It is an exciting time when someone close to you is awaiting a little bundle of joy. As mama-to-be is waiting for the big day, you'll probably start thinking about a baby shower. When planning a shower, there are lots of details to consider, but most of all you'll want to make it a special day everyone will remember.
There are many ways to plan a baby shower that mama-to-be and your guests will enjoy. Here are some tips and ideas for planning the celebration:
Choose the Theme
A nice idea many go with is to make the theme complimentary with the theme of the expecting parents’ nursery. You can craft your invitations and decorations to mirror this decor. Mom-to-be is likely to love it. Although, some parents do not choose the theme ahead of time. Even with the technology available to predict the baby’s sex, some parents opt not to know until the little bundle of joy arrives. In that case you might want to do a mix of blue and pink or stick to neutral colors such as pastels – green, yellow, beige and white are usually good choices.
You can usually find adorable baby shower invitations in most party or variety stores which typically carry an assortment of themes. If you decide to create your own invitations, you can include a nice welcome or poem. There are several great relatively inexpensive software packages available to create beautiful customized invitations. Most office supply stores offer a wide selection of card quality paper and envelopes. You can also buy these online.
In your invitation, include the name of the guest of honor, date, time, address and, if mama-to-be has filled out a gift registry at any stores, note this somewhere in the invitation. If you plan to have a wishing well, be sure to let your guests know this as well. Don't forget an RSVP date, it helps you plan when you have a general idea of how many guests are attending ahead of time.
To decorate the room and tables, balloons, themed paper goods, and flowers are good choices. Depending on whether you are holding the shower in a restaurant or your home, decorative options may vary. With a restaurant you may be slightly limited, but at home, the sky's the limit.
You might want to consider a wishing well - it is not only a practical container for the gift extras people bring, but makes a beautiful central decorative piece. You can use large bins and decorate them or use your imagination with another type of container. If you don't want to use a container and want to go with a "traditional" wishing well, many party stores will rent these.
A pretty corsage for mama-to-be is a nice touch too.
Luncheon and Dessert
For food you can have a potluck, asking family and close friends to bring a nice dish, or you can have it catered. If you choose to prepare the foods yourself, it cuts back on costs. It's customary to have a cake for dessert and it's nice to include a congratulatory or welcome message for the parents or baby. Sayings such as "Pink or Blue - We Welcome You!" or "Congratulations! Diapers & Pins, the Fun Begins" are eye-catching.
In some regions, people customarily have games during showers. For baby showers there are many kinds of games you can arrange if you wanted to go this route. A few fun ideas:
- Bingo. As everyone arrives, hand out a blank "bingo" card (you can make this on your computer and print out copies) and ask everyone to write a baby item in each box. As mama-to-be opens gifts, each person should mark each box which has the correct item and whoever gets "bingo" first wins.
- Guess how many baby pins. You can use any container, but to stay inspired with baby thoughts, a cute idea is to fill up a plastic baby bottle with the pins and whoever comes closest to guessing the correct amount wins.
- Name that tune, baby style. A twist on the old favorite "Name that tune" but using songs with the word "baby" in the title or nursery rhymes and lullabies. Whoever guesses the most songs correctly wins.
There are many other types of games, such as "Baby Word Scramble".
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Don't forget to have prizes on hand for the winners!
Gifts for the Mama-to-Be
It's likely you'll be asked advice for shower gift ideas. Many people opt to go the gift registry route, but if not, there are many other creative, fun and practical gifts which will be welcomed. Layette sets, receiving blankets, "onesies", sleepers, diapers and crib sheets are all safe choices. Other great ideas are a baby book or journal where mom can write down her thoughts and keep track of baby's progress as she grows.
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If you want to get creative, you can make a huge gift basket and place a variety of items inside, wrap it in cellophane and decorate with ribbons. Inside you can place much needed items such as soaps, shampoos, diapering accessories, rattles, bottles, feeding spoons, first-aid kit, cloth diapers (great for burping!), books and a few clothing items. Once wrapped it looks beautiful and mom-to-be will appreciate these much needed extras that may fall off the radar. You can really do any theme – if mom is breastfeeding, fill the basket with nursing accessories. If she is bottle feeding, you can do the same.
As hostess, it's a nice idea to purchase mama-to-be some thank you cards, you can stick to the nursery or party theme as a nice finishing touch. Another idea is to have your guests (when they arrive might be easiest) fill out an envelope with their name and return address on it. You can give this all to mom after the party; it'll be a great time saver when she sits down to write her thank you notes.
Additionally, you'll want to create party favors for your guests, baby themed of course! You can often buy these in party stores or online, or you can make them yourself. Small candies, baby booties with chocolate, candles or other small token are usually good choices. Many party and craft stores will have a variety of items stocked so you can use your imagination and create something nice.
Baby showers are a lot of fun to plan and by adding some nice personal touches everyone is guaranteed to have a memorable day! Before you know it, you’ll be attending the little bundle’s first birthday party.