The purpose of a baby shower is to 'shower' the mother-to-be with advice, support and gifts. This includes family and friends who might give emotional support and advice, share the excitement of having a new baby with the mother-to-be, and assist in the expense of having a baby by bringing gifts to help new parents out, avoiding any embarrassment.
Who should host the baby shower?
In the past, non-relatives such as colleagues, church groups, or friends held baby showers. Nowadays, any relative, close friend or work colleague can plan a baby shower, so the most important thing is that someone takes the initiative to host the baby shower - and not the expectant mother!
Choosing the right time
It makes sense if a baby shower is held towards the end of a pregnancy as it both seems more real if the mother-to-be actually has a bump, and it is probably a welcome diversion for her. However, make sure that the mother-to-be is consulted about when the shower is to be held, just to avoid problems.
Planning for the baby shower should begin roughly six weeks before the baby is due. This allows time for sorting out how many people will be attending, the budget, location and food. The invitations, venue, food, decorations plus any other extras all cost money and it isn't fair that the host pays for it all. See how much other guests are prepared to contribute towards the shower and take it from there.
Where should the baby shower be held?
Depending on numbers, baby showers should ideally be held at the host's home. The expectant mother should not have to be involved in any cleaning or tidying, so it might not seem right that she has the shower at her house. Hiring out a local hall or hotel is a good idea alternatively, although incurring extra cost.
Ideas for themes
It is more interesting if there is a theme, but this is not essential to the baby shower. An obvious one is a colour theme - for example, blue if it's going to be a boy, or pink for a girl - or another baby-related theme. One fun idea is to make the theme a nursery rhyme or a well-known children's book, like 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Teddy Bear's Picnic', or 'Wizard of Oz'. A guest book could be created with messages from everyone at the shower, and photos added later as memorabilia of the event to remember the shower. A goody bag for guests to take home is also a good idea; it could carry on the theme of the baby shower and contain chocolates, candles and other treats for guests.
What type of food?
Buffet-type food is probably best as this is likely to be an afternoon affair, and is easy to prepare. It's best to keep the food simple unless using a caterer: guests could bring a contribution to help the host out. Check what the mother-to-be can eat so that there are no problems with food or drink.
Gift ideas for a baby shower
What gifts to buy?
Deciding who to buy something for the mum or the baby is the tricky part. The easiest solution is to buy something for both, for instance, a pamper set for mum and a pair of booties for the baby. A few people could join together to get something that the mother-to-be needs for the baby. An expectant mum will appreciate receiving treats for herself, for example, a manicure appointment, a massage, or perhaps expensive bath soaps. Offers of babysitting will also be received happily from the mother-to-be for an inexpensive gift idea once the baby is born.
Mothercare Impression Kit Gift Buying Guide