How to Organize a Baby Shower
– Step 1: Make a checklist to organize a baby shower
– Step 2: Choose the type of baby shower
– Step 3: Set a date for the Baby Shower
– Step 4: Determine the location of the baby shower
– Step 5: Choose a theme for the baby shower
– Step 6: Send invitations
– Step 7: Set Your Baby Shower Menu
– Step 8: Prepare Baby Shower Decorations
– Step 9: Think about the entertainment
– Step 10: Choose Gifts
The baby shower is a celebration of the impending arrival of a new baby. Celebrated in honour of the baby’s arrival, this generally prenatal party brings together the mother-to-be and her family. It is traditionally a surprise party for friends or family, organized by one of them. However, more and more mothers-to-be prefer to arrange their party or designate the organizer of their choice. It also happens that the father-to-be organizes a surprise baby shower for his partner. So here is how to organize a baby shower.
1. Make a checklist to organize a baby shower
Start by making a checklist of things to do so you don’t forget anything:
– Choose your type of baby shower.
– Choose the date.
– Choose the location.
– Draw up a guest list.
Good to know: while baby showers are not as exclusive as they used to be, they are still predominantly female.
– Prepare and send invitations 4 to 6 weeks in advance.
– If you use outside services (room rental, florist, entertainment, etc.), book them as early as possible.
– Define the menu, the decoration and prepare the shopping lists.
– Think about the gifts.
– Choose and order the cake.
– Plan the activities and materials needed.
– Follow up with guests who have not confirmed.
– One week before, do the shopping.
– The day before, cook, decorate and prepare everything that can be prepared.
2. Choose the type of baby shower
To determine the type of baby shower you want, ask yourself a few questions beforehand:
– If you are the mom-to-be, do you want to host your party? If not, who would you like to host it?
– If you are not the mother-to-be, is it a surprise party?
– Do you want it to be women-only or mixed?
– When would you like the baby shower to take place: at snack time, a whole afternoon or an evening?
– Do you want a homemade baby shower or a professionally organized one?
Good to know: there are agencies specialized in organizing baby showers. Decoration, invitations, meals, they take care of all the tasks. It is an ideal solution for those who lack time and energy but are inevitably more expensive. Some of these agencies also offer personalized kits sent by mail containing all the decoration elements, game kits and gifts for the guests—a less expensive alternative.
In any case, adapt your choices to the energy and desires of the mother-to-be!
3. Set a date for the baby shower
Traditionally, the baby shower is organized during the maternity leave of the mother-to-be, generally between the eighth month and the birth. However, feel free to choose the date that suits you: every pregnancy is different. As she approaches the term, the queen of the party may become increasingly tired and endure her baby shower more than enjoy it…
Some women prefer to organize the event around the fifth month, revealing the sex of the baby.
Others prefer to wait until after the birth and organize a postnatal baby shower. The party can then become an opportunity to introduce the newborn to family and friends.
In any case, if it is a surprise party, think about inviting the mother-to-be under some good pretenses so that she can reserve the date!
4. Determine the location of the baby shower
A baby shower is usually held at the mother-to-be’s home, host, or relative’s home. The intimate atmosphere of the house is more suitable for the party than an impersonal place. However, remember to take into account the number of guests and choose a large enough venue. Or adapt the guest list to the size of your living room.
Restaurants, tea rooms or cafes can also privatize a room or part of a room. Some toy or baby stores also organize baby showers.
Those who have a garden can use it as much as possible if the weather is good. Arrange furniture, tents, umbrellas, tables, lounge chairs and armchairs. Add candles, lanterns or garlands of pennants for decoration.
Good to know: and why not try a place that is out of the ordinary? A barge, a bookstore, a mill, a farm, a boutique… Don’t hesitate to ask any venue you like about their rental rates.
5. Choose a theme for the baby shower
If this step is not mandatory, choosing a baby shower theme makes it easier to choose the decoration. It can be a simple colour theme, a “maternity” theme, a passion of the mother-to-be or the theme of the baby’s room, for example.
The theme can also be used as an excuse to reveal the gender of the child: pink for a girl, blue for a boy. Decorate in both colours, then choose a blue or pink cake. Or release coloured balloons to make guests guess whether it’s a boy or a girl.
