Showered with love

Celebration inspiration for parents and babies-to-be.
Produced by Lauren Brockman
The mamas and the papas: Invitation

Baby showers aren’t just for moms—dads deserve to get in on the fun too! A laid-back gathering with guys and gals sends the guests of honor off into parenthood with style.

Convey the dude-friendly vibe with an invite that’s not too precious. 

Minted invitations, $47 for 15

The mamas and the papas: Entertainment

Partygoers will enjoy perusing this witty manual, which ensures parents don’t take themselves too seriously when it comes to child-rearing. Leave it out on the beverage table for folks to flip through as they wait for their turn at the punch bowl. 

Quirk Books manual, $17

The mamas and the papas: Food

Keep things casually cool with a backyard barbecue. Consider a burger bar with all the fixings (from lettuce and tomatoes to bacon and gouda), or serve chicken and veggie kabobs for easy eating. 

Uncommon Goods apron, $100

The mamas and the papas: Play list

 

Music sets the mood, so prepare a playlist of upbeat jams loosely related to the topic at hand. Here are 10 to get you started:

1. Baby I Love You (Aretha Franklin)
2. Baby Love (Supremes)
3. Baby (Justin Bieber)
4. I Got You Babe (Sonny and Cher)
5. Baby It’s You (The Shirelles)
6. Baby, I Need Your Lovin’ (Johnny Rivers)
7. Baby, Baby (Amy Grant)
8. Baby Now that I’ve Found You (The Foundations)
9. Always Be My Baby (Mariah Carey)
10. Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice)

Tivoli Audio radio, $180

The mamas and the papas: Game

The menfolk may turn up their noses at typical shower games, but everyone can enjoy a friendly bet. Circle baby’s due date on a calendar, then ask attendees to write their name on the date they think baby will arrive. Whoever predicts correctly can win bragging rights, cash (if you decide to up the ante) or first dibs on visiting the new babe.

Paper Source calendar, $30

Just a sprinkle: Invitation

Celebrate a second (or third, or fourth) pregnancy with a small-scale fete that’s less about gifting gear and more about making the veteran mom feel special.

Tiny Prints invitations, $22 for 10

Just a sprinkle: Favor

Confetti makes everything more fun, and these push pops are filled with the prettiest bits of paper and sparkles. 

Thimble Press confetti pop, $8 at shopsweetlulu.com

Just a sprinkle: Gift

Because subsequent babies are subjected to lots of hand-me-downs, treat the wee one to a special something that’s just for her, like a monogrammed blanket or Lucite letter for her shelf. 

C. Wonder letter, $68

Just a sprinkle: Dessert

An insulated ice cream container is ideal for keeping frozen treats cold on the buffet table. 

Zak Designs ice cream keeper, $16

Just a sprinkle: Topping

You can’t have a sprinkle without sprinkles! Provide plain cupcakes for the big-siblings-to-be to decorate, or serve hot chocolate with whipped cream and colorful sugar crystals on top. 

Confection Craft sprinkles, $5 per jar at naturalcandystore.com

Just a sprinkle: Clean-up

Colorfully modern dishtowels make for fun cleanup during the party, and afterward, they’ll be a sweet reminder of the occasion—even when mom’s using them to dry bottles at 2 a.m. 

Kauniste dish towel, $21.

Just a sprinkle: Thank you notes

Stamp plain notecards with these delectable treats to add your many (many, many) thanks. Your heartfelt and handmade thank-yous will be ready to send in no time. 

Yellow Owl Workshop stamp, $13

It's easy being green: Invitation

Enjoy an eco-conscious assembly that honors the mom-to-be and Mother Earth.

With every order, Paper Culture plants a tree in a U.S. National Forest that can be dedicated to a special person or family. (We’re thinking the mom- and baby-to-be might be a nice option here.) Additionally, the invitations and envelopes are made with 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper and alternative non-tree fibers.

Paper Culture invitations, $26 for 10

It's easy being green: Cutlery

These biodegradable utensils are made of grade A birch and printed with nontoxic inks. They’re an earth-conscious alternative to plasticware; plus, they’re cute to boot! 

