Secret Tips and Knowledge
You’ll likely find some of these to be common-sense; though a few may surprise you. As you succeed in planning and carrying out your baby showers (you’ll be so good at this people will want to consult your services!) your list of dos and don’ts will increase. Keep a journal handy to jot these insights and experienced down as you go.
Perfect Planning goes without saying (but let’s say it anyway, since we’re all here together!). PLEASE PLAN AHEAD!
You may be one of those people who tend to have a flair for pulling things off, and often, for pulling them out just in the nick of time. If this sounds like you, then you should really take note: PLEASE PLAN AHEAD!
Baby showers have a lot of variables that come together to determine whether if it is a success or not. You will know from reading the first section in this book, everything from choosing the time of year for the shower, to the amount of time to “RSVP” the invitations, are things that can influence the shower. If something is wrong in any of these elements, then they will almost certainly influence the overall baby shower experience.
So how do you deal with this? Simply by planning ahead.
Have a plan – write it out! – See what you have to do- and in what timeframe. If you need help, then talk to the mother-to-be. If you need assistance making a decision – such as who to invite – then get the help that you need. By planning, you’re able to see what you need to do, and therefore, you can go ahead and do it.
The other side to this, when you don’t plan, you are almost certainly going to overlook a detail or two. At the time, they may seem minor (“do I really need to follow-up with people who haven’t RSVP’d the invitation?”).
Yet once the shower actually happens, if there are flaws, they will be exposed.
If you aren’t a good planner, then here’s your opportunity to become one. It’s not that hard at all; it just requires a little effort (that goes a long way!).
One of the most memorable things about the baby shower will be the decorations. They might seem like yet another minor detail in a sea of details, but they will be something that people notice, and indeed, remember.
You don’t have to go overboard on the decorations, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. In fact, the biggest investment here will probably be your time. Simply choose the decorations that reflect the theme that you’ve chosen.
Know Your Limit: And Do the Catering Right
Perhaps more than ever before, people are very serious about what they eat; and what they don’t. For instance, many Catholics don’t eat red meat on Friday. As such, if the guest list included people who you knew followed this practice, you would simply include non-red-meat alternatives, such as seafood. Or if your guests were Jewish, you wouldn’t serve pork.
While these cultural catering rules still certainly apply, more people these days are choosing to eat based on lifestyle choices.
Many people, for example, don’t eat foods that contain saturated fats, or many people don’t eat foods that are high in carbs, or proteins. There are also many more practicing vegetarians in the western world right now; and that, too, can be a little confusing. Some people who describe themselves as vegetarians will eat fish. Some will drink milk. Some won’t eat cheese or honey.
Now, don’t worry: you don’t have to serve dozens of kinds of food! The idea here is simply to be aware that in the world today, people are much more informed about what they’ll eat; and what they won’t.
So when you make your catering decisions, try and think outside of the box. For example, if you’re ordering little finger sandwiches, it may be wise to have cold cuts on a separate plate that people can pick and choose from at their discretion. Those who don’t want cold cuts (for any reason, including taste preference) can simply not pick them up.
Also consider the types of foods that you offer. If your guest list is going to be predominantly filled with senior citizens, foods like celery – which is murder on dentures! – isn’t a good idea.
Before we go onto the next do, please take a moment to consider whether you’ll have alcohol at the baby shower. Now, this book is not a legal guide and nothing within it, naturally, should be seen as legal advice. However, according to media reports, there have been some cases where people at parties consumed too much alcohol and, as a result, injured themselves and other people. This is tragic enough, but to add even more unhappiness, the party hosts were also seen as partly liable.
Or, like many people, you can just choose to have an alcohol-free baby shower and not give it a second thought!
Don’t Want It All Night? Set a Time Limit
Baby showers are wonderful events filled with relaxing laughter and shared positive emotions. Yet all good things must end at some point. Right? Or rather, all good things should come to an end while they’re still good things.
You should have a clear end-time for the baby shower. This allows guests to efficiently plan their day, and it also gives everyone a chance to leave at the same time and not appear impolite for “having to run and miss all of the fun”.
While you’ll certainly want to usher the baby shower through its various phases (such as moving from games to food with enough time for people to eat), the important thing here is that the baby shower should end on time.
