Start With a Baby Shower Theme
You may not need a theme, but having a theme makes the rest of the planning easier. The decorations, food, and games relate to the theme. The theme narrows the options from overwhelming to something that’s more doable. Ask the mom-to-be if she has a shower theme in mind. If she’s decorating the baby’s room in a giraffe theme, use this theme for the shower. She’ll get items that fit in with the rest of her decorating scheme. A book theme is another alternative. Have everyone bring the new baby their favorite children’s book to start her library.
Set a Budget
This will help you figure out whether you’ll be having a smaller intimate gathering at someone’s home. You may need to hire a caterer and rent an event venue for a larger get-together. A smaller budget may mean that the shower will be a potluck and the decorations DIY. It can still be a wonderful event to celebrate the coming of a new child.
Figure Out Who to Invite
Check with the mom-to-be to get contact information for the people she’d like to invite. The guest list will help determine the feasibility of any potential locations. For example, a small gathering can take place in someone’s home. A large gathering may require the rental of an event space or the function room of a restaurant. While baby showers used to be for women, these days they’re sometimes couples events.
Have the Mom-to-Be Register for Gifts
This makes it easier for people to choose presents. It makes it less likely that the baby will end up with three diaper bags and no stroller. The registry should include gifts in different price ranges so people can find something within their budget.
Select a Date, Place, and Time
Speak with the future mom to determine her availability. Does she have her heart set on any place for a baby shower? Check with significant guests, such as her mom, sisters, and BFFs, to see when they’re available. Schedule the shower at least 2 weeks before the baby is due or at least a month after mom and baby come home from the hospital. When the mom is about 7 months pregnant is one of the more common times for holding these events.
Create and Send Out Invitations
You can handle Invitations electronically, through the mail, or by phone. You should send them out approximately six weeks in advance. Design online or printed invitations to suit the theme and set the tone for the party. Let people know if the baby shower is a surprise, where the mom-to-be is registered, and if they need to bring anything with them. Set the RSVP date early enough to give you plenty of time to finalize the details with the venue and caterer if you’re not having the party at someone’s home, which is typically at least a week before the event.
Find Suitable Decorations
Decorate the room where the baby shower is being held to suit the theme. Get disposable tableware, decorations for the walls, and something for centerpieces. Diaper cakes make eye-catching centerpieces. They even give the mom-to-be with useful items to use after the party. Balloons and flowers can also serve as decorations.
Plan the Menu
People serve brunch foods, desserts, or tea and snacks unless the shower is near dinnertime. Choose foods you can make ahead of time and freeze if you’re the one providing the food. Finger foods and mini-size portions make it easy for people to handle their food while enjoying the shower. Make or order a cake decorated to suit the theme of the shower. This cake can serve as a centerpiece and a dessert. Consider serving mocktails as beverages instead of cocktails so you don’t leave the mom-to-be out.
Choose Activities and Games to Play
It’s traditional to play a few baby shower games. Choose a few you think the guests are likely to enjoy and have all the materials handy. One game involves melting different chocolate bars on cloth diapers. Have the guests smell them and guess the candy bar. This can cause hilarious pictures. Another choice is to have people answer questions about the mom to see who knows her best. Have small prizes for the games. Sometimes showers include other activities, such as decorating onesies, bibs, or diapers for the new baby. Ask people to fill out notecards with activities for the mom and baby to do during her first year.
Consider Having Goody Bags
As with any party where guests bring gifts, it’s nice to have something to thank them for coming. Goody bags can be simple and inexpensive. It’s the thought that counts. Ideas include a tea bag with a label that says “A Baby is Brewing” or a small plant that says “Watch Me Grow.”
Assign Others to Help With Party Day Tasks
It’s hard to do everything yourself. Assign someone to keep a list of who gave which present and someone to take pictures throughout the event.
Make Sending Thank-You Cards Easier
Print a copy of the names and addresses of the guests or buy thank-you notes and address them for the mother-to-be. Then she just has to jot a quick note in each and mail them after the party.