A baby shower is perhaps one of the most cliche events you can attend. They were originally started as a way for the women-folk to get together and “shower” the mother-to-be with parenting advice. As time has progressed, though, many are opting out of the baby “shower” and focusing more on throwing baby parties. Last Sunday I did just that for my cousin and his wife who are expecting their first baby next month.
I hate baby showers. I think they are tacky and annoying. I don’t want to sit around with a bunch of strangers playing “guess the poop”. No thanks. So why would I want to throw one you may be wondering? Well, because a) I wanted to show my support for the parents-to-be and b) if I was inevitably going to have to go to a shower I wanted it not to suck. So, here is my advice on how to throw a baby party people will actually enjoy:
Throw a Party Instead of a Shower
Throwing a party in celebration of an upcoming baby is the easiest way to avoid a frilly, tissue paper nightmare. What do most people think of when they hear the word “party”? Food, drinks and socializing. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is. It is a nice way to hang out with friends and family and celebrate the parents-to-be. A party also allows you to invite men, many of whom wouldn’t be caught dead at a “shower”.
Keep the Decorations Simple
I invite you go Google “how to decorate for a baby shower” to see what kinds of over-the-top, outrageous ideas pop up. Go ahead, I’ll wait…….ridiculous, huh? It is amazing the extreme lengths people will go to to decorate for a baby shower. Trying to impress can put a lot of pressure on a host and a huge strain on their wallet. Decorations can get expensive if you let them and they can also get gaudy if you’re not careful. More does not always equal better, my friend. Simple decorations look elegant and are guaranteed not to throw your guests into a baby shower induced panic. White onesies and baby hats strung on a clothesline, a few tissue paper pom-pons and a simple banner are really all you need.
At the baby party I threw we played zip, zilch, zero games. I hate them. I think they are insulting. I am an adult for crying out loud, so no, I don’t want to race to drink my beverage out of a bottle or eat baby food. Plus, baby games make people feel like idiots. I wanted my guests to feel comfortable and enjoy their time socializing like the adults we are.
Put Together a Considerate Menu
You may want a shower filled with fancy finger foods and custom cakes but the menu shouldn’t be about you. Dietary needs, allergies and food preferences should always be taken into account when planning a party for someone. For our party we did a simple taco bar (because the parents-to-be love tacos) and it was a huge hit. The mom-to-be had been craving berries lately so I made sure to incorporate fruit cups as a part of the desserts. Thoughtful menu planning will be much appreciated, I promise.
86 the Gift Opening
Not everyone enjoys being the center of attention and I can’t think of anything more awkward than having to open gifts in front of people. Gifts are a welcome part of a baby party but I made a special request to please bring any gift unwrapped. I wanted to keep the focus of the party on the great conversations we were having and it’s hard to do that if you have to sit around for an hour staring at someone while they open gifts.
When planning parties we can easily get swept up in wanting to make it “perfect” and forget to take into account the desires of the people we are meaning to celebrate. It is perfectly acceptable to browse Pinterest, party planning blogs and magazines for inspiration but at the end of the day, make sure you are trying your hardest to impress the parents-to-be, not the guest list. Planning a baby party that takes into account your parents-to-be will feel more perfect than a shower that actually looks perfect.
I followed all these steps and think the baby party I threw went really well. We enjoyed good food, good treats, and wonderful conversation. We sat around sharing, laughing and teasing the parents-to-be (in the nicest ways possible). Because at the end of the day isn’t that the point? To shower them with love? Happy planning.