What’s the Best Way to Host a Baby Shower?

August 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

When an expectant mother informs her friends and family of the impending addition in her life, it is sometimes confusing when trying to determine who should throw her the all-important baby shower.

A close friend may take over the reins and offer to host a day of celebration for her, but may also be done by a co-worker, cousin or an in-law relative. If many of the mother’s friends and families are strewn about, it may also be necessary for more than one baby shower in order to involve everyone.

Perhaps a group of all of these people will decide to host a baby shower for the expecting mom. This allows for delegation of the several responsibilities so as not to overload one person involved.

Guest lists, invitations, menus, decorations and activities all need to be planned; this is definitely much easier with an entire group. This also helps with the several and possibly large expenses that will be incurred during the planning and hosting stages. However, it’s important to stay organized and ensure that no two people are duplicating the same tasks at hand.

A baby shower held at the office is also a great option. If a co-worker or group of them would like to throw a baby shower at work for the mother, the company policy may or may not allow the shower to take place at the office. It may be best to plan the shower after working hours to prevent any question of policy violation.

No matter your relation to the mother or how you plan on hosting the baby shower, ensure you have plenty of time to carry out the process properly. Showers take a significant amount of time to plan, and even if many tasks are delegated or outsourced to a professional company you’ll need to make sure everything is on schedule and according to plan.

If you plan on throwing a surprise baby shower, make sure that your selected date does not interfere with the mother’s schedule or a possible additional shower. Contact her family and friends and plan your surprise event around any that are currently under way in order to avoid stepping on toes and offending others who are close to the mother.

Also remember that in most cases it’s appropriate to consult the expectant mother about any desired themes, menu items and the guest list. You shouldn’t simply assume that she wants everyone there from work or old schoolmates. Ask for her opinion and a few guidelines, and go from there. She’ll probably also need to be consulted about the date and time, as well as the location of the shower.

Remember that although the expectant mom has several months to plan for the baby, planning a baby shower takes a considerable amount of time, and it shouldn’t be scheduled too far in advance nor too near the birth. You’ll want to allow her plenty of time to organize all of her gifts and new supplies to welcome baby into the world!

Should You Schedule the Baby Shower Before or After the Delivery?

August 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

Baby shower parties are wonderful opportunities to catch up with friends and family, and celebrate a new life coming in to the world. It allows everyone to help the new mother acquire the needed supplies and accessories to help with her new role in life, and is typically quite an easy party to plan for the host.

One of the biggest initial questions is whether to have the baby shower before or after the birth, and this is the first decision that needs to be made. There are several considerations for both choices; first time parents most likely have no furniture or supplies for the new baby, so planning the baby shower prior to the birth may be best in this case.

However, holding the baby shower party after the birth may be more advantageous because all the guests will have a chance to visit with the new baby. This may also present a perfect opportunity to give more appropriate gifts if the parents choose not to find out the sex of the baby.

Some additional considerations for a baby shower to be held after the birth exist. Although the presence of a new baby could cause some concern, the great news is that baby showers usually don’t last more than 2 or 3 hours at most. Gathering friends and family together all at once to visit with the baby allows the new parents to continue adjusting to their new schedules, and avoid multiple separate visits for a time, at least.

Baby showers held afterward usually are planned a month to 6 weeks after baby is born, to allow mom a chance to adjust appropriately and begin to regain her normal physical appearance. This type of baby shower may also be best for a second or third child, when the parents most likely have many supplies they will need for the first years of baby’s life.

After the birth, the baby becomes the guest of honor; baby showers held before will typically make the mother the center of attention for the day, so considering her personality may also help in making this decision. If she knows the gender and/or has planned for a color scheme or theme for her nursery, planning a baby shower theme that compliments it will also be easier.

Every case is different, as is every mother and child. Either way, the date of the baby shower needs to be determined well ahead of time to allow for proper planning and booking. If the baby shower is to be held before baby arrives, plan for the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy; baby showers held after the birth should be reserved for 4 to 6 weeks after delivery.

It may be beneficial to simply ask the mother when she would prefer to have her own baby shower. She may have a personal preference but will only make it known if asked, so give her the opportunity to have some input on the date of her own baby shower.

Pulling It All Together – The Final Baby Shower Preparations

August 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

You’ve been through the shopping, planning, decorating, and preparation of food and activities. Now, the date of the baby shower has arrived and it’s time to pull everything together in a timely and efficient manner. You should know exactly how many guests are attending, how the expectant mom will get there and transport her gifts, and have already confirmed your location. Now you simply have to decorate, pick up the baby shower cake and any flowers or balloons, and pull off an unbelievable baby shower party.

