One of your best friends in the whole wide world has just announced that she’s pregnant. Naturally, you’re pleased as punch! It’s hard to imagine that, in just 9 months or so, your special friend is going to be a mother!
As you let the amazing news sink in, your friend is looking forward to the exciting new journey that involves: the countless trips to the doctor, the morning sickness, the ultrasound testing, the roller coaster of emotions that will spark countless mood swings!!!
Your world, however, is totally different. You’re thinking of the baby shower and how to plan a baby shower or what on earth is involved in one! And that has you worried.
Keeping you up at night I’d imagine!!!
Well, worry no more! In front of you right now is “How to plan the Perfect Baby Shower”.
Read on and you will learn all you need to know to throw a perfect baby shower.
You’ll learn about the elements of:
- Planning a Baby Shower from the Ground Up
- Managing a Baby Shower from Start to End
- Other Tips, Strategies, and Suggestions
Don’t worry if you’ve never organized a baby shower before. This article is designed to be easy to follow (well that’s my intention anyway!)
In fact, if you aren’t careful, you may just become a baby shower specialist, with people calling you up and asking you for your advice and insights. Now would that be fun?
As you read and follow the tips, keep at the back of your mind– there’s always an element of uniqueness to every baby shower.
In this book you will be gently advised to approach your baby shower project a little differently.
Putting together a baby shower, in the way you might put together a recipe – adding ingredients exactly as they’re listed and ending up with a predictably tasty dish – you use the advice in here as a guide for creating a magical day for the mother-to-be, and for all the caring friends who will attend the baby shower.
Some of the ideas might not fit with what you’re trying to do, or what can be done (such as some of the baby shower games we talk about).
Remember: Baby showers are supposed to be fun and special events. They aren’t meant to be stressful, and the last person who should feel stressed is you!
Now that you have this book, pulling together a memorable baby shower might be the easiest thing you do all year
How to Plan Your Baby Shower and Who will host the Shower?
This has always been a strong debate, sometimes arguments – that can actually become quite emotional – to determine whether or not a relative should throw the baby shower. Traditionally, the view has been that a relative should NOT throw a baby shower, because it can appear that the relative is requesting presents. Yet traditions change, and there are times when a sibling, or a cousin, or an aunt might be the ideal and somewhat convenient choice.
So what should you do? To answer this, we can respond with the best, and sometimes most unsatisfying answer of them all: it depends.
Sorry, but it really does depend. If you come from a traditional or conventional background, it may be wise to see that a non-relative is in charge of the baby shower. In addition, even if you, personally, are comfortable with a relative throwing the baby shower, some of your friends – who may be less comfortable with it than you – may object
Perhaps the most practical advice I could give is, if you can pleasantly not ask a relative run things, then that will likely be the best route to go. However, if that’s just not possible, plausible, or preferred, then don’t feel like you’re someone from outer space because you’re related to the mother-to-be.
More and more people are breaking with the tradition or the conventional way of doing things, especially since they feel that the embarrassing thought of a relative “asking for gifts” just doesn’t exist anymore.
Gifts (which we talk about further on in this book) are rather important to baby showers; I’ve never heard of one being held without gifts. Since that is the case, whether a relative requests them from those attending the baby shower, or a non-relative requests them, arguably isn’t important to those attending. They’re likely focused on what the baby shower should focus on: the mother-to-be.
Now, here’s something amusing that you should know about. Some people may not want to run the baby shower!! It’s assumed that if you’re reading this, that you’re quite happy with the assignment, and you’d like to do some quality – and easy! – research so that everything goes off without a hitch.
A baby shower is a wonderful event that should be filled with lots of laughter, love, and most likely a few tears (of happiness).
But putting a baby shower together can take a fair amount of time. Not a lot of time however, when you compare it to a wedding for example or even a holiday.
If you’re about to ask someone to plan one for you, then please bear this in mind, this person should know that they’ll need to do a little bit of work (but it’s a whole load of fun….promise!!!!)
And if you’ve been asked to put together a baby shower, this article will help you vastly. I could also say that, nothing is stopping you from asking some other friends to help you with some of the work like preparing food, refreshments, and helping with decorations and games.
How Soon Should the Shower Happen?
As usual, there are a few different opinions when you should hold the baby shower. Luckily, however, these views aren’t as debatable as they sometimes are when it comes to whether a relative or non-relative should hold the baby shower (as we discussed above). So don’t worry; this is a rather easy and straightforward challenge to solve.
Now, there isn’t a clear answer to that question: when should the shower happen? The answer to this will almost always depend on the mother-to-be, the guests, and other issues.
So rather than giving a straight answer here – let’s just look at the variables. Once you know these, you’ll easily be able to figure out when the baby shower should be held.
Let’s start with mother-to-be. She may decide when she wants one, and as I’ve found out, mothers- to- be should be heeded at all times!!!
The father-to-be might also provide input here, which would be fantastic and he should be part of the whole decision making process (we take a closer look at “couples” baby-showers later on in this book).
What kinds of things might influence a mother-to-bes’ choice when the shower should be held? Some of them prefer to have the shower when they’re showing; they feel that when there’s something to see it would be more appropriate
In practical terms, this means that a shower might be held well into the second trimester, or into the third.
December is a season for parties and events, as a result, it may be better to not hold the baby shower during this time of year, as it could influence people whether they could attend (or be able to relax when they attend, because they know that there will be more “get together” to go to after the baby shower!).
