Everyone loves to celebrate a new baby. And, let’s face it, the mom-to-be is the one who is doing most of the work. But, in most cases, she did not get pregnant alone. Many pregnant women have a husband or partner that is taking on the responsibility of this new little life right along with her. While it’s tempting to keep a baby shower for women only, more and more celebrations include the expectant couple, not just the expectant mother. You can include the dad-to-be, you just need to be aware of a few things.

Set a Date

For most couples, evening or weekends are the most likely times for leisure. But remember, that many pregnant mothers become fatigued early. So don’t plan a shower that will go late into the night, especially on a day when Mom might have work or a doctor’s appointment in the morning. Let her get her rest before she has a little bundle keeping her up all night!

Create a Guest List

The guest list for a couple’s shower might be a little bit longer than other baby showers. Because, let’s face it, unless the new Dad is an OB/GYN, he’s probably not going to feel comfortable in a room full of women discussing mucus plugs and nipple enhancers. So, if the Dad-to-be is going to be celebrated, be sure to invite his friends to the shower as well. Perhaps concentrate on couples that they have celebrated with before. This means that you should plan of seating and feeding two people for every invitation.

Set a Budget

Your budget will determine whether you can plan a shower with cake and cookies, or whether it will be a full meal. You can look at your own finances, or talk to other guests or friends to pitch in. Include invitations, decorations, food, and thank you notes in your budget.

Create a Gift Registry

Make sure that guests have all the information they need to get what Mom and Dad everything they want for the new baby. Using an independent gift registry gives them the most flexibility since they are able to add entries from a wide range of stores and outlets. You can help the parents with their shopping, making sure that they have everything that they will need for the new baby. Add items that are both expensive and inexpensive for guests of all financial levels. Don’t forget to add gifts for Dad as well as Mom. There are lots of books for new dads that offer humorous and pithy advice.

Set the Menu

In many circumstances, you might be able to leave the menu until after you send out the invitations. However, with a couple’s shower, you may want to invite guests to bring food or drink to the party

Create a Theme

There are lots of themes that you can use for a couple’s baby shower. But don’t forget that this isn’t just about Mom, Dad is a part of the party too. So, limit the flowers and baby animals, unless Dad is into them too. Instead, focus on themes that are family-related. You might want to consider a crock pot luck or a freezer party. For the crock pot luck, ask guests to bring their favorite set-and-forget meals along with the recipes. This gives your new family a great set of recipes that they have already enjoyed at the party. If you wish to throw a freezer party, simply ask your guests to bring a dish to share along with two portions in a freezer-safe container. At the end of the evening, you can send the new parents home with a number of homemade frozen meals ready to heat and eat.

Create Invitations

You can order engraved invitations, or send out evites, whatever works best for you and your family. The invitations should make it clear that it is an invite for a couple and not just for an individual. Be sure to include the date and time as well as a link to the gift registry. Another new tradition is to ask guests to bring a book for the new baby instead of a card. With the cost of greeting cards rising to five or six dollars apiece, it makes sense to put that money into a book instead of a card. Additionally, as you create the invitation, go ahead and create the thank you notes for each couple and address it. This makes it easy for the parents to show their appreciation.

Check in with Guests

It is especially vital to check with your guests if they are bringing the food. So, contact them and make sure that they are attending and get an idea of what each guest is bringing. Then you can look at their offerings and see what else in needed. For example, if everyone is bringing main courses, you may want to add veggies and sides to the menu.

Prepare for the Party

If you are hosting the shower at your home, be sure to make sure that you have seating for every guest as well as sufficient dinnerware for your plans. Pick up the cake or dessert of your choice and collect handled shopping and tote bags to make it easy for the new parents to carry home the bootie booty. Throw in a pad of sticky notes to make thank you notes easy. If necessary, make sure you have a way to have larger gifts delivered to the new parent’s home.

During the Party

Make sure that Mom and Dad get food and drink first. While gifts are being opened, sit near the expectant parents and watch the gifts carefully. Write the name of the giver along with a description of the gift on a sticky note. Then, adhere the note to the thank you note you have already addressed for that guest. Then at the end of the shower, you can hand the parents a stack of thank you notes that just require a sentence and a signature.

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