Well ahead of the date of the shower, you should have planned a timeline for the day to ensure everything goes as planned. Make sure you arrive well ahead of time to decorate, arrange furniture, prepare the food and present it, and mix any beverages that have not been so prior.

You may decide to recruit family and friends to help with this process to ensure it all gets done in time. Make a checklist and check it twice, and allow for unexpected errand runs or anything you may have forgotten. Any frozen food should be taken out the day before for thawing, and each helper should have an assigned task.

Decorating will most likely take a couple of hours, so ensure you arrive early enough to do so. If the baby shower is held at a rented location or club, you’ll need to double check with the facility to see how early you can arrive. You’ll need table decorations, favors, banners, balloons, floral arrangements, and the food table to be decorated accordingly. Streamers may also be used for a festive touch to the baby shower, and are a great way to incorporate the color scheme for a low cost.

Also allow for time to set up tables and arrange chairs and other furniture for the guests. They should be able to see the guest of honor, and mom should have a dedicated table or area for her gifts. A special table may also be needed for the baby shower cake and supplies for serving.

Overlooking the smallest of details is very easy to do, but can be very detrimental to the success of a baby shower party. Little things like having enough trash receptacles in areas that are easy to reach, having plenty of the appropriate types of utensils, ice buckets or coolers, and exterior signs directing guests to the right location all need to be taken care of the day of the baby shower party.

All of these things should be ready before the first guest arrives, which will most likely be the expectant mother. She should be able to arrive at least 10 minutes early to help you greet the incoming party guests.

Making a list and checking it twice, and allowing for the unforeseen events and needed errands will make your life on the day of the party much easier. Also remember that someone should be designated to record the gifts and who gave them to the mother for thank-you notes later. You’ll need to allow plenty of time to clean up the facility and food afterward as well, so consider recruiting a few extra friends to help at the end of the baby shower party.

Professional Talent and Entertainment at a Baby Shower

August 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

Modern baby shower parties are much different than they used to be. Formerly, they were very intimate gatherings involving the closest of friends and family, typically held in the host’s home. Today, guests lists tend to include everyone from old classmates to co-workers, and can become quite large and stressful to manage.

If the baby shower party you’re planning is to be quite elaborate, you most likely will want to incorporate special entertainment and menu items only seen at wedding receptions. It may also make sense to outsource some of your responsibility, and hiring a professional entertainer or group can at least reduce a little of your stress.

So, what types of talent might you consider that will be appropriate for a baby shower? Well, the choices are virtually limitless, and you can be very creative in making this decision. You may hire caterers, professional bakeries, decorators, musical talent, magicians, photographers, bartenders, servers, planners, printers, and even professional activity coordinators to help in pulling off the ideal baby shower party.

Of course, this will all depend upon your budget. Some professionals may be quite affordable if you determine a few areas where you can save quite a bit. Also consider the value of your time involved. Is it really worth it for you to spend hours on end in the kitchen preparing the menu? You may decide that paying a couple hundred bucks to a caterer to prepare and/or serve the food would better serve your resources.

Budgets for a baby shower should be determined almost immediately after deciding to host it. If you know the party is likely to be large, you may want to partner with a few friends and host the party as a group. This will help with both costs involved and the necessary details in planning the baby shower.

Hiring talent is also a planning stage in and of itself. Get together with any other members of the host party, and make a list of everything each of you would like to participate in or plan, as well as any other tasks that need to be taken care of. This will give you an idea of which areas a professional service may be able to help you.

Finding referrals from friends and family is the most reliable way to find a reputable professional service to hire for the baby shower. These will tell you much more information than what is included in the yellow pages listings! Ask for both great service and reasonable pricing, and you should come up with at least a few different possibilities.

After hiring the necessary talent to help you pull off the baby shower, ensure you have a contract in place and a copy of it, and reaffirm the talent 1 or 2 weeks ahead of time. Also contact them again 1 or 2 days prior to the baby shower, to ensure no last-minute problems have arisen. This way, at least you’ll have some time to make alternate plans if an emergency situation prevents the talent from holding up their end of the bargain.

Planning a Baby Shower Before Delivery

August 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

Baby shower parties are great fun for everyone involved – mom, baby, friends, family and even host. The key is to plan accordingly and be prepared for everything, but if a strict planning schedule is adhered to, the day of the baby shower will go much smoother and cause fewer headaches.

