How to host a thoroughly modern baby shower

The new rule for throwing a baby shower is that there are no rules: the decor is no longer limited to baby blues and blush, and the invitations can be as sweet or cheeky as you like. Today’s baby shower is less rooted in tradition and more focused on personalizing the party to the guest (or guests) of honor. Whether you celebrate before the arrival with a gender reveal or a sprinkle or after with a sip and see, a bris, or a baptism. Here’s the scoop on how to host…

 

The people: Our favorite element of a modern baby shower: anyone can host! It’s completely acceptable for anyone close to the guest of honor to do the, well, honors. That means extended family, friends, even neighbors or co-workers.

 

The timing: Hosting late in the second trimester gives parents the opportunity to stock up on baby essentials well before the due date and ensures mom-to-be will have enough energy to enjoy it. Aim for a window of two to three hours in the afternoon, with a clear start and end time.

 

Ask first: Begin by asking the new parents what type of party they envision for their family (pastels might not be their vibe) and getting a thumbs-up on opening gifts or playing shower games. While a theme isn’t necessary, it’s a nice way to add personality to the day. Our hot take—skip party favors, nobody really needs a baby bottle filled with jelly beans. If you feel strongly about including a gift for guests, go with something edible.

 

The registry: Including the registry on the invitation is easier for all involved—you can add as many registry links as you’d like to either a Flyer invitation or a classic card invitation. We even have a go-to gift guide to help get you started.

 

Laid-back couple’s shower

Think of this as an afternoon or early evening with friends. Set a cool, casual vibe by limiting your color palette to black, white, and graphic neutrals.

 

Do: Toast your favorite parents-to-be with a low-key couple’s shower. Rent a private room at your go-to spot. If the weather is nice, consider an evening outside grilling. Serve bbq or tacos along with beer and wine. A couples shower is a great opportunity to get competitive—have teams guess childhood facts about each parent or ask guests to send the host a baby photo of themselves and have everyone guess who is who.

 

Decorate: Keep it simple. Think neutral colors, graphic patterns, and minimal decor. Let gifts double as decor with classic blocks or a toy wagon.

 

Add it to the registry:

PlanToys

Toy Wagon

Wee Gallery

Art Cards for Baby

Goat-Milk

Long Sleeve and
Baby Socks

The Letters

New York ABCs Print

Into the woods

Head into the woods for a shower that pairs the lush greenery of a woodland forest with the animal creatures that inhabit it. It feels sweet but not too cutesy and you can either take the party in an untamed “Where the Wild Things Are” vibe or a floral “Secret Garden” direction.

 

Do: Host lunch at home or make a reservation at a brunch place the expectant couple loves. If you’re feeling sentimental, ask guests to bring a favorite memory of the guest(s) of honor. Serve hedgehog,  mushroom, or hand-painted floral cookies. Get playful by topping a cake with unexpected meringue mushrooms.

 

Decorate: Focus on greens with nods to wild animals and wildflowers. Dress the table for the day with a garland, and keep things from getting too circus-y by limiting your animal kingdom to fawns, bears, swans, and rabbits.

 

Add to the registry:

Bukowski

Kanini Rabbit

Oeuf

Bambi Hoodie

Tamar Mogendorff

Wall-mounted Swan

 

 

Sip-and-see

A sip-and-see is held after the baby is born, traditionally when friends come by to sip tea and see the newborn. This a great option if you’d rather wait to celebrate until after the baby is born, if a new arrival makes an early entrance, or the timing of an adoption is uncertain. Host at least a few weeks after baby arrives to give everyone a little time to adjust to life as a family. While the invitation should feel fairly open-ended, keep visiting hours to a mid-morning or mid-afternoon window. We like to think of a sip and see as a chic pajamas party in the middle of the day with an unpredictable guest of honor.

 

Do: Better skip the games for this one. A midmorning party screams for a spread of bagels and lox with mimosas, and backyard grilling is a good option for a midafternoon gathering.

 

Decorate: Nothing is as cute as a new baby, so don’t even try.

 

Add to the registry: Bring mom useful gifts like a massage certificate, dry shampoo, or something deliciously indulgent like the stinky cheese she can finally eat again.

 

Sleeper

Black Tie Pajama Set

ILIA

Illuminator

Hill House Home

Eye Mask

Heyday

Facial Gift Card

 

Sprinkle

Make it modern: A sprinkle is a more mellow baby shower for your expectant friends that are already parents. Odd name, chill party—it’s usually smaller and more casual than the first time around. Give the guests of honor a few hours off-duty from parenting by host an adults-only afternoon. Keep the feel understated but decidedly grown-up with fresh flowers and a lunch of salad, fish, and all the wine. Use the party as a time to organize a meal train for the new (again) parents.

 

Do: Parents probably already own most of the essentials, so while a new outfit will certainly never hurt, rather than carving out time for gifts, consider a fun activity that allows guests to create something personal for the bebe. Try tie-dye (have guests prepare onesies with rubber bands summer camp-style and dye them afterward) or embroidery (give each guest a square of fabric to embroider before the party, then combine them all to make a small quilt).

 

Decorate: Simple flower arrangements from a service like Urban Stems or Farmgirl Flowers make it easy to order exactly what you want and have it delivered before the party.

 

Add to the registry: Throw practicality to the wind and go for something adorable parents wouldn’t buy themselves.

Quincy Mae

Kimono Onesie

Bonpoint

Rabbit Cuddly Toy

Mabo

Cora Dress

CPC Childrenswear

James Seersucker Shortall

 

Whether you’re hosting a bagels and lox pajama sip and see or a backyard couple’s shower, we’re all for sidestepping tradition in favor of relaxed comfort. Keep decor simple, avoid anything overly precious, and focus on your time together. A few thoughtful and inventive touches are all you need to add personality to the party. Make it easy on guests by including the registry information on the invitation to save them the hassle of tracking it down on their own.

 

From sophisticated shower to intimate sip and see, and everything in between, we have an invitation to fit your function.