Every mother who's expecting loves new clothes, toys, and equipment for the baby, even if she already has children. Little bundles of joy deserve as much, and you will get endless enjoyment from showering mom with what she and her baby need.
Plan ahead for a baby shower, especially if the pregnancy is complicated. You don't want the mother-to-be to miss out on her shower. One or two months before the baby's due date is a good time for the party.
Traditionally, showers are planned for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, usually with lunch served. You do not need to follow this rule if another times works better for the mom and for you. It's becoming popular to have a shower on a weeknight or even weekend nights and include the father-to-be, too.
Plan the guest list and keep it manageable for your house or wherever you will be hosting the party. Confer with the honored guest so you don't miss anyone.
Send invitations about four weeks before the event. These don't have to be pricey. Creative, inexpensive ones can be found online and recreated at a copy shop.
Don't forget to ask for an RSVP at least one week prior to the shower. This way you can plan the menu according to the number of expected guests.
If this is a first child, you might suggest that the mother-to-be register for those baby items she needs or wants. Be sure to indicate where she's registered on the invitation.
Choose a Theme
You may decide not to choose a theme but if you keep it simple, a theme can give focus to the shower. For example, select a favorite food the mom has craved during her pregnancy and develop a meal around it. Or plan the party around a toy or cartoon character.
Another idea is to let the guests know what colors the parents have chosen for the baby's room. If the new mom knows if the baby is a boy or girl, let the guests know this much, too.
A theme will help with decorating, too. The color or subject help when you're picking out paper products such as plates, cups, and napkins and selecting streamers, balloons, and flowers.
Keep the Menu Simple
Plan on serving room temperature, buffet-style food. While it's fun to serve a craved food, be sensitive to any food aversions the mother-to-be might be experiencing.
Selections of tossed green salads and vegetable salads that can withstand room temperature for about two hours are good choices. Unless it's very hot, mayonnaise-based salads such as potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw are fine, too. Keep them refrigerated until an hour or less before serving.
Cooked meats and poultry and poached fish are good ideas. They should be refrigerated up until serving and if this is not possible, keep them covered and out of direct sunlight for no longer than 30 minutes or so.
Most foods that will served at room temperature can be made a day or two in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Cover them well and chill them soon after preparing. Allow the dishes to sit on the counter for 30 to 40 minutes before serving to take the chill off.
The exceptions to this two-day rule are green salads that are dressed and fish. Dress leafy green salads just before serving (you can wash and assemble the greens and mix the dressing hours ahead of time). Poach fish on the day you will serve it.
Serve iced tea, lemonade, sparkling water, and other non-alcoholic beverages. For those who are not pregnant or nursing, you might consider having chilled wine or Champagne on hand.
Have some fun with the dessert! Sugar cookies cutout in ABC's and frosted with pale pink and blue icing are cute. Decorate cupcakes with pastel frosting and decorate them with juvenile candies.
If you have a full wallet and the inclination, by all means hire a caterer to take care of the food, dessert, choice of beverage, set-up and clean-up!