Summer is in full swing, and so are all the parties – bridal showers, weddings, graduation parties
, maybe even salah and hijab parties
for our growing young Muslims. Speaking of parties, my family and I threw my sister a baby shower last weekend, and I knew I had to add it to my list of party planning
Planning her baby shower was more than just a party for me. I am the eldest amongst my siblings, with two sisters and a younger brother. As the first to get married and have children, my siblings have enjoyed their roles as aunties and uncle. Now, with my sister expecting her first child, I finally get to enjoy the role of aunty for the first time.
Theme, Decor & Location
When it came time to think about the theme of the baby shower, my sisters and I knew we wanted to jump on the “We can bearly wait
” bandwagon. We already had the perfect oversized teddy bear from when my daughter was born in my parent’s storage, and the combination of neutrals and browns went flawlessly with my sister’s apartment setup.
I’ve also been loving balloon garland kits
for all of my party needs. They are affordable and accessible through Amazon, your local party supply store, Target, Walmart, or you can make them yourself! I also added babies’ breath in the flower vases for a whimsical floral touch.
Image source: Danah Shuli
We knew the baby shower was going to be a small intimate gathering with family and close friends. For this reason, my sister’s apartment was the perfect location. This also made it easier to set up the day before and for the mom-to-be to get ready in the comfort of her own home. When it comes to theme, decor and location, considering the preferences of the mother-to-be and what she can manage in her condition are the key tips to keep in mind.
Food & Dessert
We opted for a midday baby shower, so keeping the food and dessert light and simple made it easy to plan what we wanted to serve. Grazing boards
have been a huge trend for some time now and for good reason. They are the perfect snacking station for any type of party and can be tailored to your liking.
We kept things simple with a selection of cheeses, crackers, fruits, nuts and chocolate-covered blueberries. I also made tiramisu cups, which I thought would be a cute addition to the colors and theme. My talented mom, Chef Mama G
, made a delicious olive oil cake filled with fresh raspberry and cherry compote. For a little something savory, we went for chicken musakhan rolls
and a side salad.
As for drinks, we served this
delicious fruit punch in a dispenser alongside water. Instead of favors, we opted for themed sugar cookies that were honestly too pretty to eat!
If you’re not sure where to begin in terms of what types of foods you should serve, or how to display them, here are a few tips to help you with your party planning.
- Think about the time of your party to help you decide the type of meal you are serving. I have been to baby showers that are late in the afternoon where the hosts served a late lunch type of meal. I have also been to a brunch-style shower. Like I mentioned above, my sister’s baby shower was midday, so we opted for finger foods. You could also choose to just have dessert. It is totally up to you! As a rule of thumb, I would say the time you decide to have your baby shower will dictate the food served.
- We have all seen those perfectly curated parties with beautifully laid out foods and desserts on social media. It seems intimidating and hard to recreate but with a few cheat tricks you can impress your guests with an aesthetically pleasing spread.
- It’s all about dimension. Grazing boards and food displays are all about interesting placement and height. Play around with cake stands, trays, wooden platforms and shelving that you may already have in your kitchen.
- Mix it up. After you’ve thought about the types of desserts and foods you’d like to serve, mix up the way in which you want to display them. Puddings and cakes such as tiramisu and other soft cream based desserts can be easily made into individualized cups for guests to grab and go. Other items such as fruits, cheeses and crackers can be laid out onto a flat surface. Dips can be placed in cute bowls. Sandwiches and appetizers can be served on trays and plates. The idea is to have a variety of ways that you display your food items to provide a visually appealing ensemble.
Image source: Danah Shuli
- Pro tip: If you are not in the mood to bake, your local Costco (or other grocery warehouses) is a great spot to grab individual desserts in cute glass cups and containers that will help you achieve this look without the kitchen hassle! Costco is also a great place for ready made quick meals, dips and snacks. Pasta and orzo salads can easily be placed into cups. Store-bought hummus, guacamole and spinach dip are a great addition to grazing boards or a buffet. The freezer section also has a great selection of finger foods such as spring rolls and shrimp tempura. These warehouse stores are also the perfect place to buy your fruits, vegetables and crackers for grazing boards.
