How to organise a great baby shower
Do you have a little one due? Congratulations! Time to celebrate.
Baby showers, where an expecting mum is showered with gifts for her and the baby, originated in the USA. While announcements of upcoming births have been celebrated worldwide throughout history, it’s only recently that they’ve started to gain popularity in the UK.
We tend to do things a little more sensibly over here, and aren’t usually up to throwing massive parties for each and every occasion, but maybe it’s time to start putting out the bunting a bit more and rejoice in some good news.
At Teetotal we love an excuse for a party, and think baby showers are a great reason to invite pretty much everyone you know for a shindig.
Baby showers are different from most parties in that alcohol can’t really take centre-stage - which is why we like them. Thinking of throwing one for yourself or a friend? Here are a few tips to make yours one to remember (especially the following morning).
Plan in Advance
Planning is the key here - this kind of thing isn’t a last-minute knees-up. For one, the kind souls who want to shower you in gifts won’t have time to pick out a present if you leave it too late, so give them plenty of notice.
You’ll want to make sure everything’s tickety-boo with the pregnancy first, of course, and having an impressive bump is great for photos, so it might be a good idea to plan it for the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy.
You can invite absolutely everyone you know - if you like to be the centre of attention and have a mountain of gifts to sort through - or keep it a bit more low-key. You can spend a stack of money, too, if you’re keen on a bumper bash, or make it a shoestring celebration that’ll still turn heads.
It can be held in public or private - a back garden, a public park, a restaurant or bar, a church or meeting room. If you really want to make a day of it, choose an activity destination like bowling, karaoke or a spa.
Either way, it helps build a support network of folks eager to help after the child arrives, (especially if you’re a first-time parent) and brings plenty of well-wishers ready to give advice on all aspects of parenthood.
Once it’s in everyone’s diary, it’s time to start preparing.
Preparing for your baby shower
Send invites! First of all, if you’re worried about whether or not you can invite people to your own baby shower - yes you can. It’s not really about the gifts (despite the name); it’s about spending time with your favourite people for an occasion worth celebrating. So get out your pen and paper (people are less likely to commit with digital invites) and start licking those stamps.
Make sure to include the date, time, location, planned activities, dress code (if there is one) and RSVP details.
You can also add some info on catering for dietary requirements, your stance on gifts if you don’t want anyone to make a fuss (or if you’ve got a specific list of things you’d like) and note that non-alcoholic drinks will be provided (more on this below).
If you choose standard party decorations, it’ll just seem like another party. A baby shower is best decorated with a baby theme. If you know the gender of your baby and you’re happy to colour-code it - go wild with the floral pinks or pastel blues.
As for the cake - an M&S Colin the Caterpillar won’t really do. Now’s the time to push the boat out and get something fancy for your guests who’ve made the effort. Why not contact your local cakery and ask for a custom design? That said, cakes featuring actual babies tend to be a bit creepy, so maybe something more abstract will suffice, like cupcakes, balloons or a pram.
Games are always a great idea too. Dancing competitions, guess the baby food, pin the tail on the donkey… the funniest (and most revolting) is probably the ‘Name that poo’ game whereby you melt different chocolate bars and spread them into a (clean) nappy. Each person then has to identify the chocolate bar by smell or by taste. Delightful! There’s loads of things you can do to liven the mood and get everyone laughing. And if there are going to be other children at the party, make sure they’re catered for, with board games, toys, and sporty gizmos (or a Nintendo).
Get the drinks in
Of course, you could stock up on beers and wines if you’re hosting, but that’s not really in the spirit of the occasion, as the mum-to-be won’t be drinking. There’s bound to be supportive friends and other non-drinkers in the crowd, too, so we’ve a few recommendations for catering to them.
If you’re going out, you can always ask for a mocktail such as a virgin mojito or virgin Tom Collins. Venues are starting to cater more and more for non-drinkers nowadays, so you’re likely to find some great-tasting 0% beers, wines and mixers instead of the traditional sugary pop.
You can find our Teetotal drinks in hundreds of venues around the country, too - ask for Teetotal G’n’T if you’ve got a taste for a light and tangy refresher, or a Cuba Libre for a rum & cola concoction - despite the classic taste, they don’t contain any alcohol. Your bartender should be able to add a splash of grapefruit (and some tarragon, if they’ve got it) to a Teetotal G’n’T for one of our favourite recipes.
The great thing is that you don’t have to go without when you’re pregnant. Quitting caffeine, smoking - well, we can’t help with those. But we do make some rather delicious drinks - and they’re low-calorie, too.
Congrats again on the good news, by the way. Can we have an invite?