In the past, baby showers have sometimes gotten a bad reputation. Many of them used to be church-basement affairs with bad food, awkward games, and uncomfortable clothing. But now it’s the year 2022, and after making it through a worldwide pandemic, we’re saying ditch the old ways and have some fun! Baby showers don’t have to be stuffy, nor do they have to be expensive, and they don’t even have to happen in person! (How many Zoom showers have you attended in the past 2 years?) There is no “right way” to throw a shower, as long as you’re celebrating the parent(s)-to-be with the people who love them the most. Read on to learn how you can make your next shower an event that everyone wants to attend!
Make It Co-Ed
Baby showers don’t have to be women-only events anymore; after all, dad is becoming a new parent too, right? He should get to celebrate as well! Co-Ed baby showers automatically tend to have a more relaxed feel about them. We recommend keeping it casual- host them in a restaurant or in someone’s backyard (or even a sports bar!), keep the decorations neutral, and serve a variety of foods and drinks that appeal to everyone. Don’t force anyone to play awkward shower games (more on that later), but you could incorporate some couple’s trivia for the parents-to-be. (Ie: have people guess who will complain more about changing dirty diapers, who will go overboard childproofing the house, etc.) Keep the dress code casual, and just focus on throwing a relaxing party that everyone will enjoy! This style of party isn’t for everyone, so just double check with the new mom and dad and make sure this is the type of event they’re looking for.
Consider Hosting 2 Separate Events
If this sounds like a lot of extra work, that’s because it might be…but for some people, it also might be worth it. Think about hosting one shower for friends of the new parents (keep it casual, and make it co-ed like we discussed above!), and a separate shower for family members. The family shower could be a little more formal and traditional, and by keeping them separate you eliminate the awkward experience of grandma mingling with dad’s roommate from college. Some older relatives really prefer to keep showers traditional, so this gives them the opportunity to have a formal, sit-down shower without having to subject the younger crowd to “taste the diaper” games and tiny sandwiches. Again, just communicate with the parents-to-be and see what they would prefer.
Throw a Shower “Just For Mom”
Another option would be to throw a shower just for the mom-to-be! This works best for moms who are having their second or third child and who have already had a traditional shower and received all the gifts they need for their new baby. Mom showers should focus on giving gifts just for…you guessed it, mom! Think spa gift cards, new pajamas, fluffy slippers, and maybe even a bottle of wine or two. After all, mom is the one who’s going through the uncomfortable stages of pregnancy, enduring the birth, and giving up her beauty sleep for the next 18 years or so…the least we can do is pamper her a little bit in the meantime!
Don’t Play Cheesy Games
Just don’t do it. Please. No one wants to drink juice from a baby bottle, or smell weird food that’s been smashed into a diaper, or run around with a balloon stuffed up their shirt. Don’t even get me started on measuring mom’s belly (who, outside of a doctor, ever thought that would be a good idea?) If you’re looking for ways to break the ice, play the trivia game we suggested above, or consider going around the room and having everyone say (or write down) the worst piece of parenting advice they ever received. You can also leave a book out for people to write down their best advice, and the parents can look it over when they have time. (This is also a great place to direct people who love to give unsolicited parenting advice.) Decorate the space with photos of the new parents when they were kids, and have people guess their ages at each stage. This can be a great conversation starter without putting anyone on the spot or making it awkward.
Upgrade the Food and Think About Adding a “Cravings Station”
Say see you later to the tiny sandwiches and veggie trays at the same time that you stop playing the awkward games. Mom is pregnant and mom is hungry- she wants fried chicken and french fries, not little chicken salad sandwiches. Serve some real food and (gasp) maybe even some alcohol! (For the guests, of course) Keep it within a theme, like BBQ, italian, or even asian-inspired (maybe just skip the sushi). Also, consider implementing a “cravings station”. What has mom been craving this pregnancy? Pickles and apple juice? Ice cream and pretzels? Whatever it is, put it on a table and let guests enjoy it as well. Mom will love it, and it’s another way to have some fun and dial down the formal element of the shower.
Skip the Opening of the Gifts
Along with strange games, no one who attends a shower really wants to spend 2+ hours watching the new parents open all their gifts. Doing this is a great way to kill the vibe, not to mention this is time that the parents could be eating and talking with their guests. Instead, consider having a “display shower”. Instruct guests to bring their gifts unwrapped, and then display them on a table for the entirety of the shower. This gives guests a chance to see all the things the couple is getting without having to sit through the agony that is opening gifts. It’s environmentally-friendly (no wasted paper!) and everyone will be happier. As the guests leave their gifts on the table, just ask them to take a blank envelope and write their address on it. That will make it super easy for mom and dad to send thank you notes.
As always, if you’re looking for the perfect shower gift, look no further than our website! We offer a variety of items from stuffies to lovies to personalized blankets and even gift sets.
What are some traditions you would keep (or skip) for your next baby shower? Comment below!
Written by Ali Johnson