New to this and need help — The Bump
Baby Showers

New to this and need help

Hello Ladies. I was a past bump poster and am now a lurker for the time being. But, I need some advice and help. 

My sister in law is pregnant and we are getting to be pretty good friends. I have offered to host a baby shower for her, last night actually. I have plenty of time since she is due in November and the party will be at the beginning of October probably. I am so excited about the idea! But, I am the only one of my friends that has a baby so far, so I don't have much practice. This will be the first baby shower I plan. And honestly, I have only been to maybe 5 baby showers in the last 5 years. So, I have a few questions. 

The main question I have is whether or not to ask my SIL what she wants at the shower. And then how to go about doing that. I want her to like the theme that I go with and the food and game ideas, etc. Is it weird to ask her what she thinks about this stuff? My mom threw my own baby shower a couple years ago and we basically planned it together (because that is what she wanted). But, I am not as close to her as I am with my mom. But it is super important to me that she loves everything. And do I just ask for her invitation list, when it gets closer? 

Obviously there is no hard and fast rule, but I would just appreciate some suggestions from people that have done this before. 

Thanks! 

Me: 28 year old SAHM/Birth Doula
DH: 30 year old pneumatic electrical engineer 
Married: October 8, 2011
DD1: September 24, 2013
BFP: June 25, 2016 and MC: July 3, 2016
DD2: April 16, 2017
BFP: November 30, 2018 EDD: August 14, 2019
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Re: New to this and need help

  • I think it's fine to ask her input on what theme(s) she likes, what food she'd like to have, cake flavors, etc. And it's fine to ask her for a guest list (though I'd tell her, "I can host X amount of people, who would you like me to invite?", just so the guest list doesn't get out of hand). 
    DS1: BFP 04/03/11 | EDD 12/02/11 | born 11/21/11 
    DS2: BFP 02/09/13 | EDD 10/26/13 | said goodbye 06/02/13
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  • It's very kind of you to ask your SIL for feedback, although it's certainly not required that you do so.  It sounds like you'll be throwing her  a lovely shower!

    I agree with @NoSugarCoating 's suggestion for asking for a guest list; setting expectations on the number of people you can host from the beginning is a great way to handle it.  The only other item your SIL should absolutely have a say in is the date.

    Good luck with the shower!
  • * lurker*

    Ask her to create a private Pinterest page for you two. Then you can incorporate things she looked into the shower.


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  • VORVOR
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    It's fine to ask.  And I very much ditto- figure out what YOU can afford to do and give her a # of people she can invite.  i fyou just say "give me a guest list" and she hands you a list of 100 people and you were expecting 30... could become an issue.
  • Lurker here - I have thrown lots of baby showers over the years.  I ask the mom what the baby room/bedding them will be.  If they are going noah's ark, I'll try to incorporate that theme with plates, napkins, etc.  If they are going non-baby type decorations, then I got with more just pretty plates, napkins, etc.  I'll ask the guest of honor if there is any specific food they want or really hate.  My last GOH, had gestational diabetes, so she specifically asked for fruit and veggie trays.     
  • I would ask for her input. I have thrown a couple of showers and have made sure that I did them more in the taste of the mother to be (but in my budget). 

    My friend and mom threw my shower. One thing I REALLY don't like, are games at showers. I would rather spend the time catching up with people and just enjoying each others company. My friend asked for my input, and I mentioned that I really didn't like baby shower games (she didn't like them either), so she was going to do a "decorate a onesie" table instead. Well, my mom trumped her on it, and did tons of games. My friend also wanted to get some input on the food, and I told her that anything was fine, but it would be cool if my mom could make this amazing salad that she had the recipe for. My mom trumped her on that one too, and did the foods that she wanted to do (my mother in law heard about it from my friend, and she made the salad and brought it......HAHA!). Anyway, the input that I gave (which was really only that I preferred no games, and that it would be awesome if the salad could be made), didn't matter in the end anyway. My poor host was pretty much pushed out of the way by my mom, and all of her ideas and how she wanted things to go. It was 90 degrees that day, and I spend most of my time participating in games that my mom said that I had to participate in, and was swollen like a balloon by the end of the day (to which, my mom informed me that I should have stayed off of my feed during the shower). I was thankful for the shower in the end, and that my mom put so much effort into everything, but I wish that it would have been a little more about visiting and less time being spent on "lets see who can change the dolls diaper the fastest with one hand". 

