Build a Better Baby Shower
I’m going to reveal something that isn’t exactly a secret to those who know me well. I have an intense dislike for hokey showers, (baby, bridal, or otherwise) and the hokey themes and games that traditionally go with them. There are so many ways to be a bit hipper about it these days that I decided to compile a list of suggestions to...well...build a better baby shower.
1. The Safety Shower
Have everyone sign up for a set of specific items like the cupboard door latches, toilet bowl locks, window alarms, and more. Make it co-ed and have the handy folks install everything under the instruction of the parents to be, and bring pizza. Casual, conversational and no fuss.
2. Photo Shoot Shower
Make this one for the Mom and Dad-to-be both. Have a background or two set up and bring in a photographer to take some tender photographs of the couple. If you have a close enough relationship with enough trust between the couple and the folks throwing the shower, have a private part of the shower where you can take a striking black and white nude series. I’ve never forgotten how long and often a close friend of mine commented on the pregnancy photo of her doctor’s wife he had hanging in his office. It was taken somewhere on a mountain or plateau in the Holy Land with nature all around her and the wind in her hair. She was completely nude and very pregnant.
3. Spa Day Shower
Send Mom and Dad out for a couple’s massage or hire someone to come and provide spa services at the house. Great for when nobody can get their schedules to coordinate. Just have everyone chip in, sign the card, and send the parents to be on their spa adventure.
4. Cleaning and Casserole Shower
Do a little assembly cooking featuring meals the couple likes to eat and stock their freezer. Then, let them relax while you clean their house from top to bottom. I can assure you, any pregnant woman I’ve ever talked with was stressed about the cleaning situation just before delivery.
5. Art Shower
Throw a really funky art themed shower. The kids can even get involved here. Make black and white ceiling mobiles or collages for the stage in the baby’s development where visual stimulation in this area is critical. Paint the baby bump to match a season or theme. I’ve seen some really cute ones done — Jack-o-lanterns, Easter eggs, fish bowls, nature scenes...you name it. Painting the baby bump and taking some cool pictures for posterity is a super fun way to go.
Another artsy idea is to organize one of those body cast moldings, although you’ll want someone who really knows what they are doing here, so you don’t go to the emergency room to have plaster casting removed from the mom-to-be’s skin. The kids can put hand prints or glue little treasures on the inside with messages. If you’re talking about people who are already into modern art, this type of shower should go over well.
6. Music Shower
Any baby themed music is a go here. Appropriate children’s development music, pregnancy relaxation CDs, or even baby lyric dance tunes from the seventies. Get creative and serve some fun food.
7. Decorate the Nursery Shower
This takes trust between all parties, and makes the assumption that you have someone involved with some decorating and renovating talent. However, you can have a real “Trading Spaces” type of event with the right crowd. Think about it.
8. Custom Wardrobe and Linens Shower
Have fun with potato printing, appliqués, fabric markers for writing messages on quilt squares from the older brothers and sisters...all kinds of things would be fun to do here.
9. Classic Kiddy Lit Shower
Give the parents a jump on their classic children’s literature library with this shower theme where everybody brings a different title. Got a teacher in your family? Enlist them in the list of recommendations effort.
10. Back Yard BBQ and Supplies Shower
This one is particularly good if the couple has had children before and consequently is all set on most of the other items. Just have everyone bring consumable supply items such as diaper supplies, lotions, powders, rash ointments, baby shampoos, etc. Go green with the product selections if you feel it is appropriate to the couple. It also falls into the low stress/can put it together on the fly party planning list.
11. Theme with Attitude
Instead of the traditional booties hanging from the chandelier, go with something like a luau theme where all the gifts are in a backyard hammock, people can bring their kids and have a limbo contest, and mom-to-be can enjoy frozen tropical mocktails. Don’t forget the tiki torches!
12. The Mix and Match Shower
Great if you want the nursery decorating or the casserole and cleaning shower ideas to be a surprise. Send them for a couples massage and then have them arrive home to a spotless house and a casserole stocked freezer.
These are just a few I came up with or found on the web. Please feel free to chime in with your cool shower ideas, as usual.