How to Host a Baby Shower
Every mother-to-be needs a baby shower, or two or three. Not only is it important to help expectant parents stock up on cute stuff and necessities, but getting friends and family together for a shower is a great show of support.
Who Hosts and Who Attends?
Anyone can host a baby shower. If the Mother-to-Be has many friends a few smaller showers are probably going to be better than one huge one. You can only ooh and ah over newborn outfits for so long. When you're expecting a baby you want all the support you can get and there's nothing wrong with multiple showers. Just make sure you check with Mommy-to-Be to avoid any scheduling conflicts.
Baby showers are not just for girls - plan accordingly. A lot more people are getting in on the fun of baby showers today. There are plenty of co-ed showers and even a few Daddy Showers (where I presume guests give advice on how to avoid the late night diaper change! Sorry guys...) Open your mind when deciding what type of shower you'd like to give.
Where, When and How?
Showers are typically held 6-8 weeks before baby is scheduled to arrive.
Where you shower is up to you. Homes are traditional, but restaurants work too. If you're getting co-workers together who escape to separate suburbs at night, a conference room is as good a place as any.
The shower you host is going to be a reflection of your personality and your relationship to the parents. For invitations, decorations, and food do what comes naturally. You can go all out and create frame-worthy handmade invitations and spend hours on the perfect cake or you can whip up an Evite and call your local bakery. Whatever route you choose, sticking to a theme will make your life easier.
To Game or Not to Game?
The baby shower may be the last appropriate venue for cheesy party games. It's up to the hostess and Mommy-to-Be to decide if games are right for the crowd. Games can be a ton of fun and can help to break the ice especially in a group where not everyone knows each other. My favorite co-ed shower game involves the Daddy-to-Be tasting various baby foods and trying to identify their ingredients. Cruel for him, but fun for everybody else!
Here is a comprehensive list of baby shower games (free).
Party favors always make a nice impression on guests. You can make your own, or if you're like the rest of us and short on time, buy premade baby shower favors to match your theme.
The shower is not only about the gifts, but it's a lot about the gifts. Find out what the parents want and need and then try to coordinate that. It may be as simple as listing their baby registry on the invitation or letting people know they are only asking for diapers. Some people have so many things already from older children or from family members that more cute clothes are the last thing they need. Some people may have a dream crib in mind that's way beyond their budget. You might consider organizing a group gift. Even lesser items like car seats and swings can get pretty expensive so you may want to suggest people get together to purchase certain items.
Make sure you keep track of gifts and givers at the shower to make thank you note writing easier.