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Planning A Baby Shower

If someone close to you is expecting a baby, you may want to help celebrate this occasion by throwing a baby shower. Planning a baby shower isn’t difficult, but there are a number of details you'll need to consider.

First, talk with the expectant mom and tell her you’d like to give her a baby shower. Generally, she’ll be excited and accept your offer. There may be rare instances, however, when a shower is inappropriate or can only be held under special circumstances. For example, Jewish tradition says you don’t give gifts to the baby until after it is born. For a Jewish friend, you might want to postpone the baby shower until after the baby is born or plan a different kind of event for Mom.

Once you get the go ahead, you'll need to ask the guest of honor to start putting together a list of the people she’d like you to invite. If there’s a limit to the number of guests you can accommodate, be sure to let the guest of honor know that before she starts putting her list together. Only you know how large a party you can throw, both in terms of finances and physical location. For this reason, it’s common for several friends to come together to throw a baby shower, which lightens the work load and lessens the expense for each individual.

While the guest of honor is putting together her invitation information, you'll need to choose a date. Make sure the date is acceptable to the guest of honor and, if you’re reserving a space to hold the shower, that it’s available. Saturdays are popular days for showers – prime locations may book months in advance. You should hold the shower at least one month before the baby's due date, as many expectant mothers become very tired during their last month of pregnancy and will want some time to get the baby's nursery ready with all the wonderful things they receive.

Now is also good time to decide on a theme for the party – if you plan to use one. “Two peas in a pod,” for example, is a popular theme for a shower celebrating twins. You might also want to use an umbrella theme or a rubber duck theme – a look at invitations and party decorations will give you lots of inspiration. Decide on and purchase any decorations or other supplies you’ll need no later than one week before the shower.

Plan to send out the invitations about three weeks before the shower. This will give attendees plenty of time to clear their schedules and shop. Hopefully, the expectant mom will have registered at several stores – make sure you have this information to pass along to attendees.

You'll also need to plan refreshments to serve at the shower. Some form of cake is traditional, along with punch or other beverages. You might choose to serve appetizers and snacks or have an afternoon tea. And of course, it's a good idea to check with the expectant mom to see if she has any dietary considerations, such as an allergy or an aversion to particular types of foods.

And don’t forget to plan some entertainment for the shower. A few baby shower games are usually a good idea and you can get plenty of ideas from other women who have been to baby showers or by searching the Internet for baby shower games.

On the day of the shower, you'll need to decorate the shower space, prepare any foods and beverages and assemble any game supplies. Greet the guests as they arrive and show them where to place their gifts. At many showers, snacks are served while the guests are arriving. Games are then played, gifts are opened and then the cake is served. When the guest of honor is opening her gifts, someone should help her to write down the name of the gift and the person who gave it – she’ll need this information later to write her thank you notes.

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