Let’s face it: new parents need stuff. That new baby comes with nothing. Somehow Mom and Dad hve to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, and care for this new, helpless human being.
Hopefully with a sense of style.
It’s tempting to load parents up with lots of low cost toys or moderately priced clothing. But many parents need help with the big ticket items.
This is where a baby shower can really help. The best part is, it doesn’t just help the parents, but it can also help your guests as well. Instead of giving each guest a link to a gift registry, you can ask for a donation for one big gift. Then you can build the shower around the item.
The best part of the shower for everyone is the ease of gifting. Since you can handle everything through email, so everyone can give according to their budget while no one needs know what anyone else gave. With payment apps like Paypal and Venmo it makes it easy to collect money, even from people far away. Those traveling to the shower aren’t trying to lug a wrapped gift through airport security.
If guests wish to purchase additional gifts, put a suggested cap on any gifts or suggest handmade alternatives.
Rather than calculating the cost for each person, let your guests know the total cost of the item and approximately how many people are attending. In general, report the number assuming that two or three people will not participate. If everyone attends and you have some extra money, you can add accessories that go with the item you have chosen.
Lullaby and Goodnight
Every baby needs a place to sleep. Your shower can provide a crib or sleep system for a baby you love.
Most families will need new cribs. Safety regulations have changed and many heirlooms or used cribs are now unsafe.
The first thing you will need to do is talk to the parents about the type of crib or sleep system they want for their child. When you calculate the cost of the item, be sure to include the cost of a mattress. Most cribs do not come with a mattress.
Choose an invitation with sleep or bedtime theme. This might have a picture of a sleeping baby or twinkling stars. You might add the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, how we wonder what you are. But we know that Mom will keep you safe and cozy as you sleep.”
Be sure to print the day and time of the shower. Add the cost of the crib and mattress as well as how many people will be attending. If anyone wants to bring any other items, suggest a cap of five to ten dollars. Or suggest a handmade quilt, knit blanket or bedtime board book.
Stick with comfort food. Think Mac and cheese, grilled cheese and tomato soup or other cozy fare. Be sure to have warm cocoa and chocolate chip cookies.
Swaddle the baby
Get the new parents and everyone else ready to swaddle that new baby for bed but with a twist. Instead of simply swaddling a doll in front of a group, make it a race. Place two guests in front of the group. Then blindfold them. While they are blindfolded, place a boll and blanket in front of them. If you want to make it more challenging (and funny) use other items such as stuffed animals and newspapers or shawls.
Guess the bedtime story
Write the names of characters of your favorite bedtime stories on one side of a piece of paper with a line for the title of the book. Use plenty of traditional characters such as Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottentail, or Bears sitting in chairs. If you want to make it more challenging, head to your local bookstore or library and pull characters from some of the newest picture books.
“Get some sleep” MadlibsPull up your favorite antiquated baby sleep advice and pull out random nouns, verbs and adverbs. Without telling your guests, ask them for random words and fill them in the empty slots. Read the results for fun.
Baby on Board
This is the perfect shower to throw for parents that need a car seat. Infant car seats are vital if the parents intend to take their child in a private car, or on an airplane. The type of seat needed depends on the age and size of the child. While some parents purchase an infant seat by itself, more and more parents are purchasing systems that grow with the child, providing safety from infancy through early childhood. Many of these systems include a stroller that the car seat firmly latches into, keeping the baby safe even while walking or jogging with Mom or Dad.
But these things are pricey! So going together in a group and getting the parents the system that fits their lifestyle and their baby. Another nice aspect is that you can have personalize the party by gender if you wish. It is equally simple to have a Princess Carriage party or a Car and Truck party.
Determine whether you want to have a gender themed party or not. For the Princess party, consider a bright pink invitation covered with glitter. Or, on the other hand, consider decking out your invitation with cars and trucks. For either shower, include the pricing information as well as time date and place of the party.
For a Princess party, consider tea and scones, glittery cupcakes and fruit kabobs. For the Car and truck themed shower, think about making a truck out of a hollowed out watermelon and filling it with fruit. You can serve it with Drive-in Diner fare.
Buckle Up Baby Relay
Break the party into teams and have them stand on one side of the room. They have to grab a doll, run across the room and buckle it into an old baby stroller. Then they have to push the stroller back to the original line, The next person has to grab the stroller and push the baby back across the room, unbuckle the baby and carry it back to the first spot. At random times call “The baby’s crying!” then the racer must “give” the baby a blanket, toy or pacifier. They must then remember to grab the item when they hand the baby off to the next player.