Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

Nora Ephron said that “if pregnancy were a book, they would cut the last two chapters,” but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you have a relative or loved one who’s expecting, you can help make the last stretch of pregnancy more memorable with a creative, captivating baby shower. You don’t have to go over-the-top to make an impression, you just need a solid theme, simple supplies and a fun attitude.

Dreamy Theme

Storks, birds and bees are so passé. A shower theme should reflect the parents’ taste or personality, not look like a generic ode to stereotypes. If the parents are into environmentalism and green living, choose “new growth” as a theme and hand out potted herbs as favors. If they’re sports fans, why not choose a “home run” theme and get specially made jerseys from a company like Fans Edge? If the mommy-to-be is an artist or musician, make a “little Picasso” or Beatles-themed party. Deck the walls with berets, mini instruments, musical notes or band posters.

Unconventional Location

Tea parlors and floral living rooms aren’t the only places a shower can take place. A destination baby shower can be as fun as it is useful. If you want to show the new mom the time of her life, throw the baby shower at a spa, a restaurant that can cater to her cravings, or even a hotel bar (during the day) like the swanky W resorts. A shower can take place anywhere, as long as the location’s management signs off on the festivities. If friends and family chip in, the cost won’t overwhelm.

Activities Galore

Baby showers are notorious for diaper-related raffles and uncomfortable games about body functions and weight gain. Don’t be that kind of baby shower. Parents.com suggests some unconventional baby shower games that guests might actually enjoy:

Name That Baby Tune

Google songs with the word “baby” in them (this isn’t hard, plenty of songs have the word baby wedged in somewhere). Then make an iTunes mix of the song without the lyrics. Create an answer sheet for the guests, play each song clip for ten seconds, and see who can get the most correct.

Preggers Twister

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” created this game, so you know it’s good. You will need: a game of Twister, wrist weights and a fanny pack for all the participants. Corale the able-bodied adults, use fanny packs to secure the pillow around their waist, and place weights in the pillow. Once they’re all suited up and ready to play, the guest-of-honor gets to squeal with delight as she watches her non-pregnant friends attempt to maneuver with the extra weight and bulk.

Personalized Favors

You don’t have to hand out puppies and iPads to every guest, but you can score an “A” in heartfelt gifting with creative party favors. Browse Partypail.com baby shower favors or Martha Stewart Baby Shower Ideas online for more specific ideas. Make sure to select something that matches your theme and color scheme.

For an outgoing group, rent a photo booth and set silly, themed costumes outside for the guests to wear (wacky hats, boas, etc). Make sure mommy-to-be poses with everyone. Print the photos out and place them in frames for guests before they leave. Friends and family will love to hang onto this memory to reflect upon as the baby grows up.

Photo credits:

“Mommy’s little major leaguer” Flickr image by Kelly K

“Get ready to parrrrrty, new mom style.” Flickr image by Key Foster

“See? Everyone loves this idea.” Flickr image by Simon Cumming