“What are you supposed to do at a baby shower?” That is probably the question that runs through everyone’s mind the first time they have to plan one. Unless you have been to several, you may not know exactly what is expected. Is it just like a bridal shower? Are you expected to serve food? Does the mom-to-be open all the presents at the shower or later on like at a wedding? Do you have to play games? These are all valid questions, but they all assume one thing: that there is one right way to throw a baby shower. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Baby showers should be a fun way to bless an expectant mom; however you define fun is what will impact the itinerary. After all, not everyone enjoys baby shower games!
Generally baby showers consist of three parts: food, activities or games, and gift opening. Food is very flexible and is going to depend on what time you are throwing the shower. If the shower will overlap with a meal time, then that meal should be served. Otherwise, it is perfectly acceptable to limit the menu to snacks or cake. You could offer punch and put mints on each table. That is fine, too! I have been to morning baby showers that served breakfast and I have been to afternoon showers that served lunch. No one minds much either way as long as they know ahead of time so they can make arrangements if necessary. You should always mention on the invitation whether hors d’oeuvres or a meal will be served. It’s nice if you can have the food be available as guests arrive. It gives them something to do while they mix and mingle, and it can help break the ice.
As far as shower games or activities go, they are optional, but many people do enjoy having something else to do besides nibble on food and wait for their gift to be opened. You should plan the activities for when everyone has already gotten their food. It can be as simple as playing baby shower bingo or silly as having people guess what candy bar is melted in a diaper. Keep the games to two or three max, and try to have something else going on at the same time for those who do not wish to participate, such as a slide show, a devotional, or some other type of presentation. Prizes are a great way to motivate guests to have fun with the games and try to win. It’s ideal if you can keep things rolling by starting the gift opening as soon as the games are done.
It is usually expected that the mom-to-be will open up her gifts in front of all the guests. Someone should be assigned to the task of recording each gift so that thank you notes can be written later. After the gifts are all opened, it’s nice if the guest of honor makes a little thank you speech, and then the shower is over. The perfect shower lasts no more than two hours. See? Quick and painless!