Planning the Ultimate Baby Shower
One of your friends or family members is expecting a baby — and you have accepted the task of planning the baby shower! What an honor!
You want nothing more than to plan the perfect baby shower. After all, it’s an event the mom-to-be will remember forever, and it’s the first official celebration of the new little bundle of joy. When you think about everything that goes into planning a baby shower, however, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. The décor, the games, the food — there’s so much that needs to be taken into consideration, and you want to make sure everything is just right.
Where do you start?
To begin, choose the theme. The theme of the baby shower will simplify the rest of the planning. A theme gives the affair a starting point — a vision — and it helps you narrow your options for everything else, including the décor, the food, the games and even the location.
There are so many wonderful baby shower themes to choose from, so how do you choose the right one, and how do you tie everything else into the theme? Here is some insightful advice to make choosing a theme and planning a baby shower a breeze.
The History of the Baby Shower
Rituals that celebrate the arrival of a baby are deep-rooted in history. Ceremonies and rites of passage surrounding a baby’s arrival date back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. However, these celebrations were nothing like the baby showers that are so commonplace today.
The modern baby shower didn’t start until after World War II, when the Baby Boom era began. Loved ones and friends of a mother-to-be would gather in celebration of the new arrival, and literally “shower” the parents and the baby with gifts. These events became such a trend, that they became part of the modern parenting culture.
Additionally, the baby showers of today not only honor the mother-to-be and her little blessing, they also help to prepare the family for the arrival of the baby by providing necessary — and fun — items for the baby’s care. Whether you’re throwing a baby shower for a friend or you’re hosting one for a family member, it’s a joyous occasion for all who are involved.
When to Have the Baby Shower
While choosing a baby shower theme is a crucial aspect of planning the perfect baby shower, the timing of the event is important, too.
If you have the shower too early, there’s a chance a complication may occur in the pregnancy, the parents-to-be may not have made a registry yet or they may not know the baby’s gender yet — if that’s something they plan on finding out. However, if you have the shower too close to the due date, the guest-of-honor will likely be very uncomfortable — or she may end up having the baby before the shower!
The ideal time to hold a baby shower is one to two months before the due date. Having it in this time frame will likely ensure mom-to-be is still fairly comfortable, that baby and mama are healthy and that the baby has not made a surprise early appearance.
Consult with the parents-to-be (or the dad-to-be, if the shower will be a surprise) before choosing a date. You want to make sure the date works for them.
If you are under a time crunch for your baby shower needs, Cotton Creations can deliver products for a quick turnaround, whether you need onesies, bibs, towels, or napkins. Our average order-to-ship period is two days and expedited shipping can be requested.
Where to Have the Baby Shower
There are so many different venues that would work well for a baby shower. Some popular venue options include:
- A restaurant
- A catering hall
- A family member’s house
- The home of the mother-to-be
- A park
When choosing the venue, your budget, the number of people who will be attending and the comfort of the mother-to-be should all be taken into consideration.
Choosing the Theme
Winnie the Pooh, princess, Noah’s Ark, butterflies and ladybugs, trucks and trains — there are so many baby shower themes to choose from. How do you choose one the guest of honor will love? Consider the following:
- What is the theme of the nursery? Have the parents-to-be selected a theme for the baby’s nursery? If so, using that theme for the baby shower is an excellent idea. You already know the parents will love the theme of the shower because it’s one they picked out. Plus, all of the baby shower decorations can be upcycled and used as decorations for the little one’s room.
- Choose a gender-specific theme. Do you know the sex of the baby? If so, consider using that as a jumping-off point for the shower theme.
For example, baby shower themes for boys might include:
And a baby shower theme for girls could be:
If you have trouble choosing a specific topic for the theme, you could always use a color as the theme —blue or green for a boy and pink or purple for a girl.
No matter what theme you choose, you can upload images with that theme to the Cotton Creations design store to print on napkins, t-shirts, baby clothes, and more in preparation for the shower.
- Consider the taste of the parents-to-be. How do the parents-to-be decorate their house? What type of adornments do you see featured in their home? If their taste is contemporary, then modern baby shower themes would probably be well-suited for them. If their taste is rustic, then an outdoor theme with plenty of natural elements might be a great choice.
