By Rebecca VanGinkel
Getting ready for a baby shower takes a lot of planning. If you are throwing a baby shower for yourself, your daughter, granddaughter, or a friend, there are a lot of things to think ahead about, and it is best to start planning at least six weeks ahead. You might want to start planning even earlier.
The first thing you will want to do is sit down and make a list of the people you want to invite to the baby shower. Think of where the baby shower will be held, and remember how many people will be seated comfortably in the area. If you are throwing the shower at a house, you might not want to invite fifty people, but if you are renting some kind of hall, you can fit more people. After you know where the shower will be held, you can finish your list. Remember to invite only relatives and close friends. If you start inviting everybody you work with, or went to school with, your invite list will get too long, and you will feel overwhelmed.
The next thing to do is go shopping for baby shower invitations. You can find invitations at any retail store, or even a drug store. For personalized invitations, you can go to an arts and crafts store, or a store that specializes in personalized products. It is cheaper to buy regular invitations, but having a baby is a very special moment, and you might want to go with personalized ones. If you know what kind of baby you are having, you can pick your theme starting with the invitations. If it is a boy, you can go with Blue Jean Teddy, or something else boyish. If you are having a girl, you might think about using Care Bears or something like that. If you are unsure of the sex of the baby, you can go with something neutral like Noah's Ark, or Winnie the Pooh.
When you fill out your invitations, make sure to include all of your information inside them. Write who the baby shower is for, who is throwing the shower, what time it starts and finishes, where the shower is being held, a R.S.V.P. date and phone number, and if there will be food served or not. You can also register for items you would like to receive at your baby shower at most retail stores such as Wal-Mart, and Target. When you register, you get receipts printed off to put inside your invitation. If you have registered at any store, do not forget to put your receipt slips inside. Make sure you have all of your information written correctly inside your invitations before you seal them. Also double check the addresses written on the envelopes before you mail them out.
After you have everyone invited, and the invitations sent out, you might want to start thinking about what baby games you will want to play at the baby shower. Three to four games is usually enough, because you don't want the whole shower to be taken up by game playing. You might want to give out small prizes for the winners of each game, but they can be small, inexpensive gifts. It is easy and cheap to go to the dollar store and pick out a few cute presents. Flower pots, photo albums, and bath sets are a few good prize ideas. Take a lot of pictures of the baby shower and all of the guests. Baby shower pictures are great for baby books and scrap books.
When you open gifts at the baby shower, read each card out loud, and then place the card back with the present. This will make it a lot easier for you to write your thank you notes. It is important to write thank you notes to all of your guests, even if they do not bring a gift. It is still nice to thank them for coming to the shower. When you write a thank you note to a guest who brought a present, thank them for it, and personally sign each thank you.
If you decide to serve food at the shower, it is a good idea to serve it as a buffet. Place all of the food on one table, along with paper plates, knives, forks, spoons, and napkins. If you use paper plates and plastic silverware, it makes your clean up a lot easier. You might even want to ask a few of your close friends to bring dishes to pass around, if they do not mind. Remember to take pictures of the cake!
A baby shower is a party for an unborn child. It is a party that you or your guests will not soon forget, and it will always be a cherished memory for you. The most important thing to do at a baby shower is to have as much fun as you can!