Seeking Advice for Hosting a Baby Shower

Updated on April 10, 2009
T.B. asks from Key West, FL
26 answers

Hi ladies,
I am hosting a baby shower for my sister in May. It's going to be held during the week because of her work schedule and I have it set for 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. I'm planning to have finger sandwiches, punch, maybe a fruit platter, and dessert. A friend of mine suggested I have at least 7 games planned. That seems like a lot don't you think so? I have two in mind and would like to get some other ideas. The one game I have planned is the one with every guest getting a piece of twine to "guess" how much twine it would take to go around the belly and the other game is the one where every guest wears a string with a small plastic pacifier around their neck and whoever crosses their legs gives up their necklace(s).

I also need some ideas for gifts for the game winners. I thought of candles, maybe keychains. It's going to be a co-ed shower so the gift ideas should be fairly neutral. It's going to be a rather small group. I'm sending out about 20 invites...I'm certain not all 20 people will be able to attend. Any other ideas you can pass my way would be helpful. I'm planning to have the guests arrive earlier than the designated time so they can write a special message to the baby (or my sister) on some scrapbook paper and I intend to put all the pictures from the shower in a special scrapbook for her. Thank you for your help!

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So What Happened?

Well, I had the baby shower on May 12 and it went surprisingly well. I had 3 games planned but only did 2 and it worked out well. I did the "game" of filling a jar with M&M's and everybody had to guess how many were in the jar and I decided to do a "random seat" game where I placed an envelope under one seat that said "Winner" and that person won a prize. Unfortunately, the person who won the M&M's happened to be the person who was sitting in the "winning" seat but I have to believe that was God's plan because it certainly wasn't mine. The ONLY thing that really ticked me off with hosting and planning for this event is that only 3 of the 20 invited called me to RSVP...most of the invited guests contacted my sister, which made NO sense at all considering that I put my name and phone number on the invite for people to RSVP me. It put my sister's involvement in an event that I did not want her to participate in. Two people showed up without having any communication with me at all. I don't understand the laziness or lack of consideration that people seem to have these days but all in all, the baby shower was nice and my sister had a good time which is what I was aiming for. Thank you all for your suggestions and comments and recommendations.

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answers from Orlando on

The host of my baby shower asked everyone to bring a book and sign it instead of a card. I loved it!!! Lots of books to read to my new baby and I had sweet notes in them from the people I love.

P.s. Last time I looked Martha Stewart had some really great shower game ideas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Daytona Beach on

One idea that is very helpful to the mom is to buy or make thank you notes for her- then, as everyone comes to the shower- have them self-address a stamped envelope and stick them in a pretty basket. These envelopes can be entries to a drawing for a pretty candle.

Another practically free game is set two teams up- have them race to diaper a balloon-- it is very funny!!



answers from Jacksonville on

Seven games is ridiculous, two is just right. People have a limited attention span and the games become tedious- especially with a co-ed group.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Whooaaa. SEVEN? Are you serious? I have NEVER been to a shower (baby or otherwise) where that many games went on. At MOST 3, usually only 2. They take up a lot of time, and your guests may not have the extra hours to wait it all out (lunch mid-week). Also, not a lot of men enjoy those kinds of games... they want FOOD (think protein... at least the men I know, anyway). I think the pacifier necklace idea is a good one. Everyone can socialize while playing it and be as involved (or not) as they choose. One other suggestion... as a courtesy to your guests, you might want to let them know that you are having them arrive early to sign the "book". Some will want time to compose their thoughts, others my not have the extra time to arrive early (may have to choose, come early or stay till it's through).
Just my thoughts. Planning these things can be such a hassle sometimes. Lucky for your sister she has a sister like you! :)



answers from Orlando on

I think 7 games at a baby shower is insane!! I personally hate games at baby showers. If you do any, I think 2 is perfect!!!
I have 2 other game ideas that are cute....1. melt chocolate candy bars in newborn diapers, so it looks like poop & the guests have to try & figure out what kind it is. You number the back of the diaper & give them a piece of paper to write it down. 2. fill baby bottles with coke, beer, punch, or whatever & see who can drink them the fastest. It's not as easy as they think. My babyshower was co-ed & it was a fun game for the men. Those are just my thoughts. But I think the games you have already selected are great though! They arent too "gamey" & annoying.
As far as the gifts go, keep it simple & inexpensive. Candles are fine, everybody loves candles. I went to a shower recently, where everybody had kids at home, so they gave out baby products as the lotion, baby wash, etc. Something we all can use.
Have fun with this!!



