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How to Host a Baby Shower That Doesn’t Suck

I’ve been to a lot of baby showers in the past few years. A LOT. My own, 5 years ago, is a bit of a blur now and was actually my very first baby shower since I was the first of my friends to procreate. But since then my friend and relatives have been spawning like crazy.

I have never been to a terrible baby shower, but one of my college friends called me a few weeks ago and vented about this truly awful baby shower she went to over the weekend. There was no food; the guests were all strangers and had nothing in common; and it took the mom-to-be 3 hours to open all her gifts, while the guests were stuck watching, not being fed and engaging in painfully awkward small talk.

Plus, there was a woman there who insisted on telling every gruesome detail of all her birth stories. Not cool.

So we came up with this list of ways to throw a fun shower that doesn’t suck!

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  • Make it Coed/Family-Friendly 1 of 9
    Make it Coed/Family-Friendly
    This doesn't mean your guests have to bring their boyfriend/husband/partner/kids, but a party is usually a lot more fun for them if they bring a wingman so they aren't stuck making small talk the whole time. And parents will be happy to come celebrate without finding a sitter.
  • Drop-in Party 2 of 9
    Drop-in Party
    I went to a shower like this once and it was awesome. The party was at someone's house and it was an open-door policy for a whole afternoon. You could show up for a half hour and give the mom-to-be a quick hug and congrats and be on your way, or you could stay for three hours and socialize, eat, drink, etc. It was your choice as a guest and I love that no one felt captive until all the ceremonial stuff was over.
  • Feed Your Guests Real Food 3 of 9
    Feed Your Guests Real Food
    Oh, please, please, please don't serve only cheese and stale crackers. Showers tend to be long so the least you can do is feed your guests actual, real food. I'm talking platters of sandwiches, bowls of pasta salad, fruit, veggies, the works.
  • Have Booze 4 of 9
    Have Booze
    I'm not sure why people shy away from booze at baby showers. Most moms-to-be will not be offended if their shower guests have a couple mimosas or glasses of wine. I actually encourage people to imbibe around me and then I get to laugh at them when they get sloppy.
  • Don’t Play Dumb Games 5 of 9
    Don't Play Dumb Games
    Skip the one where people have to sniff fake poop on diapers and the one where people guess how huge the pregnant woman has gotten. They have been done a million times. The former makes people cringe in a bad way and the latter makes the pregnant mom either feel her belly is not big enough or too big. Just skip it.
  • Do Make an Awesome Keepsake for the Parents 6 of 9
    Do Make an Awesome Keepsake for the Parents
    Instead of playing a dumb game or making a hat out of bows and a paper plate, occupy guests by setting out an activity that the parents-to-be will cherish in the coming years.
    Download this shower activity for free at lilsugar.
  • Don’t Wrap Gifts 7 of 9
    Don't Wrap Gifts
    Unless it's a very small shower with just a few gifts/guests, this ritual takes FOREVER. Instead of making unwrapping the main event, just have guests bring them unwrapped and set them out on a table where everyone can admire them. This way people who are into baby gifts can still stop and admire them all, but there is no four hour unwrapping ceremony that drives everyone insane. Plus, it gives the mom-to-be more time to say hi and socialize with her guests!
  • Post a List of Rules 8 of 9
    Post a List of Rules
    No, I'm not kidding. Hang a sign up at entrance that reads: "No sharing birth stories. No unsolicited parenting advice. Thank you, The Management" At the very least it will give guests pause on their way in and make them re-think that gruesome 28 hour labor story they were about to tell.
  • You Don’t Want This Shower to Suck 9 of 9
    You Don't Want This Shower to Suck
    So let's get started!

Photo credit: iStock

Read more of Claire’s writing at Rants from MommylandAnd for even more silliness follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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