Baby shower ideas along with who to invite and how to throw one can be a challenge if you haven’t planned one before. When someone important in your life becomes a parent-to-be, it’s hard not to make a big deal about it or “shower” them with gifts and presents. Not only do these gifts help family members feel closer and more connected to the big event, but they provide a utility and usefulness to the new parents. Baby showers can be a big deal, especially the first one – you’ll want to impress, but maintain some semblance of sanity. Remember, this is a celebration of life, not something that makes you want to pull your hair out.
Traditional Baby Shower Ideas: An Etiquette Guide for Hosting
If you’re hosting a traditional baby shower, just follow these etiquette guidelines to avoid any blunder on the big day!
When Should You Throw the Shower?
The shower is traditionally thrown around four-to-six weeks before the baby’s due date. Sometimes the mother-to-be will wait for the child to be born – for example, the mother wants to keep the gender of the baby a surprise, but does not want gender-neutral gifts.
For a full checklist of everything you’ll need to ensure success check out this list.
Baby Shower Invitations:
Invitations should be sent out at least three weeks before the date of the shower. You can get custom-made invitations that look extra fancy, or opt for store-bought. Whichever you choose, you must include the following information:
- The Parents’ names (maybe not Dad, but the Mom-to-Be is a must)
- The Shower’s date
- Time and Location
- Request for RSVP
Gift information is never listed on the invitation itself – however, it is totally appropriate to mention “The nursery is pink and purple,” or “We are expecting a girl.” The host should be prepared to give gift suggestions and nowadays it’s acceptable to add registry information on a separate enclosure in the envelope.
Who Gets Invited?
The host of the party will typically bear the party’s expense. It’s up to them to decide how many guests they’re comfortable with accommodating. If it isn’t a surprise shower, then the host should ask the mother-to-be who she would like in attendance. If it’s a surprise, ask mom’s closest friends and family who they think she would like to invite.
A baby shower should be a close-knit familial affair, not just a gathering of anyone the mother-to-be has ever met. Keep the venue space in mind as well. If your home can only fit 20 people reasonably, don’t invite 25. The last thing you want on what’s supposed to be a joyous day, is a bunch of people cramped together unpleasantly.
Baby Shower Gifts:
As stated earlier, it’s becoming increasingly more common to add registry information on a separate piece of paper in the invitation. The host should also never insist that guests strictly use the registry when looking for gifts. They should always feel free to choose whatever gifts they feel are best, since half the fun of giving and receiving gifts is the element of surprise. In fact, DIY and personalized gifts like diaper cakes and embroidered fabrics are encouraged!
Baby Shower Ideas: Invite the Men
It is also becoming more popular to include the males of the family in the baby shower – the father-to-be, brothers, cousins, close friends. This is entirely up to the host and the honoree if they would like to incorporate them into their day (it is their day, after all.) But, try to neutralize gender-specific prizes you might offer for any of the games you play, like entertainment tickets, items to stock a bar, etc.
Send Baby Shower Thank-You Notes
It is customary for the mother-to-be to send out ‘Thank-You’ notes as soon as possible. Even when the gift giver has been enthusiastically thanked in person, it’s a nice gesture to send a card, flowers, or small token of appreciation.
Even though it might seem like an awful lot, the important thing to remember here is that you are celebrating a brand new life with your closest friends and family. Even though it may be stressful, it’s going to be an occasion that every mother-to-be remembers her entire life.