Your sister-in-law just announced she’s pregnant, and you’re already buying ‘best aunt ever’ gear. Before you get too far ahead of yourself, let’s talk baby showers. If you’re throwing one, or even just helping, you’ll want to make sure you’re in tune with what the mother-to-be prefers.
Because baby showers are steeped in tradition, some moms-to-be are opting for more of a girls’-night-out approach or cocktail party-style celebration. You want your guests to have a good time, but most importantly, you want the mom-to-be to enjoy herself and be completely relaxed. Let’s break the traditions just a bit and add a modern touch or two to the next baby shower you plan.
A Modern Approach
Whether it’s a girls-only affair or a couples’ party, forget the baby food tasting games and never-ending ‘awwws’ when gifts are opened. These are baby showers guests will want to attend and moms-to-be will love.
Maybe this mom just wants to hang with the girls and ditch traditional diaper games. Organize a spa day and enjoy a much-needed pampering session. Send out simple but stylish invites with a vibrant color scheme. Pink and orange? Aqua and lime? The choice is yours.
Gather a few close gal pals and plan a day of facials and mani/pedis. Start the afternoon with goodie bags for each guest that includes a head wrap, cute flip flops, a nail polish or two and a plush towel.
Arrange it with spa management ahead of time to have a table set up with fresh fruit, crunchy veggies and various cheeses. Create a signature fruit-inspired cocktail to serve alongside. Don’t forget to offer a mocktail version, as well. Low flower arrangements that correspond to the invite’s colors are a nice addition to the table and a beautiful reminder for the mom to take home.
Have the guests chip in to purchase a prenatal massage that the mom-to-be can use at a later date and present it to her at the end of the shower.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
If the shower consists of just a few close friends, have everyone chip in some gift cards and head out to mom’s favorite department store or baby boutique. Everyone can bond over choosing cute baby clothes and gear and maybe a few nursery essentials as well. If mom has a registry, go to town helping her select her must-haves. Following the shopping spree, treat mom to a delicious lunch at a quiet café. Don’t skimp on the dessert!
An Artist’s Escape
Is your new mom crafty? An artist? Consider renting out a local pottery or painting studio. Most of these places allow food and drink for just such an occasion. Encourage mom to paint a special canvas or ceramic piece for the baby’s nursery. Maybe the baby’s initials or a piggy bank? Play some relaxing, quiet music in the background to encourage conversation. Another option is to host a craft shower at home. Either purchase white onesies in a variety of sizes and have guests create one-of-a-kind baby wear for the little one, or provide each guest with a wooden letter of the alphabet or number to use as nursery décor. (A quick Google search will yield lots of suggestions and directions.) Provide paint colors and embellishments that are mom-approved to coordinate with her nursery plans. Instead of typical gifts, encourage each guest to bring a wrapped baby book or two to contribute to the baby’s library.
Bringing the men along has been a recent trend in hopes of trading the ‘shower’ reputation for more of a party vibe. Chat with the mom about a theme for the shower, along with her preferred type of location, and then work from a mix of casual but this-looks-amazing decorating tricks to pull together a coed-appropriate gathering. Beer, champagne and a special virgin cocktail are must-haves. Have a special section for the gifts, but don’t push a gift-opening session. Instead, keep party guests mingling with plenty of appetizers and toasts to the couple in the spotlight.
Aim for an outdoor patio option for guests to get comfortable, and incorporate a few different seating sections into your setup to keep guests engaged. Want a simpler option? Backyard barbecue, anyone?
Soon enough there will be sleepless nights and piles of tiny laundry. For now, though, it’s all about the mom-to-be. If mom can swing it, a weekend away with the ladies or another close couple may be just what’s needed to clear her mind before the craziness of a newborn sets in. Don’t wait until mom is too far along in her pregnancy that she may be uncomfortable. Shoot for the sixth or seventh month. Choose a location that’s within a few hour’s drive. The beach, Disney, historic Savannah. Spend your time exploring, eating delicious food and relaxing.