There’s nothing like getting together with your friends and family, and a baby shower is the perfect excuse for a party and to catch up with your nearest and dearest before the big day (and hopefully get some seriously cute presents for you and the baby!).
Here are some tips from experts Liz Taylor celebrity event management company Taylor Lyn Corporatiom and Lizzie of Tesco Loves Baby.
It sounds like fun but how do you organise one?
Liz Taylor of the celebrity event management company, the Taylor Lynn Corporation (www.tlc-ltd.co.uk), is often asked to advise or organise baby showers on behalf of her clients. “The baby shower is definitely becoming more popular here in the UK and, what was once a US phenomenon, is now definitely seen as the norm,” says Liz Taylor.
“I think the trend has been led by a whole host of celebrities, many of whom have hosted high profile baby showers which end up making it into the pages of celebrity magazines as well as the tabloid newspapers.”
Traditionally, expectant mums would enjoy a few gifts in advance of the birth of their baby from close friends and family. Granny would be busy knitting lemon matinee jackets, while the dad-to-be would spend hours pottering in the shed as he knocked up a crib or wooden toy truck to welcome his offspring’s arrival into the world.
For working women, colleagues might have clubbed together to buy a shared gift and some flowers which would be presented to her on her last day at work before going off on maternity leave.
“But times are changing fast,” says Liz. “And today’s mum to be, as well as her excited friends, often expects a lot more. The baby shower is now seen as a must for many pregnant woman.”
Liz offers the following advice when looking to organise a baby shower:
1. Think carefully about the venue
The guest of honour’s home is an obvious choice but think about the work involved not only before but also after the event. The last thing a heavily pregnant woman wants is to have to clear up after a party.
2. Consider hiring a venue such as a restaurant or hotel
That way someone else does all the hard work while you and your friends relax and enjoy this very special occasion. Just make sure its somewhere with plenty of comfy seating.
3. Make it fun – choose a theme
Many baby showers have a theme but try to keep it classy rather than trashy. Paris Hilton chose The Wizard of Oz for Nicole Ritchie’s baby shower, Britney Spears hosted a Moroccan themed baby shower before the birth of her second son Jayden and George Michael and his partner Kenny Goss hosted a classic afternoon tea party for pregnant friend Geri Halliwell.
4. Get the timing right
The best time to arrange a baby shower is around 4-8 weeks before the bay is due. If you are organising a Shower for a work colleague, the perfect time to hold the event is on their last day at the office.
5. Think carefully about food and drink Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and consider serving a selection of tempting healthy snacks and indulgent cakes to nibble on rather than a formal sit down meal.
6. Find out what she likes
If you are organising a baby shower for a friend make sure you consult with her (or if it’s a surprise with her partner, mum or other close friend or relative) so you don’t miss anyone off the guest list.
7. Consider investing in a nappy cake Yes really! A must at any American baby shower the nappy cake is becoming more and more popular in the UK with several companies now offering these actually rather delightful decorative centre pieces which are made using rolled (clean) nappies as a base then decorated with anything from flowers and chocolates to teddy bears, baby clothes and bottles of champagne or wine.
8. Put together a baby shower list
Instead of being inundated with an excess of cute new born outfits you can stock up on other essential items in advance of the birth. Of course, depending on your guests, the list could include items from Baby Dior or Versace Young, Baby Gap or even Primark.
9. A sentiments book is a lovely thing to have at a baby shower
Buy a pretty notebook and ask everyone to write a special wish in it as a lasting memory for the parents and child in years to come.
Lizzie of Tesco Loves Baby has the following tips:
1. Choose the baby shower invitations
Emails or texts are the easiest option, but getting a pretty invitation in the post is a lovely touch. Larger Tesco stores stock a wide variety of craft items so, if you’re feeling creative, make your own.
2. Think about decorations
Cute ways to decorate the room include hanging dummies from balloons, filling baby bottles with jelly babies or pegging baby clothes, tiny socks and nappies along a string across the room, to take down at the end of the party, ready for the mum-to-be.
3. Organise some yummy food and drink
A tea party is perfect for a baby shower – think little sandwiches, crisps, fairy cakes, biscuits and fresh fruit. To make life easy and save money, ask everyone to bring something to eat – and make sure there are soft drinks for mums-to-be and drivers, while other guests could club together and bring a bottle or two of sparkling wine or champagne to raise a glass to the guest of honour.
4. Games to play
Get the party started with some games. Need some inspiration? Here are a two to get you started:
- Buy jars of baby food. Cover the label and ask your guests to taste them and guess what flavour each jar is – harder than it sounds!
- Run sweepstakes to guess the baby’s birth date, weight and sex – the winner takes all once the baby arrives!