This tradition that started in the USA has become popular around the world. Generally organized during the 8th month of pregnancy, you can also celebrate the arrival of the baby after the birth. The purpose is to celebrate the future birth (whether or not it is the first child). It also allows everybody to get together before the new mom focuses all of her attention on the new baby. Although it has traditionally been an all-female affair, it is more and more common for men to join in the celebration.
Where do you start?
Obviously, you must plan the place and the date of the event. Some prefer to celebrate at home, others at a friend's place, and many choose a reception room, depending on the number of guests.
When everything is decided, the next step is to prepare an invitation to send to the guests. If you have chosen a theme for the baby shower, you can base the invitation on that. Do not forget to indicate the date, location, the theme, as well as advising if there is a baby shower list. Recently, toy stores have begun to offer this service, which allows guests to give gifts that the mother has pre-selected.
How Much to Budget?
To avoid having to pay for everything, the best way to cover the costs is to ask each guest to collaborate. When determining the amount to ask, keep in mind the costs of:
- Invitations and postage
- Food Paper or plastic dishes (if you go that route)
- Games and activities
- Surprise packages
- Rental costs for the room
Some tips for reducing the cost of the party: send invitations by email (which is also easier to manage!); ask everyone to bring a dish and to lend the cutlery and plates if you do not have enough.
What Theme to Choose?
The theme ties all the aspects of the baby shower together. Invitations, décor, games, and even food will reflect the chosen theme. Here are some suggestions, but let your imagination have free reign!
- Seasonal theme
- Colour Theme: pink or blue are obvious, but why not choose your own favourite colour?
- Nostalgic theme: candies, pets, or cartoons from your childhood
- Twins or triplets theme (if that's the case)
- Mom's favourite craft or passion theme
- Musical theme: fan of rap or country music?
- Why not make that the theme of the party!?
- A country theme for a globetrotting mother or an adopted child
- Cravings theme… in recognition of the cravings that marked the pregnancy (chocolate, ice cream...)
What to Do During the Event?
The tradition is to play games that revolve around the baby, the birth, and the chosen theme. If you want to plan activities for the party, make sure you consider the mother. Let's agree that bungee jumping and snowmobiling are not the best choices for the occasion! Save those for another time...
A photo sequence of the new mom with different accessories and surrounded by her friends is a great way to mark the event for posterity! You might also get the guests to participate in a yoga session or invite somebody to massage the head of each guest.
What Do You Bring to a Baby Shower?
Gifts for the baby, of course (all the better if the mother has created a baby shower gift list) but also (and especially?) some things for the new mom: body care, massage, exfoliation, baskets of bath products, personalized towels, a coupon good for an evening or an afternoon of babysitting the newcomer, everything that might help to pamper the mom... think about giving what you would like to receive!
What to Eat?
Again, the choices are many: to hire a caterer, to prepare everything yourself, or ask everybody to bring their best recipe. There are no fixed rules!
One thing of which we must be careful: it is a party for a pregnant woman and there will most likely be other expecting women present (there can be a real affinity between the mother and other women sharing the same experience!). So outlaw beef carpaccio and steak tartare, and wash the fruits and vegetables well... and to prevent listeriosis: no smoked salmon, cold cuts, or raw milk cheese... Of course, serve a virgin punch!
For lunch, the simplest method is to plan a buffet and ask each guest to bring a dish. You can choose between raw vegetables, savoury cakes, salads, quiches, pizza, terrines, pies… in short, all dishes.
And for dessert, you can think of cakes and pies, but also fruit salad, chocolate mousse... and thousands of candies!
There is the traditional baby shower cake, usually in the form of a mountain of layers and a nipple... it is readily available at the corner bakery. Homemade cakes are also welcome!
Think about taking pictures and sharing them with us on your blog or a Baby shower forum.
So that the future mother enjoys her baby shower from A to Z: do the dishes and some cleaning before leaving!
Above all, have fun, spend the time in conviviality, exchange, and sharing: Happy Baby Shower!