There is no real ideal baby gift, what you need to do is to just put some thought into it to come up with a gift from the heart. I am a huge fan of baby shower gift baskets in fact I am a fan of gift baskets in general but they can be impersonal so you have to take a little bit of care with your choice and I would generally send a basket when the baby is born.
For a baby gift, I like to take along a gift that is meaningful and that will continue to be meaningful for the mother-to-be/parents-to-be and the child. I always like to work based on quality not quantity so I will normally choose a piece of furniture: a wooden toy box, a blanket box, a rocking chair, a rocking horse, a keepsake box.
A piece of wooden furniture is such a tactile gift that will endure right through the baby’s childhood and on into adulthood. Parents-to-be are often overwhelmed by gifts of clothing and such that I try to find something useful and beautiful at the same time.
This is definitely one for an all-female baby shower. Each card has a different object, stage of pregnancy or event on it and one person or a team has to act out the contents of the card for the remaining audience to guess what they are trying to act out.
This can be highly comical and a bonding experience. I will always remember going to a baby shower where we played charades and the second team up had to act out taking a pregnancy test. We were all crying with laughter and to this day when I see an advert for a pregnancy test I can’t help but giggle and remember that great afternoon where we were celebrating the coming birth of my best friends first daughter.
Baby showers are all about joy, celebration, friendship. It is a time to make special group memories that you will all remember for years to come.
After the opening of gifts at a baby shower, there are usually refreshments offered. If possible, it is a good idea to theme the food to go with the general theme of the baby shower.
For instance if you are having a traditional baby shower with women only attending then you may want to choose a traditional finger food buffet. This type of buffet is easily made yourself or brought in via caterers and will include things like cream scones, frosted cupcakes, a baby shower cake, small sandwiches with delicate fillings such as cucumber, cream cheese/smoked salmon and egg mayonnaise. Any variety of teas, soft drinks, white and sparkling wine can be served alongside this.
On the other hand, you may be having a non-traditional baby shower, which includes male guests if this is the case you are likely to have a completely different theme and will therefore want a more substantial spread. The types of things that you could include in this situation are mini bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, small skewers of chicken with dips, mini frittatas, mini beef wellingtons , various pates/dips with chips and/or bread and of course not forgetting a couple of salads. This together with soft drinks, wine, sparkling wine and beer is perfect for a non-traditional baby shower.
I don’t know about you but I love giving and receiving gift baskets. When you receive one it’s so exciting just like finding buried treasure! When putting one together for a friend or choosing one online to send it gives me equal pleasure.
In my mind if you don’t know what the parents-to-be actually need and you can’t or don’t want to ask then you are either going to have to get totally unique baby shower gift baskets or one that is practical in that it is full of items that you really cannot have too many of.
For a unique basket choose one that is going to pamper the mother-to-be/parents-to-be as well as the new arrival. Include champagne/sparkling wine, truffles or a gift card for a spa day together with some unique baby gifts.
A practical basket will include t-shirts, blankets, baby booties, teether keys, plush toys, baby soap and baby lotion, washcloths and Q-tips , bottles, soothers and so on.
This may seem obvious but it really is not and it can be a little confusing and even contentious so here is a rundown of what needs to be included:
The mother-to-be’s name.
The date and time that the event is happening.
The venue that the baby shower is going to be held at.
The names of the hosts of the baby shower.
The contact details that the RSVP needs to go to, an email address and a telephone number is best.
Where the parents-to-be are registered – now this final one is slightly controversial. It seems to be that this is a very sensible course of action and it saves allot of messing around however it can appear to be a little presumptuous and uncouth.
My advice for the final item is to speak to the father-to-be and the mother-to-be (if the shower is not a surprise) and find out what their views are. Also, think back to previous showers in your social network or family group and take the lead from what was done there.
Baby showers can be so much fun if they are well organized. In general baby showers are thrown either by a close friend of the mother to be or by a family member about a month before the baby is due. The father-to-be can be a great source of information but he should not be used exclusively. The main categories for planning are:
The Venue – ideally the venue should be as easy to reach for everyone you are likely to invite. This of course is impossible so make it a priority to think ahead to guests who might find it hard to get there i.e. elderly or infirm or disabled friends.
