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Want to hear some strongly worded opinions? Ask your friends how they feel about baby showers.
Whether it’s big love from the moment the clothespin is clipped to their cardigan or absolute dread at the thought of a few rounds of baby food tasting, one thing is for certain – baby showers bring out all kinds of emotions from everyone. For expecting parents, the discomfort of pregnancy, overwhelming joy and excitement, stress of baby prep, and pure sweetness of being celebrated by your friends and family all blend together in a complicated mocktail of feelings. For the family member or friend hosting the shower, the desire to get it just right for new parents (and new babies) while staying on budget and keeping guests healthy and happy is both an incredible honor and a daunting amount of work.
Enter endless Pinterest boards of inspiration, late night Googling, and a whole lot of decision making. Personalized cookies or gourmet cupcakes? A honeybee theme, or maybe those woodland critters that match the gender-neutral nursery décor? Should you lean into the balloon arch trend and ask folks to bring a book instead of a card, or set up a onesie painting station and collect a jar of wishes for baby?
No matter which details you decide on or theme you undertake, here are a few key tips to guarantee a baby shower that everyone enjoys. They go with any color scheme, and they’re bound to create a memory the new family will cherish forever.
Keep parents at the center AND keep it fun for your guests.
Everyone knows that the parents-to-be are the guests of honor at a baby shower, and they deserve to be pampered from the moment they arrive. But sometimes, a long list of must-dos and activities can make a shower feel more like a workday for guests than a party. To avoid baby shower fatigue:
- Offer options! Instead of a start to finish line-up of mandatory game play, consider one or two main group activities and several flexible “stations” that give guests different ways to engage. Maybe there’s a place for the artistically inclined to craft hand-painted baby blocks, for the articulate to write baby a note to read at their high school graduation, or a selfie station where folks can snap a cute pic that will feature in a photo book for baby. Giving guests free time to mingle and flexibility to choose how they participate will help everyone relax and have a great time.
- Follow your heart, not the “norms”. Are the parents-to-be happiest at their local pub with a great group of buddies playing darts and pub trivia? No need to throw them a formal afternoon tea party! It’s totally okay to unpack tradition and celebrate in a way that is uniquely YOU. After all, this is the family baby is being born into – might as well show them what they’re in for as early as possible!
- Think carefully about food and drink. A great theme can be adorable, and can lead to one of the cringiest party mistakes of all – too little food! Keep guests fed and happy by supplementing cute theme cake pops, cookies, and finger sandwiches with plenty affordable party staples like chips and dip, veggie trays, and fruit, and make sure there’s more than enough for guests to nibble on as long as the partying carries on.
- Never underestimate party favors and prizes. Your guests got dolled up, chose gifts, played games, and made a whole stack of onesies for your little one - they deserve a good reward. We would have been delighted to take home one of Brand Ambassador Kailan’s clever “Pop when she pops!” mini-champagne bottle favors – and what a fun way to keep the celebration going!
Make gift shopping simple.
Baby registries are wonderful tools. They help parents narrow in on what they need most and take the pressure of decision making off guests. Make sure the parents-to-be have an easy to find, accessible online registry, and encourage guests to use it! But be careful not to zero in so hard on the registry you miss out on other beautiful gift giving and getting opportunities. Sometimes, the best gifts are the ones parents didn’t know they needed.
When we asked mom-to-be Kailan about the best #dadadamoment from her shower, she told us: “It was actually two gifts we received from grandparents - my Mom Mom and Grandma Susan. My Mom made a hand-sewn doll and named her "Patty" after herself. She lives far away from us, so having such a thoughtful piece of her to give Penelope to cuddle means so much to me. My Grandma Susan, who also lives far from us, gave Penelope a hand-knit baby blanket. These are gifts Penelope will keep and eventually pass down to her kids. They were made with love, and that means the world.”
In addition to welcoming handmade, meaningful gifts, we’ve found two traditional-registry-alternatives that we love as potential options:
- Start a meal train! Who better than friends and family to keep new parents fed the first few weeks of baby’s life? Offer a chance for party guests, local and long distance, to sign up to deliver a meal or provide a DoorDash or Postmates delivery for those first few weeks of sleepless newborn bliss.
- Add a diaper shower! Give new parents the freedom to try different brands of diapers (we all know different brands fit different babies, well, differently) and help them avoid the storage nightmare of too many diaper cakes by setting up an account for them at DiaperShower.com. Guests from near and far can contribute to the new family’s diaper fund, and parents can order the diapers of their choice for delivery when they need them!
Focus on creating memories.
Here’s what matters most: the collective energy of the people who love this baby, and their parents, coming together to support and celebrate them. At the end of the day, it’s the memory that counts. Take lots of photos. Laugh and share stories and play ridiculous games. Write notes and make memory books. Find creative ways to help parents cherish the memory of this once-in-a-lifetime moment for the rest of their lives.
So remember: the world is full of adorable themes, delicious treats, and clever lists of fun activities – take a deep breath, because you can’t go wrong! Your pink and gold luxe décor will stun, your campy National Park themed shower will inspire ooos and ahs, and as long as you keep people at the center of the plan, keep gift giving stress-free and celebratory, and focus on the memories you’re making, everyone is sure to have a beautiful time.
Wishing you the most memorable modern baby shower!
If you're looking for some real-life inspo, take a peak at our Brand Ambassador's baby shower! Thank you Kailan for sharing this beautiful moment with us!
Here are some tips to take the stress away of planning a home baby shower!