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Baby Showers

How-to Plan a Baby Shower 101 (Part 1)

The mother-to-be has made her announcement and there's much to be done before the new addition comes into the world. Whether you're her best friend, sister, cousin, co-worker or in-law planning a shower for an expectant mom can be fun, exciting, and definitely challenging. There's typically much to do. But if you're a novice or seasoned veteran each shower comes with their own unique elements. Let's break them down into manageable tid-bits for easier planning.

Select a date and location for the event. The date should be close to the due date, but not so close as the mom-to-be may be having contractions as she's opening gifts. She'll want time to put gifts way and finish preparing the nursery. The location should be someplace convenient for her as well. A home or facility without air conditioning in August when she's 7 or more months pregnant will not be comfortable for her. Select a spot that has ample room, close bathrooms, and few stairs or an elevator.

Once the location has been selected it should provide the host with an estimate for the number of guests that it can handle. Unless the shower is a surprise, ask the mom-to-be whom she'd like invited. It could be the only shower for her, or one of many. The guest list may include family, friends, co-workers, or even the dad-to-be and his friends, and co-workers. Getting a feel for the number of guests to expect will better help the host plan the rest of the shower.

Once date, location and the approximate number of guests have been determined, a theme can be decided upon. There's no hard, fast rule that says that baby showers have to be done in all pastels, ABC's and cutesy animals. In fact, a baby shower can be completely tailored to the guest of honor's personal tastes. Recent baby showers have had Hawaiian themes, been barbeques, been formal tea parties, ice cream socials, and been every conceivable color - all selected according to the likes of the mom-to-be. After the theme has been decided upon next are food and drink selections. It can be as simple as ice cream sundaes for an ice cream social or finger sandwiches for a tea with dessert, to a lavish full-scale barbeque, or a formal dinner. Whatever the case, it should be decided if the event will be catered, entrees will be purchased, or each guest will be asked to bring a dish. The more details that are finalized in advance will make for a much less stressful event.

While the host and his/her helpers are getting the shower details ironed-out, the mom-to-be will be busy as well. If she has not done so, she should be completing her baby registry. It's the perfect way to keep everyone abreast of what is still needed to complete the layette. Most stores offer both in-store and on-line registries, but if a local store does not have an on-line presence, the mom-to-be can either provide the host with the telephone number to the store for telephone orders, or select an online baby e-tailer for additional items. The ability to shop online may make gift giving easier for out of town friends and/or relatives.

Look for the Conclusion of Baby Shower Planning 101.

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