Games & Guest Book
What’s a party without some games? Take it up a notch and have simple prizes prepared for the winners! We snagged travel-sized lotions and hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works and wrapped them in cute gift bags.
Picking the perfect name for one’s baby takes a lot of thought, and sometimes the parents run out of ideas! We had a jar for guests to suggest names for the baby to help out the parents-to-be. And if you know me, you know that I love giving and receiving books for my children. Start your little one’s library off by providing a cute book for guests to write messages that, Insha’Allah, your bundle of joy will look back on and cherish.
Baby Shower Games Ideas
*Lists, questions and free printables
can be found with a quick google search and on Pinterest.
- Don’t say baby! As each guest arrives, hand them a clothespin to put on. The objective of the game is to avoid saying the word “baby”. If you hear someone say the word, snag their clothes pin. The guest with the most pins at the end of the party wins.
- Who said it? Ask the parents a list of parenthood and baby-related questions before the party. Take note of who answered each question. At the baby shower, ask the same set of questions to your guests, and ask them to guess if the mom or dad-to-be provided the answer. The guest with the most correct answers wins. For the baby shower, you can either print out the same list of questions for guests to write their answers on or make little “mama” and “baba” signs that guests can hold up after each question is asked.
Image source: Danah Shuli
- The price is right. Have a list of baby essentials ready and note the prices of each item before the party. Guests guess the price of each item and the grand total. The person with the closest total wins.
- Measure the belly. Have each guest guess the size of mom’s waist by cutting a ribbon to the length of their guess (without actually measuring the baby bump). The guest with the closest measurement wins.
The Baby Registry
As a first time mom, the amount of baby “essentials” and endless options out there is overwhelming. I remember my first visit to Buy Buy Baby – my husband and I left overwhelmed and empty handed and opted to go get ice cream instead. There is just so much stuff to sift through, so many brands and options for each item, and so many reviews to read in order to make the right decision.
From my experience, asking friends and family who have had kids is the best way to go, as well as reading product reviews.
I helped my sister by narrowing down the most necessary items that I personally used and advised her to stay away from the fancy tools and gadgets or unnecessary items that end up on a shelf or drawer taking up space. I also advised her to add everything she wants to add, regardless of the price point.
For me the registry acts like a checklist of items I want where I can keep track of what I’ve been gifted and what else I need to purchase on my own. Most baby stores will also give you a discount or coupons to use if you purchase things off your own registry. So don’t shy away from adding those pricey items, such as a baby monitor, stroller and car seat. Those items also make great group gifts that your guests may want to pitch into.
Baby gear can be pricey, so it’s also a great idea to have items with varying price points to give guests the flexibility of purchasing items depending on their budget. Things like pacifiers, clothing, baby and bath toys, storage caddies and baskets are must haves that don’t come with hefty price tags.
Together with her friends who also have kids, I think we came up with a great list of items for my sister’s guests to choose from that will benefit her baby and her. I also recommended for her to have two registries, one on Amazon and one from our local buybuy Baby. This allows guests more options to choose from in terms of types of products but also better shipping for those who have Amazon Prime, as well as better prices on items depending on the category.
Image source: Danah Shuli
Having an Amazon option is also good for guests who can’t make it but still want to send a gift. Below is a condensed list of some essentials I think would be great to add to your next baby shower registry.
- Onesies and sleepers in newborn & 0-3 sizes
- Bottles & bottle cleaning brush/rack
- Burp clothes and bibs
- Swaddle & receiving blankets
- Diaper bag
- Car seat & stroller travel system
- Pack and Play
- Infant wrap & baby carrier
Alhamdulillah, my sister’s baby shower was simple, sweet and wonderful. We got to shower her with love and lots of du’a for a safe delivery and righteous offspring. If you or someone you know is expecting a baby soon, I hope this post provides some useful and creative tips for throwing them the perfect baby shower!
To all of the mother’s to be, may Allah (S) ease the rest of your pregnancy, grant you an easy delivery, quick recovery and healthy baby. Ameen.