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oh baby!
the clueless quasi-adult's guide to hosting a baby shower

by Yee-Fan Sun
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So when’s the best time to throw a baby shower? Typically, sometime around the 7th month of pregnancy is considered ideal; your expectant guest of honor should be in full pregnancy glow by that point, but not so close to the big day that she’ll be feeling unwieldy and uncomfortable and just plain not-up for hours of smiles and photos and socializing. Of course, you’ll want to confirm potential dates with her before sending out those invites. If she’s having twins or a more-challenging-than-normal pregnancy, or if there’s other stuff going on in her life – a move to a bigger new pad, for instance – that might make that 7th month too stressful, having the shower a little earlier, say in month 6 or so, might well make more sense.

Daytime gatherings are also likely to be better for your very pregnant friend, as the aches and pains of carrying a huge watermelon around one’s belly have a pesky tendency to pile up during the course of the day. Again, however, confirm any potential times you’re bandying about with your friend first.

Once you have your date, time and guest list all set, you’re ready to send out the invitations. Paper invites are probably best if there are any older guests, as they may have more traditional views on what constitutes a proper party invitation, and grandma might not have a clue how to respond to that e-invite; for a crowd of 20 and 30-somethings, on the other hand, email or online invitations will probably yield a better reply rate. Besides including the essential whens and wheres, you’ll also want to mention any registry info, to make it easier for guests to figure out what sorts of gifts the mom-to-be would find most useful.

Since for the most part, baby showers are held in the daytime, when it comes to figuring out what type of party to throw, you’ll probably be thinking brunches and lunches, dessert parties and afternoon teas. You can go upscale or keep it totally low-key; do the minimalist thing with décor or go all-out with some elaborate theme. Choose whatever feels most fitting for the mom-to-be’s personality; remember, not everyone feels comfortable with people making a big, noisy fuss over them. This party isn’t meant to be a chance for you to show off your super-hostess skills, but a time to let your friend know how much she means to you all, and how everyone’s there to support her as she makes this big transition to parenthood.

the main theme | So your friend’s the sort who appreciates a little creativity on the party front and would genuinely love to be the center of attention of an elaborate to-do?

Make that tea party extra memorable by invoking the Mad Hatter for inspiration; host a Star is Born Hollywood-themed dessert party for your movie-mad, People-obsessed preggo pal; organize a wacky Dr. Seuss brunch – green eggs and ham, anyone? -- decorating with appropriate quotes, images (a scanner and color printer come in handy) and favorite Seuss books. Or keep it simpler by going with a color scheme – the traditional pink shower for a baby girl or the blue-themed bash for a baby boy.

keep crawling this-a-way!

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