Great gift ideas for a baby shower

Without a doubt, figuring out a gift for a baby shower can be difficult. In a lot of cases, the attendees won’t even know what the baby’s gender is, making gifting a tricky task even with the best intentions in mind.

Can never have too many gifts you can use…

Everyone wants to give something with emotional significance, but there are events where a gift with utility can be just as welcome (if not even more so) – a baby shower is definitely one of them, even if it might not seem as such. Therefore, ideas for gifts that will truly be useful for the mother and father should never be dismissed without consideration. Examples of ‘utility’ gifts at a baby shower can include:

  • Clothing for the baby: If you know of the baby’s gender, there’s no reason not to buy some slick attires for him or her. The general rule of baby colors is blue for male and pink for female, although white works just as well (especially when you’re unaware of the gender). Another great part of giving baby clothing is that you can hardly go wrong – pick something that the baby can wear straight out of the womb, or when it’s 6 months old, or a year or two – no matter the choice, your gift will be a welcome one.
  • Clothing for the mother: A gifting choice that isn’t thought of often enough. The mother’s pregnancy will change the shape of her body quite a bit (or already has), so she’ll need some nice-looking clothes that let her carry her baby with style and grace – here’s an example of a fashionable dress that treats the baby-holding belly like a bodily perk . Help the mother feel good about her body-for-two by presenting her with some nice threads that combine comfort with elegance and she’ll thank you for them long after the baby is born.
  • A crib or other piece of furniture: This is among the more expensive gifts you can offer but is also one of the most effective. Do your best to check the mother’s home out before the baby shower in order to see what’s missing – she might have a crib, but how about a cupboard for baby accessories and diaper-changing such as this 3-drawer changer and dresser by Modena? If you can afford one of these, they’re sure to overshadow most other gifts and also help the mother a ton. Car seats are included in this category, especially if the parents-to-be have more than one vehicle to their household.
  • A high-quality camera (preferably a compact one like the Panasonic LX100: Top-notch digital cameras are getting more affordable by the minute, so you should definitely consider one as your choice of baby shower gift. Again, you’ll need to have a good idea of the picture-taking and video-recording devices that the mother already owns, but don’t worry – most people these days rely exclusively on their smartphones for pictures. A camera that can take high-quality photos and record high definition footage of the baby will undoubtedly be a welcome addition to the parents’ household and will allow them to capture some of their most precious moments with the child in lifelike picture quality.

If you’re aiming for a gift that’s a bit closer to the heart, something that you used for your own baby (an accessory or a piece of clothing) is your best bet, especially if you’re related to the mother. A pair of baby shoes hand-knitted by your grandmother or aunt (who’s also related to the mother) that were once worn by your baby will show her just how much her newborn means to you, and her child will wear them with pride.

 

3 incredible places to host your baby shower

The choices for a baby shower location are many, and all of them can seem equally as efficient – even the mother’s home can make for an amazing baby shower venue with a bit of work. Yet if you’re really looking to make the best of the event and potentially take some super-duper pictures, here are 3 incredible places that specialize in throwing a baby shower for the ages.

Great places to HOST your baby shower

Charles Johnson House in Austin: One of the top venues in Austin, the Charles Johnson House frequently hosts all sorts of memorable events with baby showers being just one of them (although a very notable one). The House features a classy interior and exterior that can cater to any amount of people, from under ten to dozens – the owners will change the setting to accomodate your needs, including expanding/downsizing and alternative decorations.

Magnolia Hotel Houston: One of Houston’s hotel gems, the Magnolia is another great choice for an indoors baby shower venue regardless of the amount of attendees. The hotel staff can clear out entire sections of the establishment for you and your friends and family so that you can feel as if you have the place for yourselves, not to mention that it doubles-up as a quality lodging option if you’re traveling to Houston from another city. If you can afford it, the Magnolia isn’t going to let you or your baby down and will host a bash for the ages.

Stone Creek Terrace in Frisco: Similar to the Charles Johnson House, Stone Creek Terrace is a classy environment that feels tailor-made for smaller groups, although it can just as easily host a larger party. Here, your baby shower will be a calming and pleasant event, daytime and nighttime – the Terrace feels like the perfect cabin in the woods without lacking any features that a top event venue should have.

If you’re looking to celebrate a bit closer to home, don’t be afraid to forgo state-wide trips for something you might pass by every day on your way home from work – sometimes, what we need ends up being right under our noses. Here are 3 baby shower locations to consider that have a more personal touch to them.

Wherever the mother and father met: The place where the mother and father first got introduced to each other makes for an amazingly effective baby shower venue – very few happily-married couples knew that they would be spending their lives together when they first met. Of course, there are limitations – the parents-to-be might have met at a bungee-jumping bridge or something, meaning you might have to look elsewhere for a baby shower venue. But in most cases, this is a terrific idea that will remind the couple of how far their love has come.

The mother and father’s favorite restaurant: Is there a place where the mother and father of the child love going out to, sometimes even several times a week? There’s no reason not to host a memorable baby shower there – rent out an entire section for yourselves and let the parents enjoy a cozy atmosphere while still feeling as if they’re throwing a proper celebration ahead of the baby’s arrival.

