Babies are expensive, so the baby shower was invented with one goal in mind: supply the parents-to-be with most of the stuff they’ll need to welcome their new arrival into the world. Yes, it’s also a day to celebrate the mom entering the new phase of her life, but really, it’s about the gifts. Use these baby shower ideas to keep the costs down and make it fun for everyone.
Choose a Free Location
Most of the baby showers I’ve attended have been held in private homes. I’ve heard of restaurant showers, but that will quickly get expensive. A friend or relative’s house is free, and allows you to cook the food yourself. If you don’t have access to a house, then consider a public park. Just arrive a few hours early to stake out a couple of tables. Make sure you’re near the bathrooms, though. Also keep in mind that many of the gifts are bulky, so choose a spot near the parking lot.
Recruit a Co-Host
In the past, there was a taboo about moms hosting wedding showers for their daughters. That seems to be waning, but some people are still picky about it. That doesn’t hold true of baby showers, though. The shower can also be hosted by a sister, friend, or other relative. If you’re hosting a baby shower, consider recruiting another friend or relative to help share the costs and divide the labor.
Keep the Guest List Short
A baby shower doesn’t need to be huge. Although I’ve been to 20 or 30 person showers, I’ve also been to 10 person showers (second baby.) It seems like more than 20 is overkill, unless it’s a co-ed baby shower. You certainly don’t need to get into the range of 50 like you do for some wedding showers.
Serve a Simple Buffet
When planning the baby shower menu, keep in mind the long, long list of foods that the mom-to-be probably isn’t allowed to eat. That includes most soft cheeses, uncooked fish, high-mercury fish, raw eggs, and raw egg products. If you stick with chicken, beef, charcuterie, or pasta you should be safe. There are many ways to cook those basics that can appear fancy, but are actually be simple to prepare. Cake seems to be the dessert of choice, but cupcakes are also fun and easy to make yourself.
It’s not necessary to serve a sit-down meal. Most showers seem to be buffet affairs where people can mingle. If you have a small group, you could all sit around the table together, but it becomes unmanageable with more than ten people or so.
Limit the Beverage Options
Some baby showers include alcohol, others don’t. It really depends on your crowd and the mom-to-be. Ask her whether she’ll be offended if other people drink. For a women-only shower, serve wine or champagne punch at the most. You may also need beer for a co-ed baby shower. This is not the time for mixed cocktails.
Skip the Theme
The baby is the theme. Simply hang a few streamers in appropriate pastel colors and you’re good to go. There’s no need to hang diapers and bibs all over the place or come up with a new color scheme for the baby shower.
Skip the Baby Shower Favors
If you must do favors, stick to simple items like votive candles or a bundle of candy wrapped in tulle. Most baby shower favors wind up in the trash, so don’t go overboard.
Use Affordable Invitations
An Evite might not be quite appropriate, but you can go to your nearest stationery shop to buy printable invitations you can complete on your computer. Or you could handwrite them. There’s no need to order engraved invitations.
Skip the Baby Shower Games
I said this in the bridal shower post and I’ll say it again: shower games are boring. No one wants to guess how much a toy costs or how many jelly beans fill a baby bottle. Definitely do not humiliate the mom by asking people to cut string to the estimated width of her belly. Please, just let people talk, eat, and watch the presents be opened. Everything else is just silly filler.
These baby shower ideas are simple, but they won’t make the shower seem cheap. Instead, you’ll have an elegant baby shower that everyone will enjoy and will pass quickly.