expecting
 
Showering the Mom-to-Be

Planning a shower and want to make it an event the mother-to-be will always remember, filled with creative games and fun surprises? Here are some baby shower ideas to make the occasion extra special:

1. Purchase fabric paints, sponges and stencils and several plain white bibs and onesies. Set up tables with the art supplies and clothing. Invite each shower guest to decorate a bib or onesie with personal drawings or messages for the new baby.

2. Help out the mom-to-be with a personalized baby care journal. In a journal with baby-themed stationary, ask guests to share their best baby care tip. Pass it around to all the guests during the shower and at the end, the mom-to-be will have a special notebook of baby care tips from experienced moms she trusts.

3. When new parents adopt a baby, the shower is usually given after the baby arrives. A great idea is to videotape the event and allow each person to hold the baby and give him or her words of advice for the future. The proud parents will have a very special tape to enjoy with their child for years to come.

GAMES TO ENERGIZE THE GUESTS

1. The Baby Food Challenge: Remove the labels from several different baby food jars. Place a number on each jar and give each shower guest a piece of paper and several plastic spoons. Each guest must sample the jars of baby food and write down what she thinks they contain (but no double dipping!). The person who correctly guesses the most number of jars wins a special prize.

2. Don’t Say Baby!: A popular baby shower game is one that prevents anyone at the shower from saying the word "baby." As guests arrive, give them a pink- or blue-colored clothespin and instruct them not to say the word "baby" during the course of the shower. If another guest says "baby," the person who hears her gets to take her clothespin. The objective is to trick other guests into saying "baby" in order to accumulate pins. The person with the most pins at the end of the shower wins a special prize.

3. The Mom-To-Be Measure: Provide spools of colorful ribbon and ask each shower guest to cut a piece of ribbon to a length they think will fit around the mom-to-be’s pregnant belly. The guest with the length of ribbon that comes the closest wins a prize.

4. The Diaper Race: Have guests race to see how quickly they can change a baby’s diaper…using dolls, of course. The first guest to finish diapering her doll wins a prize.

REFRESHMENTS AND DECORATIONS TO COMPLEMENT THE SHOWER

1. For a creative baby shower centerpiece, serve punch in a plastic baby bathtub with a few rubber duckies floating around inside. For more fun, have guests drink out of baby bottles instead of cups or glasses.

2. Give the mother-to-be what she’s been craving! If, during her pregnancy, she’s had a hankering for pickles and ice cream, serve deli sandwiches with sour pickles and have ice cream cake for dessert. If the mom-to-be has an appetite for healthy foods, make sure there is crudite and fresh fruit for her to devour.

3. Instead of vases to hold fresh-cut flowers, use baby bottles. Decorate the baby bottles with ribbon and fill with water. Not only is this a cute centerpiece, but it’s practical as well!

4. Decorate a Wishing Well like a baby carriage. Guests can bring inexpensive items ($1 - $5 gifts), such as bibs, pacifiers, rattles, teething rings, etc., and place them in the beautifully decorated "carriage."

THEMES TO MAKE THE SHOWER MORE FUN

1. April/Spring Showers: Plan to have the baby shower outside (with a back-up rain plan, of course!). A park or the patio of the host’s home are ideal locations to enjoy the nice Spring weather. Seasonal fruit and foods contribute to the theme. Beverages, such as iced tea and lemonade, can remind the mom-to-be of selling those drinks at the foot of the driveway when she was a little girl.

2. Around the Clock: When sending out the invitations, give guests a certain time of the day and ask them to buy gifts that correspond to their designated time. Examples include sleep time, bath time, play time and breakfast time.

FAVORS TO SAY THANK YOU FOR FRIENDS’ SUPPORT

1. Picture Frame Magnets: One way to thank shower guests is to give them magnets (4 in. x 6 in.) with a plastic sleeve in front – perfect for holding a picture of baby when he or she arrives. Hole-punch one corner and tie the magnet with a pink or blue ribbon. Slip in a piece of paper with a poem explaining its use, such as the following:

Thank you for celebrating Mary’s shower today,

Not much time ‘til her baby comes this way.

Baby’s first photograph can fit in this frame,

Your warm wishes are appreciated, she’s so glad you came!

2. Baby-Inspired Chocolate or Cookies: Everyone loves sweets. What’s a better way to say "Thank you" than with pieces of chocolate or cookies shaped as baby shoes or rattles?

3. Picture Frames: An elegant way to let guests know their well wishes are greatly appreciated is to give them a picture frame. Following up with a photo once baby comes also lets them know their kind gestures have not been forgotten.

Reprinted with permission of Playtex Products, Inc.


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