How to Throw a Baby Shower

You've gotten the news that someone you know and love is expecting a baby and now you’re in charge of throwing a baby shower. Traditionally, baby showers are not hosted by the mother-to-be, but by a friend or family member. There is some etiquette involved, as well as tried-and-true conventions, but the most important thing to remember is that the celebration is all about the new mom and her little bundle of joy.

A baby shower should be fun and congratulatory, which is usually best accomplished with some proper planning. Here is our guide on how to throw the best baby shower:

Assembling the guests. As for the guest list, close family members and friends are a given, but a sure bet is to consult with the guest of honor before sending out invitations. Traditionally, baby showers attendees are solely female, but that norm is shifting. It's up to you and the mom-to-be if the guest list should be mixed. Keep in mind, though, that an all-female party usually has a different dynamic than a party with both men and women, so decide on the kind of party chemistry you're trying to attain.

Sending out the invitations: Baby showers are typically held 4-6 weeks before the baby's due date, so get invitations out with enough time for guests to RSVP. Two weeks before the party date should be fine.

Bring it in with a theme. Once you’ve finalized the guest list, decide on a theme (or not). Since the shower is about the mom-to-be, deeply consider her preferences. For a traditional theme, choose the season of the baby’s birth, “frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails” for a baby boy, “sugar and spice” for a baby girl, or baby animals. For a trendier theme ideap, consider “children’s bedtime stories,” “pickles and ice cream (a craving shower),” or  music-centered “rock-a-bye baby.”

Where to go? Decide where the shower will take place. It can be at your or someone else's home. Throwing the shower at a home is a nice option because it’s comfortable and allows for more control over the flow of the party. Of course, a restaurant, cafe, or other venue with a party room is a good option too, especially if you're going for a formal feel. A new trend is the  “destination” baby shower, such as at a spa day,  garden, or another adventure.

Showering the mother-to-be Guests will want to know what gifts to present the honoree. It's perfectly acceptable for a mother-to-be to create a baby registry and then have that information passed along to guests via you. Gifts are typically opened at the baby shower so that everyone can  “ooh” and “aah” over the adorable sundries. For a baby shower, people tend to shop for just the baby, which is essential, but don't forget to pamper the mother, too! The Nine Naturals bundles are the perfect baby shower gift for the mom-to-be to enjoy as she enters the final weeks of pregnancy.

Eat, drink ... If you are hosting the baby shower at a restaurant, food and drink will be covered! Otherwise, you'll want to serve refreshments that are aligned with your theme. But refreshments do not need to be elaborate. Tea sandwiches, fruit and vegetable platters, and cupcakes are fantastic mainstays. Design a custom cocktail, or mocktail for the mom-to-be and other teetotaler. Don't forget to ask for information on dietary restrictions, especially if the mother-to-be has any that need to be considered.

… and be merry! Like choosing a theme, it's up to you to include games or not. Just remember, the best baby shower games are easy for all ages to play and are not overly embarrassing to the expectant mother. A few cute ideas are: a trivia challenge of animal baby names, a who's who guessing game of guests personal baby photos (supplied by each guest), or an egg race.

Although a baby shower can feel like your own party, remember that the main focus is the mother-to-be. Run your ideas about theme, food, games, and any ceremonies by her first. Unless, of course, the guest of honor loves surprises! The point is, remember that the event is for her. No matter where the baby shower is held, be sure that there will be comfortable seating for the expectant mother and easy bathroom access. Happy planning!