The home of the mother’s parents: The best baby shower venues don’t have to be fancy specialized establishments. Throwing a baby shower in the soon-to-be grandparents’ home will remind the mother of her time growing up and the love she received from her parents. For them, it will highlight how great of a job they did – if not, their daughter wouldn’t be on her way to becoming a mother. This location will also help reinforce family ties, which is always a good thing – the child should enjoy the support of as many family members as possible.

Great games to play at a baby shower

While talking about various baby-raising subjects at a baby shower is great and all, the attendees can sometimes feel as if a little more fun wouldn’t hurt. Of course, you don’t want to put the mother through too much excitement, but a good game or two can stimulate the mind and bring everyone closer.

For best results, you’ll want social games (board, cards) while avoiding video games of all sorts – these have a habit of absorbing people’s attention too much, shifting it away from their surroundings (which is hardly how a baby shower should go). Also, video games frequently feature violence and/or shocks that a carrying mother shouldn’t be subjected to. Here are some games you can consider that will guarantee a good time together for everyone in attendance.

  • Scrabble: There aren’t many better games one can play at a baby shower. Why? Well, it’s likely that the parents aren’t yet dead-set on a name for their newborn and are possibly considering dozens of different choices. Through the clever wordplay adventures it puts the players through, Scrabble will encourage the mother and father to think about letters, words and consequently baby names. Oh, and the game is also a great way to stimulate your mind in a positive way.
  • Monopoly: You might be surprised to hear that everyone’s favorite board game is a sound choice at a baby shower – the game can feel competitive and downright stressful. Yet the stresses of the game can be eliminated when playing in good company, which is exactly the kind of company that a baby shower should have. Monopoly will remind the parents-to-be that we live in a financial world that’s governed by numbers preceded by dollar signs. Few parents are aware of the full cost of raising a child – as simple as it seems, playing Monopoly might remind them to keep an eye on their finances so that the child never finds itself wanting.

“We laughed so hard my friend nearly wet her pants!” – Ashley Daniels – San Antonio, TX

Variations on the aforementioned games that focus on either finances or words are welcome, and you shouldn’t hesitate to bring such a game to the table as a way to liven up the baby shower. That being said, there are a few no-nos that shouldn’t find their way to any baby shower. As already mentioned, video games are one of them – here are a few more to avoid.

  • Twister: It seems obvious, doesn’t it? While pregnancy is definitely a state of being to be proud of, it also imposes physical limitations on the mother before and after the birth. Even if the mother already gave birth, recovering from pregnancy is no state to play Twister in, and all you’ll be doing is reminding her about her loss of mobility.
  • Poker and similar games: Another fairly obvious entry – even if the father is an avid poker player, leave the classic card set in the drawer or back at home. Do you really want the mother remembering you gambled at her baby shower?
  • Games with adult themes: As fun as these can be, social games that feature adult material should be left out of the baby shower schedule. Yes, everyone there will probably be an adult, but the atmosphere at a baby shower should be pure and uplifting – it’s hard to keep it as such in the presence of swearing or adult imagery.

How to throw a great baby shower

A baby shower isn’t like most other get-togethers that friends and family throw. The event is meant to celebrate a mother and her unborn (or recently born) child, so a lot of things that might be present in a regulate friendly gathering will have to go.

A perfect baby shower combines a wonderful and relaxing atmosphere with all the support that a young mother could need. Here are some things to look out for when staging a baby shower of any magnitude.

“Thank you for the great baby shower ideas!” – Sara Beth McAdams, Boynton Beach, FL

The baby shower location and its decoration

Before throwing the baby shower, you’ll have to decide whether to use a professional venue or an attendee’s home as your location of choice. Choosing an establishment has its benefits but is also notably costly – if you’re planning a baby shower in a hotel or at a restaurant, make sure to split the costs evenly between the attendees instead of burdening the parents-to-be with the expenses. Trust us, they’ll already be spending out of a hose to give their newborn everything it needs (and wants) – spending an awful lot of money on the baby shower event will hardly be welcome.

While they can seem simple or ‘not memorable enough’, baby showers in homes are oftentimes the best. There’s nothing like a friendly and familiar atmosphere to get the young mother feeling cared-for and safe – feelings you definitely want to invoke during her time of carrying.

Keep in mind, though – if you’re throwing a baby shower in a familiar home, you’ll have to put in some effort to decorate it properly. This is why the mother’s own home frequently makes for the best choice of location – you can decorate away knowing that the additions won’t have to go as soon as the party’s over. For best results, you can decorate while the mother is away in order to throw a surprise party of sorts, but be careful – no jumping out and yelling “surprise”!

The baby shower schedule

To throw a perfect baby shower, you’ll need more than a good pink or blue scheme to the venue – you’ll also have to make sure that the event goes as planned even if it comes off as a very casual one.

All of the attendees should keep in mind that the party is about the mother and her baby, not about them and their own problems. As such, everyone should avoid bringing too much attention to themselves and therefore stealing the spotlight – this is especially true for people thinking of bringing unpleasant subjects to the discussion.

Being a friendly gathering and all, you can talk and do what you want so long as it doesn’t upset the mother or subject her to shocks. For example, those who already have children can discuss what raising their first child was like for them (focusing only on the good, of course!) – another great idea to pass the time is discussing potential baby names, provided that the parents are aware of the infant’s gender.

When the mother looks back on her baby shower, she should remember the event as an extremely pleasant gathering of friends and family that ushered in the next great era of her life – do everything in your power to make it such.