Who's the Host?
Forget the antiquated notion that some one other than a relative of the expectant parents should host the shower. These days anyone can host a baby shower from the grandmother-to-be to a coworker. The only person who should not host the shower is the expectant couple.
Who to Invite and Who Pays For It?
Traditional baby showers were a "girls only" affair. Nowadays, couple showers are very popular. Check with the expectant mom about who she would like to invite and then check your budget!
A "ladies only" shower just might be a good cost-effective way to go as couples will only bring one gift but you'll be supplying double the amount of food and drink.
If budget is an issue, reach out to the mom-to-be's close friends and ask for help. In lieu of "splitting costs," you could ask one friend to bring the cake, another friend to "take care" of the favors, and another to coordinate decor.
When to Have the Shower
The earliest one should have a shower is two months before the baby's due date. By that time, the expectant mom should be feeling fine and getting the nursery ready. The custom in some cultures is to have a "welcome shower" after the baby is born. A "welcome shower" may be a good way to go if the couple has chosen not to find out the sex of the baby. After the baby arrives, there's no guessing about pink and blue!
Baby Shower Themes
Baby shower themes run the gamut from cute and cuddly to sophisticated teas. We have a bunch of ideas here at Celebrations.com from baby shower cakes to sweet favors for guests. Ask the mom-to-be what type of baby shower she would like and then let the planning begin!
My first baby shower, for my son, was a Greek themed co-ed extravaganza hosted at a private home. Guests came in togas and played Olympic style games. My second shower, for my daughter, was an intimate afternoon tea at a Beverly Hills hotel, and my husband, the proud papa, was the only male in attendance. So, get an idea from the expectant mother as to what she has in mind in order to meet her expectations.
Gift Etiquette and Traditions
Guests look forward to the oohs and ahhs when the mom-to-be opens the gifts, so this tradition is a must at showers. Yes, it can take a couple of hours and is best scheduled at the end of the shower when guests are enjoying cake and coffee.
Sometimes, a "wishing well" is set up where guests bring an inexpensive (under $5) trinket to toss into the well. The wishing well is usually part of the decor or thematic such as a baby bathtub. Let guests know about this tradition in the invitation.
Either the party host or a good friend should record who gave what to the guest of honor for the purposes of writing personalized baby shower thank you notes.