The evolution of the baby shower has come a long way. Modern baby showers are ditching the notions that women are the only ones excited for the arrival of the baby, and that your guests will actually enjoy trying baby food or putting their face into a mysterious poop-like substance smashed into a diaper.
That’s right. Gone are the embarrassing games, and here are some suggestions to help you throw a fun, enjoyable and successful baby shower for you and your guests.
SCREEN THE GUEST LIST
For the most comfortable party, don’t hesitate to leave off your mother-in-laws’ friends or those you don’t consider to be tight-knit friends. You want everyone there to be there because they’re genuinely excited for you and want to celebrate with you – not because they feel obligated. It’s okay if not everybody knows each other, but as long as you know everyone and feel comfortable with them in a relaxed, intimate setting, then inviting them should be no problem.
Your husband is every much as involved in becoming a parent as you are, and there is no reason he shouldn’t celebrate the pending arrival of his baby, also. Men are parents too. Men love their babies, too. Men get excited to become fathers, they want to celebrate with their friends and family, and they like to eat. Make the baby shower a giant co-ed bash filled with fun games and good food. Plus, it might be nice to have someone there to lean on if you get overwhelmed with pleasing guests and playing hostess.
PLAN FUN GAMES
Traditional games are okay for the sake of tradition, but in reality, nobody is really too excited to taste mashed up peas and guess what’s in a dirty mystery diaper. Consider some of these super fun games and activities that everyone will enjoy:
Baby Picture Matching Game
On the invitations, ask everyone to bring a baby picture of him/herself. Hang them up and number them, and then hand out pieces of paper with a corresponding number of spaces to answer. Have each guest then guess whose baby picture belongs to whom. A fun twist on this game is to print out unique celebrity baby names and have your guests try to guess the celebrity parents.
Who’s got the genes?
Create a list of traits or attributes you’d like your baby to have. This could include intelligence, a sense of humor, common sense, good hair, etc. Then, pass out this list to each guest and have them write down from which parent they think the child would inherit each trait. Be ready and able to laugh at yourselves with this one.
A common activity is to have guests decorate a plain onesie that you can then use and be reminded of your loved ones. A similar idea that your baby won’t grow out of is to supply squares of fabric on which each guest writes a message or decorates. These squares are then sewn together into a baby blanket that won’t endure the same diaper blowouts and growth spurts that personalized onesies go through.
It’s not enough to assume you’ll take pictures. Actually designate someone to do so, because you will likely get caught up in conversation, gift-opening, and game-playing that you’ll forget to take any yourself. Pre-arrange for someone with a nice camera to take nice photos, both candid and posed, and make sure you get one with every guest so you can remember and cherish the event clearly for years to come.
HOST THE SHOWER IN A TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED VENUE
Let’s not forget – you’re pregnant. Even if it’s a gorgeously warm spring day or a mild early-autumn afternoon, play it safe and have the baby shower indoors. Your guests may be more resilient to the heat or the cold, but hot flashes are not pretty when you’re in your third trimester, and trying to play games and eat while staying bundled up will be miserable.
CONSIDER OPENING GIFTS LATER
If there is a mountain of gifts, opening them could take a while and not be very enjoyable for your guests. As each gift is dropped off, make sure it is labeled so you can send thank-you notes and nobody is forgotten, but make the day about having a good time celebrating with all of your guests.
MAKE PLENTY OF FOOD
Maybe most importantly is to provide plenty of food and a good variety. A buffet-style spread of sweet treats and salty snacks, water, and other beverages, and of course a cake, is a good plan. Consider creating a “pregnancy craving” table where you set out plenty of all of the foods you’ve been craving. Your guests will have fun indulging, and of course, you’ll be satisfied with all of your favorite foods.
What games or activities made your baby shower a hit?