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Cake, Rattle, and Stroll(er)

We’ve covered wedding and bridal showers, so let’s take a look at a little bit bigger challenge: baby showers.  The tough thing about throwing a party for the mom-to-be is creating an event that is enjoyable and relatable for all the guests, because, let’s face it, even if – or maybe especially if – babies aren’t your thing, you know a bad baby shower when you see one.  When it’s your turn to play hostess, turn to Ruffle for the down and dirty on how to whip up an event that’s playful, not childish.

First things first.  It’s a good idea to ask Mom what type of shower she wants, so you can focus on helping her acquire the desired gifts (because that is the point of a shower) and on creating a fun fantasy that lets her celebrate the joy she’s experiencing.  Remember, not all moms are alike; your rock ‘n roll mama might not want pastel pink and ribbons, and your city girl might not need a life littered with cutesy, baby animals.

How to Choose the Best Baby Shower Theme, Ever

Take your cues from the parents’ plans for the baby’s nursery if you get stuck thinking of a theme.  If the baby’s room will be classic pink, put a spin on a traditional shower with a theme like ‘Pink Elephants on Parade,’ which can cover some classic bases: it allows for plenty of the preferred color, hands you a baby-related animal to highlight…and provides a built-in reason for adult beverages!  A retro cowboy room might lead to a ‘Little Buckaroo’ party: classically boyish, with lots of cowboy-themed game options and a great excuse for BBQ.  Or, if Mom and Dad aren’t sure of the baby’s sex, try a green ‘Little Sweet Pea’ shower – a gender-neutral baby shower that could easily be “green,” too.  Finally, think about the shower’s mood (how the party will feel).  For example, if your theme is ‘Magical Garden,’ it could feel quirky and artsy (a la the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland) or cute and cartoonish (a la a computerized Winnie the Pooh and friends scampering outside).

Making a Baby Shower Cool for Everyone

Whatever theme and mood you choose, as the hostess you must control the party, which means steering the conversation if it goes astray.  If you’re going to invite non-mothers to the shower, make sure to take into account their interest level in things like breast milk and infant feces.  True, a shower is to help prepare the mom-to-be, but it’s also just a party that people want to have fun at, so save the nitty gritty for a one-on-one situation (in the same way you would with, say, sex details at a bridal shower).  Instead, help the group focus on the fun, cheery parts of child rearing that everyone can relate to: onesies, cuddles, and cuteness.

Now that you’ve established your baby shower will be a celebration, not a seminar, here are a couple of other considerations.

To Invite or Not to Invite Kids to Baby Showers

It’s becoming common now to invite children to baby showers.  While the pitter-patter of little feet may be welcome in some cases, confirm with your guest of honor before inviting kids to a baby shower.  It’s possible that your mom-to-be would enjoy an afternoon with just friends.  And be sure to ask with her best interest in mind – not frame it so she feels guilty saying she’d prefer no kids for her special day.

What to Give as Prizes and Favors at Baby Showers

So your guests and your guest of honor can still celebrate the part of them that’s just a woman and not a mom, consider giving game prizes and favors that allude to the party theme but aren’t baby-related.  Flower scented lotion in trial size for a Magical Garden shower, a token gift card to a farmers’ market or organic grocery for a Little Sweet Pea, a small bottle of hot sauce for a Little Buckaroo.

Unique Ideas for Baby Shower Gifts

If your friend is a hot mama, she might appreciate a gift that lets her look forward to life after pregnancy: a gift card to her favorite non-maternity clothing store, a bottle of schmancy champagne, or a pair of dangerously high heels.

Showers for Adopting Parents

Be the cool friend and jump at the chance to throw showers for friends who are adopting babies or older children.  All first-time parents need help, and the ones who open their homes to little cuties in need are no exception.  In fact, you might consider making an adoption shower an even bigger, better bash.  Because we think adoption is freaking awesome.

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