Furthermore, if you live in a wintry climate, it may be a pleasant idea to not have the baby shower in the dead of winter. True, life does go on in the middle of January and people go to work and do many of the things that they want to do (go shopping, go to restaurants, and so on), but if it makes absolutely no difference to you and the mother-to-be (and/or the father-to-be) whether the baby shower is held in late January or late April, then it may be advisable to choose the latter; simply for climate concerns.
This is one that most people don’t think about until someone brings it up. Fortunately for you, you’re getting a sneak-peak at that thought well before someone at the baby shower asks it!
As we all know, some people prefer to give gender-specific gifts, people who want to give baby blue gifts to an impending son or pink gifts to an impending daughter.
So if the gender is known and is not to be kept a secret then it would be great to let all friends know before they go out to buy gifts.
Normally the 9th week mark, the sex of the child is known, so any time after then is the perfect time to hold a baby shower (assuming, of course, that the parents-to-be want to know!).
Post-Birth Baby Showers
Some people are surprised to learn that many baby showers happen after the baby has been born. Actually, this is quite common because, in addition to having the shower itself, this timing affords guests the wonderful opportunity to actually see the baby.
Holding a post-birth shower may also work out better in light of other factors noted above, such as climate, and preferences of the parents-to-be.
Sending out Invitations
Here’s where some people dread being in charge of a baby shower, WHO DO I INVITE?!!
A good rule of thumb here is to work with the mother (and ideally, the father) to-be in order to decide who should attend, and who should be left off the list. This is a delicate scenario and can cause a number of major headaches!
The problem is, simply, that while it would be ideal to invite everyone who would want to attend, that’s just not practical; either financially or in terms of planning. Decisions will have to be made, and if you can work with the parents-to-be to make these decisions, the chances of making wise ones will increase.
Once you’ve figured out who to invite – the next step is to send out the invitations. Ensure that you do this well in advance of the baby shower. There are two major reasons for this.
Firstly, you want to give your guests enough time to let you know if they have something planned on the baby shower date. And, if they wish, move those plans in order to attend. If you don’t provide them with enough notice, they might not be able to.
Secondly, you want to give people enough time to reply back to you. Some people are not organized as you are! and as such they might not reply straightaway. As such, you want to give them a bit of time.
Now, there’s another issue here that we should discuss. Some people think, that if you don’t reply, that means you aren’t attending. That’s actually not totally correct. RSVP doesn’t mean (even in the French language from where it comes) that someone is going to attend. It simply means: please get back to me on this.
So what’s the problem? It’s that it can be a little disastrous to assume that if you don’t get an RSVP, that people won’t attend. Because some people will just “show up”, and when you say that you thought they weren’t coming because they didn’t “reply”, they may frown and say what we’re pointing out here: RSVP, itself, doesn’t mean yes or no. It just means: please respond.
Naturally, of course, people should reply as soon as and let you know if they’re going to come. It’s the nicest thing to do. But “being nice” is one of those “eye of the beholder” terms; and people who haven’t invested several days of their life to putting a memorable baby shower together may not realize how impolite they are being by just showing up, unannounced.
So how do you work this one out? Well, like all good solutions: you head it off before it becomes a problem!
While you want to have all of your guests RSVP, you should make it totally clear that you’d like an answer regardless of whether they will attend or not. To that end, depending on the size of your baby shower guest list, you should include a self-addressed stamped envelope and a note with each invitation that says something like this:
“I would be very grateful if you could reply to this invitation as soon as convenient and return in the enclosed self-addressed envelope. Thank You and we look forward to seeing you there.”
You can create any variation of this as you want.
Now, if your baby shower guest list is smaller phone them instead and ask if they are attending. If you have the time and the ability to do so (e.g. the guest list is small enough for you to manage), this is the preferred method. It gives your invitees the opportunity to ask pertinent questions, such as whether the mother-to-be is in any gift registry.
Let’s talk about this right now.
To Gift Registry or Not to Gift Registry
This is another one of those fun decisions that involve the mother-to-be, and probably the father-to-be, as well. Gift registries are, generally speaking, wonderful inventions because they solve a lot of confusing problems, such as:
• What will the parents-to-be want as a gift?
• What gift items have already been purchased by other invitees?
• What price range is appropriate?
So with all of this evidence, why might someone not use one?
Well, there are few reasons.
The simplest reason is one is that some people don’t want to limit the things that guests might buy; especially if some gifts aren’t typically found in stores that offer registries. For example, some artistic guests may want to create something for the baby; perhaps wooden mobile, or a beautiful picture to hang in the baby’s room.
These kinds of items can’t appear on a gift registry; and so parents-to-be might wish to avoid using one.
Another reason is cost. Depending on the number of people invited to the baby shower, and presuming that those that have been invited attend, there may be a slight embarrassment if the registry contains gifts that might be outside of a person’s price range. This can indeed be awkward.
For example, if 20% of the gifts in the registry are below, say, $30, there is some possibility that these ones will be snatched up first; thus leaving a latecomer to buy something more expensive, or risk buying something that isn’t on the registry at all and therefore might not be wanted by the parents.
To help deal with this situation, you can informally ask that people club together to buy the more expensive items, like a crib or a stroller. This way, your guests can still stay within their budget, and purchase something that the parents want, and need (since babies are very expensive!).
Remember, of course, that if you choose the registry route, that you provide all the necessary details. It would be best to include your phone number so if anyone has any questions about gifts or the registry they could ring you to ask.
The guests that are struggling with the expensive gifts will probably call you around the same time, and you can then suggest that they all club together and purchase an expensive item. Voila: problem solved!!
Part Two Is Coming Wednesday!