Whether you’re planning a baby shower for a family member, colleague, friend, or even yourself, the old traditions no longer apply, which means the sky is your limit. Follow our handy tips to plan a modern baby shower.
Usually moms-to-be ask a close friend, their mom, or another family member to plan and host their baby shower. But the old rules no longer apply, so if you enjoy party planning, go ahead and plan your own. If you are planning the baby shower for a friend, don’t host a surprise shower. It’s important to keep the mom-to-be in the loop at all times.
You need to have the baby shower at least four to six weeks before your due date. This will give you, or the mom you are planning the shower for, enough time to buy the items you still need for the baby after the event. The closer the mom-to-be gets to the due date, the more tired and overwhelmed she will feel. So having it in advance will mean she’ll have the energy to enjoy the party.
The guest list
Discuss the guest list with the mom-to-be. Ask her whether she wants it to be a women-only party or whether she would like her husband and male friends to be involved, too. That’s right, baby showers are no longer for moms only. If you choose to go the coed route, think pizza bar, taco or hamburger station instead of the usual petit fours, cute cupcakes and frilly table cloths.
Once you’ve discussed the date and the guest list, it’s time to find a venue. If you’re hosting a small, intimate baby shower, you can have it at home, or at a friend’s house. For a bigger party, it’s always easier to hire a venue for the day. Ask the mom-to-be whether she has any preferences before booking a venue. Remember that many restaurants, hotels and guest houses have private areas that can be booked for events.
Many moms-to-be are also choosing baby showers that are more reminiscent of a girls’ night out than a traditional baby shower, and spa parties are also growing in popularity.
Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’s time to think about the décor for the baby shower. Will you be hiring décor, buying the items, or making them yourself? It’s always easier to hire things like table cloths, chair covers and chair tie-backs – especially if it’s a big baby shower. Decorations like balloons, buntings and other themed accessories can be bought from a party shop. If you’re on a tight budget, make your own centre pieces. Glass jars can be painted and used as vases for flowers, while a cheap photo frame with a beautiful printed quote can add to your décor. The food can also form part of your décor if it’s themed.
Thankfully, you can now be a little more creative than just the usual pink or blue décor. Baby showers have moved beyond “It’s a girl” polystyrene signs to something more sophisticated, so think birthday party!
Here are some of our favourite modern baby shower themes:
- Monochrome. A sophisticated black-and-white party can work for a boy or a girl.
- Purple. If the mom-to-be doesn’t love pink, use different shades of purple for a beautiful shower.
- Boho macramé. With a whimsical feel and neutral colour palette, bohemian parties are here to stay.
- Outer space. This is so easy to pull off and perfect for a baby boy.
- Dinosaurs. Another lovely option for the mom of boys, but aim for cute T-rex, not Jurassic Park.
- Unicorns and rainbows. Think purple, blue, pink and green with gold unicorns and chair tie-backs.
- Sprinkle showers. Use hundreds and thousands as well as confetti to create this fun theme. Pinterest has endless inspiration for this theme.
A cup of tea and a slice of cake is so outdated. Mocktails, champagne and crafted G&Ts are now being served at baby showers. It’s a good idea to have sweet and salty foods on the menu to suit different tastes.
Bite-sized finger foods are always a winner. Beautiful platters with scones, cream cheese and smoked salmon bagels, puff pastry baskets with spinach and feta, chicken and salad wraps and mini chicken and beef sliders are all great options.
Don’t forget the sweets – chocolate-dipped strawberries, marshmallows and biscuits can add to your main table décor, along with the essential cake and cupcakes.
One thing that will never change at any celebration is that the cake takes centre stage. Themed cakes are always beautiful and can be ordered from your local bakery. Just remember to place your order well in advance.
Games for a modern baby shower
The degrading party games have run their course – rather opt for one of these fresh ideas:
- Make your own onesies. Buy a stack of basic onesies and fabric paint from the craft shop and invite your friends to decorate one. Not only will your little one have a whole bunch of new, unique onesies, you’ll also have special souvenirs from each of your guests.
- Baby Olympics. If your friendship circle is fairly new to motherhood, set up a few typical mom tasks like making a bottle and changing nappies. The person who completes each task the fastest is the winner. If you’re old hands, ask each mom to bring a pram to race around an obstacle course in the garden – again, speed wins.
- Guess who? Ask each of your guests to bring a baby photo of themselves to the baby shower and let them guess who’s in each picture.
Many moms are using baby showers as an opportunity to flag things they really need − even if they don’t belong in the nursery. No one’s going to raise an eyebrow if you put feeding-friendly underwear or tops on your registry. Some moms even request a group coffee machine purchase.
Your newborn isn’t going to be a newborn forever, so consider items the mom-to-be might need when her baby is a little older.
If you’ve put together a list of gifts, the mom-to-be needs to allocate something from the list to each guest to avoid duplication. There are a few items a new mom will use hundreds of, like baby wipes. She simply can’t have enough, so add a pack of wipes to any gift you buy.
Your favourite modern baby shower themes
- “Baby African animals.” − Esmeralde Haasbroek
- “Nautical.” − Binte Iqubal Nasreen
- “Baby owls.” − Roxanne Simboo
- “Unicorns.” − Mariska Condon
- “Beatrix Potter.” − Kelly-Anne Padayachee
- “Flamingos.” − Leanne Kerry Walton
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.