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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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Whatever style of fete you decide upon, make sure to ask your pregnant friend about any food cravings, aversions or restrictions before you make up the menu. Many common party eats are on the not-recommended list during pregnancy Ė among the no-nos are unpasteurized soft cheeses like Brie, blue cheese and goat cheese, even totally innocuous-sounding edibles like deli meat. You donít have to eliminate these foods completely (and in fact, many are just fine as long as theyíre cooked thoroughly), but you do want to make sure that there are plenty of other delicious options for your guest-of-honor.

When it comes to drinks as well, make sure that there are appealing options for your pregnant pal. You donít have to go completely alcohol-free, as other guests will likely enjoy partaking of a drink or two. But do have decaffeinated coffee or tea available; get some tasty fruit nectars, sparkling juices, or bubbly water. I like to offer a ďbarĒ stocked with fruit juices (orange, peach and cranberry are all good mixers), champagne, and sparkling water/ginger ale. To make up festive bubbly cocktails for both those who are imbibing and those who arenít; just substitute champagne or sparkling water/ginger ale as needed.

The main event at any baby shower is, naturally, the requisite opening of the gifts. Make sure your guest-of-honor has a nice comfy seat around which everyone else can gather. Bring the gifts to her one by one, so she doesnít have to reach down or stretch over to heave them up herself. Itís also nice to scribble a running list of gifts and givers as she opens each goodie; thisíll make her life much easier after the partyís over, once she sits down to write thank you notes.

While oohing and ahhing over all those adorable baby items might well prove entertainment a-plenty for your crowd, you might also decide youíd like to incorporate some baby-centric activities into the festivities. Simple games that get the group interacting might be a good idea if youíre hosting a mixed crowd of people who donít already know each other. Just be sure to keep the games short, and please, avoid any that might humiliate the guest of honor (guess-the-belly-girth, for example, may well be interpreted by the expectant mom as just plain cruel). If games just arenít your thing, you might also get a little arts-and-craftsy with the baby shower; provide plain white onesies along with fabric paint and markers, and encourage guests to decorate them so that mom will have a stash of onesies to add to the babyís wardrobe, and a happy reminder of her baby shower as well.

don't stop toddling: this way for more!


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