How to throw a fun baby shower

The evolution of the baby shower has come a long way. Modern baby showers are ditching the notions that women are the only ones excited for the arrival of the baby, and that your guests will actually enjoy trying baby food or putting their face into a mysterious poop-like substance smashed into a diaper.

That’s right. Gone are the embarrassing games, and here are some suggestions to help you throw a fun, enjoyable and successful baby shower for you and your guests.

Screen the guest list

For the most comfortable party, don’t hesitate to leave off your mother-in-laws’ friends or those you don’t consider to be tight-knit friends. You want everyone there to be there because they’re genuinely excited for you and want to celebrate with you – not because they feel obligated. It’s okay if not everybody knows each other, but as long as you know everyone and feel comfortable with them in a relaxed, intimate setting, then inviting them should be no problem.

Invite spouses

Your husband is every much as involved in becoming a parent as you are, and there is no reason he shouldn’t celebrate the pending arrival of his baby, also. Men are parents too. Men love their babies, too. Men get excited to become fathers, they want to celebrate with their friends and family, and they like to eat.  Make the baby shower a giant co-ed bash filled with fun games and good food. Plus, it might be nice to have someone there to lean on if you get overwhelmed with pleasing guests and playing hostess.

Plan FUN games

Traditional games are okay for the sake of tradition, but in reality, nobody is really too excited to taste mashed up peas and guess what’s in a dirty mystery diaper. Consider some of these super fun games and activities that everyone will enjoy:

Baby Picture Matching Game

On the invitations, ask everyone to bring a baby picture of him/herself. Hang them up and number them, and then hand out pieces of paper with a corresponding number of spaces to answer. Have each guest then guess whose baby picture belongs to whom. A fun twist on this game is to print out unique celebrity baby names and have your guests try to guess the celebrity parents.

Who’s got the genes?

Create a list of traits or attributes you’d like your baby to have. This could include intelligence, a sense of humor, common sense, good hair, etc. Then, pass out this list to each guest and have them write down from which parent they think the child would inherit each trait. Be ready and able to laugh at yourselves with this one.

Community Blanket

A common activity is to have guests decorate a plain onesie that you can then use and be reminded of your loved ones. A similar idea that your baby won’t grow out of is to supply squares of fabric on which each guest writes a message or decorates. These squares are then sewn together into a baby blanket that won’t endure the same diaper blowouts and growth spurts that personalized onesies go through.

Take pictures

It’s not enough to assume you’ll take pictures. Actually designate someone to do so, because you will likely get caught up in conversation, gift-opening, and game-playing that you’ll forget to take any yourself.  Pre-arrange for someone with a nice camera to take nice photos, both candid and posed, and make sure you get one with every guest so you can remember and cherish the event clearly for years to come.

Host the shower in a temperature-controlled venue

Let’s not forget – you’re pregnant. Even if it’s a gorgeously warm spring day or a mild early-autumn afternoon, play it safe and have the baby shower indoors. Your guests may be more resilient to the heat or the cold, but hot flashes are not pretty when you’re in your third trimester, and trying to play games and eat while staying bundled up will be miserable.

Consider opening gifts later

If there is a mountain of gifts, opening them could take a while and not be very enjoyable for your guests. As each gift is dropped off, make sure it is labeled so you can send thank-you notes and nobody is forgotten, but make the day about having a good time celebrating with all of your guests.

Make plenty of food

Maybe most importantly is to provide plenty of food and a good variety. A buffet-style spread of sweet treats and salty snacks, water, and other beverages, and of course a cake, is a good plan. Consider creating a “pregnancy craving” table where you set out plenty of all of the foods you’ve been craving. Your guests will have fun indulging, and of course, you’ll be satisfied with all of your favorite foods.

 

What games or activities made your baby shower a hit?

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8 Unique Baby Shower Gifts

So you’re invited to a baby shower, but you’re in a little bit of a baby shower gift rut. Have no fear! We’re here to help you out. Below are eight unique baby shower gifts, with options that work with every budget. Let’s get started…

1. Professional photography session 
Since it can be a bit pricey, a professional photography session is a great option for a group gift. Purchase a session from a local photographer (bonus points if you already know her favorite) to capture her baby’s first year of life, including newborn photos, six-month photos and one-year-old photos.

2. Photo book gift card
If a photographer isn’t in your budget, another unique gift idea is a photo book gift card. Chatbooks is a great service, because it makes the process of creating photo books quick and seamless.

3. Instant camera and film
Isn’t it great that instant cameras have made a comeback? My sister brought her Fujifilm INSTAX camera to the hospital when she delivered, and captured some beautiful images of her child right after birth. She continues to document her daughter in this way, and showcases the images in a changeable photo display, similar to this.

4. Meal delivery service
Dinner prep can be stressful, especially right after having a baby. To help alleviate this stress for the new mama and her partner, you can purchase a meal service for a month or two. Green Chef is a wonderful option that features an organic, diverse menu. Alternatively, if you’d rather make meals yourself, and know others that would like to do the same, online scheduling services like Meal Train can also be effective. That way, you can sign up for slots, and the gift recipient will be able to see when meals are coming in.

5. Babysitting and/or cleaning coupons 
Service-oriented gifts make a big impact, and are a great option if you have a limited budget. Offering babysitting services for a few date nights would be much appreciated, and who wouldn’t want to have a little help cleaning the house?

6. Postpartum doula service
Helping to secure a postpartum doula could be a good idea for any recovering mama, but especially one who had a C-section or otherwise difficult delivery. Because a gift like this involves hiring a caretaker, it might be a good idea to consult the intended mama and her partner before you decide to go this route.

7. Stroller caddy 
Whether it’s to hold a baby bottle or a caffeinated beverage for the new mama, a stroller caddy is a must-have. So if you know what drinks or treats she likes, think about adding a few bonus items inside the caddy for her to discover when she opens it.

8. Postpartum survival items 
Whether it’s perineal or breast pads, or an organic postpartum recovery kit, think of getting something that helps mama feel better after she has baby. Also, she probably wouldn’t be mad if you included a little Ben & Jerry’s on the side.

What are your favorite unique baby showers gifts to give/receive?

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