Discover baby shower ideas and learn how to plan for the event.
The last thing an expecting parent wants is to host a cookie-cutter baby shower that he or she won't remember as the important milestone that it's supposed to be. On this page, you will find advice for themes, invitations and food that will help to keep the stress levels low and the memories (if not the champagne) flowing.
As with any celebration, a theme is not necessary, but it can help bring together different elements of planning -- decorations, food, activities -- and make the event feel more personal. Many planners choose one baby-related image, such as diapers, bottles, rattles or storks, and use it as a touchstone for decorations, invitations, food, favors and even activities. These are certainly appropriate themes that keep the focus of the day on the baby, but don't be afraid to stray a little from tradition. Themes can reflect the things that you want your baby to have as he or she grows, or the kind of home that you want to create for him or her. For example, an environmentally conscious parent-to-be may organize a "green" party, with recycled decorations and environmentally friendly snacks. Or a parent who wants her child to grow up learning about the family's cultural background may choose decorations and food with that specific culture in mind, and create bilingual banners or invitations.
There are a number of different ways to create unique invitations, depending on your time and budget. The fastest and least expensive way is to send and create all invitations electronically through sites like evite.com or sendomatic.com. These sites allow you to reach a large number of people quickly and easily.
Another inexpensive and convenient option is creating the invitations on your computer and printing them out on decorative or colorful paper. If you have a bit more time on your hands, you can buy invitations at a stationary shop and fill out the blanks by hand. Or, if you have a larger budget, you can have your invitations designed and printed by a professional designer or print shop.
Remember to keep the invitations concise and complete. Always include the names of the parents-to-be, the name of the baby (if known), the date, time and location of the shower, and a phone number or email address for RSVPs. Also, be sure to mention if you've signed up for a gift registry. A short poem, especially one you compose yourself, can also add a personal touch to your invitations. You can find some examples to get the creative juices flowing at createmyevent.com.
The food you offer your guests should depend on what time of day the shower is held, as well as the type of seating available. If the shower is scheduled around noon or dinner hours, your guests may expect a sit-down meal, so be aware of the extra preparation and space that this will require. Finger food is perfectly appropriate for afternoon or evening showers, and more casual dining can sometimes create a more relaxed and festive environment. Traditional fare at casual dining showers include tea sandwiches; veggies and dip; pasta, tuna or chicken salads; quiches; homemade cookies and punch or sparkling water. You can also make your food more of a centerpiece by serving cheese or chocolate fondue, and letting guests dip their own snacks. And finally, a show-stopping cake always creates a lasting impression. Check out sites like badabadababy.com and babyshowercakes.com for ideas.