Baby Shower Do’s and Don’ts

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We had some fun today thinking about baby shower games and were delighted to find that there are tons of them on the web. Some require a little crafty know-how, but many don’t.

One thing, though, we did notice is that most of the how-to and mommy blogs we visited start with the assumption that everyone enjoys these games. They don’t. So, if you’re planning a shower, spend some time thinking about your guests and whether they’d really appreciate playing admittedly hokey (but fun) games. It’s our experience that most will get into the spirit of things, but use some judgment when planning the shower.

A second point to consider is the type of game. We were a little appalled at some of the game suggestions. A recommended bingo game, for example, suggests filling out registry items in the blank squares and then checking them off as the mom-to-be opens her presents. The website recommending this touted it as “a classic shower game designed to engage guests in gift opening.”

Moms-to-be DO have needs and they have a lot of them. Infant clothes and accessories. Diapers. Bath tubs, towels and washcloths. Baby carriers. Blankets. And, so on and on and on. And, most givers of shower presents do want to give the expectant Mom what she needs. That’s the whole point of a shower.

There are plenty of ways to learn IN ADVANCE what Mom needs. Baby registries. Gift registries. And, of course, just asking her or a close friend or family member. The shower hostess could even distribute a list with the invitations.

But, reviewing the gifts against some sort of list during the shower strikes us as the tiniest bit greedy. And, it could too easily result in awkwardness. What if Mom doesn’t get the presents she wanted? What if the bingo card isn’t filled?

A similar game we saw on a number of websites is guessing the price of certain baby items. In tough economic times, it’s unlikely that every guest will bring something expensive. Don’t take the chance of embarrassing any of your guests.

Don’t get us wrong. Again, this is a case of knowing your guests. If you’re sure no one will take offense and you want to play this kind of game. Go for it. But, do give it some thought. After all your hard work in planning and giving a shower, you don’t want to leave a negative impression with some of your guests.

Finally, choose your moments and don’t force it. If it’s clear your guests aren’t enjoying the games, just let the games go. Pass some finger food and/or offer non-pregnant attendees a glass of wine or beer. Most of these games are designed to be icebreakers – to get people talking and having a good time. If they’re already having a good time, why interrupt? Keep the games for the moment when there is a lull in the conversation.

That’s our advice. Now, for some fun. Here is a list of some of the best websites we found that describe shower games. Yes, some of them are repetitive, but if you’re new to planning a shower, they may be helpful. Many of them also offer terrific advice for new and expectant mothers.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/pippa/fun-baby-shower-games#.brp0WL8A4w
http://www.today.com/parents/baby-shower-game-ideas-2D80218672
http://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/genuinely-fun-baby-shower-games/slide/2
http://www.momtastic.com/life/541581-baby-shower-games/?slideshow=1363#/slide/15
http://www.beau-coup.com/baby_shower_games.htm
http://www.parents.com/baby/shower/games/fun-baby-shower-games/#page=1