Throwing A Baby Shower

What better reason to throw a party for a mum-to-be than to help celebrate the gift, joy and blessing of the expected arrival. If you’re hosting a baby shower here are some great ideas to help get your creative juices going and keep the party ‘cost friendly’. Traditionally reserved for women, the new trend is for couples to attend.

Anyone can host the baby shower for the mother-to-be or parents-to-be, after all it is just as important to shower the daddy!

A baby shower is usually thrown a couple of months before the baby’s due date and typically lasts two to three hours.

The Cake

There are hundreds of designs to choose from – basic ones to totally over the top creations. The cake here is based on baby building blocks and is suitable for a girl or boy.

Simply make six x 6” square cakes, layered with butter-cream and smoothed on the outside ready to be covered in rolled fondant icing. Once covered, decorate however you wish and then use wooden dowels to stack them – this prevents the cakes from moving and collapsing, not a good look at any party!

Food & Drink

Ideally prepare all the food beforehand and make dainty little finger foods including sandwiches, pastries and cakes. This way people will grab something to eat whilst still chatting to other guests – just remember to have a pile of napkins handy.

Cut the sandwiches into cute little shapes like teddy bears, use a circle of mayonnaise covered in sesame seeds to create their furry little tummies and use black olives to make eyes, etc. (or peppercorns but warn your guests first) Add a few extra goodies to add some contrast like the mini cheese filo pies and salmon puffs.

Cupcakes have become somewhat of a tradition at parties and can be decorated to match the colour theme. Little fondant fancies are also a good idea, however make yours unique by customising with a large flower to make them look cute and adorable.

A range of drinks should be offered including wine, beer and soft drinks for those who want to show solidarity for the mummy-to-be.

Mini Cheese Filo Pies

These are so quick and easy to prepare. Simply line a greased mini cupcake tray with three squares of filo pastry, brushed with melted butter on each layer, making sure the corners are at different angles. Make the filling by combining 1 beaten egg to half a tub of crème fraiche, 3 finely sliced spring onions, three cooked rashers of bacon (finely diced) and some grated red Leicester cheese – grate directly into the mixture until you have a thick, but still runny consistency.

Fill the uncooked pastry cases. Bake at 200˚C/Gas mark 6 for approximately 7-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the tin and leave to cool.

Mini Smoked Salmon Puffs

Take 1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry and cut out small circles approximately 2” in diameter, then add an indent of a smaller circle in the middle without cutting through (similar to a vol-au-vent). Brush with beaten egg and bake at 200˚C/Gas mark 6 for 7-10 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and press in the middle to make way for the filling.

For the filling – combine chopped smoked salmon with crème fraiche and season to taste. To keep costs down use salmon trimmings (available at most supermarkets). Traditionally these would be topped with caviar but finely chopped black olives (buy them loose on the deli counter – you only need about 6) looks just as good and some of the guests would probably prefer the taste as well.

Decoration

A good way to start with the decoration is to choose a colour theme. I’ve gone down the pink and blue route with touches of black and silver, but lemon and white looks lovely as do primary colours. Another idea is if the nursery has been decorated – revolve the theme around that and use the colours or characters from the décor, plus guests can bring gifts for the nursery. Make the focus of the decorations in the area that will see most of the activity – it also makes a great backdrop for pictures to be taken.

The pom-poms shown are easy to make but can look so pretty. Use different baby items as decorations like baby socks  – 69p a pair at Home Bargains complete with inserts to make them look like cute little feet.

Gift boxes, 59p each at Home Bargains, including ribbon and a gift tag are ideal for putting prizes inside.

Just think outside the box and find whatever you have to hand that will match the theme. Flowers from the garden (mine are forget-me-nots) arranged in little pots (empty dessert pots from the supermarket which I had saved) decorated with a little girls bobble with glitzy bits! Fill larger vases with mini marshmallows topped with a tissue paper flower.

Making Tissue Pom-Poms

These can be any colour or size. I made a range of different ones – starting with the larger ones and then cutting the tissue paper accordingly.

For the larger pom-pom use eight sheets of tissue paper approximately 50 x 75cm. A pack of ten sheets costs 49p at Home Bargains. I bought four packs and created all the decorations here plus left-over to wrap prizes and pack gifts in boxes – total cost £1.96!

Baby Shower Favours

These are a great way to thank your guests for attending and make lovely parting gifts. Jelly babies in gift bags are popular or colour co-ordinated sweets, using coloured M&M’s in small glass jars (similar to those dinky jam jars in hotels at breakfast) finished with a twirl of ribbon.
Gifts for the mum-to-be can be candles, spa treatment voucher, bath products – in fact anything to help her relax.

Games

Games can often serve as entertainment and ice breakers for the guests who may not know one another – the Baby Guessing Game is one of those where all guests bring a photo of themselves as a baby (unseen by other guests) the photos are then placed on a board and everyone has to guess who is who. Inform your guests a few days before the shower so they can come prepared with a picture.

Another fun idea is to play Baby Charades, whereby teams act out baby related phrases such as ‘giving birth’ or ‘changing a nappy’. Make sure you have prizes to give out to the winners to keep it fun and exciting. A box of jelly babies makes for a novel prize.

Not necessarily a game but a fun activity is to have a baby book open for guests to write suggestions to help the new mummy when the baby arrives – these can be helpful or amusing. Likewise have a jar for people to suggest names, if one hasn’t already been chosen – don’t forget to leave a pen and slips of paper nearby.

The more effort you put in the better the outcome. It just goes to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to create something unique and special. Have fun! 🙂

Do you have any other ideas for a baby shower?