Planning a Baby Shower

I recently attended a baby shower, and was left thinking what a privilege it was to celebrate the new parents and a precious new life. The morning was filled with so much love, heartfelt well wishes and practical advice, with the radiant first-time mother supported by a network of relatives and friends. How wonderful to be celebrated and welcomed into the world in such a festive way!

Planning such an event however, takes time, money and careful planning. So if you are thinking of planning a baby shower for a friend or relative, here are a few words of advice from Sylvia Strauss, events coordinator from Special Events.

Who plans the shower?

Unlike a bridal shower, where the bridesmaids are responsible for planning the bash, with a baby shower there is no definite rule. However it’s usually the sister, a close friend, mother or mother-in-law who will take the lead with the arrangements.

It does help if the person planning the shower lives in the same area as the expectant mother, which will make hosting or finding a venue much easier. However, before you start organising and planning in all earnest, check with the father-to-be to find out if someone hasn’t already started planning a shower. In that case you can always offer to help with other arrangements like the guest list, refreshments or table decor.

How long before the birth should you have the baby shower?

2-3 months before the birth is the best time. Most moms would rather have it a little earlier, rather than later. This way the parents can take stock of what they still need after receiving the gifts from loved ones. It also leaves enough time to finish the nursery before the arrival of the baby.

Baby Shower Themes

A themed baby shower is certainly not compulsory, but it helps to add personality and creates a cohesive look. If the nursery has a theme, then continuing this theme for the baby shower, or choosing a theme that will complement the nursery, is a good idea. Alternatively think about elements or a design that reminds you of the mommy-to-be. Here a few themes to consider:

  • A “Welcome to the World” shower, using globes and a world map design, is the perfect choice for the adventurous mom.
  • “Precious Cargo” is a great theme for a boy, using aeroplane designs and travel elements as decor.
  • For the crafty mom a “Sew Cute” theme, with buttons, thread and sewing bits and bobs can be a lot of fun.
  • Of course any animal design is always a winner, we like sheep, owls, foxes and bunnies.

Baby Shower Games & Activities

The duration and amount of activities on the day depends on the personality of the guest of honour. Some like to play guessing games, or to take part in other activities, and others just really want to spend time with their friends and family.It is a good idea for the hostess to welcome the guests, and to explain the course of events. Usually the gifts are opened after refreshments have been served.

Baby shower game ideas:

  • Each guest has to attach a baby photo of themselves to the gift, and then the mommy-to-be has to guess who the gift is from. This game promises to be heaps of fun.
  • If the gender is unknown, guests can take a guess whether it will be a boy or a girl. You can make it even trickier by asking guests to speculate about the weight, length, hair colour or time of birth of the new bundle, and then announce the winner after the birth.
  • Create a “time capsule” by decorating a glass jar, and asking guests to write a wish or message on a piece of paper, and placing it in the jar. It makes a wonderful keepsake for both mother and child.

Modern Themes

Many couples choose to keep the name and gender of their baby a secret, and then announce it in a creative way on the day of the baby shower. Nowadays, couples baby showers are also very popular, with the dad and his male friends also getting the opportunity to join in the celebrations. A picnic or braai (babyq) is a celebration both mom and dad can enjoy!

Gift Ideas

Guests will be asking the hostess for gift ideas, so encourage the expectant mom to make a wish list or set up a registry. Alternatively, ask some friends who have had babies to make a list of the products that they have found very useful. Also remember to make notes of what each guest gave the new parents, this makes writing thank you cards after the shower much easier.