answers from Gainesville on

Yes, two games will probably be enough. You could plan one more back-up game in case after you finish the others, you seem to have extra time with people not chatting. But it's fun to just visit and talk at the shower too. I don't like showers where there are so many games that you go over the time planned.



answers from Orlando on

Here's an idea! My friend included on her invitation to bring a pack of diapers to enter a raffle and at the shower you got a number when you went in and they put the diapers in a playpen. At the end they gave a way a couple gift cards to restaurants, but obviously had way more value worth in diapers. I thought this was such a great idea! I was on the phone with my friend the other day and her little one is 8 months and she said she is just now finishing the diapers given to her at her shower...she's never had to purchase diapers. Now "THAT'S" a great gift.



answers from Panama City on

I have directed many baby showers (too numerous to count) and the number of games just really depends on the number of people and the time alotted for them. One idea is to have everyone guess the number of diapers that the mommy will receive as gifts. Then, while she is opening gifts, someone does a running tally of the # of diapers. The guest who is the closest wins. Another idea is to fill a jar or a baby bottle with M&Ms or Jelly beans and have them guess how many are in the bottle. The closest wins the bottle. Another game is for everyone to place a paper plate on their head and use a crayon to draw the best baby they can in one minute. The New Mommy gets to pick the best one (without looking at the names that should be written on the other side). Another fun game is to get a bowl of rice and place a pack of small silver safety pins mixed into it. Each guest is blindfolded or has to close their eyes really tight and try to find as many safety pins as possible using only their hands (no peeking) in one minutes' time. This is very fun. One last game that is a hoot is to have 3-4 4oz. baby bottles filled with juice and get volunteers to try to gulp them down the fastest. This is hellarious.
One thing you may also want to consider is buying the new mommy some thank you cards and having each guest write their address on the envelopes so that she doesn't have to look up each one. Also, there are some florists who will make a corsage out of baby socks if you bring them to their shop. This is really cute too.
As for gifts, chocolate is always a winner with people!
Take Care and Have a blast!!!
Mom of 4
Wife of 1
Child of God



answers from Orlando on

I have hosted many events, parties and showers, people do not like to play to many games. 2 - 3 is more than enough and space them out, dont do them all at once. Plan for a game every 35 minutes or so and end the party with her opening the gifts and write on a piece of paper who gave the gift, what the gift is and what is the parents reaction and phrase to the gift. Have someone else (not you) write this at the party. Give it to her in a babyshower album with pictures of the party. It is a nice memorabilia.

For food, finger foods are great. Set up a table with all your foods, napkins, eating utensils and drinks. One great way to display the drinks is to take a big tin can (maybe one you use for toys) and put all the drinks inside.

If you need a picture of my baby shower (which was decorated by my good friend) let me know I will be happy to send it to you privately.

Always remember this is about enjoying the time together not about stressing over the little details... so enjoy the party!



answers from Miami on

How nice of you to host a shower for your sister. I would stick to two or three games. My favorite baby shower game is the one where you blindfold each guest and ask them to correctly identify jarred baby food flavors. It is hilarious and a definite ice-breaker. As far as gifts, try the small packages of Barnie's coffee that they sell in Publix. Have fun!



answers from Melbourne on

Hi T..

We may be just hillbillies or something, but in my family (a HUGE one) at showers we give baby gifts as the gifts for the games and everyone just gives the gifts to the mother.

Wow, seven games is a LOT, and it doesn't leave much time for mingling. You didn't say whether the baby would be born yet or not. Sometimes we do them before, sometimes after.

One game that is always fun is to have wooden clothes pins with the baby's name on one side, and due date or birthdate on the other. Everyone attaches them to their clothing, and whomever says the word "baby" has to give theirs up to the first person who caught them. The person with the most pins at the end wins.

Another thing I thought was cool when I had my son was someone wrote down my responses to all my gifts. I still have it in my son's scrapbook.

