Parties & Entertaining

Baby shower ideas

By Nancy Livingstone
Info Guru,

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gifts wrapped in gold
Every baby deserves a special welcome into the world.

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Thoughts and baby shower ideas

Once it was traditional that only the first baby had a shower but now we have showers for every baby. There really is no set time for a baby shower. Most baby showers occur in the last trimester of pregnancy, but this is not a fixed rule. Advice from a friend or family member can be extremely helpful in deciding when to have the shower. Who should host the baby shower?

Traditionally, only non-relatives host a baby shower – friends, co-workers, church groups, etc.; however, it has become more common and acceptable for mothers and sisters to host showers too. The important thing is that someone take the initiative to host the shower. It's a wonderful display of caring for a growing family and a special way to help welcome a new life into the world. The only one who absolutely should not host a shower is the expecting mom herself!

It is perfectly acceptable for more than one person to host a baby shower. It can be fun for a group of friends to share the responsibilities and excitement of planning and hosting this special event. That way you can pool together everyones creative baby shower ideas and come up with the best one. It is also a great way to share the expense!

Who and how to invite

You probably have some idea of those you want to invite, but it is always wise to run the guest list by the mom-to-be to make certain you haven't left anyone out.

You can invite guests via a phone call or an e-mail (be sure they check their mail regularly!), but the written invitation is still the most preferable way. Written invitations give you the opportunity to set the tone for the party - and also a handy reminder for the guests to keep on their bulletin boards. You can purchase pre-printed invitations at card shops or stationery stores. If you're really feeling creative, make the invitations by hand! This allows you to incorporate your theme into the invitation itself. Although some "store bought" invitations have space to include a theme.

No matter what type of invitation you use, be sure to include pertinent information - whether it regards a theme, a note of where the mom-to-be has registered, a map or written directions to the shower, or any special item you want the guests to bring for the mom. Also, an important thing to consider when you're thinking about baby shower ideas and invitations is to include any information about gift registries that the mom- to- be has signed up for (which she should do about a month before the shower).

Should you invite a friend who recently miscarried or is dealing with infertility?

It's best to err on the side of caution. Your friend may not want to attend the shower because it would be too painful, but she may feel even more hurt if she isn't invited at all. Gently ask your friend if she would feel up to coming - no pressure. Assure her that it is OK for her to decline the invitation if a shower is just too difficult for her.

Themes to consider while mulling baby shower ideas:

Time of Day Shower Each guest is to bring a gift corresponding to a specific "time" in baby's day, for example, waking up time, bath time, mealtime, play time, bedtime, etc.

Basket Shower Each guest has a theme for her gift basket. It's fun to see what everybody comes up with, and of course the basket should be part of the gift! (Guests could use baby bathtubs, toy bins, or even little laundry hampers for baskets - be creative!) Some ideas for themes include meal/nursing basket, a nursery basket, bath basket, diaper basket, and toy basket.

Shower for Mom This is a great idea if mom already has a lot of baby gear - perhaps if this is not her first child. Guests can offer gift certificates for babysitting, meals, housecleaning, manicures, or dinner out to a restaurant! Other gift ideas include some new pajamas, candles, bath products, etc. This is probably one of the most appreciated baby shower ideas there is!

Nursery Shower If the parents are planning a theme for baby's nursery (Disney characters, bears, Noah's Ark). Guests bring gifts corresponding to the theme.

Adoption A baby shower is a wonderful way to help new parents welcome an adopted child into the family. Before the shower, talk with the mom about what items she needs for the child. Because there can be a certain amount of uncertainty with adoption, but sure not to host too early and that the parents will indeed be welcoming the new child into their home.

Showers for the second, third...or tenth baby... It's wonderful to hold showers for second and third babies - they deserve special recognition too! Parents may appreciate some new clothes for baby, particularly if they are having a different gender child from their other(s).

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