Drawing of baby toys

The ultimate guide to planning a baby shower

From fun games to perfect cakes and decorations, this is how to throw a baby shower every mum-to-be will love

By Amy Lewis, 21 January 2016
The ultimate guide to planning a baby shower

Coming up with baby shower ideas for mums-to-be can be quite the challenge! Will the games be entertaining enough? Will the decor be right? Do you need party favours?

A surprise might sound like a good idea in theory but close to the birth, emotions can run high and added stress just isn’t helpful

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So whether you are planning your own baby shower or your best friend's, fear not! We’ve got the ultimate guide to planning the perfect baby shower (with tips on etiquette too), that will make it a fun experience for everyone.

Who’s the host?

Anyone can host the baby shower though it’s normally one of the mum-to-be’s closest friends, sister or mum. That said, there can be a lot to organise! So rounding up a few co-hosts and divvying up tasks is a good idea.

The guest list

It’s wise to ask the mum-to-be who she wants at the baby shower. A surprise might sound like a good idea in theory but close to the birth, emotions can run high and added stress just isn’t helpful.

Make sure you ask all guests to RSVP so you have an idea of numbers. Check out online event organisers like whoozin.com and rsvpify.com, which allow you to send invitations via emal that are easy to respond to so you can track all the RSVPs in one place.

Mum and dad?

Though baby showers have traditionally been just a gathering of the new mum’s nearest and dearest, it’s becoming far more common now to celebrate with both parents. As well as helping the dad-to-be feel more involved, it’ll also give the couple the chance to share the experience together with all their friends and family.

When to throw it

Another question to ask the parents-to-be before planning gets underway! Some people prefer not to bring too many baby things into the house before the little one has arrived, so guests with pressies could present a problem.

That said, after the baby has been born it can be tricky to find the right time to hold a party. Check with the guests of honour whether they’d prefer the baby shower to happen before or after the birth. If they want the new arrival to be involved, aim for around a month after the birth.

Otherwise, one to two months before the due date is fine. Sites like doodle.com can help to find a date that’s best for everyone – simply offer a few proposed days, send everyone a link and ask them to tick the ones they can do.

Do you need a cake?

Baby shower cakes are increasingly popular and many bakeries will have plenty of ideas up their sleeves. From cupcake towers to iced fancies, the options are endless. It’s a good idea to suss out how the mum-to-be feels about colour and filling, before ordering. 

Baby shower games

Break the ice between people that don’t normally mix – and get everyone laughing – by organising a few games. Playing Guess Who with a baby picture of each guest (you’ll need to ask them all to bring one) is easy to set up and is guaranteed to spark a few giggles, while light-hearted quizzes on how to handle parenting dramas can help get the advice circulating.

Celebrity Trivia: Name a celebrity (Angelina Jolie, for example) and see who can name all their children.

Guess the baby food: Collect a few jars of baby food with unusual flavours and have guests name the taste.

Don’t say baby: As guests arrive, give them a nappy pin and let them know the rules: nobody can say the word ‘baby’ for the duration of the shower. If you hear somebody say it, you can steal their pin and the person with the most pins at the end of the shower wins a prize.

Name the tune: Going round in a circle, each guest must name a song title featuring the word ‘baby’. Whoever guesses the most wins a prize.

Baby bottle bowling: Fill baby bottles with something to weight them down (sand or baking beans work well) and then use a tennis ball to play baby-themed bowling.

Decorations

If you’re throwing the baby shower at a house, decorations are much easier to plan. If the party is taking place in a hired venue, you’ll need to call ahead to check if and when you can hang a few banners or at least decorate the table. Simple things like baby pictures of the parents, bunting and balloons are a quick way to transform the room.

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Booze or no booze?

Since the mum-to-be can’t join in with rounds of fizz, check how she feels about having alcohol at the party beforehand. She may prefer that everyone joins her in going teetotal for the day. 

Wrapping things up

Baby showers don’t need to be a drawn-out event. Just a few hours for everyone to make a fuss of the new parents and share their well wishes will probably be enough for the mum-to-be.

As things draw to a close it’s a good idea to have somebody collecting any gifts that are given and repacking them so that they’re easy to carry home, along with a few designated people to help tidy things up if you’re celebrating in the new mum’s home. She needs to put her feet up after all!

Making planning even easier by ordering all your party food supplies online, and arranging an Asda delivery