This Baby Shower blog is written by Erin. She is a Mum of two, wife and Primary School teacher as well as the Owner of Nappy Cakes by Erin and the Founder of CELEBRATE PLAY. She lives a very busy, yet simple and enjoyable life in Sydney. Her greatest passions are family, organisation, gift-giving, helping others, celebrating events and most of all lifelong learning. You can find her at Nappy Cakes By Erin, or at Celebrate Play.
It is no secret that I love a celebration – from creating, hosting, planning and also enjoying one as a guest to helping others plan one. So with that, look in a bit closer because today I am sharing my top ten organizational and planning secrets so you can create a baby shower that is pretty, practical and most of all AMAZING!!
When it comes to life’s biggest events they don’t get much bigger than the birth of a baby. To honor these new beginnings, all you need is a plan with a spot of creativity and a sprinkling of personal touches to create a pretty, practical and SPECIAL baby shower.
Let the celebration begin!!
SECRET #1. CHOOSE A THEME
Choosing a theme is an ideal starting point for planning most events. It provides the host with a sense of direction and also helps dictate the budget when purchasing decorations, food, gifts, party favours and games. Hence, we recommend choosing themes that are versatile, meaning they can be mixed and matched to create themes in the future for birthdays, baby sprinkles/showers for subsequent children.
Some of our favourite versatile themes are:
* Trains, planes, and automobiles
* Jungle safari
* Ahoy it’s a boy (nautical theme)
* Lil’ man
* Colour or pattern theme
* Baa Baa Baby (sheep theme)
* BaBEE and Mummy to BEE (bumblebee theme)
* Splish Splash (water and bath theme)
* Rubber duckie (duck, water and bath theme)
* Peas in a pod (multiple births theme)
* Ready to pop (Cake pops, popcorn)
* Humpty Dumpty or another nursery rhyme theme
* Bedtime Stories ( Book theme)
* Baby Q (co-ed baby shower barbeque style)
* Layette ( clothesline and baby clothes theme)
* Hollywood theme (a star is born)
* Colour or pattern theme
* Sugar and spice
* Breakfast at Tiffany’s
* Vintage Rose
* Tea Party
* Pampering Mummy
* Tutu Cuteness
* Colour or pattern theme
SECRET #2 CREATE A GUEST LIST
Check with the Mum to be, which guests she would like to invite. Make a list (traditional pen and paper list for snail mail invites and a digital list for e-invitations) with their names and addresses (residential or email pending type of invitation). In addition to that, be mindful of your guests’ needs and make notes on this list as it will help dictate the choice of venue. After all, the venue needs to cater for your guests.
SECRET #3 CHOOSE A VENUE
Where should you hold your baby shower? Things to consider: time of year, time of day, physical space, facilities, the number of guest and most of all, budget.
Hosting in your home or a family or friends home is intimate and budget friendly.
If you have a big guest list and budget, consider a hosting in a park, restaurant or function room.
SECRET #4 SELECT INVITATIONS
Now that you have a theme, choosing invitations should be relatively easy. You may opt for digital invitations which are great for budget friendly showers or stick with the tradition of mailed invites. Another option is you may try for a mix of both based on your guest’s preference/situation.
In the cake factory, we have used Etsy’s digital instant downloads and printed the invites at our local print store or in some cases at home, depending on what our desired effect was. This year we have discovered Print and Party and have used their service. It has been an incredibly easy and stress-free process and I look forward to receiving our digital files. Click here www.printandparty.com.au to view their gallery and be sure to send Anna a message for all your party needs.
SECRET #5 CHOOSE GAMES
Every baby shower will be different and the sort of baby shower that you have will dictate the games that you would like to include.So, it doesn’t matter whether your shower is an intimate gathering or a big party baby shower games can be fun. Really!!
So, here are some tips to help you plan your games at the baby shower:
Tip #1 – Pick between two-six games, depending on the number of guests and type of party you are hosting.
Tip #2 – Don’t forget the completion of games can take longer with a larger crowd. If you are unsure of the time involved in your chosen game, have a couple of short games prepared as a backup.
