Thursday, September 2, 2010

10 tips for planning a unique baby shower

I just found out (like two days ago!) that my dear friend is going to have a baby! It will be her second child. The first time, I had a baby shower for her and I think it's safe to say we all had a blast! (And no one had to sniff diapers to identify strange smells!) I don't know if my friend will want me to have another shower for her (or at least a welcome-baby party), but if I do, I will keep these things in mind:

1. Baby showers are about the mom. Yes, baby showers celebrate the new life coming into the world -- but at this point, it's definitely still about Mama. Make sure the guest of honor is comfortable, both physically and emotionally. Have a shower theme and setting that she is OK with. It might be fun to have a baby shower in that old train depot to be unique, but it might be smelly too -- and smells can affect pregnant women.

2. Because baby showers are about the mom, take some cues from her interests for a fun theme. A teacher mom might like a book shower, or you might use an apple theme. One baby shower I went to had an Alice in Wonderland theme because the mom and her sister (who gave the shower) loved watching that movie as children. Her sister made her wear a pinafore, and a friend made a spectacular lopsided-on-purpose colorful mad hatter cake!

3. After you pick a good time for the mom and a theme, move on to great invitations! Tiny Prints has several fun designs for baby shower invitations, and the quality is great. Moms-to-be (and guests too) will enjoy keeping these invitations as a sweet memento.

4. Let guests be creative. See those onesies in the picture up there? When I had a shower for my friend, each guest was invited to use fabric paint to decorate a bodysuit for the baby. There were three different sizes, so the baby would have something to wear for a while -- and my friend would be reminded of all the friends she had to fall back on when she dressed her baby! It was great to see all the different designs that people came up with.

5. Serve easy food. Magazine articles have loads of great ideas for cute little fancy finger foods. If you don't mind spending hours in the kitchen, go for it! If you're hosting a shower, though, keep it simple with the food. Chances are people would rather eat something familiar to them rather than wonder what is in that strange-looking roll thingy.

6. Pour fun non-alcoholic drinks! If you have martini and margarita glasses, why not serve maternitinis and maternaritas?! Create your own concoctions or check out the book Margarita Mama: Mocktails for Moms-to-Be.

7. Decide on games vs. no games. Some people feel it's not a baby shower without games. Other people prefer not to have any games, which can still be a lot of fun. Find out what the mom wants. Whatever you do, don't play any games that make fun of the mom or make her feel uncomfortable about her size.

8. Share your thoughts with the mom. You can have each guest bring them with her on a card, write them in a journal to give to the mom-to-be later, share a mom tip out loud in a circle or even record it on video!

9. Take lots of pictures -- but don't stop there! After the shower, use services like Smilebox or Scrapblog to creatively share the pictures with the guests and also those who couldn't be there.

10. Use fun thank-you notes afterward. You can help the mom-to-be with her thank-you notes by making sure she has an accurate list of which guest gave her which gift, and also by giving her nice notes as a gift. Tiny Prints also makes great thank-you notes that you can personalize, and your pregnant friend will love this extra gift!

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I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny
Prints blogging program
, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift
code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards -- a total gift
value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.