If you're planning a baby shower, here are some wonderful ideas from our expert moms . . .
From Beverly . . . As a hostess I feel it's important to shower the Mom with things that are just for her because everyone else will bring gifts for the baby. So I give a basket filled with bath products, a big jar filled with candy that I label "forgiveness" because every new mom needs to learn how to forgive herself. I put in a bottle of KY warming jelly (because let's face it eventually she will want to have sex again and she might need some help), some ointment for sore nipples, some breast pads, and finally a gift certifcate for a nice lingerie store. These are private things but done up nicely in a basket it says that she is important too.
From Nicole . . . When I gave a baby shower for my best friend, I wanted to save her as much trouble as I could, knowing she had her hands full enough without adding time-consuming etiquette. As each guest arrived I handed them a blank unsealed envelope and two small note-sized papers (one fancy, one plain). I asked them to give the mother-to-be some words of advice, sentiment, or inspiration on the fancy paper. On the plain paper, I asked them to list the gifts that they brought. Then I asked each of them to self-address the envelope and tuck the other two papers inside, and collected them.
After the party was over, I took out the words of advice and pasted them into a memory book (along with a photo of the guest who had written it) and gave it to the mother-to be. She also got the pre-addressed envelopes with the gifts listed inside to make thank-you notes easy and fast. Many of the guests asked me what the envelopes were for, and when I told them, they were very willing to help the guest of honor save some time and effort. It seemed like a simple thing to me, but my friend really appreciated the time it saved her, and the guests were very impressed that I had thought about it.
Also--I read someone else's idea of baby bingo, and I wanted to mention an alternative. Make up the blank bingo cards and let the guests fill them in with baby items--then, instead of drawing slips of paper from a hat (or whatever), let the mother-to-be open her gifts. As she opens them, mark the items she receives on the bingo cards. This is a fun way to keep everyone interested when the guest of honor is opening her gifts.
From Cindy . . . Buy Thank You cards ahead of time so at the shower the envelopes can be self addressed by guests as they arrive. This saves new parents much time when they are sending Thank You's in the busy, tiring time just before baby arrives.
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