Traditional baby showers have never really been my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I know we are all thrilled when someone we love will soon bring a new life into the world, but being forced to sniff or taste melted chocolate from a baby diaper or to watch mom-to-be open a hundred onesies isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time (mom-to-be included).
When I offered to host a baby shower for my sister’s first pregnancy, we knew we wanted to do something different. What followed was a successful and fun shower for the parents-to-be and the guests. Consider these tips when planning your next baby shower.
1. Keep It Casual
There is no reason that throwing a baby shower should be a headache. Keep the day easy by hosting a simple backyard barbeque. Allow guests to pop in whenever it fits their schedule and stay only as long as they like. Burgers and dogs on the grill are easy to prepare and gluten-free or vegan options are available.
Choose sides that can be made beforehand to limit the amount of preparation the day of the shower. We stuck with fresh vegetables, hummus, salsas and salads that were easy to whip up and satisfied all dietary needs. They also fared well sitting out for the length of the party.
2. Make It Co-ed
It took two people to produce a pregnancy, so shouldn’t both parties be invited to celebrate it? Include the dudes and you’ll have extra sets of hands to setup and cleanup. It is also a great excuse to see all of your friends in the same place at the same time.
There are many co-ed baby shower invitations available. We settled on these great “BabyQ” shower invites by ElleOL Designs in pink, blue, or gender-neutral yellow, but you can even print your own invitations from home.
3. Bust Out the Booze
For those who like to kick back with a cold one on the weekend, a baby shower is no exception. In addition to having an assortment of beer outside by the barbeque, we set up a gorgeous indoor mimosa bar for guests to pick and choose their poison. Champagne along with orange, cranberry, and pineapple juices with fresh-cut fruit were provided for mixing. We even threw in a sangria option (thanks Bobby Flay!) for those that don’t dig champagne. The mimosa bar was so pretty that we hardly needed extra decorations for the shower, and mom-to-be could drink OJ without feeling left out.
4. Embrace Minimal Decorations
Tons of time and energy could be spent crafting pink fluffy or soft blue baby shower decorations only to have them thrown away after the party ends. Why not keep décor stress-free by using functional items or things that can be reused after the shower as decoration? With our mimosa bar and menu bringing in tons of color already, we decided to pick up just a few items to spruce up the already beautiful Los Angeles home where the shower was hosted. We chose to bring in fresh spring flowers, balloons in a pale pink palette, and inexpensive tissue paper pom poms that hung like chandeliers from the arched entryways around the house.
All baby shower gifts were laid out neatly unwrapped for guests to peruse. Everyone loves to look at cute, tiny baby gifts, but we eliminated the monotonous gift opening tradition while still allowing guests to find and chat about what they had given the expectant couple.
5. Make Games Opt-In Only
Nothing is worse than being forced to participate in a baby shower game that you aren’t interested in or just plain grosses you out (reference melted chocolate diaper game above). We chose only two opt-in games that didn’t take a lot of work and appealed to all members of the shower.
The first was the baby bottle beer chug. Bottles were filled a quarter of the way up and handed out to participants of the game. On “Go,” every last drop was sucked back until the first male and female finishers were awarded prizes. The baby shower prizes distributed were gift cards to popular eateries and coffee joints. Of course, the mom-to-be can’t participate, but ours enjoyed being the judge and handing out prizes.
The second baby shower game was created over at makemebabies.com using photos of the couple and their celebrity crushes. On the site, mom and dad-to-be’s facial features are extracted from their photos to make a baby face mash-up. The process is repeated with celebrity photos and the baby faces are lined up side-by-side. Participants must guess which face belongs to the future parents-to-be’s baby.
6. Don’t Forget the Guest’s Family
Allow guests to bring their entire families to the baby shower, including those with fur. This makes it easy for people to attend as they won’t have to find child or pet care. You’ll also have tons of fun playing with the little ones (just make sure to walk your pets beforehand and clean up after them at the shower).