The Perfect Baby Shower Ideas, Games, and Planning
Avoid hosting a boring or disaster baby shower. A baby shower is a significant celebration that should be well-planned far enough in advance to eliminate any potential issues or problems.
clashgraphics.com gathered baby shower ideas, fun and inclusive games, and details how to plan for this incredible celebration of life.
Baby Shower Ideas
Baby showers can accommodate any number of guests and take place almost anywhere. The following are some considerations to help define how you want to put the perfect baby shower together:
Who’s Doing This - Rarely will an expecting mother prepare, plan, and execute her own baby shower. Baby showers are usually planned and hosted entirely by family or close friends, with one person taking the lead.
The expecting mom often serves as a consultant to guide the direction of the shower. Other than that, this is her opportunity to enjoy the love and gifts bestowed by her loved ones.
Choosing the Date - Baby showers are typically held when the expecting mother is at the beginning of the 7th month of her pregnancy. The planning for the baby shower should begin 9 to 10 weeks before the date of the shower.
Once the date and time are set, it’s “go time,” and decisions need to be made.
The Baby Registry - Not often do you have a celebration where you get to choose what kind of gifts your guests bring. Well, a baby shower is one of those celebrations, and the baby registry is what tells your guests what the expecting mom and her baby need. The following are common items found on a baby registry:
• Diaper Bag
• Infant Car Seat
• Changing Table
• Baby Bathtub
• Baby Monitor
• Baby Clothes
• Bibs and Burp Cloths
• Baby Food
• Baby Swing
• High Chair
• Pump (if you plan to breastfeed)
• Milk Storage Bags
• Massage/Spa Day Coupons
• Gift Cards
Find more thoughtful baby gift suggestions on berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/advice/babies/gifts
When you decide what to put on the registry, you can make it accessible to everyone by creating an online profile on a site like babylist.com
The Guests - When you get the guest list from the expecting mother, the following questions should be asked to help form the makeup of the shower:
• Is this shower going to be women-only or co-ed?
• How many additional guests can each person bring (if any)?
• How many guests will be coming from out of town?
• Do any of the guests have food restrictions or allergies?
• Are any of the guests disabled or physically challenged?
• How many of the guests have toddlers or babies?
The importance of knowing the dynamics of your shower’s guests cannot be overstated. The more you know about them, the better your venue and food selection will be.
For example, if several guests are coming from out of town, you can work out a deal for accommodations at a local hotel, and potentially use their event space for the shower.
The Venue - When a baby shower is projected to have a dozen or so attendees, the comfort of your home may be the ideal location. As your guest list grows, take the following venue options into consideration:
• If the mom to be lives in a closed community, check the availability and capacity of their clubhouse or community center.
• A local park may have a recreation area appropriate for events, with tables, restroom facilities, and a covered space (in case of rain). Check with your local Parks and Recreation Department to see if permits are required for such events.
• The restaurants in and around your community may have the space to accommodate large parties. They would likely attend to any food restrictions or allergies. This option comes with the benefit of their staff cleaning up, doing dishes, etc.
• Local lodges usually have meeting rooms or event halls.
• Hotels generally have meeting rooms or event venues that they rent out.
• Event centers with bowling alleys and games for adults and kids (if you choose to allow kids) will have package deals.
• Sometimes people with large wooded or water-front properties will rent their land for parties and events.
Selecting the venue for your baby shower should be a fun process culminating in a selection that reflects the energy and spirit of the expecting mother, family, and friends. Don’t forget to take the venue’s parking accommodations into consideration when making your selection.
Themes for Boys - Oh boy! A fun way to add character to your baby shower is to make it a themed celebration. The following are common themes used for a baby boy’s shower:
• It’s a Boy! (Blue theme)
• Wild West or Cowboys
• Rock Star or Favorite Boy Band
• Baby Under Construction
• Jungle or Wildlife
Invitations, games, decorations, food, and party favors can all be influenced by the theme of the party.
Themes for Girls - Themes for girls can be as diverse, and often are more elaborate than themes for boys. The following are popular themes for a baby girl’s shower:
• It’s a Girl! (Pink theme)
• Favorite Singer or Girl Band
• Flower or Nature
A well-chosen theme adds to the overall baby shower experience and makes the event more memorable for its attendees.
Food Selection and Preparation - Depending on the venue, the theme of the shower, and the number of expected guests, you may need to hire a catering service or rely on the venue’s staff and kitchen facilities.
For those on a budget or that want more control over the food and its preparation, the following are practical ideas that will help you feed your guests:
• Set the time of the shower as not to coincide with lunch or dinner time, and restrict the menu to appetizers and light snacks. If your guests have already eaten, they will consume less food.
• You can make several vegetable platters, fruit platters, cheese and cracker platters, baked appetizers, and salads.
• Make the baby shower a pot-luck event. Invite trusted family members and co-planners to bring dishes, platters, salads, and beverages.
• Baking your own cupcakes and cookies can help you save on the budget and show off your baking and icing skills.
• You can drop the baked goods and provide candy bars for dessert that can also serve as the party favor.
• Ice cream cones and some assorted ice cream flavors make an incredible dessert.
Ultimately, the number of guests will determine the amount of prep work and cooking that must be done. If that number is too high, you may want to consider that the food, or a portion of it be catered. Whatever you decide to serve, make sure it is explicit on the invitations “Appetizers and Beverages Only,” “Come Hungry,” etc.
Baby Shower Games
Let the games begin! Games can be used to keep your guests entertained throughout the shower. The following are some games commonly played at baby showers and can be modified to fit a theme, gender, or however makes the game more inclusive for your guests:
Balloon Birth - Guests place a balloon under their shirt and then try to “push it out” without popping the balloon or using their hands or arms. The first guest to give “birth” to their balloon wins (have your cameras rolling for this one).
