So a new baby is on the way for a close friend or relative. You’re thinking of hosting the baby shower, but you’re not sure what to do. To make it easier for you to plan the perfect shower, here are a few tips to guide you:

WHO SHOULD HOST

Traditionally, someone who’s not a relative hosts the baby shower to avoid giving the impression that the family is actively asking for gifts. But these days a close relative or friend can host the baby shower.

WHO TO INVITE

Limit the guest list to people closest to the mom-to-be. Family members and close friends are naturally part of the guest list. And not just the women, because it’s becoming more common to include the men too. Decide whether you want the usual female-bonding ritual, or whether you’d like a modern twist to the gathering. Consult the guest of honour on this.

WHEN

It’s best to schedule a baby shower sometime during the last trimester of pregnancy, about four to six weeks from the due date. But it’s also perfectly fine for the mom to decide to hold it shortly after the baby is born.

VENUE

Ideally, the party should not be held at the mom-to-be’s home so she won’t have to worry about preparing for the party then cleaning up afterwards. But If the mom-to-be wants the shower to be at her home, you could ask a few of the guests to stay behind after the party to help clean up. Alternatively, you can ask among friends to see if anyone else is prepared to host the baby shower at their home.

Other than someone’s home, a restaurant can be a convenient venue because all you have to do is make a reservation then show up. You may also want to have the baby shower in a luxurious spa or a hotel function room.

THEME

Think of a theme to make your organising efforts easier. But don’t stress yourself by overthinking this. It can be as simple as a color theme, a princess theme or a sports theme.

FOOD AND DRINKS

Refreshments for a baby shower need not be elaborate. There are no specific rules about food. The menu depends on what time of the day the baby shower is being held. A simple buffet should be fine, as is a potluck.

ACTIVITIES

Keep the icebreakers and games light and fun, and give out some thoughtful prizes for the winners.

A nice touch would be to create on-site a keepsake gift for the mom-to-be to mark the occasion. One idea is to have party guests write down parenting advice and quotes in a journal, to give comfort and support to the new parents. Another is to create a handwritten book of wishes for the baby. Inform your guests about the idea beforehand so they can think about what to write.

GIFTS

Guests are expected to shower the baby with gifts, including clothes, linens, baby care items, and toys. Big ticket items like strollers and car seats are usually taken care of by closest friends and immediate family.

Remember that a baby shower is an occasion mainly to celebrate the coming birth of a baby, and that receiving gifts is secondary. Guests should have the option to give whatever they like.

Celebrating a baby’s impending arrival with a baby shower is a joyful occasion shared by the mom-to-be with those very dear to her. Enjoy this beautiful bonding session and let love and friendship reign.

(Image Credit: Baby Shower)