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Celebrating expecting parents with a baby shower is a time-honored tradition. The ins and outs of those baby showers, however, have changed over the years. Gone are the days when baby shower ideas mainly consisted of fruit punch and Jordan almonds. Gone are the days when showers were women only, too!
Modern baby showers have taken on a life of their own!
Finding inspiration for the big event can seem overwhelming when you’re ready to celebrate. From cupcakes to invitations, you’ll need to make plenty of decisions.
But we’re here to coach you through the planning process. Whether you need help planning a themed shower or creating the menu, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite baby shower ideas!
Baby Shower Basics: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
It’s crucial to nail down the basics before diving into the more fun aspects of celebrating a new baby. Below you’ll find a simple breakdown of the who, what, when, where, and why of planning a baby shower.
While not all of these questions have black and white answers, we’ve got great guidelines to help you streamline the process.
1. Who Should Throw a Baby Shower? (And Who Should Be Invited?)
Sure, some moms-to-be have no problem organizing a shower for themselves. Typically, though, someone else does it instead.
Usually, close family members or friends will offer to host baby showers. Folks who know the expectant mother well will know what she does or doesn’t want at her shower, whether it’s a mom, best friend, or someone else.
As for guest lists, family members, friends, and co-workers are the usual suspects.
The most important thing is to talk to the parents about who they want included. It’s also essential to find out whether they want the event to have dads and their friends, as well.
2. What Should You Do During the Baby Bash?
While not all guests of honor want a ton of cheesy baby games, these are always a fun option if you’re looking for ways to fill time during the shower.
Other things you can do include opening presents, making crafts, eating, and, of course, spending time with the mom-to-be before the new baby makes its big debut!
3. When is the Best Time to Throw the Party?
Everyone has different opinions on when they should throw baby showers. Often, though, they’re held during the last month or two of pregnancy.
This way, mom is far enough along to have an adorable bump, but isn’t too close to her due date, just in case she delivers early or God forbid, something goes wrong with the pregnancy.
4. Where Should You Hold the Event?
There are tons of great venue options for baby showers. While many people choose to host them at someone’s home. Some other good ideas include:
- Church Rec Rooms
- Local Restaurants
- Club Houses
- Park Pavilions
- Hotels or B&Bs
- Community Centers
5. Why Do We Throw Baby Showers for Expectant Parents?
To put it plainly, having a baby takes a lot of work. From lightning crotch to constipation in pregnancy, tons of effort goes into bringing a baby into the world. Baby showers are a great way to recognize everything moms go through!
More than that, though, baby showers celebrate the new life and the family the new parents are creating.
These parties are, quite simply, a time to shower new moms and dads with happiness, love, and luck as they prepare for the next big chapter in their lives.
Should You Throw a Shower After the First Baby?
Listen, as someone who finds great joy in planning parties, I’m here to tell you I think any excuse for a get-together is a good one. But many parents wonder whether it’s “okay” to have another shower when they’re pregnant with their 2nd, 3rd, or even 10th baby!
The answer is that it’s up to you.
I believe that every baby is a blessing and something worth celebrating. If you feel uncomfortable with a big party, there’s no rule stating you have to have another shower.
For example, during my second pregnancy, I didn’t want a huge shindig.
Instead, my family threw me a baby sprinkle – a small-scale version of a traditional baby shower.
They even used sprinkles as the theme – quite the fantastic baby shower idea if you ask me!
The Most Popular Themes for Baby Showers in 2022
As stated previously, I’m a little bit of a sucker for all things event planning. What’s my favorite part of the process, though? Picking the theme, of course!
Whether you’re looking for traditional or unique baby shower themes, we’ve polled our amazing parenting community to gather a list of the most popular ideas around.
One of my favorite themed baby showers was the one we threw for my sister-in-law. It was a Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star party.
One of the things I love about this adorable baby shower theme is that it can easily be gender-neutral, depending on the color scheme you choose.
From golds and pinks to blues and silvers, this celestial theme will work for any new baby.
