One of the best things about being a mummy-to-be is being showered with gifts by your loved ones. However, what to do at a baby shower is probably the number one question on the mind. There are many baby shower ideas, themes, and games to choose from. This makes it very easy to get overwhelmed by everything. Planning one of the most important celebratory days can be daunting. No one has the time to sift through countless websites, trying to put together the perfect party. Still, it doesn’t have to be stressful. With the help of Jess Martin, party planning expert at Ginger Ray we have curated this guide that will help you throw a fun and special celebration, whether you’re the expectant mum or planner.
What is a baby shower?
A baby shower is a party that is thrown to celebrate the imminent arrive (or arrival) of a new baby. The purpose of a baby shower is to celebrate, with the mother and sometimes father. It is also an opportunity for friends and family to help the new parents out by bringing gifts that they will require for their newborn – usually the new parents can set up a registry so they can be sure they will get the gifts they need.
At a baby shower, plenty can happen – from games and gift giving to eating and sharing stories about the parents to be. If you want to know more about what happens at a baby shower, keep reading.
When do you have a baby shower?
After pondering over what to do at a baby shower, when to have the baby shower comes next. It can be held any time before or even after your little one arrives. If the party is going to take place before the baby arrives, throwing it one to two months before the arrival date is ideal. This way, it allows for lots of time to sort through all the lovely gifts that parents-to-be receive.
However, in some religions and cultures, it’s common for the celebration to take place after the baby’s arrival. In this case, you’ll want to give the family time to settle in with their new gem and think about what presents they may need. That means the party could be anywhere from one to eight weeks after the baby’s arrival.
Where should the baby shower be hosted?
Whether you’re the parent-to-be or planning the party, what mum loves should come first. Of course, budget, number of invitees, and even the weather plays a huge role when it comes to location.
Jess Martin, party planning expert believes the location of your baby shower is completely down to preference, and there are pro’s and cons to both at home parties and parties at venues to consider.
“For those opting for something a bit more personal, with close friends and family, it probably makes more sense to transform your home and host your baby shower there. That way, the money you save on venue costs can go towards decorating your dream, pre-baby celebration in the comfort of your living room – ideal for any nesting mummas to be.
“For those with bigger guestlists, and budgets, it’s the perfect opportunity to go all out and host a show-stopping baby shower at a venue. Whilst venues do come with a bigger checklist – seating, catering, party planners, etc – they allow you to gather all the special people in your life to celebrate your pregnancy.”
These are some great ideas to consider:
- Home of the host/mum-to-be
This makes it an intimate and comfortable celebration where you will have free control. The mum-to-be’s home can be a handy choice. However, you must keep in mind to not create additional stress with exhaustive preparations.
All you need to do is book a table and you’re all set. You should aim to pick a restaurant which accommodates to all your guest’s tastes. Although, the expectant mother’s favourite spot is an ideal choice to opt for.
- Party venue
In such a case, you can simply relax. The venue staff are more than likely to help organise practically everything. All left to do is to personalise the area, with your own special touches and decorations.
If you have a picturesque outdoor spot nearby, take advantage of a lovely sunny day and host the baby shower outside! Perhaps you could arrange a picnic at a serene park or afternoon-tea next to a gorgeous lake.
When you’re contemplating what to do at baby shower, a theme might call your name. If it does, Jess suggests going with it – she says “whatever it is, getting your friends and family involved adds an extra bit of fun to an already exciting event.” Once you have an idea for a theme, it will be easier to plan invitations, decorations and party favours.
A theme doesn’t have to be full on, Jess suggests incorporating more subtle nods to something you love or that is special for you. If it still isn’t your thing, a simple colour scheme can create an elegant and classic look.
Some of our favourite inventive themes include:
- Tea party
You don’t have to splash the cash to host a baby shower that is both beautiful looking and fun to attend. Jess shares some of her tips for cost-effective decorations:
“Monochrome looks are big at the minute, and inexpensive. By opting for earthy tones, you’re able to incorporate nature from your garden or local area even.”
Jess also suggests being savvy when purchasing new decorations and thinking about what else you can use them for, such as birthday parties!
Food and Drink
Alongside decorations, you may want to consider what food and drink you can serve at a baby shower. Of course, if you have a theme this could play into your food and drink choices. Jess says that afternoon tea is a classic and makes for an excellent baby shower food choice.
“It’s the perfect light bite to enjoy and doesn’t require an awful lot of preparation. A sandwich selection, scones and cakes will be enough to satisfy guests and can be picked at as and when, which eliminates a fair few kitchen and catering stresses for mum to be.”
