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Party Planning 101: Baby Shower Ideas

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Party Planning 101: Baby Shower Ideas

A bundle of joy is on the way. Whether it is your sister, your best friend or a coworker who's expecting, nothing changes life like the arrival of a new baby, and you want to share in the excitement, celebrate and help the parents-to-be with the many supplies a newborn needs. A baby shower is a great way to offer up love and support for the expectant mother and coo and exclaim over adorable, tiny newborn-size outfits.

Unfortunately, baby showers have a reputation for being tedious affairs where the most excitement comes from guessing how big the expectant mother’s belly has grown. If you are planning a baby shower, don’t think you need to stick with outdated or dull games, cream cheese sandwiches and pink and blue balloons. You can throw a shower that celebrates the new baby, while staying true to the mother’s personality.

General Tips

  • Baby showers are generally held a month or so before the baby’s due date
  • Popular baby shower locations include either at the hostess’s home or at a restaurant/community room
  • Most are afternoon affairs, with a light meal of finger foods or desserts and coffee
  • Plan on a couple hours for the event, with most of the time being spent in games, activities and opening gifts
  • Prepare activities that will be fun for guests and mom alike or will create something meaningful for the expectant mother to treasure once the shower is over

Questions To Consider

  • Does she have any special hobbies?
  • Is her nursery decorated along a particular theme?
  • Will men be at the shower, or is it a girls-only event?

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Fill The Freezer: A new baby means exhaustion. Mom is going to be far too busy feeding, changing and kissing her newborn to have time for cooking elaborate meals. If the shower is close to the baby’s due date, ask guests to bring meals that can be frozen, then heated up after the baby arrives. If the shower is early, have guests give a coupon or notecard stating when they will deliver a meal to the new parent’s home.

Parents' Night In: New parents are hard-pressed to get out, especially if they already have other youngsters. Have guests bring entertainment for home enjoyment. DVDs, bottles of wine, board games and gift cards for restaurants that deliver will be much appreciated.

Helpful Coupons: New parents often need help with daily chores more than anything else, especially if they have older children or don’t have parents or family living nearby. Have guests make coupons offering a gift of time or help, redeemable after the baby is born. Some ideas are a couple hours of baby-sitting, delivering groceries, cleaning the house, taking care of laundry or taking the older children to the park or for lunch.

Baby Shower Activity Ideas

A Quilting Bee: Together, the shower guests can create a baby quilt that will be a treasure to hang on the wall near the baby’s crib. Ask a guest who has a sewing machine or quilting skills if she is willing to handle the final assembly. Have 12- by 12-inch squares of cotton fabric available for all the guests, along with fabric paint, small stencils and permanent fabric markers. Everyone is to design a square for the baby’s quilt. Guests can write meaningful phrases and advice or just decorate the fabric with flowers or drawings. Once the shower is over, the squares are sewn into a quilt and then presented to the new mother.

Stroller Derby: If your shower is being held at a home with a backyard, set up an obstacle course in the yard. You can use chairs, bicycles, tires, ladders, boxes or whatever else you have that won’t be a hazard if bumped. Have guests line up, and one by one, race through the course pushing a stroller. The guest with the best time and least bumps is the winner.

What’s That Food? Look over the baby food selection at your local market, and you’ll be amazed at the variety. Purchase several jars of food, making sure to get a good mix of fruits, vegetables, cereals and meats. Provide enough of each type of food so every guest can have a taste. Number the lids of the jars with a permanent marker and then remove the labels. Be sure to make yourself a master list to keep track of what’s what! Give each guest a spoon and a plate. They are to take a small sampling of each jar of food, and then see if they can identify it by taste and smell. Have guests write down their answers, and give a prize to the winner with the most correct.

A baby shower should leave the expectant mom feeling loved and supported, as well as supplied with many of the necessities a newborn requires. Keep your shower fun, as well as useful, with a good mix of guests, food and fun activities that the guests and expectant mother will enjoy.

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