It seems like both weddings and baby showers come in waves. Some years there are none on the calendar, while other years there seems to be one every month and it can really start to ad up, especially if you’re the hostess. Whether you are a friend, family member, or coworker, you may know someone who is expecting and want to throw a baby shower in their honor.
Baby showers are fun, but don’t have to be expensive, and they can be customized to fit the mommy-to-be. Just like with any party, planning is definitely key. It will keep the event stress- free if you have a handle on things in advance.
First things first: who’s invited?
The Guest List
This will depend on what type of shower you plan on having. Is it going to be an intimate gathering at someone’s home or is it going to be a come-and-go shower at a church hall or restaurant? Before you decide anything else, get a head count of who you want to invite and who you think will be able to attend. Starting with a guest list makes it easier to plan the rest of the baby shower. Keeping it smaller means better news for your budget, but this is ultimately up to the expectant mother.
Next, talk to the parents-to-be. Is it just going to be ladies only or a co-ed affair? While traditionally, baby showers are kept to women only, it’s becoming more common to have everyone celebrate together. Your guest list will determine what type of food you’ll want to serve and what type of atmosphere you’ll be going for.
Speaking of food, when planning a menu, keep it fairly simple. Easy and inexpensive options include a cheese plate, fruit salad, veggie tray, and of course, don’t forget the cake. If you are on a tighter budget, keep it to just cake and punch. Either make the cake yourself or call on a friend or family member who wants to help out whose baking skills might be superior to yours. If you do decide to make the event co-ed put together a sandwich station or throw hamburgers on the grill and have everyone bring a side dish for a laid-back cookout. A potluck style shower is always fun and a great money-saver.
Once you’ve decided the menu, you can move on to decorations. For simple elegance, light votive candles to place around the room and hang up festive streamers in blue or pink. Decorating the table with a bouquet of flowers is also a simple, but pretty way to make it feel celebratory. You can get a few inexpensive, but nice bouquets from your local supermarket.
Don’t feel like you have to get one of each item when it comes to party decor. Choose a few decorations that you like best and get creative. To make it extra special, have a custom banner made from eSigns congratulating the soon-to-be parents. They can then keep the banner as a reminder of this exciting time anticipating the baby’s arrival.
Lastly, it’s always a question of whether to play games or not. Popular games include guessing how big the belly is by tearing off streamers in the length that you think it will take to fit around it. Whoever is closest in measuring wins. If your crowd isn’t much for baby shower games, then work on a special project for the mom-to-be. This can be signing the baby’s first books (Dr. Seuss is always a classic!) or setting up a DIY station of making onesies or booties for the newborn. All you need is markers and puff paint to decorate the clothing. Each gift will then feel unique sparked by each guest’s own creativity.
A baby shower doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. If the thought of solo hosting seems overwhelming, ask others if they’d like to help. Divvying up the tasks makes it easier for everyone to contribute, but no one feels responsible for carrying the full burden of paying for a shower.
The most important thing is that the guest of honor feels special and everyone has a chance to ooh and aah over the upcoming birth of her little one. Decorate a chair with balloons and streamers for her to sit on and open her gifts. It’s her day to be celebrated. The menu, the decorations, the games are all just fun extras.