Why baby showers?
The tradition of organising baby showers for the expectant mother goes back to the ancient times where the local community helps in preparing the parents for parenthood by giving them some items that would help them in the first few months of caring for a new born. They could be in the form of used baby clothes that their own children wore when they were babies, some toys and even advices for the mom and dad-to-be. Today, baby showers have evolved from being something that was purely a necessity to that of a happy occasion where family and close friends get together to share in the parents’ joy.
As baby showers are becoming the norm for most expectant couples, here is a stress-free and hassle free guide to a great baby shower to ‘make merry’ with the mom-to-be in anticipation of baby’s arrival.
The Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Date and invitations
When planning a party of any sort, most people would tell you that it will take a lot of effort and organising. Therefore, to make planning for a baby shower a joy rather than a chore, set the actual date for the party approximately 4 to 8 weeks before the expected due date. Then, work on the invitation list and send them out about a month before the actual date of the party. This gives your guests plenty of time to respond to the invitations and for you to plan the shower. Of course, this also means that there is plenty of head time for the guests to scout for the perfect gifts for mom. Depending on the size of the party that you are planning for, baby showers are usually attended by families and close friends. However, it would be good to also include the men-folk in the invitations, so that they, too, could share in the celebration. Plus, they may also have more to talk about with hubby than a group of ‘girl’ friends.
Step 2: Food and drinks
The second most important thing in planning a great baby shower is to make some decisions on the type and quantity of the food and drinks you would like to serve to your guests. Would you want to cater the food, or rely on the many volunteers to help you out with the food preparation? There are pros and cons to either means. On the one hand, you need not worry about the food preparation, the cooking and the storing of food before the actual day. On the other hand, it would be so much more personalised if you prepared the refreshments yourself. Whatever it is that you decide, the main thing is to serve food that is familiar to most people and those that are easy to eat like finger foods or light foods. Another method that is worth considering is having a potluck. That way, it not only takes a little of the burden off you, you could also get to enjoy your friends’ cooking and get more ideas for your future repertoires.
There should also be a few choices of drinks available – juices, sodas and definitely water. If there are children attending the shower, do purchase some of the little juice cartons that come with straws, so that it would be easier for them. Also, you may also want to consider creating mocktails for a little more pizzazz to the line-up.
Step 3: Fun and games
The third ingredient to a fun-filled celebration is of course the activities that will get everyone joining in the merriment. A baby shower is incomplete without its fair share of fun and silly games such as diaper sniffing, milk bottle drinking competition and charades among the adults. These games are a great way to break the ice and get everyone to mingle and talk with each other, especially if the baby shower is attended by people other than your own family and close friends. In deciding the type and number of games, remember to also prepare the props that are needed for these activities like a few milk bottles, bibs, diapers, paper, pencils and so on. Go the extra mile and prepare a few gift-wrapped tokens to be given as prizes to the winners of these competitions.
Baby showers are very memorable occasions, so make sure you circulate a ‘Baby Shower Scrapbook’ among the guests where they could write down their wishes, advices and thoughts for the mom-to-be, as well as the baby. This would be a precious treasure in the future. Besides that, prepare little ‘thank you’ tokens like fancy notes, key chains, goodie bags and other small keepsakes to be given to the guests as a gesture of appreciation of their attendance and support.
Step 4: Get a co-pilot
The main point to having a baby shower is to celebrate both the mom-to-be and the baby. So it is important that you enjoy every second that you spend in planning the celebration. Bear in mind, too, that you are a month or two away from your due date and would have a lot of other things to prepare for. Therefore, if it will help to take some of the load off you, enlist the help of a co-planner. It could be your best friend, mother, and even your husband. You can take up the role as the strategy planner, whilst your co-planner could be the one to set the wheels in motion. For example, you can prepare a list of things that needed to be bought from the store and your co-planner as well as a few more people who are available could go and do the shopping for you. This way, you would have more time to recharge and plan your next steps.
Some other bits and bobs
Aside from those 4 steps above, there are also a few things you may want to consider, such as having a photographer, or even setting a theme for your baby shower.
Some couples hire professional photographers during these baby showers. You may want to go along those lines, but depending on the scale and the size of the party, enlisting the help of your aspiring photographer friend to take pictures throughout the shower would also be a good idea. He would be delighted at the chance to practice and polish his photography skills. Besides that, if you are thinking of spicing things up just a little bit more, consider having a theme for your baby shower. This could be a colour theme, a favourite childhood character theme or any other theme you prefer. Have the venue decorated and your guests to come dressed up in keeping with the chosen theme. It would be great fun, anticipating the costumes that would be donned just for the occasion.
Sit back, relax and enjoy
There you have it, a step-by-step guide to planning a stress-free baby shower. The key thing here is to give yourself plenty of time before the actual day of the party. That way, you can stagger the things that need to be done, bought and organised. You will be in a better position to not only effectively plan for a wonderful celebration, but also to have the time to enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest.
Whoever said planning for a great shower is stressful?