The first consideration for hosting a baby shower before baby arrives is to choose a date. This should typically be planned for 6 to 8 weeks before the mom’s expected due date. This will give plenty of time for mom to organize her new gifts and supplies, and will also allow time for unexpected late-term events (such as an early delivery!).

After choosing the date, remember this should allow you, the host, 6 to 8 weeks to plan the baby shower properly. Guest lists, determining if any the baby shower theme, and reserving the location should be immediately addressed. Baby shower invitations should be ordered, a proposed menu should be compiled, and the expectant mother should give you the details of her baby gift registry.

Invitations should be sent 4 to 6 weeks prior to the baby shower party, and games and activities should be planned. Baby shower favors, baby shower decorations and baby shower tableware should be purchased and are always able to be coordinated with each other for a great baby shower theme throughout.

Reservations need to be confirmed three weeks before the shower. However, if you’re having it in your home, start to borrow and gather the appropriate number of chairs and tables, serving supplies and platters for the party.

One week before the baby shower, make an outline of the schedule of the party, including eating, opening gifts, socialization, and games. If anyone has not RSVP’d, contact them and finalize the guest count. Order the baby shower cake, flowers, and start cleaning your home if it’s to be held there.

You should also start shopping for menu items, and prepare anything that can be frozen beforehand. Call friends and family of the expectant mother, and coordinate transportation to help her get all of her gifts home afterward.

Two days before the shower, if you are holding it in your home, begin to arrange furniture and prepare a spot for the guest of honor. You may also begin decorating with paper goods and flowers. Call and confirm the baby shower cake, any reservations for a location, and begin prepping the food.

The day before the baby shower, finish preparing all food, and finish cleaning your house. Find the most comfortable chair possible for the expectant mom to have a seat, and get any disposable cameras ready. Blow up or order balloons to mark the location of the party, and prepare any exterior signs. Also, make sure you have plenty of trash cans available for paper plates and cups, as well as gift wrap paper.

Finally, on the day of the shower, pick up the cake, any balloons and flowers, and set out the signs directing guests to the baby shower location. Place the food and beverages out, and begin greeting guests as they arrive. It’s also a great idea to have a schedule of activities to keep the baby shower party atmosphere moving along and ensure you don’t forget anything!

Photographing and Recording the Baby Shower

August 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

Baby showers are a time that the expectant mother will want to capture memories to look fondly on in the future. Every party includes at least one guest that is constantly snapping photographs, but this can’t be counted on for an official photographic record of the day.

The host is much too busy to take pictures during the baby shower, too. Her duty is to ensure guests and the expectant mother are taken care of and comfortable, and everything goes according to plan. One helpful option, if the budget allows for it, is to hire a professional photographer to snap great photos of the baby shower. Perhaps a package deal will also be available for adding videography to the mix, too.

Professional photographers will definitely offer a high-quality product, but may be booked months ahead of time. They do come at a premium price, but if the host can afford this expense it’s definitely worth investigating. If this is something the host wants to pursue, the photographer should be contracted 6 to 8 weeks ahead of time.

Other options may include simply recruiting the father of the baby or other male family member that can take videos and pictures of the event; he can even ask the guests to offer an individual piece of advice for the expectant parents to be recorded on the video.

A great and inexpensive option is simply purchasing disposable cameras for guests to snap pictures with periodically. These cameras are often available in great baby shower themes, and can easily be coordinated with all decorations used at the baby shower celebration.

Don’t forget that the cost of developing the film in these cameras should also be factored in. However, photos taken by the guests themselves often offer interesting and unique shots of family and friends that mom will enjoy later on.

You may decide to construct a scrapbook or post the photos online for all of the guests to see later. This is also a great way for any who were unable to attend to feel as if they were still included. Technology has offered several ways to share these photos on the Internet, and simply requires you to send e-mail invitations to guests with a link to the album. They may be required to choose a username and password, but can view and have the option to print any photos they please.

Websites that offer online photo albums may also have great digital baby shower theme designs, too. This option also starts an online area where everyone can visit to view photos of the new baby after delivery. Simply snap a few photos of him or her at the hospital, and upload them to the baby photo album. All guests who visited the album before will receive a message that it has been updated.

Don’t forget to choose one of the best photos, or one of you and the expectant mother, to order a print of. Have it set in a baby shower theme frame, and give it to her as a special memoir of her special day!

Ideas for Where to Throw a Baby Shower Party

July 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

If you’re in charge or part of the lucky group who is hosting a baby shower party for the expectant mom, you know that one of the most important decisions to make is where to hold the shower. This location will be determined by the date and time you choose to have the party, as well as the approximate number of guests you’re expecting to cater to.

