- Don’t do surprises
Seriously, a surprise sounds like a good idea until the day of the shower, because there is always trouble trying to get the mum to be to the venue, even if the shower is at her house.
Most baby showers will start at 4pm because all morning you have been trying to get the heavily pregnant mama to a house so that you can shout surprise, it is s wonder that those screams have never sent one I know into labour immediately.
Especially during the last month of pregnancy, most mothers have their time planned out and need to take their rest, plan with her, she already got a surprise for her bridal shower, no need to start a baby shower at 6 pm instead of 2 because she had to pass by Biashara street and pick up clothes and decided she was hungry and this was 4:30 going 5 pm.
Starting a baby shower late can be too tiring for the new mother and what was supposed to be a lovely experience turns into an I-Am-So-Tired-Can-I-Go-Home-Now experience.
- Do not meet at the new mum’s house
This often sounds like a good idea because you feel like she will not be out of her comfort zone, good as it is, not unless the planner lives with her, it might not be such a good idea. Whether we like it or not, she will end up trying to sort things out because it is her house, you will have to keep asking for things which most times it’s easier for her to get than give directions.
- Do invite dads
I would not want to belabour this point, but by now you know I am a big advocate for dads being a part of the shower. When planning, keep in mind that there will be dads, so the games will be different; the food will be different etc. Accommodate the man so that he will be a reminder to the MTB (Mum To Be) to the things learnt and shared. Make sure that you talk to other dads as well so that you do not end up with the DTB as the only dad present.
- Do not skip the décor
I am not talking about over the top wedding kind of décor, if you can get that no problem, however, there are simple décor ideas that can transform the room from a sitting room to a baby shower party. Balloons, flowers, baby clothes hang around the room, baby products used as décor, baby bottles, baby shoes, diapers etc. This can be inexpensive since you can use what the MTB has already bought, (another reason it shouldn’t be a surprise)
- Choose your food wisely
We love a good meal and most people will plan on a late lunch if they know they are going for a shower, try having a full meal instead of snack (because dads will be coming too). If this will cost too much especially if you are suing a caterer, ask the guest to chip in on the budget. Did you know that sometimes snacks cost more than food?
- Don’t let the games drag on
This often happens when the planner doesn’t have a plan, and all you thought about were arrival, surprise, food, and gifts. A shower has many more segments that will make it interesting. Have the parents to be share their fears, hope dreams, have an advice segment, have a bless the baby segment etc. this makes the shower enjoyable and less redundant, out of tradition.
The games should not embarrass the guest or the host.
- Do get individual gifts
Not unless specified by the MTB, have the guest get individual gifts instead of one huge gift. There is joy in opening little packages and seeing pretty baby things instead of one huge gift that might be seldom used. Little gifts give personality to the shower. To make sure that the gifts are not repeated, have the MTB write a list of what she needs, tick off what she has and have the guests pick out what they would like to bring, this helps those without babies have an idea of what to buy because left to most people, diapers are the only gift, though we all know you can never have enough diapers, a different gift is as good.
Remember you can get a gift for the mum and dad as well.
- Plan the party she wants not what you want
The other day I was talking to a friend and she was wondering if she should go for a baby shower she had been invited or not, because the planners had decided to throw and over the top baby shower whereas everyone who knows the MTB knows that she is frugal and would rather a house shower than an expensive one. The guests were being asked to give a couple of thousands of shillings towards the party, and bring a pack of diapers and a gift of their choice. (A pack of diapers is close to a thousand). Dear planner, if you want an over the top party, please be willing to pay for it, or work with a reasonable budget.
- Do plan in advance
Do not give a 1 week 2 week notice to a shower, for the last 9 months, you have known your friend is getting a baby, plan early, send your invites early so that the guests can plan and diarise. Since it costs money, people need to plan in advance; a baby shower is not an emergency, plan ahead.
Do not forget to thank the guest- MTB, they did not have to come, but they did so thank them individually.