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When someone close to you is expecting a baby, it’s the perfect excuse to have a party. If you’re the one planning it, you may feel overwhelmed by your options, or lack thereof. It’s all been done before, and you want to throw a party that’s unique and special.
Don’t feel discouraged. There are plenty of baby shower ideas that you can customize for the new mommy-to-be. Take something you saw here and add your own touches to make it extra special!
Baby Shower Ideas & Reasons to Have a Baby Shower
Baby showers may seem frivolous, but there are plenty of reasons why every new mom should have one. It’s fun to get together and dote on the new mom-to-be. It makes her feel special and it’s an excuse to have a few snacks and open presents.
It’s practical, too. She’s feeling overwhelmed about how much a new baby is going to cost, and she’s starting to get tired. She needs your help to stock up on much-needed baby items. It will help her get ready and probably provide some relief.
Having friends and family who care about her and are excited to watch her enter this new phase of life will help her relax a little and feel good about the support system she has. It’s excellent for her mental health.
Who hosts a baby shower? Anyone! If you know someone who is having a baby, you can always throw her a shower. However, you should ask if she wants one first. Some women don’t.
If you get the go-ahead from the new mom to throw her a shower, you’re in the clear. It could be your sister, your daughter, your best friend, or your co-worker. If you feel compelled to shower someone with gifts, feel free.
As long as the new mom who wants a shower gets one, it doesn’t matter who throws it. There’s often more than one shower for different groups of people. Friends, family, and co-workers may all throw separate parties.
Sometimes a new mom will throw her own shower. If you’re expecting a baby, you can get involved in the planning or even plan it yourself. However, it’s best to have a friend send the invitations out so it doesn’t look like you’re throwing your own baby bash.
When to Throw It
There are plenty of schools of thought on when to have a party. Many women prefer to wait until the second trimester when the risk of miscarriage is less. They don’t like to announce their pregnancy until they know they’re through the woods.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning it right away! The second trimester is the ideal time for a shower because her energy has returned and her nausea has subsided. This gives her plenty of time to buy the remaining essentials after the shower.
While the second trimester is a good time to have a shower, some women prefer to do it earlier or later. Feel the new mom out and make sure you’re doing what makes her comfortable. The first trimester, the third trimester, or after the baby arrives are all options, too.
Who to Invite
This depends on your relationship with the mother-to-be. If you’re a co-worker, you’ll likely only invite people you work with. If you’re a college friend or a sorority sister, you’ll probably invite people you went to school with. If you’re family, you can invite family only or a mixture of family and friends.
Keep in mind who the new mom and dad are closest to. Don’t invite everyone they know. Having a baby is a private event, and while they’re both very excited, it’s usually a family (and close friends) type of affair. There’s nothing wrong with having a small shower. It’s more meaningful that way.
Baby Shower Activities
Along with where to host the party, this may be your biggest question. It all depends on what kind of shower you’re having. A backyard picnic is a great idea if the weather is nice. Renting a venue may be better if you have a large group.
Any decorations you display or activities you plan should be fun for the new mom. Ask her what she wants to do. Food, games, crafts, and gifts are common, but she may want something more or less.
Make sure the mom has a registry or a list of things she knows she wants unless she’s only asking for gift cards before the invitations go out. Tell people what is expected so they know where to shop and what to wear.
Follow the normal protocol for sending invitations to a party. Send them 3-4 weeks in advance, make sure it includes all the information people need, and try to pick something that matches the theme of the party.
Showers for Subsequent Children
It’s traditional to host a shower for a woman who is pregnant for the first time, but that doesn’t mean that showers for women who are having their third or fourth child are out of the question.
A shower is nothing if it’s not a celebration of life, and every new life is exciting. There are several fun ways to throw showers for women who have had babies before.
Call it a sprinkle. Instead of showering her with gifts that every new mom needs, sprinkle her with love and attention. Freshen up her much-needed baby supplies that she may not have any more like new diapers and clothes.
If she is having a gender she’s never had before, make sure she has plenty of gender-neutral colors or colors she wants for the new gender. Ditch the baby gifts and buy her something, like a prenatal massage, a pedicure, or a coupon for babysitting so she and her husband can have a babymoon before the new baby comes.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing and provide inspiration.
1. Let Boys Into Your Girls Club
Make it a family affair. It may sound unconventional, but there are a lot of men who love babies, too. Include them in the fun. A baby is a celebration, and rather than segregating genders, have a party for everyone!
Invite aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, and the daddy-to-be’s friends, too. Consider neutral decorations, heartier food or snacks, and beer. It can be a fun departure from what’s expected and makes for a memorable party.
2. Wait For Baby to Come
Yes, the new mom is going to be tired and she certainly won’t feel like having a party. But that doesn’t mean you can’t shower her with gifts in a special way! Waiting until after the baby is born is a bit unusual, but if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Once the baby arrives and your favorite new mom gets a few weeks of motherhood under her belt, she’ll have a much better idea of what she needs.
