Planning a Baby Shower? Here are 10 Tips to Help You Win!
There's nothing like getting together with your friends and family, and a baby shower is a perfect excuse for a party and to catch up with your nearest and dearest before the big day (and hopefully get some seriously cute presents for you and the baby!).
But how do you organise one? Here are some tips from experts Lizzie of Tesco Loves Baby and
Lizzie talks about the planning and making the party fun:
- Choose the baby shower invitations
Emails or texts are the easiest options, but getting a pretty invitation in the post is a lovely touch. Larger Tesco stores stock a wide variety of craft items so, if you're feeling creative, make your own.
- Put a date in the diary for the party
Don't leave it too late to have your baby shower just in case your little one puts in an early appearance. One to two months before the due date is a good guide (and gives time to sort through all your gifts and write your thank you cards).
- Think about decorations
Cute ways to decorate the room include hanging dummies from balloons, filling baby bottles with jelly babies or pegging baby clothes, tiny socks and nappies along a string across the room, to take down at the end of the party, ready for the mum-to-be.
- Organise some yummy food and drink
A tea party is perfect for a baby shower – think little sandwiches, crisps, fairy cakes, biscuits and fresh fruit. To make life easy and save money, ask everyone to bring something to eat – and make sure there are soft drinks for mums-to-be and drivers, while other guests could club together and bring a bottle or two of sparkling wine or Champagne to raise a glass to the guest of honour.
- Games to play
Get the party started with some games. Need some inspiration? Here are a three to get you going.
- Buy jars of baby food. Cover the label and ask your guests to taste them and guess what flavour each jar is – harder than it sounds!
- Run sweepstakes to guess the baby's birth date, weight and sex – the winner takes all once the baby arrives!
- Ask your guests to bring along a photo of themselves as a baby or toddler. As they arrive, pop the pictures into a box. Later on, pass the box around and take turns at guessing who's who.
- Precious memories
Buy a pretty notebook and ask the guests to write messages or words of wisdom to the mum-to-be. She might not take your advice, but it should make her laugh. For a really thoughtful gift, ask all the guests to buy a copy of their favourite childhood book to start a little library for the new baby.
Ask guests to bring baby or toddler photos of themselves and take turns at guessing who’s who!
Liz Taylor of the celebrity event management company, the Taylor Lynn Corporation (www.tlc-ltd.co.uk), and she is often asked to advise or organise Baby Showers on behalf of her clients.
“The Baby Shower is definitely becoming more popular here in the UK and, what was once a US phenomenon, is now definitely seen as the norm,” says celebrity party planner Liz Taylor of the Taylor Lynn Corporation (www.tlc-ltd.co.uk).
“I think the trend has been led by the whole host of celebrities, many of whom have hosted high profile Baby Showers which end up making it into the pages of celebrity magazines as well as the tabloid newspapers. In all areas of life, we seem to have become increasingly intrigued and inspired by celebrity culture, wanting to not just wear the shoes or carry the bags that our favourite stars are wearing, but also to try and emulate their lifestyles.”
Traditionally, women who were expecting a baby could perhaps enjoy a few gifts in advance of birth from close friends and family. Granny would be busy knitting lemon matinee jackets while the dad to be would spend hours pottering in the shed as he knocked up a crib or wooden toy truck to welcome his offspring’s arrival in the world. For working women, colleagues might have clubbed together to buy a shared gift and some flowers which would be presented to her on her last day at work before going off on maternity leave.
“But times are changing fast,” says Liz. “And today’s mum to be, as well as her excited friends, often expects a lot more. The Baby Shower is now seen as a must for many pregnant woman.”
Liz offers the following advice when looking to organise a Baby Shower for yourself or a friend:
- Think carefully about the venue. The guest of honour’s home is an obvious choice but think about the work involved not only before but also after the event. The last thing a heavily pregnant woman wants is to have to clear up after a party.
- Consider hiring a venue such as a restaurant or hotel. That way someone else does all the hard work while you and your friends relax and enjoy this very special occasion. Just make sure its somewhere with plenty of comfy seating.
- Many Baby Showers have a theme but try to keep it classy rather than trashy. Paris Hilton chose The Wizard of Oz for Nicole Ritchie’s baby shower, Britney Spears hosted a Moroccan themed baby shower before the birth of her second son Jayden and George Michael and his partner Kenny Goss hosted a classic afternoon tea party for pregnant friend Geri Halliwell.
- The best time to arrange a Baby Shower is around 4 – 8 weeks before the bay is due. If you are organising a Shower for a work colleague, the perfect time to hold the event is on their last day at the office.
- Think carefully about food and drink. Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and consider serving a selection of tempting healthy snacks and indulgent cakes to nibble on rather than a formal sit down meal.
- Make it fun – most American Baby Showers feature a game or two to get the party going. Invite guests to send in a picture of themselves as a baby in advance and then get everyone to match the baby to the guest. Buy some Play Dough and ask guests to make their own babies with a cute prize for the winner.
- If you are organising a Baby Shower for a friend make sure you consult with her (or if it’s a surprise with her partner, mum or other close friend or relative) so you don’t miss anyone off the guest list.
- Consider investing in a nappy cake. Yes really! A must at any American Baby Shower the nappy cake is becoming more and more popular in the UK with several companies now offering these actually rather delightful decorative centrepieces which are made using rolled (clean) nappies as a base then decorated with anything from flowers and chocolates to teddy bears, baby clothes and bottles of champagne or wine.
- Put together a Baby Shower list – that way, instead of being inundated with an excess of cute newborn outfits you can stock up on other essential items in advance of the birth. Of course, depending on your guests, the list could include items from Baby Dior or Versace Young, Baby Gap or even Primark.
- A sentiments book is a lovely thing to have at a Baby Shower. Buy a pretty notebook and ask everyone to write a special wish in it as a lasting memory for the parents and child in years to come