like to make it casual, hosting the party in someone’s home or having a picnic at a park is a good way to save money and have a more intimate occasion.
But the main factor to consider when selecting the type of baby shower party that you will hold, is what will best suit the new mum who will be guest of honour at the party.
Do hold back a bit if the mother-to-be is a shy person who feels uncomfortable in a larger group or if she is having a difficult pregnancy. After all, she’s the one you are throwing the party for.
Mild or Wild?
The baby shower games and activities for the party you will organise should be tailored around your guest of honour, while taking into account the other guests too.
If the baby shower will be a close-knit group of friends who are all really comfortable with each other, you can go wild with the games – but if you’ve got a few older people or lots of work colleagues and people who don’t know each other very well, or even a few guests in the later stages of pregnancy, try to avoid any crass or embarrassing shower games.
Although the baby shower has traditionally been an all-girls affair, with today’s new dad usually so much more involved in the day-to-day decisions about raising their child, it’s no surprise that many new parents would appreciate having both men and women at their baby shower. The best way to decide? Ask the mother-to-be what she would like to do.
If you do throw a “couples” or “boys and girls” baby shower, check with both mum and dad before finalising the guest list and the theme – and try to think of something that both sexes will enjoy. The new father will feel far more comfortable if he’s not the only man there, so make sure he invites a few mates or that a few male family friends will be there.
When inviting the lads, check whether the new parents want to allow alcohol at the shower – and make that clear on the invitation. Do consider the guys when planning the party food – perhaps you can supply a little more hot savoury food.
Don’t ditch the games; but do look for games that both men and women will enjoy. Most men are not big fans of sitting around chatting, when in doubt, find them something to do. Putting the blokes in charge of a BBQ can be an icebreaker for men who don’t know each other all that well. And try not to make the shower theme too ‘girly’ – teddy bears, ducks, or a general baby theme will work better than everything pink!
Baby Shower Party: Making it run smoothly
There’s one tip that most professional event organisers use for every party they do: set out a timetable for the big day.
From setup to pack-up, write down every thing that has to be done, in the order it needs to be done. That way you can make sure you don’t forget to serve any food, play any of the games – or pick up any essentials before the party starts.
If you write up your timetable in advance and stick it in a handy place (the fridge door is a good location!), you’ll also have a good reference point for any friends or guests who want to help out.
Baby Shower Party: Remember the details
There are a few little details which, if planned in advance, can help make everything run more smoothly on the day.
Add these tips to your timetable to help make your baby shower party run smoothly:
- Are you using disposable plates and cups? Borrow some extra bins and put them around the venue, so guests can help clean as they go
- If you’re washing dishes, make sure that everything you need is laid out at the sink and there’s lots of room for washing up (maybe even some instructions!). Have some trays available so cups and plates can be collected easily – if guests offer to help out, that’s an easy-to-delegate job
- Make sure there’s spare toilet rolls in the loo, soap in the bathroom, handtowels etc
- Balloons on the letterbox or a sign at the front of the apartment block can help guests find the venue more easily
- Set out an empty table for guests to put cards and presents on when they arrive
- Set aside some space for coats and handbags – a bedroom is often ideal
- Have a clipboard, pen and paper ready for when gifts are opened. Allocate a helpful friend to record the gifts as they are opened, to make it easier for the mum-to-be to send thankyou cards after the baby shower party