1. Make Sure You Know What The Recipient Wants
The MTB (mother-to-be) is the most important part of this whole project. It can be tempting to do something that sounds fun to you, especially if YOU have been the MTB in the past and enjoyed your shower. But, each person is different. Even if you are close to the MTB and think you know what she would like, there’s always a chance that pregnancy brain and hormones could affect her preferences more than you realize! There are many different kinds of showers to throw. While surprise showers can be fun, I would encourage you to at least thing through what your MTB would enjoy the most, or at least try to sneak some hints out of her about what she wants before putting your plan into action. Some things to let her choose from:
- Themed/Traditional Baby Shower – Most of us are probably familiar with the traditional/themed baby shower. Generally, the guests are all women/children and invited to come to a cutesy, decorated party for a 1-2 hour time frame. There may be a full meal, or just cake/finger foods served. At the gatherings, games are usually played as a big group and the MTB opens presents while others watch.
- Co-Ed Baby Shower – This kind of party is very similar to a traditional shower. However, the husbands/boyfriends and sons of the woman’s friends are invited. Usually, there will be a full meal (a lot of people enjoy doing a BBQ or cookout), but cake & finger foods is also fun. Sometimes there are games, but wouldn’t be the typical “baby shower” games you may be used to.
- Open House Shower – These showers are usually done for a MTB who isn’t comfortable having a huge party focused on her. Guests are encouraged to stop by at any time during the specified time frame. A basket/table for gifts/cards can be set up. Having some refreshments available is a great idea while the MTB socializes with friends throughout the afternoon.
- Sprinkle – This is just like what it sounds! Instead of showering the MTB with gifts, you “sprinkle” her. This kind of party is often help for 2nd time (or more) mothers, but when they are having the opposite gender for the first time. Instead of more expensive baby gear, it will often be requested that clothing for the expected gender be brought, as well as diapers and toiletry items.
- Diaper Shower – This is often done for 2nd time (or more!) mothers. You can have a little get together with a game, or just treats and coffee, and tell everyone to please bring diapers of any size. Another option is to have no party, but just ask that people drop off the diapers at your home or somewhere that the MTB chooses.
2. Plan Something Fun
Every party needs something enjoyable! While you don’t have to go crazy planning, and no one is going to judge you if it’s not pinterest-worthy, I’ve been to many a baby shower that was plain old BORING. When everyone is wandering around eating snacks and no one is in charge or doing anything exciting, it turns into a plain old awkward room of women listening to each other chomp. No one likes that. And HINT: The “fun” thing shouldn’t be watching the MTB open gifts. It’s nice, but in all honesty, it’s a little boring. There are tons of games to play that will make the party memorable that don’t cost a fortune. Some fun ideas are:
- Diaper Raffle
- Books = Cards
- Bib/Onesie Decorating
- Diaper Notes
- Baby’s First Alphabet Book
- Make Headbands For Baby (girl)
- Traditional Pen & Pencil Baby Shower Games
3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!
Planning a party by yourself, especially one honoring TWO people you love, is going to be exhausted and overwhelming. As the hostess, make sure that you are also bringing in more ladies to help – not just to make it easier on you, but to make sure that other people feel like they invested in her special day as well. Ask the mother, grandmothers, in-laws, sisters, cousins, nieces… whoever seems interested. Some things you can delegate:
- Shopping. Give them a list, figure out how to split up costs between the people helping, and send them off!
- Making treats. Because it would be ridiculous to buy all the food from the store… you might go broke! Figure out what you want to serve at the shower and ask different people to be in charge of certain items.
- Planning games. Maybe “fun” isn’t your forte. Put someone who loves that kind of stuff in charge. Give them the theme, time frame, how many games you would like, amount of guests and let them go for it.
- Sending out invites. Once again, figure out how to split costs between those helping with the event and give $$ for whatever supplies will cost. Whether making/buying the invites, or just sending them out, give her what she needs and let that be a relief from your shoulders.
- Decorations. I don’t know about you, but I am horrid at decorating. Some people have a real knack for this, especially the DIY life. If one of your helpers is really artistic, give them a theme and let them go for it. You won’t regret putting a crafty gal in charge of this.
