While pregnant we get little chance to party and neither do we want to, especially in the latter stages. A quiet night in with our feet up seems the perfect tonic as big bumps don’t balance well on the dance floor. We do, however miss the social gatherings of our friends and our friends miss us too.
There seems to be a shift in close relationships if one friend becomes pregnant before the others consider conception, yet by taking a leaf out of the American’s book we can ensure everyone feels a part of this imminent bundle of joy.
If you have a pregnant friend that feels a little isolated and lonely due to the changes she’s experienced during pregnancy or if your friend deserves a little love and attention, a baby shower is the perfect tonic.
Baby showers are now becoming popular in the UK as they are the last chance to dote attention on the mum before the focus is switched to the baby.
Who Should Arrange a Baby Shower?
Anyone except the mother or father to be can arrange a baby shower, it used to be traditional for a best friend or close relative yet popularity is growing where even colleagues arrange them.
Should I Plan a Surprise Baby Shower?
Surprise baby showers are not really recommended as the mother to be will love the chance to be able to write a list of baby grows, bandana bibs, playsuits and other items she may need for the baby. She may also not welcome the interruption as it takes twice as long to look presentable when carrying a huge weight. It’s still a lovely gift if you plan it with the mum to be’s knowledge especially if you make sure you do all of the planning and organising so she doesn’t have to lift a finger.
When Should I Throw the Baby Shower?
It’s best to throw the baby shower a couple of months before the due date as this not only allows mum to return any duplicate items but also removes the threat of her going into labour mid swing. It can also help if there are nursery items that need to be assembled, as well as letting mum know what she still needs to buy for the baby.
The Formula for a Good Baby Shower
Baby showers are usually female orientated with the expectant mum’s closest family and friends. Usually there is little entertainment needed as everyone enjoys the get together as they share stories of their own experiences. However the Americans provide games to keep everyone entertained, these usually revolve around mum and baby such as “guess mummy’s tummy size”, “the ring test for sexing the baby”, “finish the nursery rhyme”, “don’t say baby” and the more comical, “pin the sperm tail on the egg”.
Food, Decorations and Venue
Food is also important, if you’re holding the baby shower in a restaurant you don’t have to worry much, however if it’s at a private venue you may want to bring buffet items. Biscuits of baby’s feet and other baby foodstuffs are a great idea. If you know the sex of the baby you can combine the decorations with the food on offer using a pink or blue theme. Don’t forget the cake! It’s also important to be mindful of a pregnant woman’s diet as not only will the mum to be be present but she may invite others from a baby group. This means you must stay away from raw meats, uncooked eggs, soft cheeses and seafood.
Invitations should be sent out a good eight weeks before along with a wish list and directions to the venue. It is the organiser’s duty to do this making sure mum receives minimum stress.
A relaxed chat with mum to be will allow you to create a wish list for her where guests can purchase products that will be useful after the birth. If buying baby grows, vests or bandanna bibs try to buy 100% cotton as these wash easily and allow baby’s skin to breathe.
Other clothing items you may consider include baby shoulder pads for mum or dads shoulder when burping, baby t-shirts and hats, baby accessories are always great baby gifts. For the nursery bedding is always welcome, as are gift packs of bubble baths and lotions for baby or you can treat mum with a luxury gift set or prenatal massage so she can be pampered before the big day arrives.
Just like any party you should provide party favours, these can be in the form of goodie bags with cake and a thank you note or something personalised such as sweeties with mum and dads names on.
To add to the decoration you can also use a projector to allow photographs to be shown throughout the party, these can be of mum and dad in their own baby grows as little ones, or even scan pictures.
What About the Dads?
The dad can escape all the baby blue or pink by hosting his own beer and nappy party at the same time. The men can bring beer and a packet of varying sizes of nappies as he fires up the barbecue. Babies can never have enough nappies and this ensures the men don’t have to think or ask their wives to pick out baby grows and vests for them!