You can’t always prevent stuff going terribly wrong when you’re organizing a baby shower.
My sister-in-law’s baby shower was to take place at our parents-in-law’s place. I had the cake all baked and decorated and was ready to go help with the rest of the shower set up.
But I didn’t have a vehicle that day for some reason. Mother-in-law came to pick me up with their “happy van.” Besides their smaller car, they kept a large van for family outings. She decided to drive it to come pick me up, probably so the cake could be set in the flat back all nice and safe, instead of in a trunk where we didn’t know what was going on with it.
Mistake number one.
We were cruising down Grand Avenue at a nice clip, relaxed and planning our next steps in the shower set up process. Suddenly the light ahead turns orange. Mother begins to brake. The car ahead of us brakes harder, because the cars ahead of him are braking very hard.
Mother squeezed the life out of the brakes so as not to hit the rapidly slowing cars. And…
the cake began it’s relatively uninhibited advance to the front of the van.
This was a cake I had spent hours and hours of careful effort on. Four pieces. Each one a letter shaped to make the word BABY. Each one a different pastel color, with individual sweet baby decorations.
My pride and joy.
And it was on a crash course, with me strapped into the front seat and no way to practise life saving skills, knowing my day’s work was going to crash and burn before this was all over.
The van came to a stop. Mother and I looked at each other, both afraid to peer down at the wreckage around us. So the light changed, and we drove on.
Now our planning turned towards “saving the cake.” Brainstorming ideas to salvage the remains and make something workable. If not the lovely, detailed BABY, what could we do?
“Y” was beyond resuscitation. One “B” was surprisingly intact. The “A” was, well, sort of okay. If I did a little (lot) of cosmetic surgery, we could use the “A”. We decided to bake a “C” and have a cake that was “ABC” instead of “BABY.” Very hard on the OCD tendencies when it came to my creations, but a good lesson in making lemonade out of lemons. We even had some decor that had baby blocks with letters on them. We sprinkled some real wooden blocks about, and pulled our new decor together.
The shower was a success. The baby is 34 years old now.
Organizing a Baby Shower for Success
Even though there may (will) be glitches, it’s good to organize as well as you can.
Let’s go back to day one of the Baby Shower planning steps. We talked about picking a date and a theme for the shower.
We mentioned consulting the mommy-to-be about the date that works best for her.
According to thespruce.com, the shower should ideally happen early in the third trimester of the pregnancy.
A baby shower should not be held before the twenty week mark. Showers held too late, after 38 weeks, run the risk of the baby joining you for the baby shower. Use these two marks as your best guide.
Different Timing for Baby Showers
A family may have a variety of reasons for holding a baby shower earlier or later in the pregnancy. Some of these reasons might be:
- Expecting Twins or Other Multiples: When a mother is expecting twins or other multiples, you might hold a baby shower very late in the second trimester or earlier in the third trimester. Since twins tend to come a bit earlier this can prevent mom from missing her baby shower because the babies have been born. The mother may have to go on bed rest later in the pregnancy. This also gives her a bit of time to prepare, going through what she needs to get her nursery ready for the multiples.
- Religious or Cultural Beliefs: Some cultures and religions have taboos against having a baby shower before the birth of a baby. This may also simply be a family tradition. The baby shower may be held after the birth and be called a naming or other welcoming ceremony. The benefit is that the baby can usually attend the party.
- Geographic Location: If the family is scattered geographically, you might have the baby shower at a time and location that can allow the most family members to attend. This will also allow the baby shower to be held at a time when the pregnant mother is most able to travel comfortably. It could be at a family reunion that was already scheduled or that you have every year.
- Seasonal, Holiday, or Other Gatherings: Sometimes if the family is far-flung, having a baby shower around a holiday or other family gathering where most people will already be together is appropriate. It can take some planning to do both together and make each celebration special.
Bring Mommy-to-be in on the organizing
if the shower is not meant to be a surprise. If it will be a surprise shower, ask the relatives of the honoree to suggest a guest list.
Collect guest’s addresses if the invitations will be mailed individually. Sometimes at our church, all the women are invited to a shower, and then one invitation is placed on the bulletin board, and individual invitations are mailed only to relatives and close friends from a distance.
Our Geometric Baby Shower Planner theme includes a page for Mommy-to-be to fill in. Download and print it to include in your planner binder.