Ask Design Mom: Baby Shower

February 2, 2007

Ask-Design-Mom Question:
y friend Amanda is 4 1/2 months pregnant and I thought it’d be good to start thinking about her baby shower. She is due in June. I’m wondering what you think about themes and gift themes and games for baby showers. I want her shower to blow the guests away. Thanks! Sincerely, Abigail Rose

Design Mom Answer:
Oooh! Baby Showers are the best. It’s an opportunity for a gathering of great friends and can be as elegant as you please — because it’s pre-kids. There are a million great ideas out there — many of them based on the handy knowledge that ultrasounds provide. I’ll keep the ideas here neutral.

One idea I love is a tea-party. Jordan of Oh Happy Day hosted one recently and it was so pretty. (Look up “shower” on Jordan’s blog for lots of pictures and ideas.) Find/beg/borrow some gorgeous china. Make delicate sandwiches and shortbread cookies. Decorate with fresh flowers in small, tight arrangements. Serve rasberry tea to the expectant mother to get her ready for labor. If you can find an antique english baby buggy, decorate with ribbons and put on display to hold the presents. If the invitation list includes enthusiastic sorts of people, ask them to wear dainty gloves and hats. Send guests home with a beautifully packages box of chamomile tea to relax them after a day thinking about babies.

I would love to throw someone this this French Country shower showcased at Martha. “This shower theme was inspired by the French countryside in summer, where the fields are carpeted in lavender and the sky is nursery blue.” You can read about it and see more pictures here.

Another great idea is a Baby’s Library party. Guests can bring their favorite childhood picture books as gifts and for the activity you can read a few aloud. Decorate with stacks of thick volumes which you’ve temporarily covered in gorgeous, printed, pastel papers — remember covering your textbooks in high school? Same technique, but much prettier. Guests can recommend additional favorite books on a stack of elegant cards. Invitations can be designed as bookmarks.

I also love the idea of a Nesting theme. Mom will definitely be nesting as her due date approaches and this party will be entirely appropriate. Keep the invitations and decorations bird-themed — easy to do right now with birds available on every conceivable drygood. The favors can be tiny faux nests filled with pale jordan almonds.

If this celebration was for a mom with other children or a mom who has had multiple showers and is well-stocked with supplies, I would recommend a Pampering Shower. Keep the focus on mom. Set her up on a comfy couch or daybed with lots of pillows. Bring her an early gift of luxe pj’s and robe so she has something elegant to lounge in. Have small silver platters of fresh fruit and good chocolate around the room. Bring in a stylist to give mom-to-be a mani/pedi while she rests. Place baby name books around the room to prompt conversation. Pass around a luxurious journal for the guests to record a compliment about some aspect of mom-to-be’s mothering style — to build her confidence up before the new baby joins the clan. End by taking her other kids for the afternoon so she can have a nap.

Because the baby is due in June, you could consider an Everything is Coming Up Roses party. Deck the house in roses. Send small pots of miniature roses home as favors. On second thought, since your last name is Rose, maybe this party would seem like it’s about you. We’ll save this idea for later. . .

Well, Abigail, I hope those ideas get you inspired and I hope Design Mom Readers will add their own brilliant ideas in the comments. Best of luck!

Photos from Martha Stewart.

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June 26, 2010 at 7:01 am

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Abbey Road February 2, 2007 at 11:41 am

Dear Design Mom-

Thank you so much for posting your ideas for an awesome baby shower. I will be getting together with my friends to decide which ideas we want to use. I appreciate it so much! I wish I was the only one in charge and that you and my sister Lindsey were here to help me throw a real bash!

Thank you,
Abigail Rose


2 mull-berry February 2, 2007 at 3:24 pm

All these ideas are great … love the petit four ABC blocks! I hosted a baby shower last year for my cousin’s wife. The one thing we had in common was Girl Scout camp … so that was the basis of our theme … “Camp Baby” While not as elegant as some of your ideas, the guest of honor loved it. Check it out at:


3 lisa v. clark February 2, 2007 at 3:27 pm

I threw a “favorite book” shower for my friend and it’s been my favorite shower of all time. I got a huge basket and the guests brought their all-time favorite book for the new baby. No repeats, surprisingly, just a great library to start things off! The guests wrote cute messages in the books (after we’d established there were no duplicates), which makes it extra memorable.


4 Queen Scarlett February 2, 2007 at 3:45 pm

My last shower was a children’s book shower and I LOVED it. I already had all the baby necesities from my first and so this one was pure… love.

It was also a pampering one too… because I got a GREAT spa gift certificate…still haven’t finished using yet.

I love the tea party idea…been wanting to do that for someone.


5 aubrey February 4, 2007 at 7:25 pm

what GREAT ideas design mom! i threw a shower for a friend last year and it was a pampering shower where she sat in a seat of honor with her feet in a footbath and a crown on her head. then she got a mani and a pedi and hand and foot massages. for food we did fondue dipping and all of her favorites. it was not the most fancy, but definitely the most fun shower.


6 hiphostess February 6, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Hi Design Mom –
Fantastic post! Such great ideas :) I really love the baby block petit fours too – is that a product that’s available to purchase or just a super-cute stock photo? I would love to order some of those for a shower I have coming up…Thanks!


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