When it comes to baby showers we have far less experience than our friends across the pond, but it’s a trend that has caught on here in recent years as a great way to spoil the mum-to-be. Here Leonora Bamford, founder of the gorgeous parenting website My Baba kindly shares her advice.
For me, Americans hold the best baby showers, and I went to a few when I lived in New York. The most successful were the ones held at home by the best friend, so the expectant mama could sit back and enjoy. Depending on who it’s for, I always like to pick a colour for the theme, but more often than not, whether it’s a boy or a girl, it’s simply a good excuse to have a really girlie get together.
Set the kitchen table up with an array of different heighted bowls, plates and vases, ease filled with bits of deliciousness. Think Marie-Antoinette with vintage china and crisp white napkins. Macaroons are always a winner, with mini cupcakes. My favourites are from Hummingbird, but they’re also easy to make, and pretty much all supermarkets make them now.
A big glass bowl filled with grapes and strawberries, and others with the mama’s favourite sweets, or even crisps. I love the look of retro crisps overflowing in a bowl and it brings a sense of nostalgia. Carrying on that note, why not have another filled with iced gems? In my opinion, you can’t beat springy cucumber sandwiches with the crusts off, and crudités teamed with dips give extra colour. At the moment, you can’t beat powder-pink peonies for the flowers, or anything from the garden.
When it comes to drink, it’s always nice to have champagne in old flutes and for the mama and others who don’t fancy a drink, Daylesford do a decadent apple and bilberry sparkling juice, which comes in a champagne bottle and has a really good pop. Another option which looks beautiful, are rows of old jam jars filled with old fashioned lemonade, sprigs of mint and a striped paper straw.
For favours, I would do a modern spin on the old tradition of sugared almonds, order a sack of personalised M&Ms with the date, and then perhaps ‘baby’ and the baby’s surname on the others. This looks lovely in a big glass vase with a scoop and for keepsakes you can make up individual paper bags. My best friend did this for her wedding and sealed the packs with a personal sticker, you can get great circular ones from moo.com. Another cute addition is baby themed iced biscuits, which have become very popular. I often use Biscuiteers, Peggy Porschen, or if I have time, I make my own.
You can always chat your way through a baby shower like any other party, but I do like the idea of having a few twists. A nice idea is to have a Polaroid camera stationed somewhere, so that people can take funny pictures before sticking them in a beautiful album where they can write special notes. Another fun thing to do is to buy a baby name book, and everyone has to choose a few.
If you want to go overboard and have time to prepare, you could get each friend (and especially the ones that can’t make it) to record a short video clip, and if they have access to an iPhone, it’s really very simple. Ask a techie friend to compile it with quiet music in the background and you’ve got something really fun to watch on the day. An idea that’s slightly less time consuming is to email everyone prior to the event, for old photographs of the mama, and make it into a little album. Baby showers can often be emotional and it’s always nice to have a trip down memory lane.
I think music can also be quite important, and I always like to go back to my teens on events like this. I have a great little gadget called a Jam Box which means you can play your own music wherever you are and there’s no need for wires – just ensure your phone is fully charged.
Visit Leonora’s website www.mybaba.com for great parenting advice and inspiration.
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