Can anyone throw a baby shower?
Usually someone who’s not a relative throws the shower to avoid giving the impression that the family is asking for presents. Practically speaking, this means anyone except the mum-to-be and dad-to-be. However, often it’s less clear-cut than that.
The best advice is to go with what feels right. You or any relative, close friend or work colleague should feel perfectly happy about planning your baby shower.
When should the baby shower happen?
Any time after conception is fine, but most mums-to-be appreciate a shower later in pregnancy. By then, she can sure that all is going well. And a party can be a welcome diversion as the months tick by. Besides, it makes it seem more real if the mum-to-be is touting a big belly.
Before setting a date for the party, talk to guests you really want to be there. They may be able to warn you about any prior commitments.
You may also have to take into account the prior commitments of grandparents, if you want them to come too. Nothing is worse than planning a party and sending out invitations, only to find that the most important people can’t make it.
If you decide to have your shower after your baby is born, that’s fine, too. Then guests can bring gifts specific to your baby’s sex. And with a newborn baby to fuss over, there will be lots to talk about!
Where should we hold the baby shower?
You need to consider the location before deciding on how many people to invite. Ideally, the party shouldn’t be held at the mum-to-be’s house. It’s not fair for her to have to worry about cleaning up before everyone arrives and after they’ve gone. If the mum-to-be does want to be at home, you could ask a few of the invitees if they’ll stay behind to help clear up.
Or ask around to see if anyone else is prepared to host the event at their home. If not, think of booking a room at a community hall or local club.
What kind of invitations are right for a baby shower?
You can send traditional invitations by post, or email invitations.
Make the theme of the shower clear on the invitation, as well as including the basic who, what, where, when, and RSVP instructions.
You may have registered with a baby shop or department store and have a nursery list guests can view. If so, mention that, too. Or you can offer the information when guests reply.
Plan to send invitations out early enough to give the guests at least a few weeks’ notice. This should give them enough time to work the shower into their calendar and shop for the perfect present.
What should we do at the baby shower?
Before finalising your activities, consider the following:
- You may want to choose a theme to tie everything together. Although it’s not necessary, it can help you make decisions about the various elements of the party and it’s often fun for guests.
- You’ll probably want to serve some kind of food and drink, depending on the time of day, your budget, and how formal or casual you want the shower to be.
- Baby showers usually aren’t complete without some fun or silly games. But don’t worry if your guests aren’t the competitive types, there are plenty of other kinds of activities to keep them entertained.
- It’s common to give a goody bag to everyone who attends a baby shower, or you can just offer individual prizes to guests who win games.
How big should the budget be?
If you don’t want to pay for the whole thing yourself, the best way to cover the cost is to ask each guest to chip in. When working out how much it might add up to, factor in the following:
- The main gift, if you all want to contribute to a bigger, combined present.
- Food, drinks, paper plates, cups, plastic knives and forks.
- Going-home goody bags.
- Prizes for games.
- Venue hire.
Who should be on the invitation list for the baby shower?
If you’re hosting the shower, you probably have a good idea of who you want to invite. However, if someone else is organising your shower for you, make sure they consult you before finalising the guest list. That way you’ll avoid leaving out someone important or inviting someone you would rather not include.
Can I throw a shower for the mum-to-be and dad-to-be?
Although many baby showers are still for women only, baby showers for both women and menare becoming more popular. It really depends on the type of party you’re planning.
If the shower is for a second or subsequent baby, the guest list is often made up of close friends and family and anyone else the mum-to-be or dad-to-be wants to include.
A word of caution: think long and hard before deciding to throw a surprise party. If the parents-to-be don’t like surprises, they may feel awkward and the party may not be as memorable as you’d hoped.
Unless you’re sure they’d appreciate your clandestine efforts, it’s safer to let them in on the arrangements. That way you can be confident that the stars of the baby shower will be pleased with the outcome.
Get even more great baby shower tips:
- How to keep your guests entertained.
- Brilliant pregnancy-safe party food ideas.
- Inspiring photos of baby shower themes.
- Innovative invitation ideas.