- Is the gender a surprise? According to a recent Gallup Panel poll, more than 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 indicate that they would like to find out the sex of their baby before it’s born. On the other hand, most older Americans, as well as Catholic Americans, would prefer the sex of their baby to be a surprise. If the gender is unknown, choose a unisex baby shower theme, such as Winnie the Pooh, safari, under the sea or the moon and stars, for the guest-of-honor.
Get Started With the Planning
Let’s take a look at some sample party plans to help you get ready to throw the ultimate baby shower.
Baby Shower Theme for Girls, Example: Princess Theme
If you are planning a baby shower for a little girl, there are several unique baby shower themes, and princess is a theme that many future mothers of girls would love. If you are planning a princess-themed shower, use the following information to guide your planning.
There are so many decorations you could use for a princess-themed baby shower. Some options to consider include:
- Tiara centerpieces
- A chair for the mother-to-be that is decorated to look like a throne
- Baby bottles bedazzled with glitter and gemstones
- Invitations that feature tiaras and a scepter
- Banners that feature tiaras and scepters
- Gemstones scattered around the centerpieces
2. Shower Games
Get the guests to mix and mingle with these princess-themed shower games:
- Guess the number of gemstones. Decorate a store-bought or a handcrafted scepter with gemstones. Have guests guess how many gemstones are on the scepter, and the person who makes the most accurate guess wins.
- Decorate a tiara. Set out plain, store-bought tiaras and have guests decorate them with stick-on gemstones. They can wear their tiaras during the shower.
Color helps to pull the entire theme together. For a princess-themed shower, pink and purple are natural choices. Consider also incorporating different shades of these colors or using another accent color, such as gold or silver.
For a princess-themed party, think “royal” when it comes to the favors. Tiara-shaped cookies or tiny scepters inscribed with the name of the mother-to-be and the date of the shower are sweet mementos.
Remember too, whether you are the host or an attendee, everyone showers the mother-to-be with a gift. Customized baby blankets from Cotton Creations make great gifts.
Award the guests who win the games at a princess-themed shower with prizes that are fit for a princess. Compacts and lip gloss might be one option, or a collection of body washes and lotions could be another. Custom-made tote bags are always a great hit as well.
Really play up the princess-theme by offering “royal” refreshments. Cookies decorated with icing and shaped like tiaras and scepters would be delightful to nibble on. Petit fours, finger sandwiches and punch that is dyed pink and served in “champagne flutes” would also work well with this theme.
Baby Shower Themes for Boys, Example: Nautical Theme
If the guest-of-honor is having a boy, you’ll find that there are dozens of themes to choose from, but one of the most popular is a nautical theme.
The following suggestions will help you plan the perfect nautical-themed baby shower.
To incorporate a nautical theme, consider using the following baby shower decorations for boys:
- Model sailboats for the centerpieces
- Candle holders wrapped with rope
- Anchors displayed on the backs of chairs
- Banners that features anchors and/or sail boats
- Plates that feature anchors
- Small sailor knots scattered around the centerpieces
- Sand pails filled with shells
2. Shower Games
For a nautical-themed shower, the following games would be a fun way to get guests interacting:
- Decorate a sailor’s hat. Provide guests with a plain white sailor’s hat and some fabric markers. Let them decorate their hats, and they can wear them throughout the shower — or they could decorate the hats and give them to the mom-to-be for the baby to wear.
- How many shells? Fill a clear bowl with shells and have people guess how many shells are in the bowl. The guest whose answer is the most accurate wins.
- Guess the poop? This game involves mushing up poop (i.e. different foods or candy bars) into diapers, and the guests have to guess what food it is. Instead of throwing away disposable diapers for this task, use cloth diapers made from flour sacks, which can be used again and again.
For a nautical theme, blue is a natural choice. You can incorporate various shades of blue, including royal, dark and even turquoise. White and red also are excellent accent colors that tie in well with a nautical theme. Consider adding a little gold to create even more eye-catching pizzazz.
For the nautical-themed baby shower, the following prizes would be really sweet for guests to take home:
- Flip flops with the name of the mom-to-be and the date of the baby shower printed on them
- Wood picture frames adorned with anchors and/or sailor’s knots
- Mini life preservers with the name of the mom-to-be and the date of the shower inscribed on them
Cute prizes that tie into a nautical-themed shower might be a keychain that features the wheel of a ship or a candle holder accented with a shell or a mini anchor — and, of course, a lovely scented candle inside. Blue kitchen towels, especially if they’re embroidered, are another great prize everyone could use.
