Baby showers are fun events for the mom to be and guests alike.    Whether you are planning a shower or invited to one, here are some helpful hints.

If you are planning a baby shower, you will need to ask the mom to be for a list of guests she would like to invite.   Knowing how many people plan to attend will help you decide where to have the shower and how much food and game material you will need.  Also, be sure to note the theme for the shower and the baby's room if the mom to be has already chosen one.  If she has joined a baby registry, include it along with the invitations so that guests can choose from desired items if they like.

If you are planning on a budget you can cut costs by having the shower at someone's home or at a local park.  Save on invitations by using online resources or print your own.  When possible, buy items in bulk such as plates, napkins, cups, and balloons.  You can also check prices at local paper factory outlets.  Finger foods are also cheaper than hiring a caterer and simple to make.  If you know someone who bakes, get a price for the shower cake.  Keep games simple.  If you plan on giving out favors, try home-baked cookies or candies.

Most mom to be's prefer to have their shower around weeks 30 to 35.   This way they have time to exchange gifts or finish shopping for items that weren't received. 

Games are popular at baby showers.  Here are a list of common games:

Using a piece of ribbon or yarn, have each guest cut off the length they think will fit around the mother's belly.

You can make tiny diapers to hand out to each guest.  Sometime during the shower, have each guest check the inside of their diaper.  Whoever has the diaper with the 'poop' wins.

Hand each guest a clothes pin when they come in.  No one is allowed to say the word 'baby'.  If you hear someone say the word, you may take their pin.  Whoever has the most pins at the end of the shower wins.

The traditional pin the tail on the donkey can be converted to pin the sperm on the egg.

Place a jar full of gum balls, safety pins, etc. and have each person guess how many are in the jar.

Play purse scavenger hunt.   Give each person a checklist of things to see if they have it in their purse.  Give points for each item found.    Whoever has the most points wins.

Ask each guest to bring a personal baby picture.  Hang each picture on a board and have each person try to guess who they are.

Ask each guest to write down a first and middle name for the baby.  Then using the names picked, each guest will scramble the letters to make as many words as possible.  Whoever makes the most words wins.

During the shower the mom to be should be able to relax and enjoy time with her guests.  The  person in charge should handle the games and anything else that needs to be done.  It's also a good idea to have someone sit with the mom to be as she opens her gifts and keep a record of what was received and from whom, so that she may later send out thank you cards.

Don't forget to take lots of pictures.  Later developed and placed in a baby photo album makes a great gift to bring to the hospital when the baby arrives.

Another good idea that will create a lasting memory is to have a journal or photo frame that guests can write short words of advice to the mom to be.  Get creative and use heavy duty card stock cut into stars or other shapes that will match the baby's room.

If you are planning on attending a shower and need gift ideas, you can't go wrong with diapers.    It is something every new mom is going to need and go through fast.    Other items are diaper wipes, clothing, blankets, and bath products.  Something a lot of people tend to forget about is infant medicine, ear drops, thermometers, or other care items.

  ADiaper Cake(90311)Credit: wikipedia neat idea that has become very popular are diaper cakes.  To make a diaper cake you will need about 60 diapers, 1" ribbon, 1/4" ribbon, small rubber bands, large rubber bands, one 8 oz bottle or baby lotion, one 4 oz bottle, and a piece of heavy duty cardboard cut into a circle shape.

First take about 17 diapers and open them up.  Starting from the front of the diaper, roll them up as tightly as possible and place a small rubber band around the middle of each one.  This will be the inner ring of diapers.

Next place the large bottle or lotion in the center of the cardboard.  Use 5 to 6 diapers rolled up around the centerpiece and secure with a large rubber band.

Form a second ring using about 12 diapers and place them around the first ring.  Place a large rubber band around it to hold in place.

Take 18 to 20 diapers and tightly roll as in step one.  This time, instead of securing with the small rubber bands, use the 1/4" ribbon to tie each diaper.  Place around the second ring and secure the entire outside with the 1" ribbon.  This will complete the first tier.

The second tier is the same as the first, but will have two layers instead of three.

For the top layer, place the 4 oz bottle on the table.   Place 5 to 6 rolled diapers around the bottle and secure with 1/4" ribbon.  Place on top and secure entire ring with the 1" ribbon.

Get creative and add small baby items into the 'cake' such as pacifiers, blankets, onesies, bibs, toys, or washcloths.  This centerpiece will be a great gift filled with things the mom to be will use.