Baby Shower Ideas and why Homemade is Best
Throwing a baby shower can be a daunting prospect
Your friend is about to have her baby, she is anxious about the birth but cannot wait to meet her bundle of joy. She needs to relax and have fun, chat and giggle and maybe even pretend for one afternoon that she's still a perfect size 10. It's the last time she will have a good sleep for several months, dress up and wear makeup and have a conversation with an adult for longer than five minutes without being interrupted by baby. As a best friend you want to make her baby shower special, so you think about all the things your friend loves to do. You need to make it fun and memorable, but remember she is 8/9 months pregnant so bowling might not be the best idea!
If your friend is anxious about the birth its best not to repeat horror birth stories, and try to brief your guests on that fact too. Even the most relaxed mothers to be don’t really want to hear about emergency caesareans and episiotomies whilst trying to eat a scone and drink a non alcoholic glass of bubbly. Other Mum's will want to share stories so make sure it's positive, let everyone know that the day is all about your friend and making her happy and relaxed. If you have the disposable money it's great to hire in staff, caterers, beauty therapists and entertainment, but I think your friend will love the personal touch much more. To know that all of your closest friends have taken the time to liaise with one another and prepare food, think about and make games, decided on a theme and decorate the venue will be the icing on the cake. If it’s a surprise shower she will delight in knowing that a fair amount party espionage has taken place too.
Venue & Theme
First things fist, make a list of guests and decide on a venue. If there are two of you organising the party the load is shared and it will make things easier. Then decide on a theme and a date. Holding the shower at your own house is always a good idea, don’t hold it at your pregnant friends house, she will have spent an awful lot of time there already and is about to spend even more, so a change of scenery will be much appreciated. If the shower is to be a surprise then firm the date with the Mum to be and pretend that it is just going to be two of you for a lovely lunch or dinner. Tell her it’s somewhere up market so that she dresses up and then it should be easy to get her to the party venue where of course everyone is waiting to yell ‘surprise’. By the way, don’t do this too close to the due date, I’m sure it wouldn’t induce labour but a total shock isn’t something your friend will necessarily thank you for.
A theme helps you bring everything together such as decorations food and drinks. A great sure fire hit is ‘Harrod's High Tea', it ticks all the boxes and allows each guest to make a dish each thus taking the pressure off you and involving everyone in the party preparations. I have a lovely Cath Kidson cake stand, perfect for scones, cakes and petit fours (a small French fancie or biscuit). Then add tea, some savoury dishes such as cucumber sandwiches and for the non pregnant ladies, and maybe Mum to be, a glass of Prosecco (which I actually prefer to Champagne). Decorations can be easily sourced from party shops and balloons always work well. Seasonal flowers dotted around also make a lovely addition and make your venue smell wonderful. Try and get flowers colour themed to the baby’s sex and if you don’t know the sex of the baby then yellows, oranges, whites and green foliage look wonderful. You can buy party kits on Amazon or eBay or from any good party shop, and they are not too expensive. As for games, you can also buy packs but I have found them rather lacking. Instead spend a little time on Google and put together your own baby quiz – a great one is a quiz on famous people’s baby names. The Internet is awash with baby facts and readymade quizzes which you can mix and match and make your quiz more personal to your friend and her guests. Baby quizzes are always won by the Mum’s team so adding something a little more mainstream for those without kids evens the playing field and means that fun is had by all.
Jane's Baby shower success
The images to the right are from my very good friend Jane’s baby shower in October 2011. My co conspirator, Hannah, and I decided to make it a surprise, actually quite dangerous as her due date was only a few weeks away. Our ruse was to tell her that we would watch the film ‘Bridesmaids’ whilst doing our nails and eating cakes, just the three of us. Of course when Jane arrived, Hannah’s house was full of all her good girlfriends that had all dutifully arrived with wonderful homemade dishes and presents for the Mum to be. Jane was suitable surprised and delighted and even had a few tears. The theme was Harrods High Tea, the decorations in neutral greens, creams and yellows as we didn’t know the sex of baby Street. Balloons and flowers adorned the living room and an entire range of nail varnishes were laid out ready for DIY manicures and pedicures.
The food was devoured, bottles of bubbly uncorked and not a single cup of tea made. We had non alcoholic chardonnay for Jane and she had a single bottle of Cornona with a slice of lime – her favourite drink, the rest of us made light work of several bottles of Prosecco. Then nails were French polished, hair curled or straightened and dressed, make up applied and a fair amount of singing into hairbrushes followed. We had a Chinese lantern, which we all signed with our good wishes for Baby Streets life ahead, and set it off into the street (with a near disastrous crash into a local bush), but once unhooked it floated away into the night sky carrying with it our love for the new baby.
A homemade group effort is definitely best; it shows how much you care and makes for a wonderful and memorable baby shower.
Baby Shower Decorations
Petit fours recipe
- BBC - Food - Petit fours recipes
A small French fancy biscuit or cake often served at the end of a meal. Strictly speaking they are oven-baked little cakes (‘four’ is French for...