Best Baby Shower Ideas

Baby shower items

Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight

When it comes to planning a baby shower, it's easy to feel like you're running into a roadblock. You want to do something your friend or family member would enjoy, but you don't want just another cookie-cutter shower.

To help you plan the perfect shower, we have provided you with five ways you can differentiate the baby shower you're hosting from all the others. From the menu, to the theme, and everything in between, we've got you covered.

Choose a Theme

Although a theme is not necessary when planning and hosting a baby shower, it certainly is an excellent vehicle for tying everything together. In fact, when you have a theme you can coordinate your invitations, your food, your decorations, and even your baby shower games.

Here are just a few theme ideas to help you get your creative juices flowing. If you don't see one on this list that would work for your party, consider using the expectant mom's nursery theme as fodder for creating a themed shower. Or, you could use her favorite children's book, nursery rhyme, or hobby as a catalyst for your party.

A Star Is Born

As the name suggests, this baby shower theme is a Hollywood or movie-based theme. In addition to rolling out the red carpet—literally—for your guest of honor and the baby on the way, you can craft a shower that is either whimsical or sophisticated. The choice is up to you and the guest of honor.

Decorations can revolve around stars including a Hollywood star that everyone signs for the baby or you can decorate with a movie marquee, vintage film reels, and a popcorn machine. If you want your party to revolve around movies, consider putting the guest of honor's favorite movie on a continuous loop and serving popcorn and movie candy.

Other menu items could include hot dogs, nachos, and other movie-theatre-themed foods. Even the games could revolve around a Hollywood theme. Choose activities that are based on television game shows or celebrities to tie it all together.

Mommy to "Bee"

This shower theme is a cute play on words with everything centering around bees. From the invitations to the decorations, everything contains sweet-looking little bees. For instance, use yellow and black balloons and look for yellow and white polka dot tableware and napkins.

You can also plan your menu around this theme by talking to your local baker about creating a honeycomb-shaped cake or bumblebee cookies. Also consider looking for honey-flavored recipes like honey glazed chicken salad, honey-flavored sugar cookies, and you could even try to serve foods that are mostly in yellows and whites.

And don't forget to coordinate your games and party favors as best as you can. For instance, as a favor, give each guest a tiny bottle of local honey with a wooden spoon attached. Or, you could give everyone a cute little package of Burt's Bees lip balm. Add a sweet little tag that says "Thank you for bee-ing here!"

A Little Cutie

Nothing is more fun than a play on words and that is exactly what this theme is all about. Based on the idea of Cuties oranges, this theme revolves around all things orange.

So, if your guest of honor loves oranges or adores the color of tangerines, you might want to consider this theme. From a centerpiece filled with little Cuties, to orange-inspired decor, this theme creates a bright and cheery atmosphere.

Rustic wood accents pair well with the orange, so be sure to incorporate some rustic elements into your decor. Likewise, look for orange-inspired foods and drinks to round out this theme like clementine-flavored sparkling water or an orange sherbet flavored punch. Other options include cake pops that look like little Cuties, an orange bundt cake, chicken salad with mandarin oranges, and spinach salad with orange slices.

Round out the party with orange-inspired baby shower games and favors. For instance, tie orange fabric around eos lip balm and tie with a green ribbon and a faux leaf—it will look just like a Cuties orange. The tag could say something like "Orange you glad you came? We certainly are!"

The Littlest Pumpkin

What better theme to use for the cutest pumpkin in the pumpkin patch than the Littlest Pumpkin. And although this theme works really well in the fall, it's versatile enough to use any time of year. Simply look for rustic baby shower decorations to complement your theme like wooden chargers, fall leaves, and lots of greenery.

And, if you can, plan to hold your party for outside. After all, what better way to welcome a little pumpkin than to do so in a makeshift pumpkin patch setting. You could even stage a photo booth area that has mums and pumpkins celebrating the mum-to-be and her little pumpkin of course. You could even use pumpkins as centerpieces. Just carve out the pumpkin and place a small vase inside. Fill the vase with vibrant flowers to make a festive centerpiece.

Complement your theme with a pumpkin inspired menu. Some options include pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, roasted pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin dip. These pumpkin dishes go really well with other harvest type foods. Try a rustic chicken and walnut salad on hearty bread along with kettle chips and a rustic pasta salad.

Provide Something Extra

One way to add a little something extra to a baby shower is to plan an activity that involves the entire guest list. Whether you ask all the guests to bring a pack of diapers or you encourage them to bring a baby picture of themselves, going the extra mile for a baby shower usually makes for a nice surprise for the expectant parents. Here are a few ideas on how you can make a baby shower extra memorable.