And, whilst Jess confirms alcohol is generally off the menu at a baby shower, there is no reason you can’t serve some fun mocktails.
“It’s always fun to do a little mocktail making with guests. Find some yummy mocktail recipes online and print out a few copies for reference, then everyone can put their cocktail making skills to the test and (hopefully) serve up some delicious drinks.”
Baby Shower Games
There is always a bit of organised fun at a baby shower, and what would they be without it?
Jess shared with us some of her favourite baby shower games, such as:
- Who is that? In this game everyone submits a baby picture, and either guesses everyone’s or simply picks the mum-to-be out of the line up.
- We’re Having a Baby! Two teams race to blow up a balloon and place it under their top like they are pregnant, the teams must then use their ‘bellies’ to pop the balloons. The winning team is the one who has blown up and popped their balloons the fastest.
- Mum to Be Quiz! Of course, the spotlight is on the mum to be so it is only right to see how well all of the guests know her.
Celebrity Baby Shower Trends
We asked Jess to share some of the current celebrity baby shower trends with us, as we know we all love to be inspired by what some of the new celebrity mummy’s are doing.
Stacey’s sister threw a stunning outdoor floral themed shower for her baby girl. Jess says “More was certainly more when it came to the floral arrangements at this shower, which had a huge pink blossom tree, table centrepieces and Stacey even wore roses, woven into her hairdo. We’ve seen lots of celebs opting for outdoor baby showers this year presumably to keep their guests as safe as possible but also to make the most of the lovely weather that crept its way into autumn.”
Perrie went for a gender-neutral themed colour scheme with muted tones of grey and nude – which were reflected in incredible balloon arches.
Zoella went for a boho theme at her shower, and even had a tepee in her garden! Jess says “She seated guests around low tables on floor cushions and the tent was dotted with pampas grass and crochet details. I love how chilled the vibe was as her partner Alfie Deyes and other loved ones gathered together at what looked like a beautiful celebration at their own home. It’s also a great example of how baby shower decorations don’t need to be baby-themed so think outside the box!”
The guest list
Your friends and family will be dying to attend this special event. However, how many people you invite depends on your budget, space offered at the venue, and who the mum-to-be wants there. The world is your oyster when it comes to the design of the invite. You could opt for pre-made invites, DIY invites, or even create a social media event. If you’re the planner, consider what mum likes. Would she prefer something traditional or maybe something injected with fun? A good rule of thumb is to send invitations approximately four to six weeks before the shower.
Virtual baby shower
If you need to go virtual, due to health reasons or otherwise, there’s no need to panic! You can still have the baby shower of your dreams. In a world where everything is now digital, it seems fitting to have a virtual baby shower. Whilst it may be logistically different, the purpose remains the same – celebrating the arrival of your little one! Here are some top tips on how to plan a virtual shower that’s just as good:
Choose a virtual “venue”
Choose a platform that everyone can get onto easily like Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom. Make sure you pick one that’s easy to use, so that your elders will be able to work it. Zoom is a super fun option as the platform offers cool options, where you can customise the background. Zoom calls are capped at 40 minutes unless you have a paid subscription. There’s no need to fret though! Once the 40 minutes are up, you can start a new video-chat to carry on the party!
Set up your baby registry
Creating an online baby registry is the way forward. We all love shopping from the comfort of our sofa. So, an online baby registry is perfect in this situation.
You may not be able to go all out with the theme and décor during a virtual party. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t add some fun elements. If you’re hosting, hang balloons and streamers in the background. You could even get your guests to do fancy dress.
Fun and games
Just because you’re not all in the same room, doesn’t mean you can’t play games. Most baby shower games can be adapted into virtual activities. You can play anything from name that tune to charades.
What to Avoid
Finally, we asked Jess if there is anything that should be avoided at baby showers. The biggest takeaway is that it is so important to remember the mum-to-be at all times. She might be tired so it is important to make sure she is relaxed and has the opportunity to put her feet up.
When it comes to gifts, Jess emphasises that it is important not to buy duplicate gifts so make sure you ask what mum already has.
Lastly, Jess says “If you are throwing a surprise baby shower or are perhaps uncertain of the parents’ opinions towards gender themed showers, stick to neutrals. A neutral theme can look really effective when combined with boho and natural elements like pampas grass and florals.”
Hopefully now you will be good to go with our handy, baby shower checklist. Regardless of whether it’s an in-person party or virtual, the day will still be just as wonderful. With this guide, and Jess’ advice, you should be set on everything from what to do at a baby shower to where to host one. Happy baby shower!