Baby showers tend to follow a fairly predictable formula, and as lovely as it is to spend an afternoon drinking tea, eating cupcakes and measuring the guest of honour's middle, here are some ideas for baby showers with a difference.
1. Pamper session and a photo shoot
Time for leisurely pedicures, manicures and facials will soon be drastically reduced for Mum-to-be so why not treat her to some pampering, either at home or in a salon.
In fact, EGG Maternity have captured this niche brilliantly with their new EGG Wellbeing Cocoon - take Mum-to-be shopping and treat her to a massage or treatment without even leaving the store!
Mobile beauty therapists can be hired to come to your home and provide treatments - perhaps a small group of guests could contribute to the cost of the Mum-to-be's treatments and you could all spend a relaxing afternoon soaking feet, getting hand massages and sipping sparkling water!
Another pampering party idea could include hiring a make-up artist to make up the mother-to-be and then have a photographer capture her pregnant glow - before the photography is focused only on baby! It is also a lovely opportunity to get some photos of friends all together.
2. Frozen food fiesta
Especially handy for second or third babies (pivotal for fourth babies!) - instead of doubling-up with typical baby shower gifts when the family probably already has what they need, ask guests to bring a frozen meal and stock mum-to-be's freezer.
With a bit of extra organisation you could coordinate a cooking party - gather a group of friends for an evening of chopping, mixing, and sautéing. Conversation will flow while you work together to prepare meals for mum-to-be's freezer. Buy a pile of foil dishes that can be go from freezer to oven (available at most supermarkets) and ask guests to contribute ingredients instead of a gift - vegetables, mince, chicken, simmer sauces etc. The meals don't have to be fancy - think lasagne, cottage pie, curries - anything nutritious to quickly and easily feed a hungry, sleep-deprived family.
3. High tea at a hotel
Book high tea at a fancy hotel for a group of your favourite ladies, and live it up for an afternoon!
4. Movie night
Have an evening baby shower with a group of girlfriends, some comfy couches, movie snacks and a chick flick. Perhaps wise to avoid Knocked Up, but we do recommend Motherhood, What to expect when you're expecting, Juno, or Life as we know it for a pregnant giggle!
Hanging out with friends in the evening will soon be harder to coordinate, so make the most of it while you can!
5. Pay it forward
Another good idea to celebrate a second, third or fourth pregnancy - get together for some quality time with friends, but instead of asking for new gifts, suggest guests bring pre-loved baby clothes and baby gear that they no longer need. Clothes and gear could then be lovingly packaged up and donated to a charity such as Women's Refuge, Refugee Services, or a local charity in need of baby gear.
Alternatively, (in lieu of a gift) cash donations could be collected and put towards projects supporting third world mothers and babies, such as TEAR Fund's Hush Little Baby healthcare pack from their Gift For Life catalogue or Care for Pregnant Mothers from World Vision's Smiles catalogue.
Published 9 August, 2013