Insider advice on throwing a baby shower in pregnancy, fun games you can play, plus gift etiquette

Baby showers, predominantly an American tradition where the mum-to-be is literally ‘showered’ with gifts for her unborn baby

Should I have a baby shower?

“A baby shower is traditionally a gathering of the new parent’s close friends and family to celebrate the impending arrival of baby”. “It is also a massive help towards the huge costs of a newborn as baby shower guests usually come armed with array of baby gifts.”

When’s the best time to throw a baby shower in pregnancy?

“The ideal time to have your baby shower or host one for a friend or family member is around the 7th or 8th month of the pregnancy,”  from The Baby Shower Host. “Although don’t leave it too late, as it won’t give you much time to organize the gifts, plus the excitement could bring on the labor!”

How do you let people know you’re having a baby shower?

With a good old-fashioned paper invite. “It’s good to make an effort with your invitations so your guests will be excited about attending.” And, as far as the guest list goes, you’ll probably want no more than 10 to 15 people there to keep it stress-free and personal.

Should it have a theme?

How do you make a baby shower look like a shower, rather than a party? It’s all about the baby-orientated decorations. “The room would be baby-field, but preferably in an elegant manner with a few banners, table centerpieces, baby-themed cookie bouquets and some suitable tableware.”

“Many like to put a personal stamp on their shower and have a theme.” “If you know what sex your baby is, you might want a pink or blue theme, or even go all out and have it as your favorite film or fancy dress!”

Or if you want to amp up the drama at your shower, why not try something a little bit different and join the new American craze by throwing a gender reveal party.

Fabulous food

What you offer will depend on how many people you’re inviting, the time of day and where you’re holding the shower. Tea parties are always popular as they’re fairly simple to organize, suitable for all ages and you don’t have to provide alcohol.

Don’t worry, guests won’t expect full-on catering or a three-course meal – baby showers are all about finger food and nibbles. “There’d be mini sandwiches, cupcakes, scones with jam and cream and perhaps a glass of champagne or two for the guests”.

It’s fine to ask each guest to bring a contribution, or ask family members to help out so you don’t end up doing it all. Just make sure whoever’s cooking knows what’s safe for pregnant women to eat.

Baby shower games and entertainment

Once you’ve got the decor sorted, how do you ensure your guests are entertained? “There should ideally be a few baby shower games – but not too many – because the guests will like the chance to have a good chat too”.

If you want to liven up the shower with some fun games, you could get the guests playing a guessing game. “If it’s only the parents who know the sex of the baby, you could get guests to predict the baby’s gender. You could even get your guests to guess what time of day it’ll be born and when the baby arrives, the person with the nearest guess and correct gender wins a bottle of bubbly!”

This one’s a bit riskier – but it’s bound to raise a few laughs and will make your shower one to remember. Why not buy a few jars of baby food, remove the labels and get guests to guess the flavor… whoever’s first to guess wins a prize!

Baby shower gift etiquette

While there aren’t any set or standard rules, bringing a gift is usually a given. But to avoid awkward gift duplication, and to help the mum-to-be with pricey newborn must-haves, you can always be specific about the gifts you’d prefer. It might even help the guests out, who might be scratching their heads at just what to bring along. But what do you ask for, and more importantly, how do you go about asking for it?

“Most of us are still shy when it comes to gifts,”  “A gift list for guests is a great idea because parents-to-be really do know what they’d like for their baby and it makes it much easier to know the gifts received won’t be wasted.” However, if you feel uncomfortable making a gift list, leave the invite open.

Cost of throwing a baby shower

“There are many ways to cut costs when throwing a baby shower. It needn’t cost much at all,” says Alexandra. “You can buy a couple of banners, a couple of centre pieces and do the rest yourself. It’s easy enough to print out invitations, add a little decoration and send them off.”

As for the food, food can be bought from any supermarket and made to look lovely on cheap platters and stands, which you can pick up in the supermarket or at your local pound shop.