Baby showers can either be a fun time of celebrating both the new mom and new child, or they can be a bore where guests keep checking their watches. Your planning will make all the difference in the world. Below are a few tips to get your heading down the right path.
Pick a Theme:
You should start by thinking about the mom-to-be and what she likes. Then consider a theme that you can plan around. Does the new mom already know what the nursery is going to look like? Or does she have wonderful childhood memories that would be fun to relive? Get creative, but not too complicated. For example, if the nursery is going to be filled with woodland animals and designs, make games and food themed to nature and the woods. Or if the nursery is going to be vintage Paris, have a fun Parisian shower.
Pick a Time:
No one needs to attend a baby shower that is more than 2-3 hours long. People have busy lives and while they want to be part of the celebration, they don't want it to take a whole day of their short weekend. Plan games and activities that can start while people are still enjoying their food. Then if you choose to, have the mom to be open gifts and then say thank you and good-bye. You should also make sure you aren't scheduling the shower during weekend prime time. For example, Sunday afternoons are generally better than Saturday night!
Pick your Menu:
Your theme will help you choose your menu. First you should decide if you are going to do fingers foods or more of a meal. Then choose what foods you are going to have. The current season will also play a part in this decision. Spring and summer call for lighter fair than fall and winter. If you have chosen a Parisian theme, go with French food. Some ideas include chicken cordon blue bites, mini croque monsieur, French onion tart and macrons. Or if the theme is woodland creatures, you can make the food a little more rustic and less pretty. For example, chicken and steak on a stick, rustic tomato tart, wild mushroom salad and balsamic roasted carrots. Whatever you choose, don't over do it with the number of choices. It will drive you crazy. Depending on the size of the party four to five choices, plus a dessert is good.
Pick your Activities:
Just as with your menu, don't overdo the number of activities you have planned. You don't keep to keep people busy every moment of the shower. Pick two to four activities that people will really enjoy doing. It is also a good idea to mix up organized activities with ones people can do on their own. For example have a onesie decorating table and then play an organized game of baby item Price is Right. Or have a station where everyone can write down the worst piece of parenting advice they ever received and play a game of baby shower bingo. There are so many game ideas online. Before you pick out what you want to do, ask yourself "Will guests roll their eyes when I explain this game". It is a good test for which games not to do. Like smelling baby food that is smeared in diapers.
It's OK to include the mom-to-be in your planning process, unless she has asked you to just do it all. She may have specific things that she doesn't want or pregnancy food aversions that you need to stay away from during the shower. Just remember that in all your planning, you should plan for some down town. People want to mingle and just catch up. They don't need to play games and eat the entire time! You are now ready to send out those invitation and have a wonderful shower that everyone will enjoy!