Sipping tea and eating petit fours is a lovely way to spend a baby shower, but it’s not very exciting. If the baby showers you’ve been to lately have blended together in your memory as quiet affairs spent making small talk with Aunt Ida and fawning over impractical baby shoes, then keep reading because I’m here to tell you that they don’t have to be this way.
My girlfriends and I pride ourselves on throwing each other creative and memorable showers (and now sprinkles for subsequent babies), and I’m sharing our favorites here. These are the ones that gave us the most inside jokes, the most laughs, the most memories. We all know that babies are a bigger life change than marriage will ever be, so giving the new mama one last hurrah only makes sense.
- Hire man servants. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m not talking about strippers (we’ll get to that later). What heavily pregnant woman doesn’t want to feel like a queen, doted on by adoring gentlemen? Manservants can make this happen. For one of our showers, we had a cocktail/ mocktail party at a friend’s place. We got dolled up, played some shower games and hired two man servants to act as waiters, bartenders, and photographers for the party. Why not hire actual waiters, bartenders and photographers, you ask? Well, those people are not paid to furnish all guests with gentlemanly compliments and are not guaranteed to be pleasant looking. It was silly and a little awkward at first, but we quickly got used to having cocktails in our hands at the snap of our fingers.
- Go on a trip. Baby showers are the perfect excuse for a ladies-only getaway. Trips are also a great way to throw joint showers for two or more pregnant friends or when someone else is celebrating a different life event like a birthday, marriage, you name it. We’ve rented a house in Carmel that involved lots of girl talk, meals cooked together, shopping, and the beach. We’ve also had more raucous adventures in Vegas, spending the day poolside in a cabana and dressing to the nines for dinner at night. Crazy nightclubs were not on the agenda for these thirty-somethings who also wanted to catch up on some sleep, but the party atmosphere did not disappoint, as we got to let our hair down and not find spit up in it.
- Go wine tasting. We reserve this one for our friends who are comfortable sipping a little wine in their third trimester. Really, though, it’s not about the wine. It’s about spending the day in a beautiful place with good company. Transportation is always easier when one of the pregnant guests volunteers to be the designated driver, but BeMyDD is a great service to use, if all of the ladies plan to taste. There are so many good wineries to try, but Francis Ford Coppola Winery stands out for its amenities. This unique spot has a pool and full service restaurant, giving it more of a resort feel and making it a one-stop shop for the day.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Some healthy competition among friends is always fun, but who really wants to play guess-what-type-of-melted-candy-is-in-this-diaper? Mr. Treasure Hunt has pre-made hunts for various neighborhoods around San Francisco, which became such a fun way for us to explore the city that we thought we knew so well. We used customized bracelets like these to designate teams. After the hunt, we debriefed as a whole group, the winners collected their spoils, and we chatted over cake and presents.
- Go to the spa, maybe a naked one. There are so many fabulous spas all over the city and many, like Nob Hill Spa, that offer private rooms for large groups. Kabuki Springs and Spa provides a more authentic experience, as the communal baths are open only to women on Sundays and bathing suits are optional. Our group stayed modest and wore suits, but plenty of ladies do not. Think of it as a day to celebrate the female form and all the amazing things it can do.
- Hire a stripper. Yes, you read that right. We did it for the shock value and were not disappointed. Who expects a male stripper in a police uniform to show up at a baby shower? No one, and that’s why it was hilarious (and a little icky, but still worth it). Hands down, we talk about this shower more than any other but only amongst ourselves. I’ve already said too much.
Lest you now think my friends and I are amoral harlots unfit for motherhood, I should close by saying that the reason these baby showers are so much fun is because they are not the norm for us. We have jobs, life commitments and now lots of children, so our time together is limited, and that’s what motivates us to make the most of our celebrations.
We also have one sentimental tradition that we do at each shower. We write our hopes for the baby on cards like these. You can go the extra step and compile the cards into a book after the baby is born as an extra special keepsake. My friend used Mixbook to make this one for my daughter. I love it, and now that my daughter is almost three years old, she loves looking at her special book, too, with lovely notes from all of her aunties.
Having friends who don’t take themselves too seriously and partners who are understanding is a must to pull off any of these ideas. The time and resources to do it certainly make it easier, but even if you can’t do exactly what we’ve done, use these suggestions as inspiration to think beyond the cake made of diapers, and honor the mom-to-be in a fun, original way.
Do you have an unique baby shower idea? Share it was us in the comments below!