How many times has your wife come home from a baby shower and said, "that was awful!"? The idea of hosting a baby shower is likely to be scary. Mix in a tight budget and making plans can become terrifying. Never fear! You can be the best baby shower host ever without busting the budget.
In order to come up with all of these ideas, I convened an impromptu focus group on-line and got some great ideas for you:
Make your own treats
Debbie Hill suggests making your own treats. You can make tasty treats that make a statement "without spending $2 each on cupcakes." You can find lots of ideas for cheap eats online.
Games are controversial
. If you play games, don't play too many or too long. (This subject nearly caused a riot in the focus group!)
Cheap games you can play
Ann Snider offered the idea of having each of the ladies guess the expectant mother's waist measured in squares of toilet paper.
Ann also suggested removing the labels from baby food jars and having the guests guess the flavors.
Julie Waters remembers placing lots of baby items from pacifiers to rattles and diaper pins on a tray, displaying them briefly to the guests and then having them write down all they can remember; the items can then be given to the new mom.
Mary "Baha" suggests playing a word scramble with all of the words having to do with babies, as in presenting the letters "RPEIADS" and _ to elicit "diapers."
Debbie Hill emphasized decorating to "envelope" the expectant mother in love, noting that many decorations can be purchased at a thrift store inexpensively. Decorations are the difference between having a party and having a bunch of people visiting in your living room.
Have a floating shower
Mary "Baha" suggested a floating shower, like an open house or reception, where guests drop in for a few moments to leave a gift and greet the new mom, and perhaps nibble on a cupcake. This way you may be able to invite more people so as to make the new mother feel especially loved.
Ann Snyder also suggested inviting guests to bring certificates for service for the new mom instead of gifts; for instance, one might offer to fix dinner one evening or watch the baby for a few hours to give the new mom a break. This eases the budget not only on the host but on all the guests.
Debbie Hill, one of my focus group participants, made the point that the purpose of the baby shower is to make the expectant mother feel loved and to help her prepare for the baby. That can certainly be done without breaking the bank.
If you remember your purpose and your budget, you can have a lot of fun and help the new mom without spending too much money.