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Throwing a Baby Shower Your Guests Will Remember

Aug 17, 2007
Are you in charge of planning a baby shower? Do you need a baby shower theme? Decorations? Favors? This guide will give you baby shower ideas, whether you are a sister, friend or coworker.

Baby Shower Themes: The first and most difficult thing to do when planning a baby shower is to decide on a theme. After this has been finalized, much of the rest of the shower will plan itself.

There are several ways to pick a theme. A baby shower theme can relate to the mother-to-be and what she needs. It can be a color, a nursery theme, or a specific type of item. For instance, if the nursery is decorated in flowers, the theme could be "A Baby's Garden." If it is decorated in a sports motif, the theme could be the parents' favorite sports team. All the gifts would then coordinate with the room. If the nursery is painted with frogs, the theme could be "Green." This way, the guests can be a little more creative in their giving. Or the theme could be "Bedtime," prompting guests to bring pajamas, blankets, and crib items.

For a second (or third, or fourth) time mother, the theme can be really creative. For someone who already has almost everything they need, a theme such as "Reading," in which everyone brings books for the baby (and maybe for the older children as well) would be a nice change of pace.

Some people do not like to attend showers for second time mothers, because they feel that they have already received what they needed for their first child and are just being greedy. If you feel this may be the case for your guests (such as a group of coworkers), throw a baby shower in which the invitation clearly states not to bring a present. Or spend some money on a nice gift (for instance, a gift certificate to a restaurant, spa, or hotel), and ask that guests bring a specific item (diapers, specific baby food) in exchange for a raffle ticket. They can even bring as many items as they would like in exchange for several tickets. That way, people who wish to be generous can still give the mother-to-be a useful gift, and no one feels obligated to bring anything. At the end of the night, raffle off the prize.

Some other theme ideas include: 1) Look What the Stork is Bringing, 2) Noah's Ark (good for a shower where the guys are invited too!), 3) Alphabet Soup,
4) Blue is for Boy.

Baby Shower Decorations: The decorations should flow from the theme. A color theme is the most flexible and inexpensive, although a specific theme such as "Teddy Bears" will be easy, as you can buy coordinating tablecloths, plates, and napkins.

Keep the decorations simple. Put a nice tablecloth under the cake and spread some confetti rattles around it. Tie some balloons to the buffet or appetizer table. Add some pastel streamers across the living room, and you're done. After all, the focus should be on the mother-to-be.

If you are having the shower at work, the decorations can be even easier. Simply put the cake under a white tablecloth and add a bouquet of balloons. A lunchtime event is perfect for the office. Many of the baby shower ideas will work for any location, indoors or out.

Baby Shower Favors: After the shower, give your guests something to remember it by. Candle holders in the shape of a baby item, such as a rattle or booties, are popular and easy to find online or in a party supply store. Other favor ideas include magnets or candies in a pretty gift box. Of course, let the favors flow from the theme. At a "Tea Party" themed baby shower, guests might receive tea cups and saucers. At a "Pamper Party," an idea increasingly popular for mothers who already have several children and therefore most of the stuff they actually need, they might take home spa accessories such as a loofah or bubble bath.

Baby Shower Schedule: Typically, a baby shower will last approximately two hours. If a full meal will be served, be sure to indicate this on the invitation so guests can plan accordingly. Usually, however, some light appetizers, punch, and cake are all that is needed.

The following is a general idea of a schedule. As your guests arrive, serve them some appetizers, and let them sign a guest book. One idea is to make this an advice book, allowing each guest to write down one piece of advice they would give the new mother. Serve simple appetizers. Two to three dishes are best, along with some cheese, crackers, chips, dip, and fruit. Some ideas for munchies that are easy and can be made ahead of time include: Deviled Eggs (Add salsa and cheddar for a Mexican twist) or Stuffed Mushrooms.
After all your guests have arrived, begin with everyone introducing themselves. This is especially important if this is a mixed shower, with coworkers, friends, and family. Make sure everyone mentions how they know the mother-to-be.

Next, play one or two games. These will serve as icebreakers. Some ideas include: 1) Baby Boggle - See how many baby related words guests can make in three minutes from a sentence such as "I can't believe [Mother-To-Be's Name] is going to have a baby!" or something else silly and fun. Everyone reads their list, crossing off duplicates, and the person with the most words remaining wins or 2) Baby Box - Place some common baby items (rattle, diaper) in a box. Cut a small hand-sized hole in the side. Give each guest 20 seconds to touch as many items as they can (no peeking!), then have them write down what they felt. The person with the most correct words wins. Remember, short is okay, and have fun!

If there is going to be a full meal, now is the time. Generally, a buffet is best, as the guests can eat while the mother-to-be opens her gifts. If there is not going to be a full meal, give everyone some time to get another round of appetizers, then have the guest of honor open her presents.

After the gifts are opened, serve the cake. At this point, the shower is over. Everyone will socialize for as long as they'd like, and the guests will begin to leave. If the time is important (i.e. the host has somewhere she needs to be), be sure to put an end time of the invitations.

Hopefully this gave you enough baby shower ideas to begin brainstorming. Remember to have fun and be relaxed and you'll throw a successful baby shower.
About the Author
Jane Saeman has a Chocolate Fountain catering business.
She goes to lots of parties and comes back with lots of ideas.
Read about them onher blog at my website which is at http://www.ChocolateFountainDecadenceSite.com
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