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So you’ve offered to throw a baby shower for your best friend, and you don’t know how to begin planning it. With all the different themes and locations to choose from, you’re bound to find the right type of baby shower to plan. Informative baby books and the Internet are great resources to find all the information you need to put on a memorable shower.
It is widely accepted that close friends throw the baby shower for a mom to be. It is generally frowned upon for a mother or close female relative to be the hostess, but it is becoming more accepted for her to co-host or to organize. Baby showers are typically held one to two months prior to the birth to accommodate a potentially early arrival. Some cultures, however, prefer to throw a baby shower after the baby has arrived.
In the early stages of planning a baby shower, the hostess should create the guest list, determine the location and budget, and set a date. The guest list should include the family and close friends of the mother and father-to-be. Sometimes, co-workers are invited as well. The future parents should always be consulted on the guest list to avoid inviting the wrong people or leaving out the right ones.
Approximately one month before the baby shower, the hostess should begin considering what the theme of the baby shower will be. A more traditional baby shower will focus on building the baby’s layette, which is the newborn’s collection of clothing. A nursery shower will help to build the baby’s nursery with all the essentials, such as cribs, swings, and bathtubs.
For the couple who likes to do everything together, there’s the option of the co-ed shower. The guest list for this type of shower usually consists of couples, or male and female friends of the couple. Because men tend to shy away from the more traditional, frillier shower activities, co-ed showers more focused around socializing and celebrating the impending change in the couple’s life. A barbecue is a popular co-ed shower choice.
For women who already have one or more older children, a baby “sprinkle” is another choice. These mothers usually have all the baby gear and necessities, as well as hand-me-downs from the first babies, so they don’t need all the traditional baby shower gifts. In this case, many hostesses throw diaper showers, where guests bring diapers or other usable necessities. In any case, no matter what number the baby is, a newborn is cause for celebration. Some subsequent babies can be celebrated with a brunch or luncheon, minimizing baby gifts and games.
Two to four weeks prior to the baby shower, the hostess should put the invitations in the mail. For crafty types, handmade baby shower initiations are popular, but store bought ones do the job just as well. They should include the name of the mother-to-be, location, date and time, the hostess’ name(s), the theme, the sex of the baby if known, and RSVP information.
In the month before the shower, decorations should be ordered, as well as the cake. Make sure that you have all the tables and chairs you need to accommodate all the guests. Finalize the menu of the baby shower, and purchase all the cups, utensils, and plates.
Just about every baby shower has games, so plan yours about two weeks prior to the party. Some popular games include the baby food game, in which one identifies food through the jar; baby bingo, using the letters of a baby’s name; and the poopy diaper game, where chocolate bars are melted into disposable diapers, then identified. It is traditional to award prizes to the winners of the games.
The menu of a baby shower usually consists of finger foods and snack foods, but it can be as involved and lavish as the budget allows. Formal teas, brunches, and barbecues are favorite themes for a baby shower menu as well. Be sure to provide plenty of beverages that are appropriate for the setting.
The day of the baby shower can be stressful, but with careful planning, it should go off without a hitch. As the guests arrive, it is the job of the hostess to greet them. Two to four games at the beginning are great for breaking the ice. After everyone is settled, make sure they all know where the food and drinks are.
Showers usually run about two hours, just enough time for some games and visiting. Shower favors, while not a requirement, are a nice thing to give to guests. Since there will likely be a lot of gifts, make sure that there is someone who can help the mother-to-be load and transport them to her waiting nursery.