If being the centre of attention isn’t your favourite thing — and you’ve had your fill of bump comments — a babyshower might feel as enticing as a stretch and sweep. Even if you’re usually the life of the party, you might be feeling too exhausted/nauseous/giant to be bothered with cupcakes and old wives tales. Never fear! Party fairy godmother Alexis Teasdale of The Festive Co. says it doesn’t have to be all teacups and cucumber sandwiches. “A shower can be as simple as a chic lunch or going to a movie. Oh, you can do lots of puns on ‘pop’corn!”
We asked Alexis for advice on the best babyshower elements and the meh bits you have her permission to nix. Then we wrote down all her brilliant ideas for you to plunder for your own party. She’s a machine!
On a base level, what makes a good shower?
“Something relaxed and easy for the mum-to-be. Comfy seating, lots of yummy food, non-alcoholic drinks and heartfelt touches — the most important thing by far!”
Who should be invited?
“Usually family is invited as well as close friends and while traditionally it’s something women do together, more and more I see celebrations including the mum and dad's friends combined.”
What traditions do you think should be kept?
“It is always nice to have some baby photos of the mum and dad, and maybe even their parents and grandparents, to look at. And a really great cake is always a winner.”
Do you have to open presents?
“At most showers I go to, gifts aren't opened because it can take a long time. However, I know friends and family so love it when they are because people go to so much effort finding the right gift.”
Does the mum have to be really pregnant?
“There's no real number of weeks, it's more about how the mum feels. I did my shower a couple of months early because I had a feeling I was going to get tired and I really wanted to enjoy it. But, as long as it doesn't require effort on her behalf, you can do it a few weeks before! I wouldn't go much past that, just incase baby comes early and she misses it!”
Baby registries, not too presumptuous?
“Look, it's really not at all! I went to a baby shower the other day and I had to message the mum to see if she had certain things because the last thing she needs is three baby baths or 27 onesies. The great thing about a registry is that they receive the gifts they really need, and isn't that the most important thing? That your loved one gets to be prepared and stress-free in the lead up to their new baby arriving? I feel like it harks back to the time of 'the village' and we shouldn't be ashamed to request specific things. I know it is hard to ask, but if it's your family and close friends, they know you and know that you are so very grateful for the gifts. Plus, it makes things easy for them! Definitely put a mix of the essentials and some not-too-expensive ‘cute’ things like little rattles and bottles and hats to give lots of options.”
Great ideas for cool showers
Build the baby’s library. “My bestie asked guests to bring their favourite children’s book and organised name plates for the gifter to fill-in. I’m now reading books to my third child that friends wrote in for my first!”
Make a baby blanket
“I loved the time I asked guests to bring a piece of fabric and I had them all made up into a quilt for the friend’s baby. Some brought material from their own baby clothes or dresses. It was really fun.”
Paint a mobile
“At my shower there was a station for guests to paint pieces of wood that turned into the baby’s mobile.”
Write a cookbook
“Guests sent me their favourite childhood meal/recipe ahead of time, and I made it into a recipe book for a friend. It made for gorgeous stories and shared memories.”
Decorate the blocks
“Avoid any cliche games, like tasting chocolate in nappies! Instead, opt for more low-key activities like writing a message on baby blocks that can go in bub’s room.”
Make it an activity
“I love the idea of the shower being one big activity so guests are learning something cool. Maybe it's a low-key cooking class, or a macrame demonstration where you all make something for the nursery. A pottery class is fun, and guests could be given seeds to take home and plant in their new pot to go with a 'growing' theme. A mocktail bar is always a hit, with lots of fab garnishes to muddle and mix.
Inspired? Create your own Gift Registry with the memo here.