Even if she had a baby shower before the baby came, she may find that there’s still a lot of stuff she didn’t get because no one got it for her or she simply didn’t have time. Ditch the registry and ask her straight up. What does she need? Gift cards? A spa treatment? More burp rags? Even the simplest things will make her feel less overwhelmed and even more special.
Often, new moms feel like the attention shifts from her to her baby after that little bundle arrives. She may simply be feeling left out and need some more extra special attention.
You don’t have to host a traditional shower after the baby comes. Just set up a care calendar, let all of your friends know what she needs, and let them drop special deliveries on her front porch. It’s less invasive and surprisingly unexpected.
3. Take it Outside
When the weather is nice, a backyard party can be amazing. This can be another fun co-ed adventure or a fancy French tea party for just the girls.
Open up the grill, fill up some water balloons, and set out a few yard games. Setting up a tent and having the party catered makes it sophisticated but relaxed. It’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon with everyone she loves.
If you’d rather it be just the girls, you can make finger sandwiches and serve sparkling grape juice. Set up cafe tables on the patio and enjoy each other’s company while opening gifts and chatting together.
4. Date Night
Invite couples and make it classy. You can set up a buffet or a cute four-top table for a double date. Reserve a banquet room at a restaurant and invite all of her favorite couples. The sky’s the limit if you want to plan a couples retreat baby shower.
5. Try a Mom Shower
Instead of gifts for baby, plan a party with gifts for mom. Get her spa gift cards, massages, mani/pedis, or a bottle of her favorite wine for after the baby is born. While she’s likely very excited about the new baby, she’s also looking forward to not being pregnant anymore, and all of the things she’s been missing can come back into her life.
Don’t forget to pamper her to help take some of her stress away. Bath bombs, maternity pajamas, or cocoa butter for her stretching tummy are all excellent gifts.
6. Schedule a Getaway
Rather than throwing her a shower, schedule an appointment for her to go get a massage or a facial. Gather money from anyone you would normally invite to the shower and purchase a few spa day activities so she can get the rest and relaxation she needs.
You can go with her, schedule a couple’s massage for her and her husband, or leave her to enjoy it on her own without any distractions.
7. Gift Themes
Rather than throwing a shower with a theme, throw a shower with a gift theme. Don’t model the decorations, food, or games after a theme. Ask people to bring gifts that fit a theme, like skincare or diapers.
Hosting a skincare shower means you could give facials during the party and then pamper mom and baby with lotions, powders, creams, and all of the skincare products they both need. That includes diaper rash cream, baby shampoo, wipes, cocoa butter, body firming gel, and more!
A diaper theme could have her fully stocked for the first few months. It could even include pull ups for potty training later, diaper rash cream, a Diaper Genie, or diaper covers.
A bedtime theme means that every guest showers the new mom with gifts like books, pajamas, binkies, blankets, stuffed animals, and everything else that soothes the baby at bedtime. Make up a gift theme of your own and go crazy!
8. Fancy Festivities
Break out the china patterns and tea set. Be fancy for a few hours. Indicate on the invitation what people should wear and decorate in delicate lace. Finger sandwiches, tea, coffee, and light biscuits could have everyone feeling festive and sophisticated.
9. Creative Crafts
Scrapbooking and making crafts could be a fun way to spend time together, especially if the new mom has a creative side.
- Buy a box of solid colored onesies, puff paint, and stencils so everyone can make the baby meaningful clothes
- Buy packages of baby hangers and let guests decorate them for a fun and exciting baby closet
- Create headbands for baby girls
- Create bowties for baby toys
- Stock up on scrapbooking supplies and have everyone make a page for the baby book
Some of these ideas are adventurous and require more thought and planning, but they take the weight off of the new mom when it comes to saving memories of the first few years of life.
10. Baby Games for Adults
Link baby names up with their celebrity parents. Have guests bring their own baby pictures and play a guessing game. Write down traits like eye color, hair color, and temperament, and then have the new mom choose which parent she wishes the baby would get that trait from.
11. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Dress up and make a night of it. Just because she can’t drink doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve to go out and have fun. Where dresses and heels for a fancy dinner. Dress in cowboy boots and hit up the country bar around the corner.
12. Bond Over Brunch
Virgin mimosas and breakfast treats are relaxing and fun. Have guests write down their favorite family recipes for the new mom. This is an easy but memorable baby shower idea.
13. Have a Playdate
Having a kid-friendly shower is great for moms who already have kids. As the new mom will soon realize, it’s hard to break away from home. Having a shower where moms and kids are invited means you can keep the kids occupied while the adults have fun.
It’s a great way for siblings to get involved in the birth of their new baby brother or sister, too. This type of shower involves very little pressure. It’s festive, colorful, and fun.
14. Sage Advice
The new mom may not know what to expect, and even if it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, she could be craving a little truth.
If the new mom is up for it, have guests share their birth stories or give the mom advice on how to handle those first few rough weeks at home. Women who have been there before can offer comfort during this time.
Pass around a book of wisdom and have people write down encouraging notes to give her something to look forward to. Create a basket of wisdom for items that the mom will need later, but doesn’t know it yet.
15. Do Some Storytelling
This idea works for people who live close and far. Have important family members and friends record themselves reading a favorite story to the baby. These make great gifts and great memories.
