Throwing a baby shower is one of the nicest gifts you can give to an expectant mom. It can be the perfect time for a mom-to-be to celebrate with friends and share the joy and anticipation of becoming of mother. We've all seen the standard shower full of yellow rubber duckies and diaper derbies. Now that it's your turn to play hostess, why not have some fun and get creative? Here some ideas to get you started.
Every party needs direction, and a great theme can tie everything together.
1. Mom Themes: Think about what the mom-to-be's hobbies and passions are. For instance, if the expectant mom is a huge sports team fan, create a shower that combines baby items with team colors and mascots (baby booties in team colors and tiny jerseys, for example).
2. Baby Themes: "Decorations can be a major element for a more unusual shower," says Sherri Foxman, AKA the "Party Girl" and founder of Party411. "We have used disposable diapers as napkins, tied with ribbon, of course; filled baby shoes with candy at each table (don't worry the baby will grow into them); and created personalized labels for baby food with the mom's picture (put one at each place setting)." You can also include a baby blanket tablecloth, hanging mobile centerpiece, and small baby bottle flower arrangements for some added baby fun.
3. Sleep Over: If some of mom's favorite guests are coming from out of town, throw a girlfriends slumber party just like you did when you were kids. This time you can host it at a local bed and breakfast or spa hotel. What a great chance to catch up before the new arrival!
4. Home Spa: A new trend in spa parties is the home visit. Spa professionals can come to the party and give everyone massages, facials, and manicures. This way an indulgent spa touch can be added to a traditional shower, and guests don't have to travel to another locale.
5. Walk on the Wild Side: Freshen up the party by moving it outdoors. Check out local scenic parks or gardens for possible party locales. This is especially nice if mom enjoys nature or gardening, or if there is a large crowd.
6. Paint by Numbers: For a lively, activity-based party, have everyone meet at a "paint your own" pottery studio. Guests can each make a special piece for the new family, such as plates, vases, and commemorative items. Everyone will have fun and the mom-to-be will have a full set of custom baby tableware with which to remember the day.
7. Shopping: What better way to spend the day with girlfriends than a day out shopping? Plan a special day out at a cool shopping district or mall. Decide on a great place for lunch and request everyone bring gift cards to the nearby stores, so the mom-of-honor can have fun shopping with everyone. (This also saves guests from the trouble of registries and gift-wrap.)
8. Keep it Close: A core group of friends and family can sometimes be more enjoyable than a huge room full of people, especially if the mom-to-be is uncomfortable in a crowd. Throw a low-key shower with a small group. Look through photo albums, make special crafts or start a baby scrapbook, rent a movie, order take-out, and just spend some quality time together.
9. Office Space: Surprise the expectant mom by decorating her cubicle or office with baby-themed items. Focus on ways everyone can make her work time easier during her transition to motherhood. Give her a thoughtful or funny memento to remember everyone while on maternity leave, such as a mini scrapbook or recording of her coworkers singing a lullaby.