4. Pick A Fun Theme
Of course, there doesn’t have to be a theme. You can have a very simple gathering with a few ladies and just have coffee, cookies and gifts! But I will say that there is something especially satisfying about a cute theme that is carried out well. If you feel confident that you have enough creativity, and enough help, to pull off a fully themed shower, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
THEME HACK: Having a theme doesn’t mean that everything has to be exquisitely perfect! You don’t need 500 woodland creature cutouts peeking out from every corner of the room. One of the best ways to make it appear as if you’ve put tons of effort into a them is color scheme! Pick a “theme”, get a handful of items that are truly themed, and then make the rest of the decor, plastic-ware, and invitations match in color and no one will notice that you didn’t go crazy!
- Woodland Creatures
- Dr. Suess
- Ready To Pop
- Winnie The Pooh
- You Are My Sunshine
- John Deere
- Taco Bout A Baby
- Twinkle, Twinkle
- Sweet As Can Bee
5. Make A Schedule
When you are throwing a party, it can be tempting to just bring food and guests and hope for the best. But people love structure. If someone shows up to a party and doesn’t know very many people, you can’t expect them to just socialize for an hour or more. Having a schedule for your party and being in charge will make guests feel more comfortable. For a traditional baby shower, an example schedule might be:
10:30 – Greet guests & show them where to leave gifts (Everyone finding their seats and chatting)
10:45 – Welcome everyone to the party + Announce any details (ex. where are bathrooms, or instructions to a game/activity running through the party) + Begin with something fun (either food or a icebreaker game)
10:50 – Icebreaker Game / Food
11:10 – Icebreaker Game / Food
11:20 – Main Activity / Game
11:45 – Gifts
12:15 – Thank everyone for coming + any additional details (ex. leave your address on an envelope for thank you’s)
6. Double Check The Guest List
There’s nothing worse than having your MTB all excited for her baby shower, only to show up and see someone she just had a falling out with last month and you had no idea! Before you send out invites, send your guest list to the MTB. It would also be wise to check in with her and see how many people she is thinking. She may want just her closest friends and family, or maybe she wants every woman she knows to be there! Don’t send out invites until you’ve triple-checked with the MTB.
7. Take Advantage of the Dollar Store
To be brutally honest, most of the adorable ideas you’ll find on the internet require LOTS of effort, talent and $$$. Don’t be nervous to just go roam around the dollar store and see what you can find – sometimes there are some great items!! Obviously, they won’t be amazing quality, but for a party that lasts for 1-3 hours, who even cares? Don’t spend lots of time and money unless you absolutely can’t find a cheaper option.
8. Confirm Registry & Other Deets
Whether you have simple handwritten invitations on notecards, or if you’ve purchased customized themed invitations on Etsy, be sure to triple-check all the details with your mother-to-be. It doesn’t matter if she is wrong. It’s all about her, so if she swears that you meant the weekend after, that’s obviously what you meant! Make sure she knows exactly what is happening. Also, if she doesn’t have a registry, strongly encourage her to at least make a simple on. Target & Amazon are great places to start a registry.
9. DIY Your Treats & Decorations
As stated above, it can be really easy to spend a fortune on a party that only lasts for a couple of hours. If you are artistic, or have someone on your hosting team that is, do your best to DIY everything you can! Treats and Decor are the easiest things to do on your own. Pinterest will be your best friend.
10. Resist The Temptation To Go Overboard
If you start searching through the internet and checking out baby shower ideas, it will likely be overwhelming how many gorgeous and crazy ideas are out there. And if you’re anything like me you want to do it ALL! But it’s important to remember to not go crazy. Honestly, what guests and the MTB are going to remember is the VIBE of the party (if they felt comfortable and enjoyed themselves), if they had FUN, and if the FOOD was good. That’s pretty much it. No one is going to remember if the little animals on top of the food matched the banners and confetti. Do yourself a favor and don’t go crazy spending money on things that no one will remember.
No matter what kind of shower you host, what the theme is, or how much money you spend, your main goal should be to bless the MTB. If you can bring a big smile to her face and make sure she leaves totally spoiled, you have officially done your job well. Good luck hostess! <3