Baby showers are booming. If you haven't been invited to a baby shower lately, you may be surprised to learn where they're at. While many news mums still opt for a small gathering of aunts and friends for afternoon tea and a few party games, a baby shower these days could take you to the finest hotel complete with all the extravagant trimmings of a wedding. Think lavish invitations, baby-themed desserts and take-home gift bags. Just look at Tinseltown. The tone was set early for Kimye's baby shower when each guest received an invitation presented within a fully-functional music box. Each box came complete with a spinning ballerina (who just happened to look like Kim herself), dancing to a lullaby version of Kanye's "Hey Mama."
Baby showers can be as big or as small as you make them. The only real essentials are a mum-to-be, good company and a bite to eat. With a little planning, a baby shower can become a treasured memory for mum marking the beginning of a new chapter. It can also be a great expression of support from the sisterhood.
If you wish to make a big first impression, kick off your baby shower with a beautiful invitation. We've collected some great ideas to get you going. Put your creativity to the test by making the invitations yourself or have someone do the hard work for you. We love online retailer Tiny Prints. With so many customisable on-trend designs and variations to choose from, you may need to limit your browse time so you still have time to make the other the shower arrangements. As you make the guest list, don't feel pressured to ban the boys. While baby showers are traditionally just for the ladies, these days more and more men are getting in on the act too, and rightfully so. The arrival of new baby can be a celebration for everyone to enjoy, including dad.
If you're looking for a little inspiration for afternoon tea, there is plenty to whet your appetite. Baby jumpsuit cookies, teddy bear macarons and pink and blue baby eclairs are only the beginning. As well as the obvious sweet desserts, try some savoury options too. Check out these food and drink ideas. Just be sure to offer a range of "safe" food and drink options for the mum-to-be and potentially other mums-to-be in the group. Don't just serve smoked salmon on crackers with soft cheese and champagne.
It's not always easy to get the conversation started between unfamiliar guests, so there's nothing like a good ice-breaker. Before the party, freeze a tiny plastic baby doll (available from craft or party shops) into an ice cube for each guest. When all guests have arrived, drop an ice cube into everyone's drink. Ask guests to keep their eyes on their babies while their ice cubes melt. The first guest to see her baby float to the top of the glass and shout "My waters broke!" wins the game. Other games include Clay Babies. Each guest is given some modelling clay and five minutes (use a timer for effect) to make a baby. Prizes are awarded for the prettiest, strangest and most creative babies with the mum-to-be as judge. Games are a great way to get the laughs rolling. Click here for more games.
Every impressive party needs decorations and there are plenty of bits and pieces available from local discount stores that won't break your budget. Work out your theme up front. If you know the baby's sex, you may choose a traditional blue or pink theme, otherwise keep it neutral with yellow, grey or white. Once you choose your colour, stick with it for maximum impact. Consider hanging tissue paper pom poms, bunting or balloons or set up a candy bar of oversized lolly jars filled with single-colour lollies. There is no limit to what you can achieve as our collection demonstrates.
Take home or favour bags definitely add an extra little bit of fancy to the day. Novel ideas include a bag of Ready-to-pop popcorn, theme-coloured lollies, bath salts, candles and loofah puffs. Carefully consider the packaging. Great packaging will make your take-home gift a real hit. Our collection of ideas will get you started.
If you are thinking of organising a baby shower for someone you love, just remember that while baby showers are a generous and kind gesture, it's important to keep the wishes of the new mum foremost in you mind. Pregnancy is an emotional time and the prospect of becoming a new mum can be overwhelming. Many women prefer to make the transition quietly without too much fuss. Don't start planning a baby shower until you have sussed out the situation. With that said, baby showers can be so much fun and a great excuse for a celebration and a bit of frivolity. We all need that.