It’s your last hurrah before your life changes forever, so this party better be good! We asked the moms behind CoolMomPicks.com (Kristen Chase and Liz Gumbinner) to share their tips on throwing the best baby bash — here’s how to plan a sweet soiree in honor of a sleek mom-to-be.
Make it memorable: We think throwing a memorable baby shower is like throwing any other fabulous party: Amazng food, delicious drinks (awesome mocktails perhaps?), and your family and friends celebrating with you. While a lot of people stress about baby shower “themes,” a theme really isn’t necessary unless you find a concept that reflects you; anyone can do a party around a child’s cartoon character, right? But if mermaids or Paris or even vintage cameras have a special connection to the mama-to-be, then it will have more meaning for both her and the guests.
Beyond the games: A shower doesn’t need to have “shower games” to be fun. To add special touches, think of activities or stations around the room that create meaningful keepsakes for the mom-to-be: Prop a table with a beautiful journal or blank baby book for each guest to share parenting advice, or ask them to write their thoughts on colored pieces of paper and drop them into a pretty basket. Create a photo booth using your laptop, and add hilarious baby-themed props like pacifiers or giant baby bonnets. Or set up a video camera in one corner to allow guests to offer warm wishes for the soon-to-arrive baby — or tell the funniest story they know about the parents. (Maybe the baby isn’t allowed to watch until his 18th birthday?)
Best invitations: Invites go way beyond gingham style (ha!). We always love the array of options from Paper Culture, Minted, and Tiny Prints, or you can find ready-made cards and fill them in yourself to save money. If you’re looking to do online invitations instead (increasingly socially acceptable!) our first stop is always Paperless Post, whose cards look as amazing as paper cards and demand to be opened more than other online invitations do. The site can also help you track the guest list and you can have matching invitations printed (should the mama want a keepsake of one). Hint: She will.
Registry tips: The truth is that you’ll often never know exactly what you need until the baby comes. Our tip is to pool a few different resources, from the charts in pregnancy books, to savvy bloggers (ahem), to your sister-in-law, to ideas from the cool seasoned mom in your neighborhood. Registering online can save a ton of time, but you should consider hitting your local baby boutique to check out big-ticket gear in person; that car seat fabric may look way different when you’re in front of it, and maybe the stroller you’ve been coveting is harder to push than you imagined. Just remember, if you don’t get everything you want right away it’s okay. Newborn babies need very little at first — not even a crib — and these days, everyone delivers.
Top gifts: While registries help you get new parents just what they want, sometimes it’s nice to wrap a gift they wouldn’t buy for themselves. Beautiful layette essentials and coming-home outfits always guarantee oohs and ahhs at a shower, whether they’re from your favorite mall store or a small organic brand. The perfect muslin swaddler from Aden + Anais is a lifesaver, trust us. Keepsake rattles and baby books are always welcome gifts. A gorgeous Ergobaby carrier gets you so much more excited to strap it on — and psst, it’s a smart postpartum belly hider. And don’t forget to pamper mama too — we remain grateful for those smart friends who brought us creams and body oils at our own showers. Thank you! Thank you!
*For more baby shower help, check out our annual Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide, which has more than 150 of the coolest gift ideas for all kinds of babies and all kinds of families.
Kristen Chase, CEO & Liz Gumbinner, Editor-in-Chief