Sometimes, your home may be most appropriate. However, if you live very far away from where the guests will be traveling from or are expecting more guests that you can host in your home, you’ll need other ideas for where to have it.

Perhaps there’s a well-known restaurant that will rent out a large room, and provide the menu for you, too. Churches and clubs usually have meeting or banquet rooms available, conference rooms in office buildings, cafeterias, and even clubhouses at a friend’s apartment community are great places to host a baby shower.

You need to ensure you’re reserving the place to have the baby shower far enough in advance. This needs to be completed prior to sending invitations – about 6 to 8 weeks before your proposed baby shower party date.

If you’re considering holding the party at your home, consider carefully if you really can accommodate everyone on the guest list. Yes, it’s common that not everyone will attend, but it’s best to plan on the maximum number attending as possible. There are always last minute RSVPs, and some may even bring their older children or other family members with them.

Take a look at your furniture and determine how it should be rearranged to accommodate everyone. Do you have enough parking room for everyone, too? Is your home located in a hard-to-find area? Do you have pets that the expectant mother or guests may be allergic to? Where will the mom sit and open her gifts in front of everyone?

You may also be able to hold the baby shower outside if the weather is expected to be agreeable. If you have a large and appealing yard, this may be the ideal option.

Now, if your home simply won’t accommodate the guests and an outdoor baby shower party is not possible, it’s time to start inquiring at local churches, restaurants and other clubhouses. Church locations and clubhouses will often offer full kitchens to prepare and serve food to the guests, and will most likely be less expensive than a restaurant.

These types of locations also need to be reserved very far ahead of time, as they book quickly. Also remember you may need to submit a cash deposit, and plan for cleaning up after the baby shower. Try recruiting friends and family to stay afterward to help, and plan on arriving the day prior or a couple of hours ahead of time to decorate the facility.

Some may even offer decoration rentals for an additional fee, so inquire about this possibility, too. In the long run, it may save money and prevent you from having an entire stock of baby shower decorations in your attic later on!

Host a Baby Shower for an Adopted Child

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

Couples looking to adopt a child are in the midst of one of the most exciting and rewarding times in their lives. An extensive amount of planning, preparation and even financial investment is necessary during the adoption process, which is typically very lengthy and tiresome.

After the completion of the legal adoption, some semblance of a normal life will resume; but of course, a special baby shower party is in order to help in welcoming the new addition to the family.

Baby showers for adopted children require some of the same timing requirements as those held for non-adopted children, but a few additional considerations should be accounted for.

If a shower is planned prior to the child’s arrival and the finalization of the adoption, there is always a risk of unforeseen delays, legal issues, and even the possibility of the entire prospect falling through. Thus, it may be more appropriate to plan a baby shower after the finalization of the process.

Of course, if the parents have no other children and this will be their first, there’s a whole host of supplies they’ll need to welcome a new infant or child into their home. This issue is always best determined by discussing it with the future parents. Use their preferences to plan the baby shower around a certain time and date, and remember to stay flexible on this – the fact that you have something to celebrate is the most important thing.

Many baby showers for adopted children, if conducted after finalization, will include the child in the celebration. This calls for ensuring every aspect of the shower is age-appropriate. For an older child, you may gear it as more of a birthday celebration where guests can bring gifts specifically for him or her.

Baby shower decorations, baby shower invites, the baby shower cake and even the games and activities to take place need to be customized for this purpose. Consider a baby shower theme or birthday geared specifically toward the child, such as a magician for entertainment, reserving a location known for catering to that age range, or having a party centered around a favorite character or hobby.

Also consider that asking guests to bring their own children will make a fun outing for the entire family, and allow the newly adopted child to begin socializing with new family and friends. Ask the parents for input on what types of gifts they would consider appropriate, or if there are specific items they would like to receive.

Outside of these considerations, all other standard rules apply when throwing this type of baby shower. Baby shower invites or ‘Welcome Party’ invitations should still be sent out 4 to 6 weeks ahead of time, and the location should be determined and reserved if necessary.

Menu planning, decorations, supplies and activities should all be planned, as well as transportation back home for the family that most likely will need to haul much more than they came with.

Baby Showers for Second, Third or Subsequent Children

July 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower

When an expectant mother becomes pregnant after having a first child, there is some question as to whether to hold a baby shower for her. Typically, baby shower parties are thrown in the mother’s honor to ‘shower’ her with gifts to prepare for baby’s arrival. After having one or more children, many mothers may already have much of the needed furniture and related baby supplies required to care for baby properly.