16. Collect Signatures
Instead of having people sign a guestbook, have them sign something the new mom and baby will see every day. A picture frame, a globe, the first page of a book, or a wooden initial are great ideas.
17. Decorate Diapers
Open a package of diapers and have people write messages on them. Much like the guestbook or signature idea, this gives people a chance to make the new mom and dad laugh, especially during those late-night diaper changes.
18. Mom Mocktails
Instead of a swanky cocktail party with beverages, the new mom can’t drink, serve mocktails with fun mix-ins so everyone can enjoy it!
19. Give Guest Gifts
Fun favor ideas include little succulents, kitchen utensils, hair ties, or wine stoppers. Everyone will have something to remember the new baby by.
20. Guest ‘Books’
Rather than putting out a traditional guest book, try some of these ideas:
- Have people sign a wooden letter that can be hung in the baby’s room
- Choose cute wall decor like a bouquet of balloons in a frame and have each guest sign a balloon
- Create a guest “log” with an actual log people can sign in permanent marker
- Make a life-sized Jenga or Connect Four game for the family to play later and have everyone sign a block
21. Ready to Pop
Play up the idea that the new mom is ready to pop and decorate everything with balloons. A balloon guest book, balloon decor, and food shaped like balloons can be fun and colorful, as long as she’s not offended!
22. A Diaper Cake Looks Good Enough to Keep
While people may want to eat real cake, too, a diaper cake is a fun but functional gift that includes more than just diapers. Make several tiers of diapers and stick other fun-sized items in it like diaper cream tubes, baby shampoo, and more.
You can also make diaper bicycles, diaper princess dresses, diaper monster trucks, or diaper boats filled with goodies.
23. Rubber Ducky, You’re the One
Rubber duckies are a favorite baby toy, and now they come in all sorts of designs. There are pirate rubber duckies, sailor rubber duckies, and so many more. Buy them all and put them everywhere.
Put sailor rubber duckies in the diaper boat and pirate rubber duckies in the punch. This makes the decor more festive and ensures that the baby has plenty of bath toys.
24. Give Her a Dozen…Socks
Any mom will tell you that you can never have enough socks. They get lost, the dryer eats them, and they end up with holes in them all the time. Make sure the mom-to-be has enough socks for her baby’s tootsies by gifting her with a sock bouquet.
This is a fun way to decorate the shower while making the decorates multifunctional gifts.
25. Every Party Needs a Bar
Popcorn is a versatile snack that goes with any celebration. Setting up a popcorn bar means everyone can have what they like, and there’s no alcohol for the new mom! Set out a variety of seasonings, spices, and toppings that guests can sprinkle on their popcorn to make it their own.
This idea works for a candy bar, a ‘mom-mosa’ bar, or any other food with toppings you might want to serve.
26. Create a Food Theme
Much like the gift theme idea, you can create a theme for the food. Serve pink or blue food and drinks depending on the gender of the new baby. Pink lemonade, blueberry mojitos, red velvet cake, blue frosting, and other colored foods make the shower food more fun.
27. Get Into Character
Get with the new mom-to-be and find out what she loved as a kid. Does she have a favorite book or cartoon? Choose a character from her favorite childhood story and build the shower theme around that.
FAQs about Baby Shower Ideas
If you’ve never thrown a shower before or you’re not sure what to do, here are some frequently asked questions to help.
Whoever is hosting the party should pay for it. If you don’t feel like you’re up to taking on the financial burden, find a co-host who might be willing to help you. You can also ask a few close friends or family members to help.
However, the guest of honor should never pay, unless it’s her idea and she’s doing most of the planning. Hosting a baby shower can be a big financial obligation, so if you don’t think you can afford it, it’s best to let someone else do it.
Always get with the new mom-to-be first to get an idea of what she wants. Pick a date and time that works best for her. Build a guest list and come up with a budget.
From there you can pick a venue, select a theme, plan the menu, pick out the decor, and send invitations. Then create an agenda and purchase favors.
This is the general order of things, but depending on what kind of shower you’re having, you can customize this schedule to fit your needs.
A baby shower can last anywhere from 2-3 hours. Some guests will trickle in late, so don’t plan any activities for the first 30 minutes or so. This is a great time for everyone to chat, catch up, and get snacks.
The next 30-45 minutes can be for games or activities, and the last 30-45 minutes can be for opening gifts. After the festivities are over, people may hang out or mingle for a bit longer before leaving.
A baby shower is a great way to show love for the new mom and the new baby. Support her and her little one as they prepare to enter a new phase of life. You may be stressing over planning the perfect shower, but the most important thing to remember is that she’s stressing over much more.
As long as you put thought into it, she’ll be grateful for the shower no matter where it is. It’s important to make her feel special during this time.
She has unique needs that you need to cater to right now. Make sure she’s ready to embrace motherhood with all of the supplies it requires. Any of these ideas will help her do that, and you can customize any of them to her.
What works for her could be any combination of these, but getting something done for her is the most important thing right now, no matter what it is. Don’t stress and have fun!