Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hosting a Baby Shower

The fact that you want to host a baby shower for a loved one (presumably) is really generous and sweet of you.  So, kudos to that.  Now, how does one host a baby shower?  I've looked into it for all of us and here are my findings.

Who hosts?  Anyone.  Traditionally, family members were not supposed to host the baby shower because it was considered rude for someone to ask for gifts for his/her own family member.  But, this unusual tradition has long been thrown out.  I say unusual because usually party hosts do exactly that (think: birthdays, anniversaries, wedding showers).  Nowadays, a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker or group/combination thereof are all welcome to host.

When?  Baby showers are typically not a surprise event.  The baby is coming and the timing isn't all that flexible.  One to two months before the due date is standard.  Too far in advance can be difficult to logistically pull off given the short amount of time between the discovery of pregnancy and the due date.  Also, there are a lot of other priorities in the first and second trimester (not puking again, prepping the house, signing up for Lamaze class, making sure the baby is healthy and properly developing, etc.).  By the third trimester the timing is right to switch focus from logistical planning to fun planning.  On the other hand, avoid planning the shower too close to the due date in case of an early arrival or doctor ordered bed rest.

Planning the baby shower somewhere around here (ABOVE) is ideal
(image HERE)

Where?  You're the host, you get to decide - a living room, country club, local restaurant or few big blankets in the park.  Getting an opinion from the mother-to-be is a good start, both in terms of places she likes and places she does not.  Also, ask her for the guesstimated number of guests because it will affect the location logistically (is there enough space?) and financially (can you afford to host that number at that locale?).  This brings us to the next consideration, your budget.  Parties cost money and a baby shower is no exception.  Venue, food, drink and decorations add up.  Providing plenty of food and drink is more important than securing the swankest venue.  Guests may complain if they have to sit on folding chairs in your backyard, but they will most definitely complain if they are limited to a handful of greasy potato chips and a cup of generic brand diet cola.

My favorite brand of greasy chips

Who to invite?  This is the mother-to-be's choice, put it in her pregnant lap.  Be the sounding board that she may need on cusp invites, but in the end it's her call.

Theme?  First thing to consider is whether she is having a boy, girl or keeping it a surprise?  Next, does she have a theme in mind already - a favorite color or a favorite childhood memory (The Little Mermaid or Tootsie Roll Pops)?  Check out these theme ideas (read: here is some shameless self promotion):

If you've ever hosted a baby shower, please share your wealth of knowledge - comment below!

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