Shower me with ideas!
February 23, 2018 2:33 PM   Subscribe

My very best friend is about to have a baby, so it's officially my job to throw her the BEST BABY SHOWER EVER! So, um.... How do I do that?

I've got food and decorations under control. The baby's a boy, but we're not doing anything particularly gendered. The decorations, for example, will be greens and corals and cute woodland animal themed. The shower itself is co-ed, with couples (vaguely hipster-ish, artistic types) and potentially kids and pets running around. It'll be in our shared backyard.

One thing I need help with is a playlist so we can have background music playing. What would you play at a baby shower? I'm thinking background music, so it should be light and not too attention-pulling. And baby-shower appropriate, so nothing too sad, depressing, romantic, or disturbing. Future mom and dad's music tastes are eclectic, so jazz, blues (um, happy blues?), bluegrass, 90's nostalgia (we're in our 30s, as will be most of the guests), etc... really anything goes.

The other big thing is, what do we do? Typical "shower" activities that we're NOT interested in include:
1. The "don't say the word baby" clothespin game (annoying)
2. The "guess how big around mom" is game (she's sensitive about her weight)
3. The "melt candy bars in diapers and guess what they are" game (ew)

What we ARE doing:
1. The prediction/advice cards
2. Decorating plain white onesies with non-toxic fabric markers
3. ????

I feel like we need another activity of some sort, but we're all grown adults and I don't want to be wrangling everyone onto a forced lame game thing that no one really wants to play. I like the onesie thing and the advice cards because people can do them in small groups as they socialize. So, what else can we have to do so people don't get bored. I promised "food, drinks, and fun" on the invites, so I've gotta come through!

We'll obviously also open presents. I understand that, as the hostess/best friend, it's my job to write down who gave what so that new parents can send thank-you cards. Do I need a special stationary thing to write that on? Is that a "keepsake," or can I just jot stuff down on a notepad?

Anything else I haven't though of?

Thanks so much for all of your shower help!
posted by Weeping_angel to Human Relations (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Two activities plus opening presents is enough, especially if there will be kids there who will need tending. You can keep the gift list on regular paper.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:36 PM on February 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

You can get some newborn-sized diapers and have people write notes on the outside (in marker) to the parents for those midnight changings. (images for signs to post about this here.) This is something people can do at their leisure during the party.

You can also make a calendar and have people guess the date of birth. Indicate when the due date is, and have a morning and afternoon slot on each day for the week or two around it. Kids can also participate. Take a photo of the calendar so when the baby is born, you know who won and you can let them know.

For music, I think you could find a nice jazzy spotify or pandora station...?

Some shower-givers like to give out favors. I don't think that's necessary, but maybe a little bag for the kids to keep them occupied?

Assign someone to take photos and make sure they get them back to the parents somehow.

As the host, it's your job to ensure everyone knows each other and make introductions if necessary. You can direct people to your activities if people are looking bored or have no one to talk to. You should also keep the party moving along. Save the gifts for last, and give people about 15 minutes headsup before you start opening gifts.

For the tracking of presents, yes, you're just keeping track for the parents so they know who got them what so they can send thank you's later. Nothing special needed.
posted by hydra77 at 2:53 PM on February 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

At my baby shower, the hosts put together a playlist of all music with the word "baby" in the lyrics. It was pretty fun and hilarious!
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:02 PM on February 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

In terms of playlist, my husband made a "surprise" one for our bff's shower, very loosely themed "songs about babies/pregnancy/delivery/parenthood/family/love."

Ok, I'll share the whole thing because it was so great:

Amy Grant: Baby, Baby (Heart in Motion)
Paul Simon: The Obvious Child
The Supremes: Baby Love
Queen: Don't Stop Me Now
Stevie Wonder: Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
Cat Stevens: Here Comes My Baby
Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrel: Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Diana Ross: I'm Coming Out
Mariah Carey: Always Be My Baby
Madonna: Like a Prayer (Life is a mystery)
Bananarama: Venus (Yeah, baby you got it!)
The Kinks: I Gotta Move
The Cure: Boys Don't Cry
Tom Petty: American Girl
Earth Wind & Fire: Got to Get You into My Life
Bowie: Changes
The Five Stairsteps: O-o-h Child
Eddie Money: Baby Hold On
The Cure: Close to Me
Dusty Springfield: Mama Said
Simon & Garfunkel: Homeward Bound
Stevie Wonder: For Once in My Life
Sam Cooke: A Change is Gonna Come
Crosby Stills & Nash: Our House
Talking Heads: Once In a Lifetime

And finally... Danzig: Mother

It wasn't played loudly, but it also wasn't wallpaper. It was a huge hit as people slowly caught onto the theme, some laughing out loud. (Madonna's dramatic LIFE-IS-A-MYSTER-YYYYYY had people busting a gut.) And I'm sure you can think of more!

