Plan a Storybook Baby Shower
Baby showers are about celebrating the baby on the way – and about helping the mom-to-be prepare for bringing a baby home. One of the most treasured rituals of parenthood is bedtime, when the day winds down and they can cuddle up with a couple of favorite books. Throwing a book-themed baby shower is a great way to stock the expectant parents' shelves with stories they'll love to share with their kids for years to come.
THREE TO FOUR WEEKS BEFORE:
Plan your location. A shower hosted at your home will feel intimate and relaxing. If you prefer a restaurant, make sure to send your invitations four weeks ahead so you have time to collect RSVPs and confirm the size of your reservation.
Send invitations. Use our template to create a fun, custom invitation that announces the book theme to guests. Encourage people to bring books they love themselves.
Plan a menu. Late morning is a popular time to host a shower, and brunch lends itself well to a broad range of food styles.
Plan an activity. Decorating bodysuits with fabric pens or paint is a favorite shower activity that also helps the mom-to-be stock up on much-needed apparel. In keeping with the theme, you could ask guests to choose an element from their favorite storybook.
ONE TO THREE DAYS BEFORE:
Shop. Purchase food and bodysuits for decorating, and consider buying a blank journal to pass around and have guests write a wish for the new baby in it. It can become the new mom's journal of her baby's first years.
Prepare party favors. Something sweet and simple is perfect, such as a scented soap wrapped in tissue or a stack of lavender sachets tied with a ribbon.
Order or prepare a special dessert. A cake with a baby-inspired theme is perfect, or top cupcakes with pink or blue sprinkles -- or a mix, if the sex is still a mystery. Or try our recipe for chocolate crackle cookies.
Decorate. Set out bouquets of colorful flowers. If you have children's books around, arrange them where guests can spot them - it'll spark all kinds of conversations about favorites.
DAY OF THE SHOWER:
Prepare and arrange food and beverages. Set up an area where guests can serve themselves food. About a half-hour before guests will arrive, warm up the oven for any warm appetizers or quiches; keep salads and fruit chilled until just before guests start to arrive. Create a separate beverage station with iced tea, lemonade and water.
Set up a gift table. Place your own gift there to cue guests where to set their packages. Have a notebook and pen handy to help the guest of honor make a thank-you note list.
Set up for any activities. For decorating bodysuits, wash the blank bodysuits and fold them neatly in a small basket. Arrange your paints, pens, scissors and other craft materials where they're easy to access.