Your meal ideas sound great!




answers from Orlando on

My mother had a game at my baby shower that I absolutely adored in the weeks to come after the baby was born. She bought a pack of diapers and a Sharpie and had everyone write notes to me for 2am diaper changes. It made those dark hours humorous reading what each had written and trying to figure out who wrote each one. Good luck with the games. I bet you won't need too many with the size of your party. We also found prizes at our local Home Goods (Marshall's) like candles, cute fondue kit, paper set, etc. Have fun!



answers from Miami on

since it's co-ed I personally wouldn't do a lot of games.

I had a co-ed shower for each of my 2 boys and I asked for diapers! my good friends and family of course also got me 'real' gifts, but the diapers helped! for my first son I didn't have to buy diapers for 6 months and then for my second son I had discovered Walgreens brand diapers so I made my diaper-gifts last longer by trading everything in for walgreens brand and I didn't have to buy diapers for EIGHT MONTHS! my gues list was larger than yours, though...anyway, just a thought.

ETA: just read about the rafle idea! great way to entice those diapers, lol! but SERIOUSLY I did not have to buy diapers for MONTHS (read above)- I 'traded' them in so when done w/ size 1 let's say I'd take a size 1 & go to the store to exchange for size 2 and so on!



answers from Miami on

Wow 7 is WAY too much. 2-3 is fine. It's just meant to get the people mingling well not the be whole shower. As for the prizes, when I hosted a shower for a friend I went to Marshalls. They has really nice kitchen gifts for $10 or less (most were about $6 or $7). I did an artistic cutting board, a high end wine opener, a utensil serving set. Stuff like that. I think that's ok for a co-ed shower - everyone has a kitchen.



answers from Orlando on

If the guests mostly know eachother, they will want to socialize and the party will go fine without a bunch of games. If they don't know eachother, you may want to plan an extra game or 2 just in case everyone is sitting aorund and it's awkward. I have no ideas for co-ed prizes-- but don't waste your money on keychains- most people are picky about what they put on their key chain and won't use it so you wasted money buying it. Food is co-ed so maybe you can go that route for the prizes- like chocolate or some other treat.



answers from Ocala on

i like this game and it will be neat with guys there too.and you need a camcorder cause this game is funny. ok you take candy bars like 5. for example 1. milkyway ruth 3. three muskertier 4. kit kat 5. snicker and you melt them a little bit in a microwave and you have 5 diapers marked with the numbers 1-5 on them and smear the candy bars in them as the numbers above indicate so you know which candy bars are in which diaper. give each guest a piece of paper and tell them to number it 1-5 and pass the diapers around and each guest has to sniff the diaper to figure out which candy bar it is. it looks gross and looks like poop and with them sniffing it is is difinitely a cmacorder moment.
i would do at least 4 games.i like the pacifer one.another one that is neat is you fill small baby bottles with koolaide and let people drink it and the one finshed first wins the game. they have to drink it by sucking it like a baby. it is cute and camcorder cute too.


BLt dip

BLT dip-1cup mayo1 cup sour cream1 jar Hormel real bacon bits1 can crushed tomatoes-drainedMix together and serve with cracker of your choice.

Snickers Salad

4 granny smith apples, skinned and cut into chunks
4 snickers bars, cut into chunks
1 pkg small marshmallows
1 8oz tubs Cool Whip
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup milk

Mix cool whip, vanilla pudding, and milk together. Add apples, snickers, and marshmallows. Chill 2 hours before serving.

meatballs-(the non BBQ ones-you buy in a bag in the groc. store)1 cup grape jelly 1 jar chili sauce.

Zesty Party Mix6 cups Crispix1 c. mini pretzles1 c. mixed nuts1 c. potato sticks1/4 c. worcestershire sauce1/4 c. melted butter1/2 tsp seasoned salt.Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Spread onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or until crispy. Cool before serving.

gifts: hard when have to be universal. key chains are a good idea. pads of papper. pack of ink pens.



answers from Miami on

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answers from Jacksonville on

I would say 2-3 games would be fine. Since the leg game doesn't really take up any extra time. I'm also not a big fan of the twine game though. I had that once at a shower and I really got big as a truck when I was pregnant and having that pointed out when you are in such an emotional state isn't always fun. :o) I'm sure you will do a great job on the shower!



answers from Tallahassee on

Hi T.,

I have hosted lots of baby showers and 7 games is alot! I would stay with 2-3 games. One the games that I did was I bought white onesies and everyone got to decorate one for the baby. It was a bif hit!



answers from Jacksonville on

I am not a big fan of games, so 2 sounds like enough to me. Actually for a co-ed shower I would consider skipping games entirely, or make them less likely to make the male guests uncomfortable. I have seen a game where you try and guess the most popular boy and girl names for various years or decades or one where you pass around a numbered paper bag with some kind of baby item (bottle nipple, pacifier, feeding spoon, comb, thermometer, etc.) and everybody writes down what they think it is.

