The “How-to’s” on hosting a baby shower.

It’s as if the birds chirp a little louder and the sky appears a little bluer when your best friend or sister announces that there’s a pair of pink feet on the way. “Aaaws” and “Ohhhs” fill the room with a few joyful tears here and there. You, as the proud future aunt, take it upon yourself to organise a little baby welcoming party for the mommy to be, also known as a baby shower.

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Whether you’re planning your first, second or fifth shower there will be a few speed bumps along the way and if you’re in the “first timer” category, have no fear because here are a few guidelines and pointers to avoid a mini train wreck and to host the perfect baby shower for the future mommy:

  • Traditionally baby showers are held before the baby is born and happens during the last two months of pregnancy. Obviously the guest of honour is the expecting mommy and the hostess – a close friend or sister.
  • Think long and hard before hosting a surprise baby shower. You will have to take more things into consideration where things like food, timing and the guest list are concerned. The grandparents might want to be present, so arrangements for that have to be made, or Mom might have other things planned during the time you want to host the shower.

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Invites: 

Invites should be sent at least three weeks in advance. How you choose to send them is entirely up to you, but making personalised paper invites is usually a favourite. Remember to add all the necessary details: Who, What, Where, When, RSVP. 

If there are any other important details that need to be added don’t forget to mention them.

Choosing Location & Time:

Breakfast, brunch, lunch or tea time – these are all factors that can help you choose a location for the shower. Traditionally garden parties are very popular and showers are mainly held during the day and preferably at a convenient a time for the guest of honour. Choose a comfortable location or a place you know your mutual friends will like.

Always pick familiar spots – a place where you know the atmosphere will be nice; don’t experiment with new surroundings when hosting a shower.

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Theme:

During a baby shower not much attention to details are given when it comes to a theme. Most of the attention will be focused on the new mom anyway but there is no need to neglect that area either.

Colour schemes usually work well – it’s simple with an atmosphere that’s fun and lively. You can even “sproose” it up a bit, with something like polka dot patterns or favours the mom might have like flowers or baby inspired pieces just as a little guideline for a theme scheme.

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Foods & Drinks:

This is probably the most costly and most time consuming on the list. Choose foods that are easy to prepare. It will just be a little less stressful for you as the hostess. Sometimes one can take the tea garden approach or a nice little garden restaurant that might cater for something like baby showers, which is always nice and convenient, but if you’re working on a budget and want to make it more personal, you might want to take a homemade approach.

“Out-of-hand” foods as Martha Stewart likes to call them, is such a filling and clever idea. Prepare foods that can be served at room temperature with no extra fuss. If you would like to go a bit bigger try something lighter or fresher like salads, quiches, gourmet sandwiches or tarts. A favourite amongst baby showers are the occasional pastries and cakes because they’re easier to serve and one can make them blend in with the theme you might have in mind.

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A new found favourite is to allow the guest to contribute a signature dish, again simple and light. This way everyone can taste and prepare something special.

Drinks usually depend on the food you’re serving. Remember that just as in life your drinks should complement the food. Light ice-teas are always a good choice, ciders punch or ginger ale based drinks. Try and have more than three different choices on the table for guests. Fruity and sweet, rich and creamy like smoothies, which is not traditional but very nice and popular these days, or just a refreshing thirst quencher.

Activities:

Fun and games aren’t usually the main incentives at a baby shower but it’s always nice to have something to get everyone involved in. The biggest attraction is usually mommy sporting her belly and opening all the presents. Other ideas might involve every guest writing a bay name on a card placing them inside a bowl and the guest of honour guessing who wrote the baby name. Another idea also involves some literature where guest can write baby wishes for the new parents.

Other than that the air will most probably be filled with baby talk and women giggling, so don’t spend too much time pondering on activity details. A sea of women around a table with an expecting mother is room for enough conversation.

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Gift Ideas:

Always think: practical versus cute? You can decide as a group of friends to buy something together or simply asking mom what she needs, especially if it’s their first baby. Maybe mention some gift ideas in the invitations you’ll be sending out, a list of things to choose from. It can be anything from, baby toiletries to blankets to a baby tooth brush. Think of things that will make it easier for the mom.

Here are just a few practical gift ideas:

  • Bouncy seat
  • Baby monitor
  • Sling or front carrier
  • Bedding
  • Bath kit
  • Out and about bag (Bag prepped for when mommy and baby want to go on an outing)

Planning a baby shower doesn’t have to be overwhelming and difficult. The key is to make it special for the guest of honour and most importantly surrounding her with support and people she loves. After the planning and organising; you’ll see the appreciation on mom’s face.

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