Like any other party, planning a baby shower is a daunting task, whether you’re the mom-to-be or her best friend. You’re basically celebrating life itself. No pressure!
A lot of things can go wrong in a baby shower, but the best thing to do is to anticipate any hiccups and stay on top of the situation. Here are seven points to help as you go along the way.
Include the Mother-to-Be in the Planning
While surprise parties are generally a good idea, they’re not when it’s a baby shower. Anyone but the expecting mother can organize the celebration, usually a close family or relative, but she should still be part of the planning process.
Showers are typically done a month or two before the due date, but some cultures see celebrations as bad luck when it’s done before a baby is born. That’s why it’s important to ask for the couple’s preferences.
Also, make sure that the mother is feeling okay at this point of her pregnancy, not nauseated or anything. Otherwise, she won’t be able to enjoy all the food and gifts you and your guests prepared for her.
Invite Guys to the Occasion
Baby showers are traditionally women-only events, but times are changing toward a more inclusive society, and so should the baby showers. Inviting men to the occasion fosters the idea that the father-to-be has as much responsibility as his partner does. Plus it’s a good opportunity for him to hear advice from other couples and learn about baby supplies that he otherwise may not have known.
However, this is in no means mandatory for the baby shower you’re throwing. It’s still best to consult the couple first before including their guy friends to the invitation list and sending out invitation cards.
Avoid Humiliating Party Games
Games are always a good way to spice up a party, and baby showers are no exception. If you’re a first-timer, two of the most popular games are guessing the candy “poop” in the diaper and the circumference of the mom-to-be. Their names alone are cringe-worthy enough, so you better skip them altogether.
Think of games that will not make things awkward for everyone in attendance, especially if you have invited men and kids. Trivia is a safe bet for any party. Ask pregnancy-related questions to keep everyone focused on the mother and her baby.
Don’t Forget to Decorate
Baby showers are intimate gatherings that are usually done in the couple’s living area or in a friend’s home. While it is not necessary to go all-out with the decorations, it wouldn’t hurt to transform the space with some lights and balloons, and the mom-to-be will surely appreciate the effort.
This is the best time to bring out your special tablecloths and napkins and polish your finest glass and silverware, because pregnant women should be treated like queens.
Remember that it’s in the little details that make the shower special, like having a guest book available where people can leave heartfelt messages and pieces of advice to the expecting couple.
Consider Skipping the Opening of Gifts
Apart from being time-consuming, the unwrapping of gifts one by one may make guests feel uneasy with the gifts they have brought. Skip this as part of the ceremony, but do allot space to display the gifts as part of the decor.
If you want to avoid a “best gift” competition among your guests, have them bring the same items, like their favorite children’s book to help the parents start a kiddy library, board games and puzzles for the playroom, or things that will be used most often, like diapers.
Mocktails Are the Way to Go
Alcohol is a big no-no in a baby shower. Having mimosas during brunch is definitely tempting but will leave the mom-to-be left out. Besides, crossing off alcoholic beverages from the menu will significantly keep your budget down, which is a boon for any party organizer on a tight budget.
You don’t necessarily have to stick to soda or plain fruit juice. Get creative by concocting mocktails, which are nonalcoholic versions of cocktails drinks. Make mojitos with club soda instead of rum, or substitute brandy with sparkling water in your Mai Tai mocktail.
Finger Foods Are Boring
Finger foods are common in baby showers. The jury is still out as to why this is the case, but it’s not hard to understand why most people prefer serving finger foods. They’re easy to prepare and cheaper because of fewer ingredients.
But it’s not sacrilegious if you plan to serve full meals alongside finger foods to your guests. The trick here is variety. You don’t want to skimp on your food, but you also want to provide a lot of options. While most showers are held during the day, you can opt to have yours at night and host a dinner party instead.
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