Sucre Shop wooden utensils, $10 for 20

It's easy being green: Centerpiece

A diaper cake is a go-to shower centerpiece, and this one is made with fashion-forward eco-disposables that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.  

The Honest Company diaper cake, $125

It's easy being green: Refreshments

Skip the Solo cups, and serve drinks in vintage-inspired glass pint jars, which you’ll find a dozen uses for after the party. Adding patterned paper straws makes the display extra festive. 

Ball Jar pint jars, $14 for 6
Shop Sweet Lulu paper straws, $4 for 20

It's easy being green: Table trimmings

Instead of buying fresh-cut flowers that will last a week at most, use succulents to trim the tables. They’re easy to care for and will bring a little green into your home long term. 

 IKEA succulents, $2 each

It's easy being green: Gift

Locally and sustainably made gifts are ideal for planet-conscious mamas. This 100 percent organic cotton bodysuit is printed with environmentally friendly ink and made right here in the USA. Plus, the sentiment is spot on. 

Locally Grown bodysuit, $24

It's easy being green: Favor

Send guests home with wildflower seeds, so  they can grow something beautiful right along with the mama-to-be.

Botanical Paperworks favor, $2

Book it: Invitation

Enlist friends and family to jump-start baby’s library. In lieu of a card, ask guests to bring their favorite storybook for baby.

Little Golden Books are a childhood classic, so these invites are just the thing to get guests inspired.

Room1117 printable invitation, $18

Book it: Bookends

Use bookends to collect and display the gifted tomes in one place. They’ll make a great addition to the nursery shelves post-party. 

Lolli Living bookends, $40

Book it: Gift tags

Set out bookplates, so guests can label their contributions. Encourage them to write a short note on the inside cover, too, so baby will be reminded how much she’s loved every time she pulls a book off the shelf.

Baby Gardner bookplates, $12 for 15

Book it: Refreshments

There’s something about a pot of tea and a good book that just seems right. Pour from this throwback kettle to add to the cozy ambiance. 

Sagaform teapot $50 at burkedecor.com

Book it: Dessert

Offer an assortment of cookies to complement the tea. This dish, inspired by bedtime favorite Where the Wild Things Are, is the perfect serving platter.

Peppermint and Swish plate, from $15

Book it: Favor

Bookmark favors are bound to please literature enthusiasts. Slip these oversized clips over a rainbow of paint chips (pick up a handful at your local hardware store), and add a short note of gratitude. 

Super Little bookmarks, $6 each

Surprising twist: Invitation

Share baby’s sex at a highly anticipated event—invite guests to find out what mom and dad will be pushing in their baby carriage. 

Sara Moore invitations, $2 each

Surprising twist: Refreshments

Custom bottle labels make even inexpensive wine feel fancy. (Beer labels are available, too, in case that’s more your speed.) 

Pinhole Press bottle labels, $10 for 9

Surprising twist: Decor

Whether hung inside or outside, string lights make everything seem more festive.  

Bulbrite lights, $120 at casa.com

Surprising twist: Game

Get your guests involved! Set out a chalkboard (you can use it in baby’s playroom later), and have guests make a tally mark in the boy or girl column. It’ll be fun to see what everyone’s thinking—and how many of them are right!

IKEA easel, $15

Surprising twist: Cake

At the telling 20-week ultrasound, have your OB write “boy” or “girl” on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. Then, take the envelope to your local bakery, and ask them to create a cake with either a pink or blue inside based on your doctor’s note. When you cut into the cake at the party, baby’s sex will be revealed!

Psst! Not sure you want to find out the sex with an audience watching? No worries. You and your partner can be clued in ahead of time, and the party can simply serve as an opportunity to share the news with friends and family.

Surprising twist: Serving tray

A black and white theme keeps it gender neutral prior to the big reveal, and it also allows the pink or blue to really pop when the time comes. 

Piano Nobile serving tray, $40

Surprising twist: Insta-camera

For instant access to lasting memories, ask a friend to snap a few Polaroids as the parents-to-be cut into the cake.

Polaroid instant camera, $178

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