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Party Ideas - Ideas and Tips

THE ESSENTIAL PARTY PLANNING GUIDE

What do people do at a baby shower?
Eat, drink, talk, play games & give presents! You could say it is a lot like a birthday party but with a baby theme! Our step-by-step guide to the perfect baby shower gives you all the information you need if you are planning to organise a baby shower.

When should you throw a baby shower?
We suggest you aim for around 8 - 10 weeks before the mum-to-be's due date. This gives her sufficient time to organise the baby's lovely new gifts in advance of the big day, putting them away in the nursery, washing and folding away new baby clothes, and buying anything else that is needed. This is also the time she is most likely to be feeling her best. Avoid leaving it too late in the pregnancy when she could feel tired and uncomfortable and perhaps not in the mood for a party or may even have her baby early and miss the whole thing! (It has been known to happen!)

In some cases you may prefer to throw the baby shower after the baby is born. This could be more appropriate especially if the mum-to-be is having complications in her pregnancy, or is in any way superstitious about such things. You could arrange the shower for when the baby is about 6 - 8 weeks old - with one advantage being that you know the sex and can buy appropriate gifts.

Should a baby shower be a surprise?
A baby shower can be a surprise, planned with the mum-to-be's full knowledge, or even a bit of both. In the US, a baby shower is pretty much expected (in the same way that we would expect to have a hen night before our wedding), but it is still often planned as a surprise (i.e. the mum-to-be knows it is going to happen, but not necessarily where and when). But in the UK, it is still a relatively new phenomenon and the mum-to-be might not even have considered being on the receiving end of a baby shower.


When making the decision, we would simply suggest you think about what is best in your particular circumstance. Does the mum-to-be like surprises? Will she be genuinely flattered and pleased at having this surprise, or do you think she would rather be involved from the start and let you know who she might like to invite. Can you plan it so that the mum-to-be will be looking her best at the shower (and therefore feeling happy and comfortable)? Would she like the opportunity to give some ideas of baby-items that she might like, or could you get this information from the father-to-be, still keeping the baby shower as a surprise? You should also consider whether she is superstitious - in some cases such as this you may prefer to throw the baby shower after the baby is born (about 2 months).


Who actually throws a baby shower?
Usually a baby shower is hosted by any one of, or combination of the following:

  • close friend(s) of the mum-to-be
  • sister of the mum-to-be
  • mother of the mum-to-be
  • female work colleagues of the mum-to-be


The host(s) will organise the shower, which includes sending out invitations, providing food and drinks, decorations, music, organising games and giving guests ideas for gifts for the mum-to-be (you should find our step by step guide to the perfect baby shower very useful!). Invitations & party products are available from our online shop

Who should be invited to the baby shower?
Generally speaking, you will either throw the shower for the mum-to-be and make it a girls-only affair, or throw the shower for the expectant couple, inviting the boys along too. However, from experience, we can tell you that most of the men we know glaze over at the typical subjects that tend to come up at a baby shower, from breast-pumps to what colour to paint the nursery.

When writing your list of who to invite, think about who the mother-to-be/couple would like to be there, including close friends, workmates, friends from university, new friends from NCT/ante-natal classes, and of course family members (not forgetting the in-laws!).

You may also want to consider whether anyone has children and whether you want to specifically invite them or not. We usually go by the rule that babies are always welcome, and due to the nature of the event, it's quite hard to discourage people from bringing their children, but if you haven't put it on the invitation, they should check with you first. If you really don't want children there, it's probably best to throw an evening baby shower.

Who pays for the baby shower?
The host(s) will pay for everything needed to throw the baby shower, from the invitations & decorations to all the food & drink. This is why in many cases it can be beneficial to co-host the shower with someone else! But remember, just seeing the delight on the mum-to-be's face is truly priceless, and believe me, it is something she will never forget!

The BabiesBabies Quick Tip Guide:

Are you sending out Invitations & how many guests are you inviting?

Are you having a theme?  We have 23 Fabulous ranges to choose from.  Decide on the decorations you want such as balloons, banners, confetti etc and do you need tableware?  We even supply disposable wine goblets & champagne flutes!

