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How to Throw a Simple Baby Shower + The Ultimate Baby Registry Guide

April 20, 2023

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Over the weekend, I threw a baby shower for Brooke, our longest-held employee who’s more like family than anything. It’s been years since I’ve attended a baby shower, and much to my excitement, this was the first shower I’ve ever personally thrown!–Couldn’t think of anybody else I’d rather throw my “first” shower for than Brooke. If you’re someone who feels easily stressed out at the thought of throwing a baby shower, then keep reading because we pulled this special day off with less planning and production than you would think. And for those of you who are either putting together your baby registries or are wondering what to get any parents-to-be, scroll to the bottom for Brooke’s Ultimate Baby Registry Guide.

Don’t overthink the decorations

There’s a broad spectrum when it comes to “decorating” for a baby shower. Some people are complete experts at going “all-out” when it comes to decorations. I am not that type. I don’t have it in me to either buy a bunch of one-off decorations or store them. Instead, I really banked on the sun to come out and let our backyard shine as the main backdrop of the party. And boy, the good weather really showed up.

The decoration budget was exclusively spent on balloons and a few other pieces from Party City (did you know they deliver balloons?), along with some Baby’s Breath from Trader Joe’s.

You can make a big impact with a smaller budget if you know how to stretch it.

Cater the refreshments

How can I make this louder for the people in the back?? You do not get extra points for stressing and slaving away in the kitchen before a party. Okay, maybe you get a few extra points, but if you’re wanting to go for minimal effort and high impact, save yourself and get the refreshments catered. I picked up food from a couple of Brooke’s favorite lunch spots, and there was something for everyone. Yes, Chris was more than willing and oh-so-capable of whipping up some delicious dishes, but catering was a breeze.

We set up this really cute “Mom-osa” bar with juices from Trader Joe’s and Martinelli’s sparkling cider, which we promptly had guests serve up as they arrived. As for desserts, I picked up a variety of macaroons, which even my dairy and gluten-free girlies could eat. Delicious.

Keep the activities simple (and meaningful)

Baby Blocks

Initially, when planning the game portion of the party, I drew a blank because (confession) I’m not too fond of baby shower games. Surely I can’t be the only one with PTSD from sniffing melted chocolate bars out of diapers in front of a group of friends, acquaintances, and strangers? Few things are more uncomfortable than being put on the spot like that.

I decided to rethink the “games” and focus more on the future mom and baby-to-be. After all, isn’t that what baby showers are all about? So I took to Etsy and printed off a few activities that filled the time and kept everybody chatting about baby Knuth.

The guests filled out each activity card while chatting and munching on snacks, keeping the party flowing from station to station. Near the end of the party, I read the answers to each card, and whoever guessed the most correctly got to choose a prize bag (with some of my favorite skincare and beauty products).

Here are the activities we did:
How old were your parents?
The price is right
Over or under
Wishes for baby

Tell me your thoughts on gift opening!

People swing both ways when it comes to opening gifts at showers and parties. Some people love it, while others hate it. Since Brooke had family fly in for this shower, I knew they would really appreciate being able to see their gifts opened and oohed and awed over.

And we invited Tristan to join in on the fun since Dads play an equally important role in parenting.

Brooke’s mom even hopped on a Zoom call with extended family, who sent gifts but couldn’t make it. So I think it’s a really nice gesture of thanks to all gather ’round and enjoy all the gush over all the cute baby things.

Send your guests home with a party favor

Not only are party favors a really thoughtful way to show thanks, but it’s also a great idea to start handing them out along with a “Thanks for coming,” which is a gentle way of saying “party’s over.” And that’s about as simple as it gets when it comes to throwing a baby shower! Chris and I got everything for the party ahead of time, and the morning of, my two sisters helped me set everything up.

Since it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been in the baby game (how is Polly 5?), I asked Brooke if she would do you all the honor of putting together a baby registry guide for you all. Some things never change when it comes to diapering and feeding a baby, but there are so many incredible products on the market that didn’t even exist when I was in the thick of the baby years. Brooke is so thorough when it comes to researching the best of the best, plus she has astounding taste, so you cannot be led astray with this thorough list of must-have baby products. Use this as a guide to your own registry, or gift something to a future parent!

