Top 10 Ideas for a Smooth Baby Shower
As much as you love your favorite mom-to-be, coming up with baby shower ideas is still a lot of work! Make sure you don't miss a step by taking some tips from baby shower ideas expert, Becky Long. Check out her list of the top 10 things you need to do before the big party.
- Share your desire to throw a shower with the mom-to-be—that is, if you're not planning on surprising her. (Keep in mind, though, a surprise shower many not be appreciated by someone with frequent doctor's appointments, sleepless nights, and swollen ankles.) Get a clear picture from her about what would make the celebration special. Ask her for a guest list and any requests.
- Give your party personality. Is there a party theme that intrigued you or fits the mom-to-be's quirky sense of humor? Or perhaps there's a special activity you'd like to incorporate. Brainstorm ideas and select which ones you'll use after you've determined the budget and the guest list.
- Set a date for the celebration. Keep in mind holidays and other potential date conflicts to encourage a good turnout. Discuss with the mom-to-be whether she'd like to have the shower before or after the baby is born. (If the shower's a surprise, use one of the following schedules.) If she opts for a shower before the birth, be sure to schedule the party at least four to six weeks before the baby's scheduled arrival. (Keep in mind that a mom-to-be expecting multiples may mean an even earlier arrival.) If the mom-to-be decides to have the shower after the baby's birth, tentatively set the party date for at least one month after the baby's due date.
- Set a budget. Determine your priorities and limitations. Talk openly about these decisions with any cohosts.
- Assemble the guest list. The list affects everything from your party venue to the number of forks you'll need. If you already have a venue in mind for the celebration, note its space limitations and share those with the mom-to-be if she's helping you come up with a guest list. If the shower is a surprise, ask for input from someone close to the mom-to-be.
- Secure the venue. Make necessary arrangements to accommodate the party, like chairs or other equipment rentals.
- Start searching for party goods, like plates and decorations. The earlier your hunt begins, the more likely you'll find just what you're looking for.
- Plan the baby shower menu. Select a menu that won't stretch your culinary skills. If appropriate, choose no-fuss foods that you can make ahead of time and that won't require much last-minute preparation. Also keep in mind your available oven, refrigerator, and freezer space. Finally, if you don't have enough table space to seat guests, serve food they can easily eat from small plates balanced on their laps.
- Prepare the invitations. Be sure to include the shower date, time, and location. Give a date by which you'd like guests to RSVP and provide a phone number for them to call with their responses. Also enclose any special instructions to specific to your party theme. For example, if you've chosen to host a surprise shower, enclose a few pink and blue jellybeans along with a note that reads, "Shhh...it's a surprise. Don't spill the beans." You may choose to enclose gift registry information as well.
- After you've checked off every task on your list, relax! If you're having a good time, your guests will, too. If some things don't go according to plan, just let them go. (You're probably the only one who noticed anyway!)