Give your best advice for someone who's never hosted a Baby Shower...please!!!

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Posted 1/26/2013 by pharmscraps in NSBR Board


PeaNut 327,835
July 2007
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Posted: 1/26/2013 8:40:57 PM
Totally new to this....I know it's a boy...what I don't know is...when do I have the shower? What do I ask the mama and what do I decide myself (re: themes, co-Ed or not, etc.)?
Any great tips, suggestions, cute ideas, themes? Thanks everyone!


PeaNut 279,621
October 2006
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Loc: Warshington

Posted: 1/26/2013 8:50:02 PM
Find someone (or 2) to co-host with you! It adds up FAST! 4-6 weeks before the due date is nice, I think. I liked having plenty of time to get things put away. I decided my own themes, and have really only asked the mamas for dates and guest lists!


PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
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Posted: 1/26/2013 8:58:41 PM
The only thing you NEED to ask the mama is her input for date/time. Don't want to have a shower without her After that it is up to you as to how much input you ask her for. You are the hostess so it is up to you if you want it to be a co-ed party or not and who to invite, how much you want to spend is going to dictate choices in decorations, invitations and how large the guest list is.

In the olden days a hostess didn't ask the mtb for a guest list. The hostess invited the friends or coworkers they had a shared circle with. Other people held other showers that invited the other people the mtb knew.

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PeaNut 129,041
February 2004
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Posted: 1/26/2013 9:57:00 PM
I would ask the mom for:
- Guest list
- Colors or theme she's using in the nursery - then use that as the shower's theme/color palette
- opinion on games - have them or not
- good date/time for her
- opinion on co-ed or not

I would do myself:
- everything else

Get on pinterest. All the ideas you never had will be there . I had three other friends help me out with food, decor, and games.

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PeaNut 29,331
February 2002
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Posted: 1/26/2013 10:44:13 PM
I am in the midst of planning my niece's baby shower. She picked the day and time, place and theme. I am doing pretty much everything else. She wants a Dr. Seuss theme because that is what will be in her nursery. There is so much cool stuff pinned on Pinterest regarding Dr. Seuss parties and showers that it is tough limiting what you want.

My best advice, get as much done in advance as you can, be organized and go early to decorate the venue, ask for help if you need it and relax, even if it isn't perfect, it will be wonderful.

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PeaNut 542,144
February 2012
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:51:46 AM
Due to circumstances within "our group" of friends, we only host a baby shower after the baby is born.

We wait until about 6 weeks after baby is born and then have the shower.

If family wants a shower prior to the birth, then they have a small shower amongst themselves.

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PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:37:08 AM
A game or two to keep the people who like those happy but don't go overboard. Good food and keep the present opening to under an hour. Two hours of "ooh so cute" gets old for anyone.

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PeaNut 570,639
October 2012
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Posted: 1/28/2013 7:43:28 AM
I prefer it to be an open house and no games. Just lots of time for visiting, snacking, and opening presents.

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PeaNut 39,057
May 2002
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Loc: Texas

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:51:32 AM
This is very good advice:

[A game or two to keep the people who like those happy but don't go overboard. Good food and keep the present opening to under an hour. Two hours of "ooh so cute" gets old for anyone.]



PeaNut 287,845
December 2006
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Loc: Florida (originally from VA)

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:53:21 AM
I planned a baby shower for a friend a few years ago. We had it at a nice local restaurant mid-day on a Saturday. No clean up, no prep, other than cake. (Oh, and I did get flowers and balloons for the gift table.)

We didn't do any games...I can't stand baby shower games.

I had many guests comment that they loved just getting together for lunch and the casualness of it.

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PeaNut 211,290
June 2005
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Loc: somewhere dreaming

Posted: 1/28/2013 9:13:25 AM
I hosted a baby shower for my Dil and her sister planned some cute cute ideas!

1. She had little onesies available and some paint pens for people to
decorate if they wished.

2. She made a tree and had an ink pad when people came in. You added your finger print and initials to the tree. Super cute!

3. Had a diaper cake and had everyone guess how many diapers. Winner got a gift card.

4. This was hilarious! Take diapers and pens. Have people write little notes on the diapers so late at night when they are changing diapers they can have a giggle at the sayings on the diapers!

5. A little wishing tree. It was a card with Wish on the front.
on the back you wrote your wish for the little one.

We didn't play games...thank heavens! She isn't a game player.

Good luck!

Lots of good food helps Too.

My friend made baby cake pops and they were adorable! We gave one to eveyone as they left.


