In the midst of the discomforts of the third trimester, a baby shower can be a real stress-buster and fun event for the mom-to-be. Today, the rules of etiquette for showers have relaxed making the planning easier and more fun for everyone, especially the hostess.
As the party planner, there are just a few basic decisions to make; the rest require a wee bit of imagination and creativity. The sky is truly the limit in planning the perfect baby shower.
Anyone can give a baby shower! In more formal times, the hostess was usually the best friend, sister or mother of the mother-to-be. These days showers are given by family, co-workers, friends, church groups, and even daddies-to-be. Showers can also be given by groups of people (co-hosts) thus saving time and money. Some friends who may be expecting at the same time give each other showers.
Normally, the cost of the shower is footed by the hostess and is her gift to the mother-to-be. One of your first tasks in planning the shower is determining your budget. You can create a low-cost baby shower that's truly lovely and memorable; however, if you find yourself scratching your head and fretting over money, consider finding a co-host or two. It's appropriate to ask for help with the expenses (and the preparation!), but don't ask the mom or dad-to-be or anyone who is struggling financially (don't need any embarrassment). There may be a some guests who don't have the time to help prepare but would be happy to contribute towards the cost. Or some guests may not be able to attend but can contribute. By figuring out your budget and the possible need for co-hosts and/or asking for contributions in the earliest stage of planning, you'll save yourself a lot of stress in the long run.
Check out Baby Showers on a Budget
Because the parents-to-be may have more than one shower, it's a good idea to consult with the mommy-to-be (unless you're having a surprise shower - then ask the daddy-to-be). Most people shouldn't be expected to attend several showers for the same parents. Ask the mommy-to-be for a guest list if you're unfamiliar with her family or close friends. Be sure to go over the guest list with her prior to sending out the invitations so no one is left off the list.
Most showers are held in the last trimester, usually 6 to 8 weeks before the due date. Planning the shower closer to the due date can be risky if baby decides to come early.
Showers can also be held a month after delivery. This works well if mom is on bedrest or has other complications, the baby is adopted, or the mom feels more comfortable having it after delivery (such as moms who have had pregnancy losses). The best thing about an "after delivery" shower is that the gifts can be geared especially to the baby and baby, himself or herself, can be the star attraction!
Where to hold your shower depends on your budget and accessibility. Most showers are held at the home of the hostess; however, if your budget allows, it can be held anywhere - even outside. Be creative and have fun.
If your home is big enough to hold the guests comfortably, you don't have to worry about pets during the shower, and your home is easily accessible for most of the guests, consider hosting at home. You can decorate at your convenience and it can be a lot cheaper. The downside is you'll be responsible for cleaning the mess after the shower.
If you can't host at your home, consider a co-host, church or a rental location (if your budget allows). If you choose a park or other public location, be sure to check with local authorities regarding permits.
You can plan activities depending on the theme of the shower (if you have one - and you don't have to have one!). Some showers are simply a gathering of family and friends chatting, mom-to-be opening her gifts, and eating yummy food. Other showers are more elaborate with special games. If you want to do this, keep in mind your budget, and have fun! Visit our members' ideas on baby shower activities.
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