Tip #3 – Choose a selection of games to cater for all of your guests (see our game ideas below)
Tip #4 – Have a timetable and a nominated person responsible for running the games
Tip #5 – If not all your guests know each other, it can be a good idea to run a few icebreaker games.
OUR FAVOURITE GAME IDEAS
Sentimental Game Ideas
* I love to include a sentimental activity/ies on the day to help create special memories. First of all, set up a BRING THE BABY A BOOK activity. Ask each guest to bring their favourite childhood book and share their reason for liking it with the mum to be. In addition, guests can also share how they know the Mum to be.
*Another sentimental keepsake style of activity is DESIGN A ONESIE/BIB. Set up a clothesline station where guests at their own leisure can design a onesie or bib for the pending arrival. Finally, provide guests with an iron, embellishments, markers, motifs and appliqués. In addition, you can also provide guests with a few sample designs to get their creative side flowing.
Fun Game Ideas
* Have you ever wondered what your baby will look like? BABY GENE LOTTERY is a great game to see what your guests think. First of all,create a list of different inheritable characteristics that the pending arrival might inherit from either parent. Then, guests get a copy and write ‘Dad’ or ‘Mum’ next to each item. Then, the Mum-to-be goes through the list and chooses which parent she hopes each characteristic might come from. Finally, the guest whose list matches the mum-to-be’s list closest wins a prize.
Characteristics can include standard things like eyes, hair, lips, height, bust size, shoe size – and fun things like sporting ability, creativity, charm, memory, work ethic or other qualities.
* For the chocolate lovers, you can’t go wrong with playing DIRTY NAPPIES. First of all, melt a variety of chocolates in a series of nappies to resemble a dirty nappy. Then, pass these nappies around allowing each guest to record their guess on a piece of paper
* I love playing word games and this is one of my all time favourites. SWEET BABY .Give the guests a list of pregnancy/ parenting-related descriptions and ask them to match those descriptions to the most fitting candy name.
Twins = M&Ms
Triplets = 3 Musketeers
Epidural = Lifesavers
Breastfeeding = Milky Way
* One of the most fun things to do at a baby shower is catch up with friends and the opportunity to meet new people. First of all, guests usually have parting words of wisdom for the Mum to be and this is a great game for all to share in their knowledge. TOILET PAPER CHATTER – Pass a roll of toilet paper around the room and ask each person to tear off as much or as little as she likes. Once everyone has their piece, announce that for every square of paper a guest has taken, they have to share one piece of baby advice, one parenting anecdote, or one wish for the mother to be.
* This is a game to get the guests up and moving, BOTTLE BOWLING – using baby bottles set up a 10-pin bowling alley. Use a baby ball to roll and knock off the pins (baby bottles).
* A game of knowledge is BABY COUNTDOWN TOP 40 – Divide guests into two teams and give each team a pencil and paper. Set a timer and ask guests to write down as many songs with the word “baby” in the title as they can.
Ideas and more details for these games can be found on Kidspot, Huggies and BabyCenter.
Remember to set time limits for games and let the Mum-to-be know when she needs to judge the winner/s of a game. It is always nice to have a small gift for the winners. Stay tuned for a post about our favourite prize ideas.
SECRET #6 CHOOSING A MENU
Deciding what food to serve at a baby shower?
Things to consider: time of year, time of day, physical table space, available appliances should you be hosting in a home, the number of guests, dietary requirements, and budget.
SECRET #7 CHOOSING DECORATIONS
Search And Borrow Items
Once a theme is selected, do a quick brainstorm of items needed for decoration. Have you got items in your home that will serve as table centerpieces (flowers, balloons, candles, books, baby toys etc) or does a friend or family member have an item that would suit your theme? Make a list of the items you need and allocate a portion of your budget to these needs. Be sure to check out discount warehouses, sales and wholesalers to snap up some decorative bargains.
