Posted on June 6th 2013
As usual, Allison Jackson has done an amazing job of creating an incredibly realistic portrayal of the Duchess of Cambridge’s Baby Shower, and we absolutely loved her video:
All of this got us thinking, what makes a great baby shower?
There are certainly a lot of elements to consider, so it might be handy to have a sister/best friend close to hand to help with all the details as, most likely, you will be beginning to get fed up by the time it comes around to your shower and your patience to deal with things like dietary requirements will have abandoned you a long time ago.
When should you have your Shower?
It isn’t un-common for women to work right up until the last couple of weeks before the bundle of joy arrives and whilst it is a nice idea to celebrate the beginning of your maternity leave with a party, you could potentially go in to labour at any point and there will still be so many things you want to do with your free time (enjoying long lazy baths, watching a film from start to finish and painting your nails to name a couple of the vitals).
With that in mind, around 35 weeks seems to be the optimum time to set your date. At this stage you shouldn’t feel totally uncomfortable and there is still plenty of time after the Shower to go out and buy the things that you need and didn’t receive as a gift.
Who should you invite?
Try not to fall into the ‘Wedding Guest List’ trap. Trusts us, the woman acting as your maternity cover or your cousins new girlfriend will not be offended if they aren’t invited! Keep it to your closest family and friends who are going to be there for you when the baby is born so you can share your excitement with them. There is no reason you have to stick to the female only policy, but if you do decide to invite Dad-to-be and a couple of his family/friends then try to remember to have a few cold beers in the fridge to get them through the fluffy toys, tears and cupcakes that are unavoidable at a Baby Shower!
Remember, higher numbers of guests will affect the number and type of games you can play, and catering the event becomes more of a consideration once you invite more than 20 guests.
Pick a Theme
It can be nice to tie in your chosen Nursery Theme: Pooh Bear, Animals, traditional blue or pink, Disney etc. This can then link in with elements such as table decorations/invitations/cake decorations and also makes it easy for your guests to choose your pressie.
However, that is if you want one at all. Themes require a lot of pre-planning many Showers are non-themed and are just as special.
Our best advice would be to keep it simple! If you aim for a time of around 3pm, you can easily get away with something as simple as cream tea and cakes. Lots of delicious scones, fresh cream, jam, cute cupcakes and Victoria sponge is more than enough to keep 20 or so friends and family happy for a couple of hours.
If you are worried about people getting hungry, put a selection of sandwiches out. Remember everyone is there to see and celebrate with you, and are not expecting a gourmet meal.
Make a nice fruit punch for everyone to sip on, and perhaps put a bottle of vodka on the table for anyone who wants to ‘liven’ theirs up but remind them this is not a Saturday night in your local and it will be no fun for you to watch everyone get slowly drunk whilst you remain sober.
Games and Activities
Some people may think that games are a cliché, but they are a good way to get people interacting with each other and help everyone relax.
Hopefully your afore-mentioned best friend/sister has already organised something for you but there are a couple of ideas that we particularly like to keep you all entertained:
1) Name the Famous Baby: Print off pictures of celebrity babies, and the celebrities. Give each guest both batches and get them to match up as many as they can. If you prefer, put them into groups so it gets people chatting and laughing. The most matches wins! Simple!
2) Who’s that Baby?: Use the same principal as above, but this time with your guests as the babies! Ask each of your guests for a baby picture in advance of the Shower, and get each person/team to match the baby to the guest.
3) Set up a Mini Spa: Depending how close your Guests are to each other, this is a fun way to do something girly without the pressure of having to organise games. Set up a little station with nail varnishes/face packs/hair treatments and give each other mini treatments! Understandably this is something not everyone will feel comfortable doing so make sure you ask in advance instead of springing it on your guests as they arrive!
But Most Importantly
Your only job is to keep Mum and Baby happy and healthy! If the thought of organising a shower leaves you cold, send a text/Facebook message around your nearest and dearest with a time and date to meet at your favourite restaurant and just enjoy.