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Planning a Baby Shower

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 16 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
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Hosting a baby shower requires a number of tasks. You must assemble a guest list, send invitations, decorate the party room, arrange for refreshments, and once the party is happening, you must see that everyone is having a good time. It sounds like a lot to do, but if you break it up into small segments, you'll find that it's quite manageable.

Guest List and Invitations

Typically, you should invite close relatives of both the mother-to-be and the father-to-be. Additionally, friends and coworkers are often included. If the shower is not intended to be a surprise party, it is a good idea to have the parents-to-be look over the guest list to make sure that no one has been forgotten. Although baby showers have been all female parties in the past, today, many parties are planned to include men, too. Be sure to ask the prospective parents about their preferences.

Ideally, try to get invitations mailed about a month before the shower. Most people are quite busy these days and if you hope to have a good turn out, you have to give people plenty of notice. It is always a good idea to request RSVPs so that you can plan for sufficient refreshments.

Location and Refreshments

If you have the space, you can always host the party in your home. If, however, the guest list is large, you will probably need to make alternate arrangements. Rental halls are an affordable option for many people; most are available on a by-the-hour basis. They are often pretty basic rooms, so you will have to schedule time to decorate and allow time for clean up after the guests have gone home. Often, when you rent a hall you need to prepare or cater in your own food, since they are unlikely to offer refreshments. If you'd like to make it a bit easier, many restaurants have packages for baby showers, whether it be for brunch or a luncheon. Most will offer a variety of menu selections so that you can tailor the party to your choosing. Be sure to ask about dessert since oftentimes, it is not included in the package price. Traditionally, baby showers are all-women affairs, so you definitely do not want to skimp on the sweets!

Games

At most baby showers, guests are expected to participate in a few baby-themed games. They may be silly, but they are also part of the fun. Here are a few ideas:
  • Baby Picture Game: Ask each guest to provide you with a baby picture of themselves in advance of the party. Place each picture on a numbered board to display at the shower. Provide guests with a numbered page on which they are to guess the identities of the babies. The person with the most correct guesses wins. It may be helpful provide your guests with name tags if there are people in attendance who do not know each other.

  • Hush Game: Upon arrival, give each guest an inexpensive bracelet to wear (party supply stores sell a nice assortment). Instruct all guests to try not to use the word "baby." If a guest overhears another person saying "baby," they get to take their bracelet. The person with the most bracelets at the end of the party wins.

Party Favours

Party favours can be purchased at party supply stores (there are a number of good ones online) or can be homemade. Favours do not need to be expensive, but they should be well thought out. Here are a few tips:
  • Since the favours will probably be placed at each setting, be sure that they are not too large. You don't want to obstruct the view at the tables.
  • Small picture frames make wonderful favours, and can serve as place markers, too. Simply insert a card with each guest's name printed nicely on it into the frame where the photo will go. Place the frames at each table to let guests know where they are seated.
  • Candles, pretty soaps, or scented lotions are always well received favours. Simply bundle them in netting and tie with ribbon for a festive look.
  • Sweet treats, from homemade cookies to specialty candies make delicious favours. Party supply stores sell a nice variety of treat bags for just this purpose. Don't be surprised if your tasty favours are gobbled up during the shower, however.

Making Memories

Be sure to take plenty of photos and then you can assemble them into a nice album as a gift for the parents-to-be. Another great gift idea would be to purchase a high quality blank book to pass around at the shower. Ask each guest to write a message or a bit of advice. At the shower's conclusion, you can present the book to the mother-to-be.

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