Embarrassing Moments? Games To Avoid
We’ve come a long way from charades. Now, there are shelves full of games specifically designed for adults. Some of these games, as you can imagine – are of the… well, they can be a bit racy. And they can ask awkward questions and inspire awkward moments.
Now, you simply don’t want the word “awkward” to be anywhere near your baby shower. So to help do this, ensure that the games you choose are suitable for everyone and won’t lead to awkward situations.
Also, some games, like Twister, aren’t typically enjoyed by people who may be obese, or who are afflicted with a physical limitation.
For example, if one of your guests is confined to a wheelchair, then having a game that requires mobility – like Twister, or a rousing rendition of musical chairs – can be very awkward. It can hurt feelings.
Naturally, you won’t know, for instance, that one of the guests had a very scary piñata experience as a child, and therefore runs out of the room screaming when she sees one of them flying through the air.
So what should you do when you can’t know everything that there is to know?
Simple: just have a few options. Keep a few back-up games handy, just in case you detect that people are uncomfortable with the choices.
Making Sure Everyone Is Seated
Some people like eating while standing up; particularly kids, who always seem to be on the go and ready to do the next thing. Some of them even eat while doing something else, like walking or talking on the phone.
However, your guests aren’t going to be that frenetic with their movements. They’ll likely want to peacefully sit down and eat; and that’s why you must make sure there are enough seats.
This is an oversight that a lot of very well-intentioned baby shower producers make. The thing is, it’s sometimes very hard to envision just how much table and chair space is necessary. A room may look very spacious, but fill it with 15 people or more, and it can become very cramped.
Again, the solution to this is in the word plan. Take a good look at the space in which the baby shower will take place. Literally count the number of sitting spaces, and the number of table spaces. If there aren’t enough of both to comfortably serve the number of people attending, then you need to do something about this.
Fold-away tables and chairs that can be brought out and then put away when the food is finished provide a good solution to this problem.
Or, if the weather is nice, you can maybe count on doing things outside. If you do this, however, keep in mind that some people may still want to eat inside.
So if you don’t really have enough space, then take steps to find more space; or, at the very least, don’t serve foods like soups that require a stable eating area.
If you absolutely can’t find enough space for all of the guests, choose foods like dry sandwiches that people can eat as they stand, or sit on a stairwell.
Hosting a Baby Shower Together?
This term doesn’t actually mean that couples should be invited to baby showers. Rather, it refers to the husband of the mother-to-be inviting his friends to the baby shower.
A very good trend over the last generation or so is that more men are participating in the whole childbirth experience. In this light, it’s not strange to imagine that men are participating in baby showers in unprecedented numbers.
The decision to have men at the baby shower is a decision that, naturally, would be made by both would-be parents. It’s nothing that the baby shower producer (you!) should assume; because there may be pros and cons about the wisdom of this co-ed option.
If you decide to invite men, then ensure that this is reflected on the invitation. Also, keep in mind that many men consider Sunday to be a holy day—football reasons!!! During football season (October through to January), Sunday is a very important day for many men; and showing up to a shower might be the last thing that they want to do.
So just bear this in mind, and if you have to do things on a Sunday
Also keep in mind that some of the feminine elements of a traditional baby shower – such as, perhaps, the Tea Party theme – should probably go out the window if you’re doing things as a couple. Find something entertaining and, if at all possible, gender neutral.
To Sum Everything Up
You now know more about planning the perfect baby shower than most people ever will.
For instance, you now know the importance of planning everything from the timing of the shower, to the food being served, to whether there’s enough space for people to eat and sit comfortably.
You also know about themes and games that can make the baby shower a memorable one for all. And, of course, you know about some of the essential dos and don’ts that can make all of the difference whether a baby shower succeeds.
Remember, as we pointed out at the very beginning of this book, your vision here in planning the perfect baby shower should be a flexible vision; there is no guaranteed prescription that will magically lead to the perfect experience.
However, by following the proven, simple, and clear advice in this book, you’ll put yourself way ahead of the pack and truly hit the ground running.
Good luck, have fun, and remember: baby showers are about sharing good times and having fun!
And don’t forget to keep a journal of your experiences – both positive and not-so-positive. This can serve both as a priceless memento of your baby shower experience, and as a very useful tool for you as you go to your next baby shower; or help someone plan their perfect event!
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