Attending a baby shower? Look up the mom to be!
Second Trimester

Q&A: Planning A Baby Shower?

What are important things to think about when planning a baby shower?

For you? Relaxing. You're in charge of keeping yourself and baby healthy, and enjoying the shower. Let whoever is planning the shower take care of the worrying.

Now, if you're asking because you are the host, these tips will help you deal with the basics. Don't stress too much, though — the love, support and company of friends and family is far more important than any gift, theme or hors d’oeuvres

Time it right
Best time for a baby shower? Somewhere in the last trimester. Allow a few weeks' cushion from the due date — mom's water breaking during cake and coffee might make a great story, but not so much a great party. Having the shower too early, though (within the first half of pregnancy or so) could be — quite literally — counting eggs before they're hatched.

Plan ahead
Get the invites out at least six weeks ahead of time. Don't forget to include directions and your phone number or e-mail.

Be creative
Themes are great (think tea party, the nursery's decor, or baby brunch), but if the thought makes you squirm, try simply picking a color or style of food to plan the party around.

Great gifts
This starts with the registry, of course — the best gift is always one that's wanted. It's also fun to ask each guest to bring a smaller, themed present — favorite childhood book, homemade frozen dinner, IOU for future babysitting or chore help, etc.

Make it fun
Even if an elaborate themed party seems like too much work (or too corny), it's a good idea to plan some kind of activity. Try setting up a mini-spa with manis, pedis and massages. Or, if you're good with thread and a thimble, send each guest a quilt square along with their invitation, ask them to personalize it and bring to the party, and then sew them all together to make a keepsake quilt for the mom-to-be.

By Paula Kashtan