The general consensus is that you have a baby shower thrown for you when you are expecting your first baby, and then any subsequent pregnancies are pretty much ignored. But I think that’s kind of rubbish.
A little surprise lunch or get-together for your friend who is getting to the more difficult stages of late pregnancy is a really nice thing to do, no matter which number baby they are expecting. It’s especially a nice thing to do if they’re feeling a bit miserable and need some cheering up. I recently threw one for my great pal who is expecting her third, and we had a blast.
If you are planning to host a baby shower, here are some simple guidelines:
- Make a plan. Will you host a little lunch at your house or at a different venue? I opted for a cafe/bar/restaurant where no one was under any pressure to have a sit-down meal – they could just have a cuppa and a slice of cake if they wanted to. Pick a date and make a preliminary booking.
- Gather your guest list. Hubby and family members will be your greatest allies here; you want to make sure you invite all of her other friends (as if she has any cooler than you), aunts, sisters, sisters-in-law, essentially anyone who would love to be there. Don’t forget to mention in your text or email to keep it to themselves if the party is a surprise.
- Pick a theme. There is literally no end of ideas online for what you can do here. You can theme it by colour if your friend knows the sex of the baby, keep it neutral or don’t theme at all. I mean the theme essentially is: ‘You’re having a baby!’ so you have a huge blank canvass to play with. Think storks, retro prams, milk bottles, vintage lunch… you get the idea.
- Decide on some party games. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but can really add to the fun. If you are unsure of your audience, i.e if you haven’t met some of the friends and family before, then perhaps err on the side of caution and keep it family friendly. Classic games are Measure The Bump, Baby Bingo and Wishes For Baby. There ARE giddier ones like Pin The Sperm On The Egg and Name That Poo but I didn’t go there this time! You can grab and wrap a couple of funny games or toys from the euro store as prizes for the winners, the more random the better really.
- Print out some wish lists. These are a lovely momento for the mum-to-be; you can provide a nice sealable jar or keepsake box for her to store them in. The idea is that everyone writes down their well-wishes for the new baby which can be re-opened at a later date. There are free downloads available online if you need them.
- Order or make some party favours. You can do this yourself or get someone who is attending the party to take charge of favours. Baby shower favours are available from tonnes of sites online, and can be anything you like: candles, sweets, photos – you name it. My preference is definitely for something that the guests can eat and cupcakes are hugely popular as always. I opted for jam jars full of jelly babies and other retro sweets and I made some boozy fudge – but that was mostly for my own personal enjoyment ;o)
- Find a cake supplier. There isn’t really a ‘baby shower cake song’ you can sing when you present a cake to a mum-to-be, but ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ proved to be a huge success at my friend’s lunch! Lots of bakeries will make custom cakes so you can tie it in with your party theme. It’s a really nice touch and after all the games and fun, it’s good to have a little break with a cuppa and a few slices of cake. You can split the costs with the group and/or the dad-to-be if you like.
- Pat yourself on the back. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of love for your sister or mate, to pull together a really good baby shower that everyone will enjoy and remember. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy seeing the look on that expectant mum’s face when she walks through the door and realises the great surprise party that you’ve pulled together for her.
Are you planning on organising a baby shower soon? If you want any other advice, why not e-mail me at sharyn.hayden@HerFamily.ie