The joy of becoming a mother is a feeling that we want to share with others. The birth of a new life is an extraordinary event that people close to us want to celebrate. Baby shower is not a must, and if you are not comfortable with it, don’t force yourself: there are sleepless nights ahead and you need your rest. But if you feel ready for it, make it light and fun!
When shall I have a baby shower?
You can throw a baby shower before or after your baby is born. The best timing is, perhaps, few weeks (typically 4-6 weeks) before the due date when the pregnancy is well advanced, but the chances that the baby will arrive before the party are quite low. However, in some cultures, receiving baby items before the baby arrives is a sign of a bad lack. In that case, you can wait until the post-partum period is over and the baby sleeps longer stretches at night.
Remember: Nowadays, not the future mother, but a close friend or relative is usually the one that throws a baby shower on mother’s behalf. That person is called a baby shower hostess. If you are lucky to have such person in your life, don’t forget to say her a special thank you. Some would even express their gratitude with a small gift.
Who to invite and how
In some cultures and family traditions, parties are always big enough to ensure that no relative or friend – close or far – is neglected. Unless your plan is to throw a mega party and invite a circus, your nearest friends and family members are the ones you look forward to see at your baby shower. Guests are expected to come with a gift, so any time you think of adding someone to the list, consider that you ask them indirectly for a baby shower gift.
Traditionally, baby showers have been reserved only for women. Nowadays, many parents-to-be bypass this “rule” and invite men too. It is important to make it clear in the invitation if men and kids are also welcome. If kids are allowed, you can think of asking someone close to help with entertaining the kids, so the parents can fully enjoy the party.
Invitations are an important part of baby shower etiquette. There are plenty of ready-made options available to purchase, but if you are on a tight budget, you can print or even use online e-mail invitation sites. To me, hand made invitations look more personal. Make sure you include all necessary information, like the theme of the shower, any clothing you may need for the party or the games, and other important details.
Don’t forget to send thank you notes after the party even if you have thanked everyone at the end of the event. Keep your thank you note simple but sincere.
Baby shower themes & decorations
Buying ready-made baby shower decorations has its advantages: you can pick your favorite theme, and your entire party set – decorations, tableware, banners, invitations, thank you gifts, etc. – will have one design pattern. It will also save a lot of time, particularly, if you are throwing the party yourself. However, these sets are usually not cheap and may stretch your planned budget.
There are plenty of baby shower ideas on a budget. Pinterest is the best source of interesting and funny baby shower themes, where you can find many pintable baby shower decorations for free. Other options include borrowing decorations from a friend or going for inexpensive decorations such as balloons, pompoms, and streamers that will make the party colorful.
Gifts & gift registry
Wedding, baby and gift registries have become extremely popular. Even if they look like a shopping list for guests and take some spontaneity or surprise out of the event, they may become a win-win solution for both the parents-to-be and their guests. You won’t spend your time on returning or exchanging duplicated items later, and your guests will save time on selecting a gift.
Baby shower games & buffet
Keep the food simple. Baby showers are usually scheduled for mid afternoons, so think of serving simple snacks or finger food. Avoid serving complete meal, which will require a lot of time to prepare or warm up, or will make your baby shower very expensive. If some of your guests are ready to give you a hand, simply ask them to bring one hors d’oeuvre. And remember, fancy cocktails and mocktails always work well!
What you really need to spend some time on is planning baby shower games. Dork games will easily ruin your party, but fun games can make it absolutely memorable. A good game can work as an icebreaker, if some of your guests don’t know each other. Googling the internet for popular baby shower games is an option, but I personally would spend some time to come up with something creative and new.
How much a baby shower will cost
A rough estimate says baby shower costs may vary from $100 to $1,000 and even higher. All depends on the lifestyle, number of people, and how much you, or your family and friends are able and willing to do. Some parties can be modest, while others may go all out. Don’t let your baby shower tank your family budget. There are plenty of options to make your baby shower memorable and fun, but also inexpensive.
Any interesting baby shower party ideas? Any baby shower DIYs? Share your stories and photos with us.