With all the elaborate ideas on Pinterest for baby showers, it’s easy to go over the top when planning a friend’s shower. The possibilities are endless and the cost can add up quickly. The pressure to throw the baby shower of the year and be the talk of your social circle can be irresistible.
When throwing a baby shower for a close friend last year, I also felt the anxiety and had to remind myself what was most important: celebrating the mommy-to-be and anticipating her sweet bundle. I managed to plan a shower that incorporated her nursery theme while being laid back and enjoyable, all without breaking the bank.
How to Plan a Budget Friendly Baby Shower
If you are able, include a couple friends to host the shower with you. This is a good idea for a few reasons. First, it’s just more fun to plan together and involve more creative minds. Second, it helps to offset the cost when it’s distributed between a few people.
Another reason to have several friends throw the shower is it offers a wider pool from which to gather decorating items from around your homes. Mismatched white vases and Ball jars are adorable filled with freshly picked flowers from the garden.
Consult with the mom-to-be on her nursery theme and use things she already has to decorate or make additional decorations that can be later included in the nursery. For example, paper pom poms are so simple and sweet, and after the shower, they can be hung from the ceiling in baby’s room.
Additionally, the Dollar Store is the ideal place to get money-saving decorations and paper place settings.
Timing matters – a shower in the mid-morning or after lunch does not require a full feast. Light appetizers or a desert table would be perfect. In my experience, there is usually an abundance of food and plenty left over; don’t go overboard with too many options. Have a salty, sweet, and healthy choice as well as something to drink.
Games & Activities
It’s always a good idea to check with the mom-to-be about her preferences for shower games. I’m not a fan of them myself and I requested my baby shower to be game-free. Instead, my friend printed pages for the guests to give me advice and write notes to the baby. I still have them bound in a sweet memory book.
But if you like games, the Internet offers a plethora of free printables such as Baby Shower Bingo or The Price is Right.
I can’t remember any shower favors I have received and have never felt slighted when I didn’t receive one. Any shower I attend is to celebrate mommy and I didn’t expect to come away with a gift myself.
That being said, an alternative to a favor for each guest could be to give a small gift to only the winners of the games.
A perfect alternative to mailing invitations is E-vites. They are quicker and easier for guests to RSVP as they can simply respond to the email while saving money on postage.
Sometimes we just need permission to plan a simple, yet delightful party that sets everyone at ease, and most importantly, makes the mommy-to-be feel showered with gifts and well wishes. It doesn’t take a budget-busting baby shower to make her feel special.
Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.