How to plan a baby shower
That’ s it! Now that the pregnancy has reached its third trimester, the time to meet the baby face to face is fast approaching. It is certainly a reason for joy and, as is customary on such joyful occasions, it deserves to be celebrated in the company of your family and those close to you.
Whether you’re the mother-to-be or the one planning to organize something for your best friend, chances are you’ve heard of the term baby shower, but what is it really all about? How do you plan one?
Don’t worry, we’ll tell you all the details.
What exactly is a baby shower?
Originally, a baby shower was a celebration in which a woman, upon becoming a mother, would gather with all the other women in her family to receive the wisdom and lessons on how to be a mother according to the family traditions. Today, with the new evolution of women’s roles, the new lifestyles in modern societies and the consumer society, the baby shower has left behind its traditional aspect to become more of a celebration of the mother-to-be and the child that’ s on its way.
And of course, if we talk about celebrating, we are also talking about gifts. The word shower implies the idea of “showering both mother and baby with gifts”. Although this is not the primary purpose of the event, it is an important part of it, as it is a way for the parents’ inner circle to show their support shortly before the delivery.
Who hosts the baby shower?
It is usually up to the mother-to-be or her best friends, which may differ from one country and culture to another. In some cultures, having the parents themselves organize the event may be considered inappropriate, since the ” asking for gifts ” element may be a sensitive issue for some people. So, don’t hesitate to involve your family or friends.
Whether you are the mother-to-be or a friend or family member, you might want to make sure that you invite those who are close to the mother, such as family and friends. You will have to decide if it will be an only-women’s party, if men will be invited, and whether it will be a surprise party or not.
How much does it cost to throw a baby shower?
A baby shower, like any other celebration, is something that can be easily tailored to everyone’s budget. All you need is to have a general idea of what you want and some planning so that you can start doing the math.
Whether you prefer something simple or more elaborate, it is important that you determine in advance the approximate budget you want to invest. The decorations, the food and drinks and even the place where the party will take place will all depend on this factor. The good thing is that it is a very intimate celebration, so usually the number of guests involved will be smaller than that found in other types of celebrations. This will allow you to focus more on the quality rather than the quantity.
As a general rule, the baby shower is paid for by the host. However, even if this tradition is not completely out of fashion, nowadays it is becoming more and more common for the baby shower to be paid for by all the guests. The simple fact of sharing expenses between friends and family can be interpreted as another way of doing your bit to help the new parents who are adjusting their lives to the arrival of the baby. All it takes is a little organization and, why not, relying a little on technology in order to make it easier for everyone to raise the money.
There is no single “right” answer. Remember that whatever you choose, you are the one who decides what is best for you, it all depends on the dynamics that exist between the members of your social nucleus.
How to pick the best time?
To be able to choose a date, keep in mind that a baby shower is usually held between the 6th and 8th month. The reason is that by that time the pregnancy is approaching its end, but the mother is not yet too tired (in general) to enjoy the party and the activities involved.
Holding the event a few weeks before the birth also allows the mother-to-be to have some time to properly organize the gifts she has received and buy whatever else is needed before the baby arrives.
Remember to send the invitations early enough so that your guests don’t have any scheduling problems. Typically, a 4 to 6 week notice is enough. This will also give you enough time to obtain a confirmation, thus allowing you to better manage your budget.
Where should the baby shower be held?
This is another key point of the whole organization. Often times, it is held at the home of the mother-to-be or that of the person hosting the event. The house of the future grandparents is also a very popular option. All that matters is that it is a place, whether indoors or outdoors, that is equipped with all the necessary amenities for the mother-to-be, such as a place to rest, a bathroom, plenty of room, etc.
If you prefer, and it is within your budget, you can also throw the baby shower in a hired venue such as a tea room or a restaurant.
Should I choose a theme?
Choosing a theme is always a good idea to ensure an overall coherence. Once you have settled on a concept, it is much easier to identify the details and connecting factors between the different elements that will be part of the celebration.
This will require some work on your decorations. Since this is a party, you and your guests will want to experience that celebratory atmosphere. Moreover, it’s also true that we live in an era where a large part of our social life ends up on social networks. For this same reason, any decoration is twice as important.
Feel free to customize the place to your liking, in these situations creativity can be your best ally. For example, you can choose an animal theme (storks, dinosaurs, unicorns, etc.), a children’s story or movie (the little prince, toy story, etc.), a universe generally associated with children (space, circus, amusement park, angels, etc.) or even toys (legos, superheroes, ponies, etc.) – in short, anything you can think of!
You can use the traditional blue and pink colors or, if you choose to reveal the sex of the baby at the same time, you can use colors such as yellow or purple.
What kind of activities are most appropriate?
Considering that the pregnancy is at an advanced stage, it is important to favor activities that are calm and that allow the mother-to-be to sit down whenever she wants to. The best thing to do is to provide a series of games that are fun, group oriented and short. Some ideas that may be useful include:
- Guess the size of Mommy’s belly. Using a skein of yarn, ask your guests to cut a piece of the length they think is the closest to the actual size of the mom’s belly. The one closest to the actual size wins!
- Baby’s first portrait. You will need a few cards or sheets of paper and some markers. Each guest will be asked to draw a picture of the way they imagine the child will look like. When they finish, the mother (or parents) will choose the best and worst pictures.
- Guess the baby food. All you have to do is buy a variety of baby food at the supermarket. Pour the contents into several numbered containers and blindfold the participants – the one who guesses the most ingredients is the winner!
What kind of food and drinks are best to serve?
Bear in mind that this is a party for the mother and the baby, which is why alcoholic beverages and certain foods such as raw meats, sausages, unpasteurized dairy products, among others, should be excluded from the party. Opt for options such as cupcakes or mini donuts, fruit salads, pastries, natural juices, etc. And of course, don’t forget the cake!
Depending on what you prefer, you can also arrange for a catering service to provide a special menu for the baby shower.
What about presents? How do you handle that?
As you probably already know, a baby shower is the perfect occasion to pamper the mother and bring her and her baby some presents. Depending on the country, presents can be left to the discretion of the guests, be coordinated using pre-defined lists prepared by the parents (jumpsuits, diapers, blankets, bibs, diaper bag, etc.) or even ask for monetary gifts (be particularly careful with this one since it can be very rude in some countries). It all depends on what you think best suits your culture and your relationship with your family and friends.
Don’t forget to add a personal touch
Whether you prefer the more traditional approach, choose to invite men and women at the same time or have your co-parent have his or her own separate baby shower with his or her friends, the important thing is that you enjoy the celebration that you want. A celebration in which you can share with your loved ones that beautiful moment in life called becoming a mom. Go ahead, make it your own, use your imagination, have fun and get ready for what will be one of the most rewarding adventures of your life!