There are some alternatives for baby showers for these subsequent pregnancies. The real purpose of a shower is to celebrate the impending or recent arrival of a new baby, and allows friends and family to gather and socialize.

One great idea is to de-emphasize gifts, or tell guests that they are not necessary. Unless the mother has a dire need for some of the basics, simply encourage everyone to gather and celebrate the growing family and good health of the mother and baby.

Another option may be to simply host a baby shower after the birth, and make the baby the center of attention. Everyone can come to see and hold the baby, and ask mother about how she’s holding up during her crazy schedule after birth.

You can even call the party something other than a baby shower. It may be an ‘It’s a Girl!’ party or ‘It’s a Boy!’ celebration. You could even send out birthday invitations to celebrate the baby’s ’0′ birthday – this way, you’ll be able to include the baby’s name and stats measured at birth. Giving the baby his or her first birthday party prior to their first birthday will truly be unique!

Let guests know that gifts are optional, but if they want to bring something, it could be necessities like diapers, washcloths or bottles. Some guests may even bring personalized gifts with the birth date, full name, and length and weight at birth.

You may also focus on throwing a ‘Mommy Party’ or ‘Pamper Party’, and continue to focus on mom by encouraging gifts aimed solely at comforting and pampering her. Spa and beauty products, comfy loungewear, gift certificates and even home treatment tools are all wonderful accessories for mom to use to escape for just a little while.

The tone of one of these baby showers can be much more casual, organized as a simple afternoon get-together at the host’s home. Eating great food, socializing and seeing the new baby will be the focus of the party.

Guests can even bring everyday essentials to help mom and dad get along after the birth. These may include things like frozen dinner entrees for easy cooking, gift certificates for a ‘date night’ for mom and dad, or homemade certificates for a free night of babysitting or day of housecleaning.

If you’re wondering whether or not to host a baby shower for a second or third child, the answer is ‘Absolutely!’. Simply ask mom before the birth what type of party she would prefer, and go from there. You may also want to make this decision yourself if you know her personality well enough, and organize a surprise party in her and the baby’s honor for a special treat.

Baby Shower Cakes: Sweet Treats for Sweet Times

April 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Shower Cakes

A cute baby shower cake is a sweet way to cap a fun baby shower for the newest member of the family. Baby showers have become a tradition for heralding the arrival of a cute baby into the home. Fun games and decorations centered around baby stuff can make the affair festive and memorable but the best centerpiece is always the perfect baby shower diaper cake. Soon-to-be-moms will want the best baby shower cake so party planners always try to come up with unique and fresh ideas for baby shower cakes.

There are several baby shower cake designs you can find on the Internet. Most of these use everyday baby items you can find in any grocery. Diapers are the most common items because they are flexible and can be “molded” to fit any design.

Other common items that can be used for baby shower cakes are feeding bottles, baby clothes, baby lotions or baby wash, and diaper clips. Other baby items are also very handy. Rattles, teethers, and pacifiers can be used to add fun and color to the cake. You can also stock up on bows, ribbons, rubber bands, and other small stuff because you will probably need these in tying up your items for the baby shower cake.

You can only be limited by your imagination when it comes to baby shower cakes. The best way to get ideas is to look at pictures of baby shower cakes that others have made and try to look at how each item is used in the design. Then you can take off from there and create your own style.

The best way to start planning for a baby shower cake is to think of a general theme for the whole party and let the invitations, decorations, activities and the centerpiece cake revolve around the theme. This will set the atmosphere for the whole activity so choose a theme that will best fit the personality of the mom-to-be and the friends and family joining the party.

A sporty mom and her friends might want a playball diaper cake with little toy basketballs and baseballs as the central decorations. A Hawaiian-themed baby shower cake will be fun for the mom and her friends who love the beach and the outdoors. For this you will probably need a lot of colorful baby wash clothes and some tropical toy animals for effect. When cooking up a design do not stop at the mere “look” of the cake. Also try as much as practicable to use items that the baby will actually need as this is the essence of a diaper cake.

You can go from simple designs to multi-tiered diaper cakes that are almost good enough to eat! And who said diaper cakes cannot be edible. While baby shower cakes are created to be centerpieces of baby stuff, there is no stopping any creative mom or party host from adding edible cupcakes or jell-o cakes to make the centerpiece even more fun and exciting.

A baby shower party is a sweet celebration of a new life. With imagination and lots of creativity, you can easily come up with the perfect baby shower cake to top the occasion.

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