Give me all the gold and green, safari-themed baby showers you can come up with, please! I think this is such a fun baby shower idea!
You can decorate with greenery, animal-inspired centerpieces, and more to create a perfect baby shower. This is also a great theme if the parents want the same look in their baby’s nursery.
That way, they can repurpose decorations in their little one’s rooms.
3. Boho Chic
Take pampas grass, feathers, and some gorgeous rustic colors, and you have the makings of a dreamy boho chic baby shower.
This is the perfect look for someone who wants a celebration full of contemporary baby shower ideas that don’t involve diapers and storks.
Whether you go full Alice in Wonderland or plan a dainty brunch, tea party baby showers are one of my favorite things when “a baby is brewing!”
A baby-que or baby shower picnic is one of the best baby shower ideas, in my opinion, for a co-ed celebration. All parents are sure to enjoy a good, old-fashioned cook-out.
Throw some burgers on the grill and red gingham blankets on the ground, and you’ve got a simple yet fun baby shower theme that your friends and family will love.
Let it be said that I’m a huge fan of holiday themes. If you or a friend is expecting a baby in the latter part of the year, why not lean into the festivities and plan a “Little Pumpkin” baby shower?
One reason this is one of my favorite baby shower themes is that it’s so versatile.
You can have a charming pumpkin party full of autumnal beauty, OR go full-fledged Halloween and ask everyone to dress up!
Side note: if you want to take your Halloween baby shower ideas to the next level, another popular option is a Hocus Pocus-themed party that includes an “I Smell a Child” invitation!
7. Mommy to Bee
From honey favors to bee-themed decor, the “Mommy to Bee” theme is too cute for words! I love this style because it works great for a baby boy or girl.
Plus, there are some adorable ideas on Pinterest for this look.
When parents are pregnant with a baby after miscarriage or infant loss, the little one is often called a rainbow baby. There’s no better way to honor this beautiful new chapter than a rainbow-themed baby shower.
Whether you choose rustic, boho colors or a pop of bright rainbow shades, this type of shower will surely mean a lot to the guests of honor.
Do the expecting parents love to travel? If so, adventurous, travel-themed baby shower ideas are a great idea.
From maps to airplane tickets for invitations, there is so much you can do with this unique baby shower theme.
Okay, bear with me for a moment – I can’t end this list of the best baby shower themes without including mine! As a self-proclaimed book nerd, I was ecstatic when my family and friends threw me a book-themed baby shower during my first pregnancy.
While they chose to go with a universal children’s literature theme, you can really customize this type of celebration. If you need ideas for literary-themed shower ideas, take a look at some popular choices:
- Winnie the Pooh
- Harry Potter
- Where the Wild Things Are
- Little Golden Books
- Fairy Tales
- The Velveteen Rabbit
- The Little Prince
- Little Women
Fun Games and Activities When You Need Baby Shower Ideas
Now that you’ve decided on which baby shower themes you like best, it’s time to start planning the other details of your party. For starters, what will your guests do upon arrival? From DIY crafts to baby shower games, here are some fun activities to consider:
Let’s face it; we all speak in Emoji’s half of the time anyways – why not turn it into a game? Purchase a digital download or make your own Emoji Baby Pictionary sheet and let your guests decode some cute baby-themed messages.
2. Late Night Diapers
Name one mom or dad who genuinely enjoys those late-night diaper changes, and I’ll tell you to give them an award.
New parents are exhausted, overworked, and sure to experience some level of parenting stress. Why not at least give them something to laugh at during those early morning changes by having guests write funny messages on the outsides of the diapers?
3. My Water Broke!
This is an easy game that you can play throughout the rest of the party. Give each guest an ice cube with a small, plastic baby frozen inside for their drink.
The first person to notice their ice cube has completely melted shouts, “My water broke!” and wins the game. You can have door prizes available for winners if you like.
One of my favorite showers actually had door prizes that winners could choose to give to the expectant parents, like $5 gift cards to Starbucks and Target.
4. Onesie Decorating
In those early days of parenting, no number of onesies seems to be enough. Buy up a bunch of solid onesies and let friends and family decorate them at the party. This DIY activity is always a hit!