PeaNut 78,823
March 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 2:59:33 PM
I usually schedule mine for about 6 weeks prior to the projected due date, unless there are unique circumstances that would cause a different timeline to be better. I figure that allows the expectant parents enough time to get gifts of clothing & blankets washed up, decorate the nursery with gifts, etc. Also, hopefully, at that point the new momma still has some energy & isn't too uncomfortable so she can enjoy the shower & deal with the presents and thank you's.

I can't think of a reason why it couldn't be earlier than 6 weeks before the due date but that's just how it's ended up for me.

Establish a budget and stick to it. It gets very easy to get caught up in the "oh this is soooo cute" trap and end up spending way more. As others said, it might be helpful to find a co-host to help defray cost and effort.

If you co-host, have an honest meeting up front about expenses and level of involvement so that there are no hurt feelings later because someone paid more or someone spent more time or whatever.

Even if you choose not to have a co-host for the planning/financing, do have a trusted someone come help the day of (perhaps your mother, or another good friend who wouldn't be disappoint to be "in the audience" because as hostess you will be leading the activities, and people will be coming to you for every little need as well (the punch ran out, the toilet is clogged, people can't figure out where to park, etc.) so having someone there to help you is wonderful!

This is optional, but I usually pre-address the thank you note envelopes, and slide a blank thank you in the envelope. Then I put a blank post-it note on the outside of each envelope. I do this all before the party. Then at the shower I have someone (a co-host, or a friend) write on the post-it what she gets from that person so that when she goes to do the thank you's later she can just pull the card out and know exactly what to thank that person for. You can pre-stamp them if you want, but consider that in your budget if that's what you decide to do.

Find out if she has a baby book that she wants updated with shower details or if there are certain pictures the book has spots for (i.e. a photo of the MTB with her own mom, or with the hostesses, etc). Find out the details she needs and appoint someone to gather that info. For example, my friends' baby book had a place to fill in all the gifts rec'd and all the guests who attended. She could always use the thank you notes w/ the post its for that info.

Appoint a person or two to take and the MTB will be too busy.

You don't have to ask the mom-to-be for input on anything but the date and time, but I usually do just because I want them to be have some of the things they want.

Luckily, I have very gracious friends who aren't bossy or overbearing, so I have had good experiences with this. I have found that if you go with a theme for the shower, people sometimes use that theme as inspiration for their gifts, so keep that in mind (could be good or bad). In one case, the mom-to-be wanted an Aviator Snoopy nursery so we made that the theme of the shower, and without even asking, people ended up bringing lots of Aviator Snoopy or plane-themed gifts. It was really fun. But if she hadn't been wanting a plane-themed nursery it might have overkill.

I do usually ask for a few food suggestions too because you never know with preggo ladies what sounds good and what doesn't. That way you know the mom-to-be will have at least one or two things she can safely eat.

You can find great ideas for invitations, games, decorations on Pinterest or elsewhere on the internet. There's lots of great stuff out there.

Also, I would check her registry a few weeks before the event and then again a few days before the event to make sure there are plenty of ideas still available. I had one mom who didn't register for enough & a few of her items got discontinued and people were disappointed. With all that is going on she may not think of it, or she might feel guilty/greedy by looking at it and adding to it herself, so help her keep an eye on that & let her know if she needs to go update it.


PeaNut 78,823
March 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 3:16:26 PM
PS...most of my friends aren't really into the games, so I tried to keep them low-key. We did bingo where I made different bingo cards and the squares had items from her registry in the squares. We used M&M's the markers and had a prize for the first person to get any bingo and the first person to get blackout. That also kept people engaged during the present opening.

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PeaNut 526,154
October 2011
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Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/28/2013 3:21:56 PM
Usually at Baby Showers you sit and watch while the mom opens gifts, a zillion onesies and packs of diapers. It can be a real snoozefest. I once went to a coed baby shower where they had 3 prizes and handed out Shower Gift Bingo cards. Man, the guys were SOOO competitive! Everyone was just riveted to the gift opening, trying to get the bingo.

I still remember my friend's husband calling out, "Come oooonnn BREAST PUMP!! I need a BREAST PUMP to win!!!" It was so so funny. Best shower game ever!


PeaNut 59,460
December 2002
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Layouts: 35
Loc: Central WI

Posted: 1/28/2013 3:25:36 PM

I prefer it to be an open house and no games. Just lots of time for visiting, snacking, and opening presents.

ITA! I have hosted and/or been to about 20 showers in the last few years. The showers like this have been the best. We skipped games for a friend's shower and I swear every single person commented on how great it was. I am planning my sister's baby shower in April and there will be no games.
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