baby shower decorBaby showers have come a long way since I was born. I look back at pictures of my mom’s baby shower, with me in her belly, and think to myself, “Mom, what in the world are you wearing? Where are all the desserts? Everything is so, well, pink!” Gone are the days of traditional pink and blue themed-showers. Today, it’s all about eccentric prints, elaborate treats and swanky refreshments.

I don’t have kids, but I have a lot of friends who do. I’ve been to a lot of baby showers, and I even helped plan a few. In fact, I have another one coming up later this year. To avoid a baby shower planning burn out, I reached out to the experts for their advice on what’s hot right now in baby shower land.

“Traditional baby showers with just the mom-to-be with basic pastel pink and powder blue are definitely a thing of the past,” says Katina Washington, owner and chief event designer at Chicago’s Signature Details Event Planning. “Parents-to-be no longer want a pink or blue baby shower. They are using themes such as their favorite book, sports team, color, animal and pregnancy cravings (Milk & Cookies or Pickles & Peanuts)…The options for baby shower themes are limitless which makes planning decorating them more exciting.”

Popular Themes

Gender Reveal

“One of the most popular themes is a Gender Reveal baby shower,” says Washington. Ideas she lists include Ties or Tutus, Princes or Princesses, and Bows or Bowties.

Sip & See

A Sip & See is a party that takes place after the baby is born. It’s a laid back event where friends and family come and go as they please, and there’s no set schedule. A Sip & See is perfect for parents who would like for family and friends to see the new baby but don’t want the fuss and planning that comes with hosting a baby shower,” says Katina. She adds that hosts can offer specialty drinks and light snacks, and since Sip & Sees are usually hosted after lunch, you don’t have to provide a full meal.

Co-Ed

“More than 65% of the baby showers we plan and design are co-ed,” says Washington. She says some co-ed showers even have dad-to-be friendly games and activities like pool, poker and blackjack. But, if you’re heading to a co-ed shower, don’t forget the diapers. “Men usually bring a pack of diapers to the baby shower and enter into a diaper raffle for a prize,” Katina adds.

Baby-Q

A fun and creative take on your traditional barbeque, a Baby-Q is a, you guessed it, a BBQ themed baby shower. “Guys tend to love them because it doesn’t give the feel of a traditional baby shower,” says Washington.

Baby Sprinkles

Baby Sprinkles are designed for a second or third child. As the name suggests, guests “sprinkle” the mother to be with a few small gifts. “It not as formal as a baby shower but still allows the parents to receive much needed items for their second, or event third bundle of joy,” Katina says.

Invite Themes

Shower Invites

Courtesy: https://www.greenvelope.com/

The themes above are also hot in the invitation world.

“Over the past several months, our most popular design requests pertaining to baby-related events have been: Baby-Q, Gender Reveal, and Sip & See,” says Alex Kelsey from digital invitation service Greenvelope.

“For many of our most popular baby shower designs, yellow has been the on-trend color choice. This is especially true of Gender Reveal party invitations,” says Kelsey.

Alex also notes that another trend in baby shower invitations has been opting for more elegant, even vintage, design, which sets the stage for a classier affair.

What about Gifts?

Jane Morgan from IncrediBundles.com, a gifting site for new and expectant parents, says the company has noticed some major trends in the baby gifting market.

Buyers Forgo Cutesy for Practical & Financially Responsible

“In today’s economy, gift-givers – especially grandparents – want to give a gift they know will ease the financial stress of a baby’s first year,” says Morgan. “By purchasing A Year of Diapers, family, friends and co-workers can relieve parents of one of the biggest costs of that first year of parenthood.”

Invest in Gifts That Yield Intellectual Dividends

“Gift-givers understand how important early childhood development is and appreciate gifts that will help a child gain an intellectual edge,” says Morgan. “Gift-givers are eschewing the giant fluffy teddy bears and frilly layettes of baby showers past and opting to give gifts like a library full of award-winning books or a nursery full of early learning toys instead.”

What about Games, Favors and Food?

Desert Bar

Dessert Bar – Courtesy: http://www.kissablecakes.com/

If you’re second-guessing baby shower games, don’t ditch them just yet – Katina says guests still enjoy them. If you’re looking for baby shower game ideas, The Bump has a lot of really good ones!

As for favors, Katina says she’s seen everything from jump drives, personalized cigars and themed cookies. Personally, I love the themed cookie idea. My friend had duck-shaped cookies at her shower. It was a huge it and made for a great conversation piece.

“The menu has also changed from your mom’s potato salad and Aunt Cheryl’s famous finger sandwiches to being catered by high-end restaurants,” says Washington. If the parents-to-be love sweets, you may want to consider a dessert bar. My friend (and owner of home-based bakery, Kissable Cakes) Stacey Hahn suggests mini cupcakes, pies or cake pops. Anything on a stick is extremely popular right now.

Do What’s Comfortable

In the end, it’s all about the parents-to-be and what they want and feel comfortable with. Katina says she’s seen baby showers held at boutique hotels on Michigan Avenue, rooftops overlooking Wrigley Field and banquet halls. “Some people may think that it’s a little extravagant for a baby shower but parents are waiting later to have kids and often it is the first grandchild in the family which makes the celebration more elaborate,” she says.

Looking for more creative ideas? Check out Unique Baby Shower Theme Ideas

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