The Guest List – it is really important to get the guest list right, it is nearly as fraught with danger as a wedding guest list. Try to include everyone that you can. Make enquiries with friends, family and work colleagues if you can in order to make sure that no one crucial in the mother-to-be’s life is over looked.
The Format – the format is generally fairly casual. The gifts are usually opened first and then everyone settles down to chat, eat, drink and even play games. A casual gathering with finger food, cake, soft drinks, hot drinks and wine are all perfectly acceptable. A full meal is not a requirement but again if this is the type of format that you think the mother-to-be would enjoy then anything goes!
Gifts – it is possible that the expectant couple are registered for baby gifts, find out if this is the case and have the details ready for when you get RSVPs to the invitations or for when you send them out. If they are not then you will need to compile a list with the father-to-be and co-ordinate that.
Baby Shower Invitations – Once you have the guest list ready and you have decided on a theme make sure that the invitations are sent out in good time. This is usually done at least 30 days in advance of the baby shower.
Baby Shower Invitations are very important because they will form one of the first group memories associated with the coming birth. They are also important for the child itself as one of the invitations should be included in the baby’s first scrapbook/baby book. Not forgetting that they make great mementos for friends and family of the mother-to-be.
The invitation sets the tone of the whole event. It gives the guests all the information that they need so that they know what to expect and what is required of them at the event.
Baby Shower Invitations should be sent to everyone that ought t be included in the baby shower whether or not they are likely to attend the event in person. It is important to allow people who cannot physically be there to participate from afar.
A slight note of caution if it is not the mother-to-be’s first baby then the net should not be thrown quite as wide.
The thing that always sets me on edge when organizing a get together especially when the guests may not know each other that well is how on earth to get them talking. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a group of people standing around or sitting at a table not talking to each other. In new social situations, it can be quite difficult to get the ball rolling. As the host, it is your role to ensure that the party starts and I have come across a failsafe method to do this.
This method is such a great idea and you can even tailor to any kind of event that you might be organizing. It is a truly great icebreaker. All you need to do is buy a packet of place cards that has the space to write the guests name on, on the other side or opposite the name there should be an icebreaker question that the guest needs to ask the next person to arrive.
It is a cool way of getting everyone talking and it needs only a very short amount of time to set up beforehand. You can either get blank place cards and add the icebreaker questions yourself or you can actually get some with the questions already printed on for you!
It is not an old tradition giving favors at baby showers but it is a very thoughtful idea. The idea has come about because baby showers are now seen as a chance for all the family and a wide circle of friends to get together to celebrate the coming birth. Having a memento to take away with you from the celebration is especially meaningful.
Baby shower favors can take many forms. They can be personalized with the names of the parents-to-be as an added touch. Choosing a suitable baby shower favor to go with the theme of your event could not be easier as they come in so many different forms. You would not believe the variety available from china/crystal ornaments, scented candles, petit fours, Personalized Baby Shower Candy Jars, themed mint tins to cookies and practical novelty kitchen items.
It is really up to you how far you take this idea and it needed not cost you a fortune the idea is purely for guests to take away a keepsake of the event. I would be equally as thrilled to receive an exquisitely personalized boxed piece of the baby shower cake as to receive some personalised baby powder scented votive candles to keep alongside my invitation and eventually the birth announcement.
An all-female baby shower with a traditional feel is the ideal situation to play baby shower bingo in. Like regular bingo, it consists of matching items to what is on the card that you are given and the first person to cross every entry off on their card wins the game.
There are quite a few versions of baby shower bingo. You can purchase premade packs that cover most varieties. The two most popular version of the game to play are:
Traditional Method – after the gifts have been opened and refreshments taken, everyone sits with their cards whilst the host draws pictures or words from a diaper bag until a winner is found.
Gift Method – this is a little more innovative in that it takes place whilst the mother-to-be is opening her gifts. Every time a gift is opened that item is crossed off the card until a winner is found.
A small keepsake gift should be given to the winner(s) baby shower favors would be ideal for this.