Don’t Say Baby - As each guest arrives, they receive a necklace or a pin. Throughout the shower, anytime someone says “baby,” their necklace or pin can be stolen by the person that catches them. The guest with the most necklaces or pins at the end of the shower wins.
Guess How Many - Fill a baby bottle or other container with jelly beans, marbles, or another item of your choice (you need to know how many of the items are in the container).
Leave some loose paper and pencils near the container, and have your guests write down their name and best guess for how many jelly beans/marbles are in the container. The guest with the closest guess wins.
Baby Animal Matchup - In this game, each guest gets a sheet of paper with a list of animals on the left and a mixed-up list of their baby's names on the right.
Give your guests two minutes to match all of the babies to their animal parents. The guest(s) with the most correct matches wins. No cell phones allowed.
Celebrity Baby Matchup - This game is the same as the baby animal matchup but with star couples on the left and their baby’s names mixed up on the right.
Dad Said/Mom Said - Depending on the questions you come up with, this could be the most hilarious moment of the shower. Before the shower begins, print enough questionnaires for all of your guests and complete one of them with responses from the mom and dad to be.
The objective is to get the answer right (worth one point) and guess who’s answer it was (also worth one point.) The guest with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Parent Jeopardy - This game will help you discover who knows the soon to be parents the best. Gather information from the couple like how many siblings they have, where they lived in the past, odd jobs they’ve held, childhood pet names, where they went to elementary school, their nicknames, etc.
Print a list of only the answers and give one to each guest. They have to choose whether it was mom or dad for each of the answers or statements. The guest with the most right answers wins and can claim the title of bestie!
Who’s The Baby - Before the shower, ask a few of the guests to provide an embarrassing baby picture of themselves. Print the pictures with a number and hang them on the wall. Your guests get a numbered piece of paper and must write down the corresponding person to each of the numbers.
Whoever gets the most names correct wins.
Your guests include the people you love and cherish most in the world. The games you select for your baby shower will help keep the laughter rolling throughout the event, while giving something for everyone to remember.
Baby Shower Planning
To plan a successful baby shower, you’ll need to be organized and give yourself enough time to bring your ideas to life. The following timeline allows you to comfortably get everything on your to-do list done and make any necessary course corrections along the way:
Ten Weeks Before the Shower
• Determine who will plan and host the shower
• Appoint one or two assistants to help execute the plan
• Select the date and time of the shower
• Finalize the guest list
• Come up with a flexible budget
• Select the shower venue
• Order the baby shower invitations and matching thank you cards.
This is the time you should meet with the mom-to-be to determine the color scheme, theme, registry items, and any other details she would like woven into your plans.
NOTE: The baby shower invitations should include the parents-to-be and baby’s names, date and time of the shower, venue address, what kind of food will be served “appetizers only,” “come hungry,” etc., the baby registry address, with who, how, and by when to RSVP for the event.
Six Weeks Before the Shower
• Address your invitations for mailing
• Mail your invitations
• Start planning the menu or hire a caterer
• Start planning the decorations and placing orders for items that may take a while to arrive
Take the time to go over the baby registry once more with the mother-to-be to make any additions or alterations before your guests receive their invitations.
NOTE: If you are hiring a caterer, make sure they are aware of and can accommodate any food allergies or restrictions your guests may have.
Four Weeks Before the Shower
• Assign or hire someone to be the official photographer/videographer for the shower
• Reserve rental supplies (tables, chairs, etc.)
• Now is the time to order the cake or cupcakes
• Reserve any necessary accommodations for out of town guests
• Plan the baby shower games (have them printed) and order the game prizes
• Order the baby shower favors
NOTE: If live flowering plants are purchased and used as table settings or decorations, they can also serve as shower favors.
Two Weeks Before the Shower
• Contact RSVP’d guests to see if they need any information, assistance, or accommodations
• Follow up with guests that failed to RSVP
• Confirm all venue, catering, and supply reservations
• Double-check that the cake is ordered and will be delivered on-time
• Assemble baby shower favors and game prizes
• Create your “Day Of” agenda (this is your playbook for the event)
NOTE: This is the time to provide the hotel information to guests coming in from out of town. Allow them ample time to secure or change their reservation.
One Week Before the Shower
• Assign someone to pick up the mother-to-be on the day of the shower
• Assign someone to record the gifts at the shower for the mother-to-be
• Purchase any non-perishable food items
Two to Three Days Before the Shower
• Pick up food and serving supplies or confirm the menu and delivery with the caterer
• Prepare non-perishable food
• Finish shopping for menu items and beverages
• Consult with your assistants or co-hosts to ensure that all tasks and details are complete
NOTE: Use this time to go over your lists and inventory one last time. If anything should be missing or was forgotten, there is still time to make it right.
The Day Before the Shower
• Set up the venue decorations and tables
• Pick up the cake or cupcakes
• Confirm your caterer
• Prepare perishable food items
• Designate a place for the gifts
• Stage gift bags, prizes, and favors
• Stage extra cleaning supplies (baby showers can get messy)
NOTE: This is it, get as much done as possible to free yourself up for the baby shower.
The Day Of The Baby Shower
• Assemble the food and beverages or direct the caterers
• Help everyone get seated
• Enjoy the celebration
Planning a Baby Shower
In this article, you discovered practical and creative baby shower ideas, fun and inclusive games, and a simple timeline to help you plan the perfect baby shower.
By using a few creative tips and following a plan, you can put together a fun and memorable baby shower for the mother-to-be.
Without a solid roadmap or not planning ahead may cause confusion or an overall poor experience on what should be an expecting mother’s precious day.
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