Basket of Wisdom

Every expectant mom needs a few words of encouragement especially as her due date approaches. So, to make the shower even more memorable, give her a basket overflowing with words of encouragement from her closest friends and family members.

To create the basket of wisdom, ask guests to drop an encouraging note or their best baby-raising advice into the basket. If you want, you can also fill the basket with self-care items that the guest of honor might need while she's in labor and delivery.

Some examples include hair ties, lip balm, toothbrush and toothpaste, bottled water, scented lotion, heating pad—the options are endless. And no matter what you include, she is sure to appreciate it.

A Moment in Time

If you decide to incorporate this idea in your baby shower plans, you are sure to give the baby-to-be a gift they will cherish forever—a time capsule created by the guest of honor's closest friends and family members. In fact, this gift will give the baby a small inside look at what life was like the year they were born.

When sending out the invitations, ask each guest to bring something that is representative of the current year such as a popular book, newspaper clipping, a stamp, a photograph, a special coin, or something that is meaningful to them. Then, just before you start the baby shower games, ask each guest to share what they are going to place in the time capsule. Everything will be placed in the time capsule and presented to the guest of honor as a gift from everyone there.

Books for Baby

What new mom doesn't want to build her library? After all, reading to your baby is one of the best ways to cuddle with even the youngest babies. So, before you send out your invitations, consider including a note asking your guests to bring a book in lieu of a card. There are a number of options on Etsy for purchasing pre-made poems. Or, you can write one of your own.

Journal for Baby

If you want to create something truly special for the baby, purchase a journal or notebook and ask each guest to write a small note welcoming the baby to the world. They can write about anything they want. Whether its advice or a simple hello, the child is sure to treasure this gift for years to come.

The guest of honor can even pull the journal out on the baby's first birthday and ask family members to log another entry. This gift becomes even more meaningful if someone who signed the journal happens to pass away. When older, they will always have this little piece of the person to remember them by—a personal message written just for them before they were even born.

Create Cool Favors

At the end of the baby shower, nothing's better than handing out a sweet, creative favor to thank your guests for coming. After all, what guest doesn't want to walk away with a darling little gift that shows not only that their shower gift was appreciated but also that their presence meant a lot to both the guest of honor and the hostess.

That said, here are just a few of our favorites. But don't let this small list of favorites limit you. Feel free to be creative. And, if you are planning a shower with a theme, be sure to select a favor that complements it.

Sweet Pea Hand Soap

This gift idea would make a great party favor, or you could make several of these and use them as prizes for your baby shower games. Simply purchase a small bottle of sweet-pea-scented hand soap and attach a tag that says "Thank you for celebrating the mom-to-be and her little sweet pea."

Mini Soap Favors

Whether you are particularly crafty and can make your own or if you purchase small artisan soaps from a specialty store, mini soaps make a great party favor regardless of your baby shower's theme. Just wrap each soap in brown craft paper and use brown twine to tie a note to the rustic package. Attach a note that says: "From my shower to yours. Thank you for showering us with love."

Bags of Popcorn

Who doesn't love a bag of specialty popcorn? Not only are these little bags tasty but they also make great party favors. Just attach a note that says: "Thanks for poppin' by to welcome our little one." Purchase mini bags of specialty popcorn from a local supplier or make some of your own. Either way, your guests are sure to love this tasty treat.

Miniature Succulents

Purchase mini succulents at your local garden store to give to your guests. These favors go particularly well with whimsical baby showers or those with a more rustic theme. Attach a note that says "Baby in Bloom! Thank you for showering us with love." Along this same line, you could give each guest a packet of seeds in a little clay pot with the same note.

Mini Champagne Bottles

Whether you hold a sophisticated baby shower brunch or a rustic shower in your backyard, little bottles of champagne are the perfect way to cap off the celebration. Plus, this party favor is sure to be a hit with your guests. Simply purchase little bottles of champagne and attach a note that says "Pop it when she pops and toast to our baby's arrival."

A Baby Is Brewing

Your guests would love to receive a sachet of homemade "bath tea." Purchase it from Etsy or make your own recipe of dried flowers, Epsom salts, and essential oils. Guests can empty the bath tea into a hot bath for a relaxing soak or into a bowl of hot water for a refreshing facial. Simply attach a note to each sachet that says: "A baby is brewing."

Bath Bombs

Usually, bath bombs are relatively inexpensive and they make great shower favors. Or, if you are feeling particularly crafty, make some of your own with essential oils, Epsom salts, baking soda, cornstarch, and food coloring. Simply wrap in decorative fabric or tulle and tie on a note that says: "You're the bomb! Thank you so much!"

