New babies, and new parents, deserve to be celebrated. Besides the gifts, coming together to talk, and listen, to the fears, solutions, and all the funny parts of new parenting are a vital part of the shower experience. Planning the perfect shower should be both fun and easy. With a little thought and planning, you can pull off the perfect baby shower
First things first. Work out with your mom-to-be exactly what works for her. Keep in mind that the date should be early enough that she will be celebrated, even if she goes into labor a week or two early. You also want to make sure that she isn’t washing dozens of new baby outfits when she can barely reach the washing machine. But you also want to choose a date that is late enough that fear for miscarriage is gone. Look at dates four to six weeks before her due date.
Decide how much you want to spend on the day. You can pick up the tab alone, or talk to other people close to the new mom and throw her a shower where several people pitch in. Once you know what you how much money is available, think about how to spend it wisely. Sure, you can go with a catered affair at the local country club complete with engraved invitations. But you don’t have to. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to throw a beautiful baby shower. With a computer and printer, you can create everything from invitations and banners to place cards and thank you notes. You can rent dinner and stemware, go with pretty, disposable plates and cups, or pull out that china you rarely use. As you make your decisions, think about what will make the mom happiest.
There are so many wonderful ways to help Mom get everything she needs. Using an independent gift registry gives her the most flexibility since she is able to add entries from a wide range of stores and outlets. You can help the Mom with her shopping, making sure that she has everything that she will need for the new baby. Add items that are both expensive and inexpensive for guests of all financial levels.
There are many things to consider when creating the guest list. First of all, look at the venue you have planned. Unless you have a huge home, it’s probably not wise to have more than a dozen or so guests at a home baby shower. Sit down with the new Mom and get the names and addresses of those who are most important to her. Include family members, close friends and possibly co-workers.
Does your new Mom love Princess movies? Is she a fan of Dr. Who? Is she seriously considering naming her baby after characters from Shakespeare’s plays? You can incorporate her loves into the theme for her baby shower. Your shower theme will help you make all the rest of the decisions for the baby shower.
There are many ways to invite your guests. You can have professionally done invitations, computer printed pieces, pre-printed invites, or even e-vites. However you choose to get the news out, there are three important things to remember. First of all, incorporate your theme into the invitation. There are thousands of pre-printed invitations available in stores or online. If you are looking for something more personal, custom printed or computer designed invitations may fill the bill. You can use language or typeface that exemplifies the theme. Your invitation needs to include the date, time and place of the shower as well as the web address of the gift registry. You might also include a note to encourage guests to bring children’s books instead of cards. Not only does this build baby’s library, but it also gives the new family something more substantial than a card for about the same price. Secondly, whichever you choose, do the new Mom a favor and get thank you notes at the same time. If they match the invitations, it makes it easy for your guest to remember the lovely time they had celebrating this new little life. Finally, as you address each envelope, address a thank you note envelope at the same time. This will same the Mom hours of work and make it easy for her to thank each guest for their gifts.
Working with your theme, set a menu for your shower. If you have a book theme, think about naming your foods from their titles. This can be especially fun with a Have a brunch with Green Eggs and Ham or serve cupcakes with little cats from If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. Food can be as simple as crudité, cake and punch to a full meal, drinks and dessert. While it may be tempting to serve champagne or margaritas, give the pregnant mom a break, and serve alcohol-free drinks for everyone.
A day or two before the shower, send out friendly reminders to all the guest to make sure that they arrive to the party on time.
Collect shopping and tote bags to make sure that it’s easy for Mom to carry home all her loot. You can also place the thank you notes that you have already addressed in the bags, along with a pad of sticky notes. As the Mom opens gifts, simply write a short description of the item on the sticky note and adhere it to the thank you note. At the end of the party, you can give the Mom a stack of thank you notes that are organized and just waiting for little more than her signature.