Baby showers, traditionally an American thing, have become increasingly popular on this side of the pond in recent years. Not that we’re complaining. Any and every excuse to celebrate can’t be a bad thing. Anyway, we digress. The main idea behind a baby shower is that the mother is ‘showered’ with gifts – for her and the soon-to-be new arrival. This is both a whole lot of fun and a huge help towards the staggering costs of a newborn baby. However, and more importantly, the event serves to emphasize and reiterate that much needed support network for new parents. So, with that in mind, here are 8 IDEAL baby shower tips for party planners.

CHOOSE THE DATE 

First things first, get the date in the diary of the baby shower. Nail that thing down. Talk to the expecting mother and choose a time that suits her. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t end up clashing with any doctors’ appointments or her working hours if she is not on maternity leave yet. Moreover, you’ll want the mum-to-be to enjoy the day with her friends and not worry about the idea of giving birth at any minute, so avoid hosting it towards the very end of her third trimester.

Traditionally the baby shower takes place around seven weeks before the birth, when the expectant mother is safely into her pregnancy but still comfortable.  Send out invitations well in advance and get everyone to RSVP; this way they’ll have plenty of time to reserve the date and find that all important present. Also, consider going against your stereotypical baby shower full of women, after all men play just as much of a part of getting the bun in the oven.

THE IDEAL LOCATION

If you want to plan the ideal baby shower, then obviously you’ll need to find the perfect location. The mother won’t be able to drink, so it’s best to steer clear of noisy, packed bars, unless you are booking out a private room. If you don’t have the cash to splash, you could host the baby shower at your house, or ask a friend if you can hold it at theirs. And unless the expectant mother has a mansion and butler, don’t host it at her place; you want to prevent the whole day becoming stressful for her. If you’re hosting the shower when the weather’s nice, consider a park party.

THE THEME

For a baby shower, the overarching theme is of course already written. If you’ve learnt the gender of the baby, awesome, but avoid going overboard with cheesy, gender conformist pinks and sky blues. If you do opt for a pink or blue theme, do it in a minimalist, classy way.  Tea parties are always popular for baby showers as you don’t have to provide alcohol and the vibe is graceful and relaxed. Indeed, the overall ambience is crucial, and setting a theme dictates this – there are many to choose from when it comes to baby showers.

THE GIFTS

It’s likely that people are going to bring gifts to the baby shower – being as that is what this is all, on the face of it, about – so you should make sure that you have a good way of organising these when they arrive. If you want to prevent any sort of duplicates, you could get together a list of gifts that the mother would enjoy receiving.

But what present to present we hear you ask? A practical present is a great place to start; something that is essential to a new parent like a breast pump, overnight diapers or baby blankets are all good ideas – you can read the buying guides from babygoss for some more ideas for useful gifts. Should you wish to give something a little less practical and are in need for inspiration, you should take a look at the East of India range from Edora and you’ll find at least one item which would be perfect for a baby shower, such as some little trinkets to give to the mother and memory boxes to fill with keepsakes.

THE GAMES

Organised fun. You either love it or you hate it. While we firmly reside in the latter group and are secretly envious of people who genuinely enjoy getting stuck in, baby showers are one of those events where some sort of game is expected.  While we recommend avoiding toilet humor games such as filling a potty with prosecco and ‘downing it’ – urgh- which isn’t fun for anyone, especially for the expectant mother who can’t get sloshed herself, there are some games which strike a more suitable tone. We thing ‘guess the baby food’ is a good one.

THE FOOD

Every baby shower needs food, at least one of the guests is eating for two after all. However, consider the nibbles carefully.  Firstly, find out if any of the guests have any dietary requirements and more importantly, do some research into what the expectant mother ought to be eating. Does she have any food cravings (the familiar pickle cliche perhaps?) or is she suffering from any food aversions because of her pregnancy? There’s also a whole array of foods mums-to-be aren’t supposed to eat, so get informed.

Once you know, then you can plan the spread – and spread around the responsibilities, too. You could even ask each guest to bring a dish with them. Oh, and don’t forget the cake.

THE DRINK 

You might find that the expectant mother is happy for others to drink alcohol but don’t just assume that to be the case. You want her to have fun and so  need to make sure that she doesn’t feel left out. If you want to make the day alcohol free, look into fixing some non-alcoholic cocktails for the group.

HELP WITH THANK YOU NOTES 

At a baby shower, there will be lots of gifts being given and it can be hard to keep track. This often means that a stressed mother-to-be has a lot to deal with when it comes to thank you notes. This is why you should help out and keep track of who gives which gifts. You could then spend the day helping her to write the thank you notes, giving her the addresses of those who were on the guest list and information about which gift they bought her.

SHARE
Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street. This post may contain paid for insertions. For our full disclosure policy visit our advertising page