You can even add a touch of nautical flair in the food and beverages you serve. Some refreshment ideas to consider include:
- Blue punch with fishing bobbers floating in it
- A sweet treat to nosh on such as gummy fish and sharks
- Mini pigs-in-a-blanket, except call them “sea snails”
- Peanut butter and jelly “fish” sandwiches — use a fish-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the sandwiches
- Individual Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookie containers, with a sail made out of paper attached to the top
Baby Shower Theme for Unisex Showers Example: Dr. Seuss Theme
If the gender of the baby is a surprise, there are several sweet baby shower themes for a boy or girl you could use. Dr. Seuss, the beloved children’s author, is a brilliant theme that could work for either gender.
When choosing the decorations for a Dr. Seuss shower, think of elements that are related to his books. Some great suggestions that will make the theme really come to life include:
- Framed copies of the covers of his books as centerpieces
- Quotes from the author displayed around the room
- Feather boas used as streamers and banners
- The Cat in the Hat’s hat as centerpieces
Regardless of the theme, a new trend nowadays is a diaper cake. Lots of folks create diaper cakes with disposable diapers, but with the popularity of going “green”, many choose cloth diapers to build their diaper cakes. These can be built with Cotton Creations flour sacks, which are 100 percent eco-friendly. The mom-to-be then has these cloth diapers for future use.
2. Shower Games
For games for a Dr. Seuss shower, you have a variety of options. Some simple, yet entertaining, game ideas to consider include:
- Guess the Dr. Seuss Quote. Read aloud a quote from a Dr. Seuss book: “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” from Horton Hears a Who, for example. Guests have to figure out which books the quotes come from. The guest who correctly identifies the most books wins.
- Make a Dr. Seuss Onesie. Provide guests with plain onesies in various sizes, as well as decorations they can use to embellish them with — feathers, fabric pens, gemstones, etc. The onesies can be used as handmade gifts the baby can wear after arrival.
- Fastest Diaper Change. This fun game involves finding out who is the fastest at changing a diaper. Use a flour sack for the game instead of a disposable diaper to teach your guests how to change a cloth diaper. Baby Center provides a great how-to to change a cloth diaper explanation and illustration.
Dr. Seuss’ books use colorful imagery and illustrations, so it makes sense to incorporate the colors of the rainbow into a Dr. Seuss-themed baby shower — for instance, you might try red tablecloths, blue napkins, green plates and yellow cups as well as orange and purple balloons. The more vivid the colors are and the more you incorporate, the more this fun theme will come to life.
For favors, have the guests pose for photos along with the mother-to-be and incorporate Dr. Seuss-themed props — the Cat in the Hat’s hat, feather boas and a “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” shirt, for example. Then, place the photos in colorful wooden frames for a sweet memento. Another fun favor idea would be to have a candy station where guests can fill up their own bags of yummy treats to take home.
A natural prize for a Dr. Seuss baby shower would be the Cat in the Hat’s hat. This hat is one of the most iconic Dr. Seuss images and would certainly remind the guest who wins the prize of the event she won it at. To make the prize personalized, have the name of the mother-to-be and the date of the shower embroidered or printed on the hat.
For this party, try to think of foods and drinks that could easily tie in with the different Dr. Seuss books. Some ideas to consider include:
- Green Eggs and Ham – Serve cold-cut ham and deviled eggs that have been dyed green.
- Cat in the Hat Dessert Cups – Fill clear cups with layers of whipped cream and strawberries to create the design on the Cat in the Hat’s hat.
- Truffula Fruit Salad – Make a fruit salad and call it “Truffula Fruit Salad” (Truffula fruits are from the book, The Lorax).
- Red Fish and Blue Fish – Inspired by the book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, set out bowls of gummy red and blue fish. You could also make fish-shaped cookies decorated with red and blue sprinkles and frosting.
Throwing a baby shower for a friend or family member is an honor. If you have taken on that honor, use the above tips to help you through the planning process so arranging a lovely baby shower is seamless and as stress-free as possible.
However, do remember that the most important thing to take into consideration is the wants and needs of the mom-to-be. A shower, after all, is a special day to commemorate her and the arrival of her little bundle of joy. To make it as special and magical as it can be, always keep her wants and needs in the forefront of your mind throughout the entire planning process.
Cotton Creations is an ideal place to shop for custom accessories and clothing for a baby shower or any event. Don’t forget we have a large inventory of customizable baby products that all make great gifts for the mother-to-be as well!