One of my favorite shower activities in lieu of a game is to have guests decorate white onesies with markers or fabric paint pens. It's fun to see what people come up with and the mom to be gets a bunch of little outfits to remember her friends as she dresses her baby. This always takes a pretty good amount of time, because people talk and take awhile to come up with ideas and then it takes time to execute the idea.



answers from Pensacola on

You've got two hours for people to greet your sister, give gifts, eat lunch (please provide a decent lunch for these people. They may have to go back to work after.) and play games. There is no way, unless they're speed games, that you can even fit in 7 games without annoying every single person there. The point of a baby shower is to shower the new mom with love and attention, and gifts to help out. Keep it simple. People will mingle. Eat and be merry.
Some good prize gifts are candles, as you mentioned, and picture frames. Love the scrapbook idea.
Just try to be mindful of what the new mom's personality is. If she's shy, don't try to put her as the center of attention. If she's got a favorite food, serve that.
One game that is always quick and fairly simple is the word scramble. Where you get different words associated with babies, scramble the letters and set a timer for 1 minute to see who can unscramble the most in that time frame.
Just have fun!



answers from Miami on

I personally would do 3-4 games depending on how well the group knows each other…if you do a search or two on the net there are really some original games out there. One of my favs is the nursery rhyme game you say a line from a nursery rhyme and the guests have to write down the title (especially with guys they are clueless and come up with funny stuff! Another fun one is take about 8-10 white powdered products (ie flour, baby formula, sugar, salt, baby powder, comet, pancake or cake batter , crème of tarter, or powdered sugar) put a table spoon or two in separate numbered Ziploc bags and pass them out to the guests to make a list of what they may be. This is super hard when you see 1 baggie after another…lol…As far as prizes go I agree with the candy or chocolates (I LOVE to get the Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate bags) perhaps some gourmet popcorn, or jelly bellys jelly beans.
But I also wanted to give you a gift Idea. My best friend threw my baby shower and I have to say that she tried to do everything as special and unique as she could. She had a guest book made for me
( ) I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this book. There are so many different pages in this book. There are pages for gifts received, a page for the invite to be glued in, pages for the guests to sign in, (then I took it with me to the hospital for the guests to sign in (and my mom logged gifts for me in it as well which was great because I had a c-section and I was pretty out of it but it was nice after the we were home to know who brought what to me in the hospital lol), then there are individual pages and each guest fills one out at the shower and I cannot tell you HOW MUCH FUN my husband and I had reading these after my shower then rereading it again a few months later when we had it in the living room after the hospital, and everyone who stopped by to see us once we were home with the baby read it as well and laughed too especially over the delivery prediction!! I know these books can be a little pricey but the meaning and love you feel from rereading it is totally immeasurable! I loved this book so much I designed one for my son’s baptism that I plan to pull out at his first communion and other religions milestones just to relive those special memories. If I ever get the chance to do another baby shower or am a guest at a good friends I will be giving this gift, I LOVE mine and truly treasure it to this day!
Have a fun shower!!!