Have fun!
posted by functionequalsform at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2018 [5 favorites]

I would caution about saving gifts to the end. I somewhat did this at a bridal shower that my mother and i threw and it turned out the bride had to have a 5 minute conversation with the giver about the gift for every damn thing. Sure, make sure you’re well into the party but take the number of gift and multiply by 2-3 minutes to see how long it will take. Given how long it takes you really don’t need another activity in there. What you have is great.

(Though I do always love baby photos of the parents)
posted by raccoon409 at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2018

On preview, what Rainbowbrite said! Except we took some, errr, conceptual leeway.
posted by functionequalsform at 3:07 PM on February 23, 2018

At a shower I helped throw everyone wrote down their guess at delivery date and time and threw it in a box with a dollar. Then when the baby was born whoever was closest got the pot of money. (You could hold on to the pot and Venmo it to the winner). I mean given it won’t be a ton of money but it’s a fun thing.. Obviously won’t count for anything if she is scheduling a C-section.
posted by greta simone at 4:08 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh and Elton John Tiny Dancer is always a good track.
posted by greta simone at 4:08 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

We had a photo booth with a Very Hungry Caterpillar backdrop and baby stuff as props (bottles, toys, bibs, etc). It helped guarantee that we had a photo of all of the guests, and the photos were hilarious.
posted by sadmadglad at 7:00 PM on February 23, 2018

When I threw someone a shower people seemed to really enjoy writing wishes for the baby on silver paper stars from a party decorations store. Parents can put them in a baby book or hang them in the baby’s room. We got some truly hilarious ones that were extremely specific. (“A level one occlusion” and “First-rate legal defense” were my favorites.)
posted by corey flood at 9:09 PM on February 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Depending on the crowd, you can get a few little king cake babies and hide them inside the snacks. Rice krispie treats are perfect for this, also freezing them in ice cubes to melt in drinks, or of course baking them into cupcakes. Whoever finds one gets a goodie bag/prize to take home. It can be a little weird or maudlin, especially if it's a crowd unaccustomed to king cakes, but it can also be just the right level of low engagement silliness that a baby shower should be.

I've decorated quite a few of those plain onesies in my time as a childless 30-something and the best time was when I was given a cut to size cardboard backing to slip into it so it wouldn't slide around as much. A small touch but it made a big difference, taking my doodles from well-intentioned to actually looking like I had wanted it to.
posted by Mizu at 12:03 AM on February 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is always a hit - ask for signed books instead of cards in the invite. Cards get thrown away, but books will plus a while, plus having them signed is neat once the kiddo starts understanding. They love hearing that a specific person they know gave them this particular book.

Sample wording, but there are more on the internets:

Just one last request, and we hope it's not hard
Please bring baby a book in place of a card
By signing your book we will remember and share
Your special gift, even when you're not there
posted by pyro979 at 6:23 AM on February 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

- Get a variety of onesie sizes to avoid having 20 0-3 months onesies and wanting to take a picture of little Elvis in each one for the creator. Ask people to sign their onesies.
- The late night dipes idea is kind of awesome. Will be stealing that one.
- People get newborn-sized baby stuff, and lots of babies are bigger so encourage guests to get a variety of sizes. Otherwise, you have 3 months are cute clothes, then nuthin.
- If the parents have strong feelings, make them known. I was just shopping for baby clothes in Walmart (hey, their prescriptions are affordable) and some of the sayings on baby stuff are just disgustingly obnoxious. Also, the boy's onesies say Mommie's Tough Guy and the girl's onesies say Mommie's Little Cutie, and why can't girls like dinosaurs?
- If you have a ton of freezer space, ask guests to bring a frozen meal for the family.

Best shower-giver present of all time? Schedule an evening a week after the shower, and help the parents write the thank you notes. Hang on to them and when Baby arrives, make prints of the new baby and family pics, add to notes, mail.
posted by theora55 at 8:17 AM on February 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

My mom threw a book shower for her sister and brother-in-law when they were expecting their first child. I was in my late teens at the time and remember thinking it was a lovely idea. When we were at my aunt's this Christmas, she brought out one of the books to read to my brother's kids, that my brother had picked out as a middle-schooler for his new baby cousin almost 20 years ago, complete with inscription written by him and all. It was super cute!
posted by abeja bicicleta at 3:30 PM on February 24, 2018

At a friend's baby shower, there was a copy of Oh The Places You'll Go and everyone signed it, which I thought was really cute.
posted by radioamy at 6:03 PM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

You guys are awesome! Thank you so much! It’s next week and it’s going to be great!
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:24 PM on March 5, 2018

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