Baby Shower

How to plan a spectacular event

You survived the bachelorette party, the wedding shower, and the wedding itself. Now it's time to throw a baby shower. Whether it's your own, or for somebody else, if you've never thrown a baby shower before, you're probably nervous. With a little planning, however, the shower will be an event that guests and mommy-to-be will never forget.

The Basics

The first thing to consider is whether or not you're the person who should throw the shower. Some believe it's not proper for a family member to host the shower, nor is it recommended that a mother throw her own shower. The reason behind this is that gift-giving is generally involved in a shower, and so close friends are most often responsible for hosting. However, there is no reason why family members can't be part of the planning process, nor is there a reason you can't throw one yourself. Regardless of who hosts, your friends and family will welcome the opportunity to share in your joy.

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The next thing to consider is when you should host the shower. Most commonly, showers are held before the baby is born - not too early in the pregnancy in case the mother loses the baby, and not too late in case the baby comes ahead of schedule. However, some people prefer to have the shower after the baby is born, so that the guests will know the sex of the baby and will be able to have a first look at the new addition.

The Guest List

Next, it's time to consider whom you should invite. Sometimes showers are just for a particular group of people, for example, co-workers. This might lead to several smaller showers. In other instances, everyone will be invited to one big shower. A new trend is couple showers - while in the past showers were usually for women only, with a couples shower both men and women are invited.

Food and Fun

Now that you've got the date and guest list settled, it's time to start thinking about food. As a general rule, don't serve anything that the mom-to-be can't eat or drink. Remember that certain foods might make your friend nauseous, and she certainly can't drink. Again, ask friends and family members for this information. One final note about food: don't forget the cake!

Now it's time to plan the activities. There are varying opinions on whether or not it's a good idea to plan games. While some people think they are fun, others find them cheesy. Put yourself in your friend's shoes. Do you think she would enjoy games? If you think she would appreciate games, you can buy some from a party store, or you can make your own. The Internet provides a great deal of game ideas. In one game, the host fills baby bottles with punch and the guests compete to see who can drink the punch the fastest. Prizes, such as restaurant gift certificates, can be given to the winners.

Gifts

While sometimes a touchy subject, gifts should be a consideration. Find out if the mother-to be is registered at a store, and inform the guests. If not, you might want to have a gift theme, such as baby safety. With this theme, guests could buy baby gates, and childproof knobs for doors.

Showers held after the baby's born can be easier to plan for. Also keep in mind that if you're throwing a shower for yourself, receiving gifts may not be considered tactful. Your safest bet is to include a note on the invitation stating that gifts are not required.

With a little bit of planning, a baby shower can be a fun, stress-free event to mark a new stage in your life or that of a friend. Enjoy the day and the excitement that is to come!