Tuesday, September 07, 2010

10 tips for planning a unique baby shower.

WHY am I sharing baby shower tips?

It's part of another Twitter Moms campaign.

I've only had two baby showers in my life. One was a total surprise. Those are the best kind. The other one I knew about beforehand. Both were very nice, and I was blessed.

Over the last few years, however, since I started finding blogs that interest me, I have been completely floored by people's creativity and ideas when it comes to different get-togethers, be they weddings, birthday parties, or themed parties. Baby showers are no exception. Seeing all of the artistry out there in the blogosphere has really inspired me, and I have come up with my own ideas for swanky, fabulous parties of all kinds, including baby showers. Here are a few of my ideas.

1. Instead of having the shower at a venue, definitely have it at someone's house. It makes it more intimate and meaningful. Not that different venues aren't nice; they certainly can be. But there is more of a family feeling of camaradierie when it is in someone's home. Decorate the room with little birthday hats in the seats and balloons and tiny bottles of bubbles strewn about the room. Keeping everything super-simple helps with clean-up afterwards. (Make sure there are a couple of friends willing to stay a little while after the party is over to help everything get cleaned up swiftly.)

2. A great gift idea would be to start a library for the baby. In addition to the practical gift, include a note with the invitations asking the attendees to bring a book to contribute to the baby's library.  It can be an old children's book from the attendee's bookshelf, a thrift store or library find, or they can purchase a new one. But it's so nice to have a library of children's books to share with your baby. Each attendee can add a little note explaining why they chose their particular book. You can keep the notes in a little box on the baby's bookshelf. If you don't have a bookshelf, you can use cheap milk crates to store the baby's books. (That's what I used when my oldest was a baby and I didn't have bookshelves.) Have the guests place their books with the notes tucked inside on a special table set aside for them, or if you already have milk crates, have them place the books there. Milk crates make for easy transport from one room to another.

Can you tell I am a bookworm?

I am also a music-head, obviously.

3. For background music at the shower, you could go soft and gentle, or cheesy and fun.
a.) Make a playlist ahead of time of classical or jazz tracks with baby in mind. This is very easy to do, as there are tons of "classical music for baby" and "jazz for baby" compilations out there. Use the real music though, and not "baby-fied" or "baby-Enstein-ish" toy versions. That way you have a playlist for your baby but also something that you and your guests can enjoy during the shower.
b.) This one's purely for you and your guests' fun and enjoyment. Make a playlist with nothing but songs that have the word "baby" in the title. (Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby" and TLC's "Baby Baby Baby" come to mind. There are tons.) Play that during your party. When a fast one comes on that everyone likes, take time out to get up and dance and blow bubbles.

4. For one of the activities, make it ALL about the baby. Have each attendee write a note to the baby on an 8X10 sheet of white cardstock (with a black sharpie). Make sure the note is in large print. Take a picture of each attendee holding their note. The resulting prints can be made into a small scrapbook or photo book as a keepsake for the mom to be. Orrrrr...

5. Do the same thing with the notes, but make a time capsule of sorts for the baby. Instead of making the photo book or scrapbook right away, put those photos on a special flash drive and tuck it away in a safe place, to be printed later and looked at together, you and your child. You can wait until the child is three, five, whenever. It will be a blessing to your child and fond memories for you.

6. If you own or have access to a Polaroid camera, here is an easy party favor idea. Have each attendee sit in the "mom's chair" or have a special area set up for a "photo booth." Take a polaroid of each attendee wearing their tiny birthday hat, while the others are in the background blowing bubbles and tossing balloons. Write something on each Polaroid that would mean something to the attendee. They can take that home with them as a keepsake.

7. For food, keep it simple, sweet and yummy. Have a couple of friends come over
before the shower, and make batches of different-flavored brownies. Cut them out and stack them on beautiful plates. You could frost some of them too, or cut them into shapes using heavy-duty cookie cutters. You could even decorate them with the baby's initials. Serve them with a couple of pots of hot tea or coffee and bottles of water. Speaking of water...

8. If you serve bottles of water, you could decorate those too. Get labels that fit over the labels that are already on the bottles. (Make sure the label paper is thick enough to hide what is underneath.) Then write the name and date of the event on each label, using different-colored Sharpies. Decorate it with fun things like hearts, circles, or stars too. Or, simply write the baby's name on each label, if the name is known already. But, if the baby's name isn't known yet...

9. Here's another fun party activity. Play the ABC's of Baby Names. Starting with the first person to the left or right of the mom-to-be, start with the letter A and suggest a boy name and a girl name. The mom-to-be does not participate, rather she writes the name suggestions on small sheets of paper and puts the boy names in one container and the girl names in another container. At the end of the game (the letter Z) a boy name gets drawn and a girl name gets drawn. The winners are the ones who suggested those names. They receive a prize. The prize can be an extra token of appreciation sent with the thank-you card, like a small gift card to Starbucks or something like that.

And Ten.
To invite your guests: take a nice, simple black and white photo of the mom-to-be's baby bump (preferably outdoors), crop it to square size, leave a decent size border underneath, and type the invitation details in the border, using Courier font. It comes out looking crisp, modern, and way too nice to throw away. Or, you could always choose one of the fabulous invitation designs from Tiny Prints! This one and this one are two of my absolute favorites.

wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards—a total gift value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.


Sarah said...

I remember your baby shower with Ian. I think I helped organize it :)
It was so crazy that you were in labor!

Altius Directory said...

you can find a numerous of baby names in the below list... check it..

2010 Unique Baby Names

My Captivating Images said...

Those are all great suggestions! :)

Wenni Donna said...

Excellent post! Your tips are really great as will use them in planning my friend’s baby shower at one of local Seattle venues. Will also take help of few friends. Hopeful that she will love it a lot and will appreciate my efforts.