How to throw a great baby shower
Toying with the idea of a baby shower? If you want to pull it off without a hitch, check out our do's and don'ts
Big in America (we’ve seen them in Sex and the City and Friends), it’s no surprise that more British women are being tempted to celebrate the impending arrival of their child with a baby shower. And why not? They’re glamorous, you get lots of presents, and who needs a better excuse for a party than a woman enduring nine months’ hard labour? You can do it yourself, but let’s face it, it’s a much better idea to get friends to host it for you instead. Experts advise that the ideal time for your do is between 32 and 35 weeks, before your energy levels start flagging.
Who to invite
Girlfriends, work colleagues, her mum (really, don’t forget her mum. Or his). And anyone who will be generous enough to bring a great gift.
Who not to
His ex. Need we say more.
Best friend’s garden, a chichi café, the local pub… Anywhere but the mum-to-be’s. She should not have to set up or clear away. Or, for a swisher option, why not call in a professional baby shower company to do all the work for you? We love Tea Party's gorgeous venue in north London.
The maternity ward (try not to leave it that late, please). Japanese restaurants are also a no-no – if she sits on the floor, she’ll never get up again, and she can’t eat sushi now anyway.
What the ‘mummy’ should wear
Hospital-appropriate underwear, a 70s smock dress (choose vertical stripes), something with a whole load of stretch in it.
What she shouldn’t
White (who does she think she is, the bleedin’ Virgin Mary?) or khaki (poor thing, she looks like a tank!).
‘OMG! You’re positively glowing!’ She needs to hear she still looks great, even if pregnancy has overtaken her body.
‘OMG! I was in labour for 24 hours, blah, blah, blah…’ This is not the time to hear anyone’s horror stories.
What to serve
Cupcakes, ice cream sundaes (low-fat), fresh fruit (she needs the fibre). Or the latest craze, a ‘gender reveal’ cake if she wants to let friends know the sex of her baby.
What not to serve
Pâté, seafood, unpasteurised anything. See our Pregnancy section for a full list of forbidden pregnancy foods.
What to drink
Peppermint cordial, fruit smoothies, ginger beer, virgin cocktails (oh, the irony).
What to resist
Anything with alcohol or caffeine in it.
What she wants
Agent Provocateur briefs, a subscription to Gurgle magazine, a pedicure, a Red Cross First Aid Training Course (she’ll be petrified by the idea of looking after her newborn).
What she doesn’t
An Ann Summers’ thong, a bottle of champagne (just too tempting), vouchers for a parachute jump– she has enough excitement on the horizon.
The Kick Inside (Kate Bush), Hey Mama (Black Eyed Peas), Hey Baby (No Doubt).
Tracks to skip
Push It (Salt-N-Pepa), Billy Jean (Michael Jackson), You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly (Loretta Lynn).
Sarah Michelle Geller on her fun filled baby shower
Five Fun Games to Play
Who’s that baby?
Each guest brings a baby photo of themselves to be put on display. Whoever has the most correct guesses matching the photo to the guest wins.
Guess the baby food
Everyone gets a plastic spoon and has to taste a spoonful from a selection of jars of baby food (with their labels covered), guessing what they are. Most correct guesses wins.
Guess the birth date/weight
Winner to be notified after the birth.
Guests are shown a tray full of about 20 baby-associated items – dummy, spoon, nappy pin etc, and have a few minutes to memorise them before the tray is taken away. Whoever can remember and write down the most items wins.
Mind the Bump
Each non-pregnant guest has to blow up a large balloon, stuff it up their jumper or T-shirt, bend over and remove shoes and put them back on again without popping the balloon. Or to make it even sillier, put some water into each balloon to start with.
Posing in toilet roll à la Victoria Beckham at her baby shower – split into teams and see who can fashion the best nappy out of it.
Please pass me a cake.. or three
Pass the parcel
Winners get-Lavender oil, Gaviscon, Bach Flower Rescue Remedy – all welcome additions to her bathroom cupboard.
And losers- Hemorrhoid cream. Seriously, some things are better kept to herself.
Sweet Give each guest a pen and paper and get them to write down something useful they wish they’d known about having a baby – these can be put in a book for the mum-to-be to keep as a memento.
Sour Guess the girth
Each guest guesses the size of mum’s tum. Guaranteed to make her feel bad about herself.