Are you providing food for your guests?  If so what and plan how much you will need.
Are you having an edible cake?  If so, our glitter candles spelling Baby Shower will add the finishing touches to your cake.

Are you going to play any games?  If so how many?  We suggest you think about the personality of Mum and the people you are inviting to help you in selecting your games.  BabiesBabies has a great range to choose from including printed games with individual game sheets and games with props.  Our party games are always a real hit with our customers.
And if you are playing games, you will need prizes for the game winners.  Our party favours are a favourite for prizes or you could buy bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates, pampering bath products etc..

Are you giving a gift to Mum.  We have a fabulous range of Unique & Stylish Gifts for Mum & Baby.  And don't forget Dad!  We now have stylish gifts for Daddy too.

Are you giving favours to your guests as they leave?  We have a large selection of party favours & favours bags if you want to fill these yourself.  Make these extra special by attaching a personalised label to them.  Our personalised bookmarks are a real favourite as they act as a Thank you too plus a keepsake for each guest.

Are you sending Thank You cards?  If so how many do you need?
And finally please do not hesitate to call BabiesBabies if you need any help with deciding on the above as we are always happy to advise.

Here is the BabiesBabies Suggested Shopping List of items to buy in order to help you:

  • Invitations
  • Balloons
  • Decorations
  • Games:  Perhaps 3-4
  • Tableware
  • Favours - Personalised?
  • Cake
  • Candles
  • Gifts & Personalised Sash for Mum
  • Thank you cards or Personalised Bookmarks
  • Gift for Mum
  • Gift for Dad

Entertaining for any event is always easier if it is centered around a theme. A theme helps provide focus when it comes to decorating, games, food and perhaps even the location. Think about your special guest, her age, her interests and even the baby’s room décor to select the theme that is best for your event. You may also want to discuss this with the guest of honor as well to make sure your theme selection best reflects her personal style and tastes. We have lots of lovely themes to choose from – you will be spoilt for choice!

Make your shower theme and event memorable! Carry the theme throughout the entire event. Start with the invitations and then think about how to apply the theme to decorations, food and favours.

Deliver or post your invitations at least 3 - 4 weeks in advance so that your guests can respond and plan accordingly. Include any specific information that will be helpful to the guest, including the shower theme. Include your gift list if mum is having one.

The length of your shower will vary depending upon the number of guests, the type of shower, the type of food served and the activities that are scheduled during the event. Think about the events for your shower and allocate time appropriately. Two to three hours should be enough for introductions, a few games, opening gifts and eating.


Couples showers are growing in popularity. Be sure to give your mum-to-be the option of girls only or couples shower prior to developing the guest list. We now have couples themed invitations and tableware.


If your party is at home, do not forget to decorate the outside of your house with coordinating decorations and balloons! This will help set the mood for the party and direct guests to the correct address. We can provide you with door and lawn signs.

Other Ideas
If you are having a couples shower remember to make it “guy approved”. As you plan the events think about how this might affect your selections for the theme, the decorations, the colours and the games (or lack of games). Overall, think about how to tone down the “adorable” factor and play up the interaction among guests.  See our new quiz game for Daddy!

We have lovely hand finished guest signing books to pass around at the shower for all your guests to sign and write their special messages to mum. A lovely keepsake for mum.

Create a memory book or box of the event. Take lots of photos, everything from the guests, to the food, to the games and the gifts. Make special note of the current events of the day. Include a few small decorations or mementos.


Your guest of honour will welcome some help with the thank you cards. When you purchase the invitations also purchase coordinating thank you cards. As your guests arrive, have each guest write her address on the front of the envelope. This will be a welcome time saver as the due date approaches.

The mother-to-be will welcome motherhood advice from your guests. Pass our BabiesBabies Mum’s Advice cards and have your guests write down their ideas on everything from feedings, to naptime to bedtime. Provide a list of topics to get your guests started. Gather the cards and create a book to prevent to the new mum.

Include your guests in a group photo. Make duplicate copies of the photo and give to the guest of honor to include as a memento in her thank you notes. Your guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness and treasure the memory for years to come!