If you are going to host a baby shower soon, take note of what many
moms-to-be don't want these days: humiliating or boring shower games
and discussions about labor. New mom Lisa Power, of Auburn, was very
clear about what she wanted from her baby shower. "I've never been the
cutesy kind of girl. I didn't want the traditional baby shower with
games and war stories. I had a difficult pregnancy with complications
the whole way through. So I wanted my shower to be a celebration of
getting through the hard times and looking forward to the new life to
And today baby showers are not just for new moms. You might decide to host a coed shower for a couple who is expecting, or even a shower for a new grandmother. And yes, second and even fifth babies deserve a shower, too. Instead of generic baby gifts for those showers, your theme might be to "give your favorite book from childhood," or to get together with a group and fund a "babymoon" at a local hotel or resort, providing overnight babysitting for the older child or children, so parents can escape for one last romantic weekend.
Whoever you are honoring, good communication with the guest of honor and planning ahead will ensure a fun and memorable baby shower.
Shower invitations can vary from high-tech to handmade. Evite is a great service if all the guests have email and you want to easily track RSVPs, but consider mailing out invitations, too.
For distinctive and hip invitations, check out the Blu Canary Stationery store on Second Avenue and Battery Street in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, or the Paper Source in Bellevue. If you are creative, you can also make your own invitations with blank cards and envelopes from a place such as Paper Zone and charming baby-themed rubber stamps from Rubber Soul in Redmond Town Center.
Home and workplace are popular baby shower locations. If you're throwing an office party, consult with your manager first for any guidelines on time, location, etc. If you're planning a home-based shower, consider splurging on a cleaning service and catering.
There are numerous places in the Puget Sound area to have fabulous showers without having to clean up afterwards. Among the most elegant options is afternoon tea service at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. The Queen Mary Tea Room in Ravenna is also a popular spot for baby showers.
And what if you want to include kids in the mix, but still want adult guests to enjoy quality time? Luckily, on the Eastside, Child's Play Café in Old Bellevue offers the option of a baby shower with catered food and childcare provided in a huge play area. In Seattle, Urban Monkeys on South Lake Union offers the same option.
When people talk about a memorable baby shower, food often figures prominently. Unfortunately for many women, pregnancy can be a challenging time in terms of their health and diet. Lisa Power was battling gestational diabetes when she was pregnant and needed to be very selective about food choices. Her friends were happy to accommodate her requests. "My friends were really creative, too. For the work shower, we had pizza and a veggie tray with no carbs, so I could fill up on healthy veggies, and cheesecake for dessert. At the home shower, we planned on barbecue, but in the end, my husband put together a buffet of my favorite foods I could eat."
Games and activities
Instead of playing "Guess Which Baby Food Is Which," consider an activity everyone would really enjoy, such as an excursion to a day spa. The Salish Lodge and Spa, in Snoqualmie, can accommodate large groups for treatments with advance planning and offers special pampering services for moms-to-be.
Other ideas for a group activity could include hiring a chef to offer a personalized cooking class, working together on a quilt for the baby, or even taking in a group Mariners game if the guests of honor are rabid sports fans.
The best baby shower gifts are often personalized or handmade. Mom-to-be Karen Lee was delighted by a gift for her baby that honored her Chinese heritage. "One of the gifts my mother-in-law got for the baby was a 24K gold pendant with a pig engraved on it. My baby will be born in the year of the boar under the lunar new year calendar, and it's customary in the Chinese culture to honor the baby with his or her zodiac animal in the form of jewelry."
Expecting parents also appreciate gift registry services. Target is a popular option, and for supercute and hip baby clothes, slings and diaper bags, check out the registry service at Hush Baby, in Redmond Town Center. If you are coordinating a group gift, ask the parents what they need in terms of big-ticket items, so they don't end up with two jogging strollers and no crib.
Kathleen F. Miller is a Sammamish-based freelance writer and mother of two. Kathleen is glad her sister-in-law insisted she have a shower for her second child, son Mychal, proclaiming, "Every child is special and deserves a baby shower."
Baby shower resources
- Blessingways: A Guide to Mother-Centered Baby Showers, by Shari Maser
- The Best Baby Shower Book: Revised Edition, by Courtney Cooke
Free electronic invitation service at
- Blu Canary Stationery Store
2331 Second Ave., Seattle
- Paper Source
700 Bellevue Way N.E., Suite 105,
- Paper Zone
Several locations including Seattle, Bellevue, Tukwila, Shoreline, Everett and Tacoma
- Rubber Soul
Redmond Town Center and Poulsbo
- Tea at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel
411 University St., Seattle
Tea is served in the Georgian Room from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
For reservations, call 206-621-1700, ext. 3169.
- The Queen Mary Tea Room
2912 N.E. 55th St., Seattle
Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea are available Wednesday through Sunday.
For reservations, call 206-527-2770.
- Child's Play Café
10235 Main St., Bellevue
- Urban Monkeys
1124 Harrison St., Seattle
- The Salish Lodge and Spa
6501 Railroad Ave., Snoqualmie
Many locations in the Puget Sound area
- Hush Baby
7303 164th Ave. N.E. (in Redmond Town Center)