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What to Expect at Your Baby Shower

Congratulations! You're having a baby and some of your friends or family members are hosting a baby shower in your honor. Every baby shower is a little different, but the following information will give you a general idea of what you can expect to be included in your baby shower.

First, expect to be treated like the honored guest you are! Most of the time, the hostess or hostesses will provide you with a corsage or a special button, recognizing you as the guest of honor. Make sure someone takes a picture of you wearing it – you'll want to include this in your scrapbook or baby book.

Speaking of photographs, expect to have your photograph taken many, many times throughout the event, so be sure to wear some translucent powder to avoid a shiny face and add a bit of lip gloss so you'll look lovely in your photographs. Also, try to ask everyone to send you copies of the photographs for your scrapbook or upload them to a photo sharing site so everyone can see them. Better yet, give your camera to a guest and ask her to take pictures of you throughout the event.

You can also expect to play some baby shower games. One classic baby shower game is seeing who can cut a piece of string that’s exactly the right length to go around your tummy. Others include being able to name various flavors of baby food or to identify your adult guests from their baby pictures. At many showers, each guest will be given a diaper pin to wear when she arrives – anyone who catches her saying the word “baby” can take away her pin. The person who gathers the largest number of diaper pins wins a door prize.

And don’t forget about the food! Most baby showers include cake in some form – whether traditional cake, cupcakes or petit fours. Most events also include punch. Other edibles will be determined by the hostesses and the time of day the shower is being held. You might be having afternoon tea, hors d'oeuvres and snacks, or a full meal. If you have any special dietary requirements because of your pregnancy, be sure to let your hostesses know well in advance of the event.

Of course, one of the highlights of every baby shower is opening the gifts. Someone – usually the hostess or a friend – will help you keep up with each gift giver's identity and gift, usually by making a written list. In most cases, everyone will sit in a circle while the gifts are opened one at a time. Always be gracious and appreciative, thanking each giver when you open their gift –whether you like it or not. When you're finished opening all the gifts, give everyone a collective thank you again and be sure to thank your hostesses as well.

When the party is over, the hostesses will usually help you get all of your gifts into your car. Sometimes, they’ll give you some cake to take home with you as well. This is a good time for you to give the hostesses the gifts you purchased in advance for them to thank them for the shower, if you haven't already done so.

After the party is finished, get started on your written thank you notes right away. Ideally, you should finish and mail all of your thank you notes within two weeks – and you’ll definitely want to get them done before your delivery. You might want to take an afternoon to sit down and do them all at once, or you may prefer to write a handful each day. However you choose, try to get them all sent out as quickly as possible, before your bundle of joy arrives.

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