6. Send out the invitations
You can create the invitations yourself or use templates to download and print from the Internet. Many specialized sites also allow you to choose a template, personalize it and order it online.
On your invitations:
– Include the address and time of the baby shower.
Tip: If the location is far away, include a map and directions for access or parking.
– Include a phone number and email address with a deadline for response.
– Determine how to send your invitations: by hand, by mail or email, by text message or Facebook, by creating a private event.
– At the deadline, follow up with guests who have not responded.
Good to know: if it’s a surprise party, remember to specify it on the invitations to avoid indiscretions!
7. Set the menu for your baby shower
The menu depends on the type of baby shower you have chosen to organize. Traditionally, it is a buffet of sweet foods and small snacks.
Good to know: think of the very fashionable concept of “food bars”. Dedicate a buffet to a food or a recipe, for example, a fruit bar with fresh fruit skewers, a chocolate fountain for dipping fruit, fruit salads, fruit smoothies… or a candy bar on the same principle!
If you choose dinner, don’t hesitate to use a caterer or have it delivered. If you prefer to cook, choose recipes prepared in advance and served cold or reheated.
You can also ask each guest to bring a dish.
Good to know: don’t forget to provide drinks, especially non-alcoholic ones, for the mother-to-be. You may want to install a juicer to prepare fresh fruit juices.
For your sweet menus
Think, for example, of cupcakes, pop cakes, popcorn, doughnuts, pancakes, muffins, verrines, smoothies, fresh fruit, fresh juice, meringues, candies…
For your savoury menus
Choose sushi, various brochettes, salads, tabbouleh, mini-gratins, curry or chilli…
Good to know:
– Take into account the possible dietary restrictions of the mother-to-be. If she is not immune to toxoplasmosis, avoid raw food.
– In any case, leave out smoked salmon, cold cuts or raw milk cheese, which are potentially responsible for listeriosis.
– Ask about any food allergies or intolerances that guests may have.
8. Prepare the decoration of the baby shower
One of the most important elements of the baby shower is decoration, and it will help make this party unforgettable. For this purpose:
– Use tablecloths and tableware following the chosen theme.
– Present the treats on pretty trays, tiered displays, lollipop sticks stuck in Styrofoam shapes, etc.
– Hang balloons.
– Arrange bouquets.
– Hang streamers, pennants or garlands.
– Think also about the comfort of your guests by adding plaids, cushions, footrests, rugs…
Tip: if you have the opportunity, try out the decorations to better choose them. This way, you can avoid long or complex installations, especially if you only have a little time available.
9. Think about the animations
It is frequent to punctuate a baby shower with various animations. Do not hesitate to personalize them or to include rewards for the participants.
You can organize:
– Games around motherhood with bottle tasting, folding stroller contest, baby carrier installation or diaper change on a doll, etc.
– Quick games such as quizzes, riddles, mimes.
– Musical animations with karaoke or a blind test.
– A photo session or a photo booth with accessories to take original pictures of the mother-to-be with her guests.
– Massage sessions for the head, feet and hands.
– Zen animations such as a yoga session, sophrology, reading the lines of the hand.
– Creative workshops, for example, decorating a baby bodysuit, a souvenir painting, etc.
Tip: to keep memories of this day, take pictures, ask a guest to take them or hire a professional. You can also set up a notebook or blank canvas to create a memory book. Have guests sign or draw, then add photos.
10. Choose the gifts
It is traditional for the mother-to-be to be given diapers. It is now common to give “diaper cakes,” which combine diapers and baby products in a cake-like construction.
These “cakes” are usually accompanied by more personal gifts, intended for the mother-to-be and centred on motherhood, such as care and massages for the mother-to-be, a pregnancy bola (a sound pendant designed to reassure the baby during and after pregnancy), clothing or accessories personalized with the baby’s name, vouchers for babysitting, gift boxes, childcare items (dishes, bottle warmer, diaper garbage can…).
Good to know: the gifts can come from a birth list if the mother-to-be has already distributed them.
Also, plan a small souvenir gift for the guests: candy or chocolate, souvenir photo, bracelet, beauty accessory…