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Your baby shower questions answered – all you need to know

A baby shower is the ultimate party – celebrating new beginnings and helping the parents get ready for the new addition to their family.

An opportunity for friends and family to celebrate the impending arrival of a new baby, talk about parenting and help the new parents with the baby essentials they’ll need once the new baby arrives.

It’s the perfect time to give clothing, nursery equipment and the myriad of essentials that are needed for the new arrival.

Most new parents already have some of the things they’ll need – cocoon for the car, pram or stroller, crib and highchair. They’ll know best just what they want to complete their equipment range – so a gift card is the ideal present for the new parents.

With a prepaid Mastercard through Gift Card Registry, they can buy just what they need for the new baby. No duplicate gifts and things they don’t want or need. With Gift Card Registry, they can buy the essentials now and keep some value on the card for later purchases as the child grows to crawler then toddler and their needs change.

If you’re planning a baby shower for a friend or relative, here’s everything you need to know!

  1. When is the best time to host a baby shower?

When the mother to be is about 28 to 35 weeks pregnant so she has time to purchase baby equipment and organise the nursery with all the new (or borrowed) gear.

  1. Where should you hold a baby shower?

Your own home might be the best place, but if you are planning to invite more guests than your lounge can comfortably accommodate, think of alternative venues. Will your guests include other parents with young children? Depending on the season, the local park or playground could be an ideal venue. Consider a private function room in a café or restaurant, community centres, even the local bowling club. Avoid holding the celebration at the home of the expectant mother – she is the guest of honour, not the host!

  1. Who’s on the invitation list?

Talk to the mum-to-be before you make up a guest list. Think about numbers if you have a limit on the size of the venue. And check out the next question before you start thinking about who will be there. If you are compiling a list to send invitations, get email addresses as well. Never publicly post an invitation on social media, you could end up with unwanted guests!

  1. What sort of party will it be?

Choose a theme or just go casual with the guests providing the entertainment. If it’s casual, you can ask the guests to ‘bring a plate’ or have a barbecue. Anything goes with a baby shower – you can decide on a dress up occasion, or even suggest the guests come in fancy dress. The main thing is not to lose sight of the reason for the party – to help the parents celebrate a new baby.

  1. Does the party need a theme?

You could celebrate like a celebrity and roll out the red carpet with the expectant mum as the star! If she prefers something more traditional, try one of these ideas for inspiration:

  • Colour: Many parents already know what’s coming and may want to celebrate with a theme of blue or pink. Think outside the traditional colours for an individual theme.
  • Classic children’s books: Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland. If your theme is based on a book, consider asking guests to bring a children’s book as a gift for the newborn with a personal message inside.
  • Nature themes: Flowers, farmyard, butterflies. If you are having an outdoor party at the beach or park, the venue could provide some inspiration.
  • Popular film themes: Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse are always popular. Kids’ films like Frozen or Beauty and the Beast can be a fun theme.
  • A hobby or passion: Music or travel provide endless possibilities.

Before you decide on a theme, go online and search for ‘baby shower decorations’ or ‘celebrity baby showers’ for inspiration.

  1. Does the party need games?

It’s up to you and the mum to be. The main event is usually eating, drinking and opening gifts (or skp the gifts if you are having a Gift Card Registry) but for a fun event, you can have a few activities or games that can tie in with the theme. If the new parents haven’t told anyone whether the baby is a boy or a girl, they can have some fun with a gender-reveal surprise package. For the latest ideas, go online and search for ‘baby shower games’.

  1. A shower, a sprinkle or a sip and see?

If the baby party is for a second or third child, it may be called a baby ‘sprinkle’ and celebrated as a ‘mini’ baby shower. If the mother is already well stocked with baby gear from her first child, a scaled down baby sprinkle is always appreciated, especially if she’s having a baby of a different gender this time and has different needs. And if the celebration is delayed until after the baby arrives, it can be called a ‘sip and see’ – drop in for a cup of tea or coffee and see the baby – but don’t stay too long!