And finally, with some creative flair, think of decorations that serve more than one purpose eg. Table centerpieces that could be used as a gift for guest or the mum to be.
SECRET #8 CHOOSING A GIFT FOR THE MUM TO BE
A baby shower is a great time for soon-to-be parents to receive the gifts they need to help them get ready for parenthood. Here are our favourite baby shower gift ideas.
* BOOK CADDY – books presented in a caddy with each book can having a label inside to allow for guest to write a special message.
* NAPPY CAKES – made with quality essential baby products in a unique, practical and beautiful design.
* MUMMY & BABY EMERGENCY KIT – including products such as baby panadol, bandaids, baby ear thermometer, teething gels, teething rings, wet ones, tissues, bottle, formula, dummy, baby grooming kit, nappies and nappy cream.
* SLEEP TIGHT LITTLE ONE – gift basket full of all the essentials little ones need for a good sleep – products such as Love to Dream Swaddles, sleepsacks, lullaby music, comforters, dummies, soft toys, bed linen, blankets and Gro clocks.
* PERSONALISED CLOTHING & MANCHESTER GIFTS – appliquéd onesies, towels, blankets, T-shirts, cake smash outfits and cot sets.
* PRAM CLIP GIFTS – these pram clip and tie sets are perfect for Mums who take their bubs on walks in the pram. They clip on the pram holding the blanket stopping it from blowing away.
* PHOTOGRAPHY GIFTS – give the Mum to be a voucher for your favourite photographer. They can use this throughout the year to get professional happy snaps.
* BOOKS for parents – Baby Love by Robin Barker, Annabel Karmel recipe books and Hinkler Baby Record Books are three of my favourite books.
* KEEPSAKES – coin sets for the year bub was born, fingerprinted or personal lockets for Mum, popular dress up costume sets for the dress up box in years to come, educational plateware sets, personalised baby frames.
* EDUCATIONAL TOYS – felt board sets, Leapfrog toys, texture boards, toy rattles etc
*BELLY PAINITING ART EXPERIENCE – artist attends the shower to paint a picture on Mum to Be’s belly.
SECRET #9 CHOOSING PARTY FAVOURS
Baby Shower hosts clamour to find the perfect party favour gifts for their guests. Most people are looking for unique and budget friendly gifts. Here are some ideas:
* PAMPER HAMPERS – hand lotion, body lotion, soap, bath bombs and/or shower gel). To make these look unique you can gift wrap them in a decorative bucket, basket or box and include thematic decorations and gift tag
* PEDICURES in a mason jar with thematic labels and gift tag with baby shower details
*BABY SOCKS filled with chocolates that match the theme with a gift tag showing baby sharing baby shower details
* POT PLANT with a tag saying “Keep this plant and nourish me in honor of the soon-to be baby.”
* DECORATIVE SOAP bar with a rhyme on the label – “We showered (mum’s name) in pink and blue. Now this ‘shower’ gift is especially for you”.
* CUPCAKE in a box that resembles an oven with a decorative tag and baby shower details
* MINI JARS of honey or jam with a sticker showing baby shower details on the lid.
* FACEWASHER CUPCAKES – facewasher folded in liners to resemble cupcakes.
* MINI JARS of jellybeans in the colours of baby shower theme.
Party Favours look great when closely linked to the baby shower theme.
SECRET #10 PREPARATION FOR SENDING THANK YOU NOTES
The intriguing parts of a baby shower is watching the gifts be opened. All the ooohs and aahs as guests eagerly anticipate what the mum to be and baby will receive from their loved ones creates such a magical part of a baby shower. So, to help Mum remember who these gifts came from, jot down the name of each item on the back of the gift card as they are opened and revealed for the show. Hence, this way when it comes to writing a thank you note, it can be specific and personalised to create that perfect heartfelt message of appreciation.
The other important secret with sending thank you notes is to ensure it is completed in a timely manner, therefore, we recommend before the arrival of baby. This is a busy time but life gets much busier after baby has arrived and writing thank you notes becomes increasingly difficult and as the time passes less relevant to your guests.