Mani Thanks

Everyone loves to finish off a good manicure with some sparkling nail polish. Why not show your guests that you get it? Give them a small bottle of nail polish along with a nail file and attach a note that says: "Mani thanks!" They are sure to love it. And, it's something they can put to good use. Choose a variety of colors and let your guests pick one on the way out.

Get Creative With the Drinks

Let's face it. Everyone that comes to a baby shower wonders what they will eat and drink. In fact, it's often the focal point of the party. So, try to get a little creative with your baby shower menu. Aside from serving some of the expectant mom's favorites, try doing something a little different too. Here are just a few of our favorite drink ideas for baby showers.

Hot Cocoa Bar

If you're planning a winter baby shower, consider warming your guests with a hot cocoa bar. In addition to several flavors of hot cocoa consider putting out some add-ons. Aside from the customary mini marshmallows, you could display bowls of chocolate chips, cinnamon candies, sprinkles, and whipped cream. Other options include candy canes and chocolate dipped spoons. You could even order hot chocolate bombs from a specialty store. And for the really adventurous party planners, mini bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream are a fun touch.

"Mom-osa" Bar

If you're planning to host a brunch, the perfect accompaniment is a Mom-osa Bar (or mimosa bar). Create a table with some champagne and sparking cider as well a variety of juices. Cranberry, orange, and pineapple are good choices. And, don't forget the garnishes. Set out festive bowls of fruit such as strawberries, cherries, pineapples, and oranges. You could even include kiwi and starfruit if they are in season. And don't forget to include the glassware. Pick something elegant that will add some flare to the drinks.

Rubber Ducky Punch

For classic baby showers, nothing is quite as adorable as adorning your food table with a big bowl of blue punch with rubber duckies floating around inside. And, if you really want to embrace the rubber ducky theme, consider serving the punch in a baby bathtub or a punch bowl set inside a galvanized tin. While there are a variety of blue punch recipes out there, most include ginger ale, white grape juice, pineapple sherbet, sugar, and a packet of blue unsweetened kool-aid.

Do Something Non-Traditional

When it comes to welcoming a baby into this world, some families would prefer not to have a traditional baby shower. If your guest of honor is looking to take a break from old-school traditions, here are a few ideas to help you celebrate the coming arrival of your little bundle of joy.

Hold a Sprinkle

Many times, baby showers aren't held for second and third children. But some friends and family members want to find a way to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. In this case, more and more people are opting for a "Sprinkle." In these situations, the Sprinkle is a scaled-down version of the traditional baby shower since most families have most of what they need by this point.

For instance, it may just be a chance for friends and family to get together for a meal with gifts being optional. Most of the time guests will bring small gifts like cute little outfits or practical items like diapers, blankets, burp cloths, and so on.

Some people even opt to have a Sprinkle that isn't so much about the baby as it is about making the mom-to-be feel special. So, guests might bring little gifts like manicure sets, comfy pajamas, scented bath products, or gift cards for a spa visit or a dinner out.

Have a Blessing Party

Depending on your beliefs, some people are opting for blessing parties. In these scenarios, the focus is more on the mom-to-be and her pregnancy. Consequently, people share verses or quotes that they hope will be encouraging as well as personal gifts for the expectant mother that will not only help bless her upcoming labor and delivery but also help her practice self-care during the fourth trimester.

Some people even invite their religious leaders or mentors to share some special words or to pray over mom and baby. If this is something you would like to do for a friend or family member, be sure you run your ideas by the guest of honor first. People often have a diverse group of friends and relatives. So, in some cases, a blessing party may not appeal to some guests especially if they hold different beliefs.

Plan a Co-Ed Shower

In the past, baby showers were primarily for the mom-to-be and her female friends and relatives. But more and more people are leaning toward less traditional shower options and including their male relatives and friends.

These types of showers also typically don't feature the brunch-style baby shower but instead are more of an afternoon or evening affair with activities and foods that everyone would enjoy. If this type of shower is something you think your guest of honor might, take some time to sit down and brainstorm what types of things she would like to see.

Some couples have held their co-ed showers as open houses instead, which can be ideal for busy families that would like to stop and share their well wishes but may not be able to commit to a specific timeframe. Meanwhile, other couples have found that a mixer in the evening is the route to go because people tend to be more laid back and relaxed.

A Word From Verywell

Planning a baby shower can be a tad bit overwhelming, especially if you set really high standards for yourself. Rather than striving to create the perfect shower, focus on creating a baby shower that will put a smile on your friend or family member's face. If you accomplish that feat, you will have succeeded in creating a baby shower that they will always remember.

By Sherri Gordon
Sherri Gordon, CLC is a published author, certified professional life coach, and bullying prevention expert.