The Ultimate Baby Registry

Brooke registered on Babylist, which lets you add products from any site, but gathers it all in one place for your friends and family to browse through. However, if you register on Target and Amazon, too, you can get a free welcome box of baby things. Here are all of her recommendations!

Shop All Things Baby

1. Indi Diaper Backpack $195
2. Moss-stitched Cotton Blanket $35
3. Read to Your Baby Every Day: 30 Classic Nursery Rhymes $11
4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? $5
5. Hatch Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale $149
6. Tubby Todd Bundle $48
7. Wildbird Aerial Carrier $178
8. Boppy Nursing Pillow $34
9. Bear Lovey $45
10. Bibs Pacifiers $16
11. Nanit Baby Monitor $280
12. Silicone Baby Bib $13
13. Silicone Baby Bottles $25
14. Silicone Baby Feeding Spoons $10
15. Hatch Sound Machine $70
16. Halo Bassinet $300

Shop Baby Gear

Shop Sleeping

Shop Feeding

Shop Bath Time

Shop Diapering + Health

Shop Books + Toys

Shop Baby Clothes

When it comes to gifting baby clothes, people usually buy whatever they hope to see your baby wearing, but I do think it’s good to put clothes on your registry to give an idea of what your personal style is.

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What do you think?

  1. Brooke Braddon says:

    I love the focus on meaningful activities and interactions rather than going all out with decorations for the baby shower. It’s such a special time to share with loved ones. As I’m getting ready for my own baby shower, I found myself tearing up reading your blog post – everything just sounds perfect. The Ultimate Baby Registry Guide you mentioned looks awesome, and I love the decor pictures. I might even borrow some of your ideas! By the way, I noticed the mom-to-be’s dress; it looks similar to one I bought from for my own baby shower. Where did she get hers? Wishing you all the best as you get ready for your little one’s arrival! Enjoy every moment.😍

  2. Olivia J says:

    What a beautiful baby shower! The invitations that you made are beautiful! I also love the options you had for the mom-osas! I will definitely be doing that!

  3. Marsha Bell says:

    What were the pictures that you used for the banner?

    • They were photos of Brooke (the mom) and Tristan (the dad) as babies and through their childhood. It made for a sweet decoration but also there was a game where people could guess how old they were in each photo!

  4. Jennifer Gill says:

    We just found out we are going to be grandparents!! This blog post is so helpful as I’ll be hosting the baby shower. Thank you!!!

  5. Cici Haus says:

    Love it! I put a lot of clothes on my registry so people understood my style and it definitely worked! Also while this is absolutely unsolicited advice, I strongly recommend looking into cloth diapers. We use the Esembly system which is so easy and it is hands down the best parenting choice I made. My husband, who was skeptical, is now an ambassador among his dad friends which is so hilarious to me!

  6. Cyndi Brandt says:

    It was a beautiful baby shower! I also don’t enjoy the games or even the gift opening. I like display showers where the gifts are available to look at but more time can be spent catching up and celebrating with family and friends. The shower you hosted looked like such fun. As always, thanks for sharing your ideas and fun!

  7. Brittany says:

    If you get the Nanit baby monitor you don’t need a white noise machine, it has one built in.

  8. Tiffanie Hall says:

    As soon as I saw the shower pics in stories I immediately could envision my son’s HS graduation party. He’ll be 7 tomorrow. Hehe! Love the way you used high impact decor. Beautiful shower!

  9. katie says:

    Beautiful shower and great list! Did you have real champagne for people who prefer that to apple juice?

  10. Michelle says:

    This was cute and sweet and I love the baby’s breath, plus the photo banner is so thoughtful. The balloons always made me sad though. We just can’t learn no matter how cute they are they do not biodegrade (greenwashing to think otherwise), animals eat them and they harm the environment…particularly that cellophane one you caught flying away and trapped in the tree in your stories. Beautiful alternatives would be paper flowers decorations, streamers, handmade or printed signs or more real flowers. I’m not always the most eco-friendly by all means, but we all have our triggers and balloons really get me. Looked like a beautiful day, though and Congrats to Brooke and Tristan!

  11. GG says:

    Did you see the recent article in The New York Times about young children’s birthday extravaganzas in LA costing upwards of $40,000? Hats off to you for keeping your baby shower budget sane and reasonable. So any good decorating and activity ideas here. Thanks for sharing!

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