KIMS Cuddles on 'plan a perfect baby shower'

A baby shower is the in-advance celebration of the birth of a baby usually done a month before the due date. More often than not, it’s the best friend of the mother-to-be, who hosts the baby shower. It is generally a women-only event. So if you have  the responsibility of it, and are wondering how can you plan a perfect baby shower for your best friend, here are the steps you must follow for a perfect baby shower:

Step 1: Getting started- – timely invitations, guest of honor and the right budget

Try to start the preparations 6-8 weeks ago. This not only gives the guests a long time to check their schedule for sure and RSVP but leaves lesser room for any ‘surprises’ to jump on you- as the hostess and organizer, being caught by surprise is the last thing you’d want.

Step 2: Decide a Guest of Honour

Traditionally, this is a must-have, to plan a perfect baby shower. It is usually an important woman of mother-to-be’s life. It can’t be her own mom/grandma, or those of baby’s father!
Once, you decide that, make her the first invitee. It will not only make her feel special but, also, since hers is one indispensable presence, so that’ll also give you a chance to re-work your planning in case she’s unable to come on your designated date.

Step3: Draft a Budget

A perfect party needs a perfect budget- and the baby shower is no exception.
Not only the budget amount, but whether the entire budget will be footed by you, or would any friends/family of either side share, should be decided beforehand, in order to plan a perfect baby shower smoothly, along with whether they’ll pitch in their share before or later.

Step 4: Invitee lists, venue, and activities of the baby shower

Amongst the invitees would be the friends-and-family ladies of the expecting mom, along with- as the budget allows- her work friends, neighbours and other important relatives.
Give them ample amount of time- at least 2 weeks- to RSVP. People usually don’t take it too kindly, to have to RSVP at the drop of a feather.

Step 5: Choose the venue

Choosing the right venue is another secret hack into the recipe of how to plan a perfect baby shower. According to your budget and other factors- like accessibility for the hostess, mother-to-be, and guests, proximity to a medical center (accidents happen! and with an expecting mom, better be safe than sorry!). The venue can be the home of either hostess or mom-to-be, a restaurant, or even a picnic garden. Go creative!

Step 6: Plan activities

Usually, to plan a perfect baby shower, the activities serve one or more of the following purposes:
a) As a female-bonding activity

b) Preparing something ‘beneficial’ or handy for the mother-to-be, either during the pregnancy or afterward (decorating the baby’s onesies with crochet etc. is one popular example).

c) Help mother-to-be to relax and have a few tension-free hours (despite all her happiness, these are indeed one of the most tensed months for most), and laughs- this is an ideal time for “silly, girly activities”- which have been closeted for decades!

Step 7:  Menu, food preparation, and gifts

Decide the menu and who will cook it. Sometimes food is brought by the guests (everybody pitching in 1-2 casseroles), or the hostess could order it!
Usually, the food is light and hassle-free, to leave a lot of time for other activities. Self-service is usually preferable over the dining tables, as is ongoing food-time-all-the-time, rather than sit-down-it’s-lunch-time.
Check with the guests and mom-to-be for the food-related allergies.

Step 8: Gift for Guest of Honour

It’s a tradition for the hostess giving a gift to the guest-of-honour also, aside from attendees (and hostess herself) giving gifts to the expecting mom. Arrange for both of your gifts beforehand, and gift-wrap them at least a couple of days ago. Also, arrange for a basket large enough to store guests’ gifts, along with a spare one- just in case!

Step 9: Hire or arrange helping hands

Planning the baby shower is one thing, and putting the plan into action is a completely another ball to play. No matter how hard you try, you cannot pull off the whole thing all by yourself, and need to round up/hire people for the following roles:

  1. Helping hands: Ask around, way ahead of time, if any of mother-to-be’s, or yours, friend/family is volunteering. If not, hire help accordingly.
  2. Photographer: Again, if any of the attendees are known to have the skill, ask ahead if they’re willing to click! If not, hire according to budget.
  3. Cook: A cook/chef is a must if you’re planning to prepare the food at home itself. Follow the same rule: ask if anybody’s ready to help; if not, hire in advance.

Step 10: Prepare a checklist

The evening before have a checklist prepared in advance, and keeps filling it as things fall in place. On the eve, just make sure that all the checkboxes are checked, and that physical realities meet the checkboxes.

Step 11:  Let the Party Roll

On the morning of the baby shower ensure everyone has gathered an hour or two before ‘formally beginning’ the event. Set out some instant refreshments ready, if food is to arrive later. Introduce guests to each other, and let the party roll.

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