5. Baby Bottle Race
A twist on the chugging contests we had in college, a baby bottle race is precisely what you imagine. Fill a baby bottle with the drink of your choosing, i.e., water, apple juice, or even beer, and see which one of your guests can finish it first!
6. Mom or Dad Trivia Game
This is an adorable way to learn more about the parents’ impressions of pregnancy and parenthood. Quiz the parents ahead of time for their answers and let guests figure out whether certain statements are about mom or dad.
Delicious Food & Drink Ideas for Your Baby Shower
Aside from asking mom what her pregnancy cravings are and using those as the baby shower menu, it can be a challenge to figure out what to serve everyone, but here are some great ideas:
1. Savory Snacks & Food
Planning a baby shower doesn’t automatically mean you have to provide your guests with a full-blown meal. Instead of sit-down brunches, lunches, and dinner, many people like the idea of offering small bites and snacks.
As you’re planning your menu, consider some of the following baby shower food options:
- Charcuterie Boards with Cheese, Meats, Fruits, and Other Snacks
- Taco Bars
- Deviled Egg Platters
- Baked Potato Bars
- Vegetable Trays
- Chips and Dip
- Pork or Hamburger Sliders
2. Desserts for Everyone’s Sweet Tooth
Setting up a dessert table not only curbs the mom-to-be’s sugar craving, but it can also serve as a beautiful piece of decor during the party. You can choose a single type of dessert, such as a cake, or you can go with platters of bite-size options, including:
- Cake Pops
- Petit Fours
3. Fun Baby Shower Drink Ideas
One of my favorite baby shower drink ideas is to create a “Mom-Osa” bar! Set up a table with different juices and assorted fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
Then, pick your favorite bubbly (including some non-alcoholic options for the guest of honor!) Not sure which alcohol-free beverage to choose? Ginger ale and carbonated Perrier are good options!
Aside from these options, it’s always a great idea to offer water, tea, or lemonade as a part of your food and drink display.
Set Your Baby Shower Apart with These Decoration Ideas
Now comes my favorite baby shower ideas of all – the decorations! From balloons to garlands, there are so many adorable things to pick from when you’re ready to decorate your shower.
For a while, balloons seemed to have fallen out of favor regarding party decor. Lately, though, they’ve made a swift return in popularity.
Whether you create balloon arches for backdrops or use bouquets of balloons to set around the room, these are a great option if you’re looking for affordable baby shower decoration ideas that will give a gorgeous pop of color.
Come to any party I throw, and you’re bound to see an array of signs throughout the celebration space. Whether it’s a table for gifts, favors, or food, a simple sign can make a beautiful addition to your party.
From carnations to roses, flowers are an event decor staple. Vases or mason jars filled with different flowers will always make a breathtaking table centerpiece.
4. Hanging Decorations
People often forget about using the ceiling to add to baby shower decorations. Some of my favorite types of hanging decorations include garlands, paper lanterns, balloons, and streamers.
5. Diaper Cakes
Not only do diaper cakes serve a practical purpose (what new mom doesn’t appreciate a ton of diapers and other goodies!), but they’re also an excellent way to decorate your venue.
While you can DIY a diaper cake if you want to, many online stores offer pre-made designs you can have shipped directly to you.
6. Use Party Activities as Baby Shower Decor
Pretty much anything you use or offer during a baby shower can easily become a part of the decorations. Lay out favors in a cute way to add some pizazz or catch your guests’ attention by putting up a clothesline to hang DIY onesies after they finish designing them!
Throw Your Loved One a Baby Shower to Remember
No matter which baby shower ideas you choose for the guests of honor, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll be grateful for your efforts.
A successful shower isn’t about elaborate decorations and bougie desserts at the end of the day. It’s about celebrating the momentous occasion in your friend or family member’s life. It’s about standing by their side as they take their first extraordinary steps into parenthood.
There are no amount of balloons or cutesy baby shower themes that can replace your love and support.
What are your favorite kinds of baby shower ideas?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.