This is part two of our 'Ultimate baby Shower Guide' to help you host a stress-free, fun and memorable shower. In part one of our ultimate guide we guided you through making a baby shower guest list, setting your budget, choosing that all important shower theme, picking a date and location and sending out guest invitations. So now we get down to the really fun stuff - picking decorations, games and activities, a menu and much more.
Steps for Planning a Baby Shower Cont.
7. Selecting Decorations
Decorations are a great way to show off your baby shower theme and make the occasion extra special. There are a lot of different types of decorations you could choose including balloons, pom poms, lanterns and fans, pretty lighting, bunting, and more.
If you're hosting the baby shower at a restaurant, find out what decorations they allow.
If you're not hosting the baby shower at a restaurant, you're also going to need plates, napkins, cups and eating utensils. Make sure you have enough napkins and forks for appetizers and cake as well as making sure you have cups for both hot and cold drinks.
Match your tableware with your chosen theme and decorations. Consider using themed plates and cups and mini milk bottles. We also have a new range of gorgeous straws in every design imaginable, they look particularly lovely with a lace sticker on the front, and you can make all sort's of fun drinks in them. We have a rainbow's array of tablecloths, plastic ware, and gorgeous Sambellina or Paper Eskimo ranges among others to make your table look beautiful, along with napkins and tablerunners to match.
9. Baby Shower Menu
Food for a baby shower can take any form, and you can decide to serve anything from appetisers to a full-blown meal.
If you're hosting the baby shower at a restaurant you will need to work with someone at the establishment to decide the menu. If you're unable to visit the restaurant, which we suggest you do if you haven't been there, ask them to fax you their party menu. They may be able to provide food in a sit down setting or put out a buffet, and they may even be able to help you match the menu to your shower theme. Macarons are a very popular party food at the moment and having a pinky or pink/white, blue and white macaron tree can look very beautiful.
If you're hosting the baby shower at a home you can choose to cater, make your own food, or a combination of both.
If you are having the shower catered, ask the caterer to fax you a menu. Again, you will have the option of setting up a buffet or cooking a sit down menu. Just leave room for cake!
Photos of macaron tree from The chocolate Story
10. Games and Activities
There are many games you can play. Some favourites are:
- Measure the baby bump – Each guest cuts a length of string and whoever gets the closest to the circumference of the baby bump wins.
- Here are some more game ideas we like from kiwifamilies.
- Mummy’s Tummy - Have all the guests cut a piece of string that they think will reach around ‘Mummy’s Tummy’. When everyone has cut their string, have the Mum-to-be wrap a piece of string around her tummy and cut it to size. Whoever’s string is closest in length, wins.
- Nab the Nappy Pin - Give each a guest a nappy pin to pin to their clothes as they arrive, and instruct them that for the rest of the party they are not allowed to say the word ‘baby’. If anybody hears another guest slip up, they can ‘nab their nappy pin’ and pin it to their own clothes. The person with the most nappy pins at the end of the shower, wins.
- Baby Bingo - Make up a bingo card for each guest by writing a different type of baby gift in each square. As the parents-to-be unwrap their gifts, guests can cover over the appropriate squares. The first to cover their card yells ‘Baby Bingo’ and wins the game.
- Name that Tune - Get a CD of children’s nursery rhymes and play the first few seconds of each one. Have the guests write down what they think the songs are, and the one with the most correct answers at the end of the CD wins.
Tasty Treats - Line up several different jars of baby food with the labels removed. Guests are allowed to look, touch, smell and taste the food in order to guess what is in each jar. The guest with the most correct answers wins.
Nappy Tower - Have all the guests bring a packet of disposable nappies in different sizes. Put the guests into pairs or small groups, and ask them to make the tallest tower they can, using just the nappies. You will be amazed at how creative people get, and the parents get all the nappies to keep at the end.
Shape-O Race - Buy a plastic shape posting toy (the ones where babies have to put the right shape into the right hole), and time each guest to post all the pieces. To make it extra fun, you can ask them to do it blindfolded.
- Playdough Baby - Give your guests some playdough and let their creative juices flow, crafting a baby, best baby wins a prize! ;)
Tip#2: Wrap game prizes.
Tip#3: Make sure to have extra prizes in case of tied games.
11. Baby Shower Gifts
It is a good idea to check with the parent's to be as to what may still be needed for the baby, unless of course you have received a gift list. Vouchers from baby stores are always very helpful otherwise pre-made and frozen meals for after the baby is born is also extremely helpful. Baby clothing of course, children's books, toys and soft toys.
12. Keepsakes and MementosBuy a beautifully bound notebook for guests to sign and write their little snippets of advice in, or give each guest a plain white bib and ask them to decorate using fabric paints/pens. Have a little quilting session where everyone brings a piece of fabric to sew. Buy a white platter/plate and have each guest write their well-wishes for the baby and sign their name. These are just a few ideas :)
13. Baby Shower Itinerary
Lastly, it can be a really good idea to make an itinerary for your Baby Shower. Below is an example of one we have made:
Have a baby shower sign-in sheet where guests can sign a pre-made board or book, or even something creative a shower guest has made. This is a great way to look back and see who was at the shower. It is also great to leave room and ask for remarks or advice as it makes for a fun read. Have someone who knows the most guests at the front to welcome people as they arrive.
2. Ice Breakers and Mingling
The beginning of the baby shower is great for people to get to know one another, especially if you have different groups of friends and family. Have a designated spot for baby shower gifts. Have some finger foods and drinks ready and available to make people feel more comfortable.
Have everyone sit down (unless you are at a restaurant with everyone already sitting) and have someone introduce the mother-to-be as well as thank everyone for coming. The mother-to-be may want to say something as well. It's fun to let everyone know to take pictures, sign the welcome book/board if they haven't already and to help themselves to food and drinks. Allow some more time to socialize and for the mother-to-be to mingle.
While people are finishing eating, why not start the baby shower games and have those guests that want to play get involved while others watch or socialise. Some games are great to play as a group so no one feels like they have to participate if they don't want to.
After playing the baby shower games, it is great to move on to dessert. Whether you have them on one big table or while seated in a restaurant, this is a great time for speeches. Anyone that wants to share funny or sentimental thoughts or anecdotes about the mother and father-to-be.
6. Gift Giving
It is customary for the mum-to-be to give the hosts and helpers who threw the baby shower a gift for helping out. This gift can be more sentimental than expensive and is a little thank you and memento. This is the time the mum-to-be usually thanks everyone, especially those that helped plan the party and her mum and mother-in-law.
7. Present Opening
At the end of the shower you can have a present-opening session for the benefit of guests who want to stick around and see what the mum-to-be gets. It's nice to do this at the end as no-one is committed to staying for the entire gift opening. It's also a great time for some relaxed conversation. It is very helpful for someone to take notes for the mum-to-be on what she gets from whom so she can later write thank you cards. If you want to give them a real treat, write out the thank you envelopes and beginning of each card for them.
8. End of the Party
Have you, or your friends, recently hosted or been to a Baby Shower? If you have and you have any photos or ideas that you don't mind sharing with us, either contact us at buildabirthday.co.nz or find us on our Facebook page and post directly onto our wall! We would love to hear from you :)