Who should throw the baby shower?
Anyone except the expectant couple — though Miss Manners might disagree. Formal etiquette says that someone who’s not a relative must throw the shower to avoid having it look as though the family is asking for presents.
Our advice? Ignore traditional rules. Any relative, close friend, or close co-worker should feel perfectly okay about planning a baby shower.
When should the baby shower be held?
Most baby showers happen before the baby is born. Any time after conception is fine, but a shower makes for a welcome diversion toward the end of pregnancy. Besides, it just doesn’t seem real if the expectant mom isn’t sporting a big belly.
When setting a date for the party, consult with the parents-to-be first. They may be able to warn you about scheduling conflicts. You may have to accommodate the schedules of grandparents, for example, even if they aren’t the guests of honor. Nothing is worse than planning a party and sending out invitations (see below), only to find out that the most important people can’t make it.
If you decide to schedule a shower for after the baby is born, that’s fine, too. Then guests can bring gifts specific to the baby’s sex. And with a baby as the centerpiece, you’ll have a surefire icebreaker and conversation topic.
Who should be invited to the baby shower?
If you’re hosting the shower, you may have some ideas about the guest list. It’s best to consult with the guest or guests of honor before finalizing your list, though, to avoid leaving out someone important or inviting someone the mom (or dad) would rather not include.
What about hosting a shower for the expectant mom and dad?
Although many baby showers still follow the “for women only” tradition, baby showers for both women and men are growing in popularity. It all depends on what sort of gathering you’re planning.
If the shower is for a second or subsequent baby (these babies deserve a celebration, too!), the guest list is usually made up of close friends and family and anyone else from the expectant parents’ wider circle of friends.
Another party-planning consideration: Think long and hard before choosing to throw a surprise party. If your guest of honor doesn’t like surprises, you may be putting her in an awkward position. Besides, if you let the future parents in on the arrangements, you can be confident that they’ll be pleased with the outcome.
What kind of invitations should I use?
You can send traditional invitations through the mail or email invitations.
In addition to including the basic who, what, where, when, and RSVP instructions on the invitation, it never hurts to spell out the theme of the shower. If the expectant parents are registered anywhere for baby gear, it’s fine to mention that, too. Or you can offer registry information when guests RSVP.
When should I send the invitations?
Plan to send invitations out early enough to give the guests at least a few weeks’ notice: This allows them enough time to work the shower into their schedules and shop for the perfect gift.
What should we do at the baby shower?
There are a bunch of things to consider:
- You may want to select a theme to tie everything together. It’s certainly not necessary, but it can help you make decisions about the various elements of the party and it’s often fun for guests.
- You’ll probably want to serve some type of food and refreshment, depending on time of day, budget, and how fancy versus informal you want the shower to be.
- Baby showers usually aren’t complete without some fun or silly games. If you’d rather skip the competition, there are plenty of other kinds of festive activities to keep guests entertained.
- It’s common to provide favors to everyone who attends the baby shower, or you can just offer prizes to the guests who win games.
- Aside from socializing and honoring the mom-to-be, the main event at a baby shower is often the opening of gifts.