A baby shower can be one of the most thoughtful gifts you can offer a new parent. Baby showers are a lot of fun, and can be a good first memory for the new parents. And of course, the obvious plus to the parents to be is all the great baby loot they get as well. Well planned baby showers can help save new parents a ton of money on baby necessities, often taking a lot of financial stress and worry away from them. There is nothing like finding out you are expecting, then your next thought being how can we provide everything a new baby will need.
As with planning any event or party, one of the most important things is organization. Having a clear plan and sticking to it will help ensure things go well, and that you, the host, can enjoy the baby shower along with the guests and new parents. You should also enlist all the help you can get, including any willing family members, friends, or co-workers that would like to help with hosting the shower. Having plenty of help will help take a lot of the stress off one person, and will also make it easier on everyone’s wallet by all chipping in together.
Once you have decided to host a baby shower, and have enlisted all the help you think you will need, the first thing you should all do is sit down together and plan out a budget. Since all the hosts usually share the expense of the shower, they should all be included in the budget meeting. One of the first things to keep in mind when planning the budget is how many people are expected to attend. The more guests you have, the more party favors, food, utensils, etc. that you will need, thus making expenses rise. You should also decide where the shower will be located at, someone’s home, a local restaurant, or favorite place. Some hosts will actually rent out a space for the shower, which isn’t very cost effective, but can be good if you are expecting a large crowd. At this time you should also start to think about what type of food will be served, what type of games and party favors you will have, and they type of decorations you would like. Many baby shower hosts will go with a theme just to make things easier on the planning end of things, but keep in mind the parents needs and preferences when selecting one.
After the budget meeting, you should probably begin thinking about the guest list, as you will need to know an estimate of how many people to expect before any real planning can begin. Include the parents family into the planning of the guest list to ensure no one is left out on either side. Accidentally leaving someone off the invitation list can cause a lot of hurt feelings, and detract from the fun for the parents to be. Unless you are planning a surprise shower, it may even be a good idea to ask the prospective parents who they would like invited to the shower just to be absolutely certain you do not miss anyone.
Invitations should be sent out about a month before the date of the shower, to give everyone ample time to RSVP, and allow plenty of time for them to adjust work schedules to attend, purchase gifts, etc. Depending on your theme and budget, you can either purchase invitations, or make them yourself. There are lots of resources available online that can help you with making and printing off your own shower invitations, and many of these end up being more personal and nicer than the invitations available for purchase. It all depends on how much time and resources you have available to invest. Along with the shower invitation, you may want to include a list of items that the parents need, or a note telling guests where the parents have registered. This helps ensure that the parents get items they need and want, which is the whole intent of a shower after all. You may also want to purchase or make thank you cards for the mom at this time, as she will probably be too busy or not feel like doing this herself.
You should try to tailor the menu choices to suit the number of guests you expect, and maybe a little extra just in case. Depending on the time of day the shower is to be held, you may decide to do a full meal, or just snacks and finger-foods. Depending on the number of guests expected, you may come out better budget wise to have the shower catered, or have it at a local restaurant so you have someone to do the hard work for you. Either way, you should put a lot of effort into planning the menu, as it is a big part of a good baby shower.
Plan your decorations and games according to the baby shower theme if you have one. If you are on a tight budget, you can make a lot of your decorations yourself, using either clipart that you can find online, or just printing out some things that match your theme. There are many ideas for baby shower games online, but it is important to keep your guests in mind when deciding on the games to be played. Not everyone enjoys that type of thing, or being in the limelight.
The baby shower is a good time to welcome the new baby, and also make the parents to be feel loved and special as well. Few parents forget their baby shower, as it is often one of the first times they get together with family and friends to talk about and share information about their new little one. Make sure you take lots of pictures, to help preserve these memories for years to come.