    So definitely ask the mother to be. Its cool when you get input that they would rather it be a little more shabby chic and less cartoony. Or if they are big into Winnie the Pooh and think that a rustic woodland theme is for the birds. Now if you ask about something like a venue and she mentions something completely over the top or way out of your price range, just take it into consideration and find something in your price range that would be like what look/feel they envisioned it. 
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  • Thank you for the advice! I am so excited! She came over this last weekend and we talked about the shower a bit. We almost nailed down the date (waiting for a friend to chose an exact wedding date). I decided to just find a location for the shower and then tell her, that way she knows how many people we can invite. I made some calls and it is going to be in a super cute room at her own church. very cheap, right by her house and family's house and it can fit a good size group, but is still cozy. hooray! 

    As far as asking for her input... I asked her when she was here if there was anything she really wanted at the shower (themes, games, etc) she didn't really have anything in mind. I asked her if there was anything she really didn't want at the shower. She listed a couple things she didn't really like. So, that was helpful. Since the shower is going to be in October I have decided to go with a fall theme. She loves fall and it should be easy enough to find decor and stuff at a reasonable price. When she finds out the gender in a couple weeks I will go the route of making it more girly or boyish. 

    So, any other advice about when I should send out invites or what kind of stuff would go with a fall theme? I know I have PLENTY of time. But, I am going to start working on it next month so I can work on it slowly, since I am super busy. Thanks again! You have been very helpful. 

    Me: 28 year old SAHM/Birth Doula
    DH: 30 year old pneumatic electrical engineer 
    Married: October 8, 2011
    DD1: September 24, 2013
    BFP: June 25, 2016 and MC: July 3, 2016
    DD2: April 16, 2017
    BFP: November 30, 2018 EDD: August 14, 2019
    BabyFruit Ticker
    DylansCandyBar
  • @mrsstuessy ; Shower invites usually go out about 4 weeks in advance.  I would look at Pinterest to get some ideas for invitations, decorations, etc.  There are tons of ideas for fall parties.  I love that you are doing a fall theme.  I'm a Florida girl, I have serious fall envy and I am nothing short of obsessed with it! 
  • @mrsstuessy my shower was also in the fall, and my mom did a "My Little Pumpkin" theme. They used pumpkins as table centerpieces, put vases of silk flowers in rich fall colors on the food table. She had a hot apple cider bar where you could add your own mix-ins -- cinnamon sticks, caramel sauce, lemon slices, spiced rum. 
    DS1: BFP 04/03/11 | EDD 12/02/11 | born 11/21/11 
    DS2: BFP 02/09/13 | EDD 10/26/13 | said goodbye 06/02/13
    Sassenach1743dparker721
  • trice0903 said:
    * lurker* Ask her to create a private Pinterest page for you two. Then you can incorporate things she looked into the shower.
    I actually disagree with this.  You have a lot of good ideas, and the way you're handling your SIL's shower sounds tasteful and lovely.  Sure... Pinterest has a lot of cool stuff and ideas.  But it also tends to normalize over-the-top and extreme stuff.

    Just use your best judgment about what would make a nice shower.  It sounds like you have really good judgment... and I can't say the same for people on Pinterest.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

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  • @mrsstuessy my shower was also in the fall, and my mom did a "My Little Pumpkin" theme. They used pumpkins as table centerpieces, put vases of silk flowers in rich fall colors on the food table. She had a hot apple cider bar where you could add your own mix-ins -- cinnamon sticks, caramel sauce, lemon slices, spiced rum. 

    I adore this "my little pumpkin" theme! So cute!!!
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  • trice0903 said:
    * lurker* Ask her to create a private Pinterest page for you two. Then you can incorporate things she looked into the shower.
    I actually disagree with this.  You have a lot of good ideas, and the way you're handling your SIL's shower sounds tasteful and lovely.  Sure... Pinterest has a lot of cool stuff and ideas.  But it also tends to normalize over-the-top and extreme stuff.

    Just use your best judgment about what would make a nice shower.  It sounds like you have really good judgment... and I can't say the same for people on Pinterest.
    She actually doesn't even have pinterest, so it doesn't matter. When she was over I did show her a few things on Pinterest. She thought they were pretty cool. But I really don't think she is going to be expecting anything over the top. 

    Since I have decided on a theme that I just know she will LOVE I have decided to keep pretty much everything a secret. I think it will be more fun this way. I know the few things she doesn't like and she has given me total free reign over everything else. Obviously if I am really questioning any choices I will ask her to be sure. But, I think she has so much to think about right now I am just going to do my thing and hopefully surprise her with a super cute and fun shower. 

    Thanks for all the help! I LOVE the ideas of pumpkins. :)

    Me: 28 year old SAHM/Birth Doula
    DH: 30 year old pneumatic electrical engineer 
    Married: October 8, 2011
    DD1: September 24, 2013
    BFP: June 25, 2016 and MC: July 3, 2016
    DD2: April 16, 2017
    BFP: November 30, 2018 EDD: August 14, 2019
    BabyFruit Ticker
    DylansCandyBar
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