Do consult the guest of honour Not every pregnant lady or new mama wants to be fêted. For those who do, some ladies follow tradition and prefer to have the festivities after the baby arrives, while some might want to party in their second trimester before they get too uncomfortable and stressed about their impending arrival. Find out before you plan, and don’t forget to check proposed dates with mom and her closest family and friends so everyone near and dear can make it.
Do let grandmas-to-be play a part in the planning Whether you’re family or a pal, it’s a nice, respectful touch to ask the (usually super excited) nanas for a hand in the planning and execution of the party. Let them look over the guest list, help decorate or bring food.
Do offer easy food Don’t host a brunch or lunchtime shower unless you’re planning a sit-down affair. Serve easy-to-eat nibblies so guests aren’t balancing their meals, cutlery and drinks on their laps.
Do invite dad-to-be and his guy pals Don’t leave dad out—it’s an exciting time for him and the new mom will love his participation. If the party is for the ladies, have the men (dad, the grandpas-to-be, dad’s buddies, etc.) make an appearance toward the end of the affair.
Don’t plan the party you want—plan the party she’d want Hosting a shower is a big job, and it’s easy to get carried away. But since the day is about the new mom, be sure to keep her top of mind when planning. If she’s not a fan of the beach, for example, don’t throw a beach-themed party. Also…
Don’t surprise the guest of honour It was unanimous in our research—pregnant women and new moms just don’t enjoy surprise parties. (The last thing you want is for her to show up exhausted and moody wearing her pyjama bottoms.) Let her in on the party from the beginning—she’ll be grateful you did.
Don’t play games that will embarrass guests or mom Friends and family at my shower were asked to guess my circumference. It was a month before my due date and my maternity clothes no longer fit. Enough said, right? Some games can be fun icebreakers (especially if guests don’t know each other) as long as they don’t embarrass guests (or mortify mom).
Don’t let it drag on Nothing’s worse than a party that just won’t end. As long as there’s enough time for mom to schmooze with each guest, open presents and enjoy a slab (or two) of cake, two to three hours will do it.
Don’t forget to thank partygoers on their way out As the hostess it’s your responsibility to thank everyone for making the new mama’s day special. Snap a photo of each family member and friend with baby or with mom’s belly; it will make a nice keepsake for everyone who attends.