answers from Orlando on

After just having a baby shower for my daughter I would like to give some advice. 7 games is too many unless they are quick. I have been to 3 baby showers including my daughters and people tended to break off into chatter instead of paying attention to the mommy-to-be and what was going on when the games took too long. The games you have are relatively quick and easy. Two more games that are quick but fun is to fill a baby bottle with M&M's or Kisses (or a favorite candy of the mommy-to-be) and ask people to pass it around and guess how many are inside. The closest without going over wins. Another fun game that we played which stumped a lot of people was a word scramble. We took 15 baby related words and mixed up the letters and had them try to unscramble them in a few minutes. Quick and easy but very conversational.
This game took a little while but was really fun but a little messy. We took small safety pins and a bowl of rice and mixed them together. Each person took a turn with a blindfold on and tried to take out as many safety pins in 30 seconds as they could find with one hand. One person has to help by holding the bowl and holding the pins they think they found. Rice does tend to get everywhere but it was funny to hear how difficult it was to find even one of the pins. Make sure to use the small baby safety pins.
As far as prizes, since it is mixed company, but usually the males come with a partner, candles are a great idea and even the key chains. I found some key chains at Wal-Mart near the jewelry department that had the Lord's Prayer and Footprints on them. Memo books/tablets are good and you can write a message of Thanks for playing or coming to the shower on the first sheet.
I know you will have a great time but the one thing to remember is this is suppose to be a funfilled day for the mommy-to-be and for everyone attending. Try not to overthink/overplan and just have fun.
Baby gift idea that tickled everyone was a wicker laundry basket with baby clothes that were all clothes pinned to a line so that as she picked up the end of the line and pulled each set came out as if it was hanging up to dry. Cute idea and we had to get several of the attendee's to help hold the line up around the room.



answers from Boca Raton on

I like the candles and keychain idea! I think 2-3 games should be plenty, guys and gals might enjoy a word search for the top girls and top boys names your sister has chosen".(Of course, use the full names eg. Isaiah Thomas Jefferson or Bethany Susan Anthony) then split them up as a shorter serch item.

My sister-in-law hosted the shower for my son, and they had a delightful game where she had started a story about the day baby was born, each person saw what the previous person had written, and no more, and everybody added a sentence or two. I have the story in his special memories box.



answers from Miami on

Here are a few games I've enjoyed at various showers:

Clothespins: Each person gets 3 clothespins which they attach to the front of their shirt. Every time they get caught saying the word "Baby" the person who catches them gets one of their clothespins. At the end, the person with the most pins wins the game. (This is a fun game that lasts through the entire shower.)

Draw a Baby: Each person gets a paper plate and something to write with, be it pen, pencil or crayon.
Everyone holds their paper plate on top of their head and draws a baby on it. Mommy-to-be chooses the best picture as the winner. (Results can be quite comical!)

M&Ms: Count out M&Ms to fill a baby bottle. Ask guests to guess how many are in it. Closest guess wins it! Mmmmmm

Memory Game: Place a bunch of baby items on a tray or in a box. Walk around the room with it so that everyone sees the items well, then put it in another room. Later on, give everyone a paper and pen and have them write down as many of the items as they can remember. The one who remembers the most items wins a prize.

You can also Google "Baby Shower Games" and find free games to print out plus other ideas.

Some ideas for co-ed gifts might be a pen & pencil set, photo frame, mini photo album, travel umbrella, small dry erase board w/marker, manicure set, funny coffee mug or travel mug, or even a little bouquet of Tootsie Roll Pops!
Most of these items can be picked up at a dollar store to keep expenses down.

I hope you have a wonderful shower, and best of wishes to your sister and new baby!
~ M. ~



answers from Port St. Lucie on

Hi, I think 7 games is a lot. I have been a hostess for several baby showers and we always have 3-4 games. Some ideas -

Baby shower bingo - make up bingo cards with things from the registry and/or common baby items (onesie, diapers, bib, etc.) and have the guests play bingo as they watch them open gifts. You can google baby shower bingo and find premade cards too (I made my own using the colors of the baby-to-be's room decor).

Poopy Diaper game -this is gross but sooo funny - Melt 4-5 types of candy bars and then put them into diapers, label the diapers a,b,c,d,e or 1-5, etc. - have each guest inspect one at a time and write down what type of candy they think each is, they cannot lick or taste it - pick unusual candy bars to keep it hard.

Create a word search with baby items and the parents-to-be's names, etc.

Diapering game - Have everyone split into groups of 3 -4 - give each a roll of tape and toilet paper and have them create a diaper on one of the people in their group - the guest of honor chooses the favorite and they get a prize.

The baby itme around yourneck - we always use as "Don't Say Baby" game - if anyone says "baby" whoever hears them takes their necklace, the one with the most at the end wins.

Prize ideas - I usually go to Bath and Body Works and get a bunch of lotions, shower gels, etc - make uplittle gift bags of those (there are almost always some on sale and theyhave the small sizes you can use also). Littlepicture frames, etc.

Hope I helped a little - have fun :)

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