Hosting a great baby shower takes some time and planning but using these following ideas, it is bound to be a fantastic one and will have others talking about what a great party you had!
Create one-of-a-kind undergarments for baby to wear by using fabric paints. Let your guest self-express themselves with this activity! Have enough baby undershirts or onsies, enough that each guest has one. Buy fabric paint in different shades and baby-themed stampers which can be found at any local craft store.
Line the undergarments with cardboard to prevent paint from seeking through to the other side. Let your guests stamp away! New mom or mom-to-be has a new and very original undergarment wardrobe for her baby!
Guests can write letters to the baby. Themes may include things like, "What your parents are like.", "My hopes for you are...", "What is happening in the world when you are born is..." You might have guests use all, some or different ideas.
Make sure that the paper and pens you provide are "archival safe" or "acid and lignin free." That way your new mom or mom-to-be will be able to keep them until baby is older without fading or yellowing problems.
Everyone knows that the person to catch the bridal bouquet is the next to get married, but few know the person who brought the 7th gift the new mom or mom-to be opens, is next in line to have a baby! Buy a baby pacifier and use colorful ribbon to create a "necklace". Then when the 7th present is opened, ceremoniously place it around the givers' neck explaining the tradition. Be sure you don't let others know what is about to happen or they may pick the 7th present. Guaranteed to cause moans and groans, laughter and "baby talk" from your guests.
What's a great party without games? These are bound to have your guests in stitches!
Give a clothespin to each guest as they arrive. They can be decorated or just simply tied to a ribbon that gets worn around the guest's neck. Guests are given a "key" word, phrase or action that they are forbidden to use during the duration of the shower, such as cute, baby, sweet. The forbidden word is the same for each guest. Throughout the shower if one guest catches another guest using the word, the offender loses her clothespin! At the end of the shower tally who has the most clothespins and give them a small token for being such an avid listener!
Another favourite game is "diapering the baby". Have a toy baby (Cabbage Patch kids are great) and a stack of cloth diapers and pins available for this game. Each guest gets 30 seconds to diaper the baby. A great learning tool for the mom-to-be or women without children yet and a great game to let experienced mothers shine! The winners receive a small token for their diapering skills!
The "tray game" is played by placing a number of baby items on a tray (a cookie sheet works well). Usually 20 items will suffice. Slowly circle the room allowing each guest to examine the items. Remove the tray from the room and have each guest try to remember all the items by writing them down on a piece of paper. They'll have two minutes. The winner wins a small token and the items on the tray go to the new mom or the mom-to-be.
A spin-off of the "tray game" is to have a guest immediately pick up another prepared tray. Have her do the same as above. Most guests will think this is played the same way and will memorize the items on the tray. Then the chosen guest takes the tray and removes it and herself from the room. The remaining guests are then asked questions about the person holding the tray not the items on the tray. Such as "What color shirt was she wearing", "How many rings are on her fingers". I love this game because it throws everyone for a loop!
Traditionally, winners of each game are awarded some little wrapped gift, such as hand lotion or stationary. Some feel that etiquette demands that after a guest is given a gift like this and opens it, it should then be presented to the guest of honor. Usually the gifts are intended for the receiver. Either way it should be left to the winners discretion and not even mentioned unless it is questioned. You will want to be prepared with a couple of extra gifts in case of ties. If you are playing team games or games where there are lots of winners, you can award prizes like or lollipops, or bath beads.
This one usually is the talk of the party when tried. It takes a little amount of work but the praise pays off in the end!
Items Needed to complete a 2-Layer Cake:
1 pkg. Newborn diapers
1 or 2 Spools of ribbon
Empty paper towel roll
Assorted baby items to accessorise, i.e. pacifier, bottle, stick balloon, booties, spoons, etc.
Take 2/3's of diapers from the package. Imagine that your paper towel holder was cut in half. Attach your ribbon, securely, to the middle of one of the halves of your paper towel roll. Place first diaper on the end of the ribbon, bottom (folded part) first. Place another diaper inside first about halfway down facing the same way as the first. Begin tightly rolling the bottom of the first diaper around the paper towel holder, making sure the ribbon wraps around the outside to secure the diapers. When you begin rolling the second diaper add a third in the middle and continue tightly rolling until all of the remaining 2/3's are used. Make sure the diapers stay neatly on one half of the towel roll. Wrap ribbon completely around bottom layer, pull tight, then knot it to itself. Trim off the extra ribbon.
Take remaining third of diapers from the package. Attach your ribbon, securely, to the middle of the uncovered half of your paper towel roll. Repeat the same procedure as with the first layer until all the diapers are used. Wrap ribbon completely around top layer, pull tight, then knot it to itself. Trim off the extra ribbon. Using whatever baby accessories you have, decorate the cake.
Attach items to the sides of the cake by tying items to the outside ribbon used to secure the diapers. Or use additional ribbon and make patterns around the cake or bows. Attach items to the top by slipping them part-way in between the layers of diapers. I have seen people use a baby bottle or a stick balloon as a cake topper by pushing it into the towel holder. Decorated or colored cellophane tied at the top, is a nice finishing touch that also helps hold it altogether in case something falls off.
These are just some of many, many ideas to do. When hosting a party for a mom-to-be or a new mom, always ask for a guest list, things she needs or wants, and ask ahead if anyone has allergies. Above all - smile and have fun!
About the Author:
Sarah Day is a certified nurse midwife, mother of 2 children. She is on the All About Moms Ask A Midwife expert panel.