Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck

A couple months back I hosted a baby shower for my sister. After it was over, I was totally exhausted, but threw up a couple pictures for a post: Baby Shower in Brief. Then this amazing thing happened. People started tweeting about it, someone pinned it on Pinterest, it got repinned, and now I'm getting traffic to my blog with search terms like, "Pin the Tail on the Uterus" and "Uterus Game Template". So while I don't want to become the crazy sperm and uterus blog lady (too late), I wouldn't mind being the driving force behind ending the ritual of crazy-boring baby showers. So here it is, The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck. (That link, by the way, goes to a  PDF with this whole blog post, plus some extra tips if you actually wanted to do any of this stuff, AND a template for creating the highly coveted uterus. You're welcome.)

The Goal: Host a party. Make it fun. Have people bring adorable stuff for the baby and mommy.

The Challenge: Baby showers can suck. No one wants to watch a woman open onesies and bottle sets and nipple cream for two hours. NO ONE!!!

The Plan
  • Co-Ed - Men and women were invited (and were told the party would be non-sucky).
  • All day - Our shower was from 11 am - 6 pm. People could come and go like an all day BBQ. Come by, have a beer and some food. Drop off a gift. Hang out with Mommy and Daddy-to-be. Take off whenever you're ready to leave.
  • Unwrapped gifts - Guests were encouraged to bring their gifts unwrapped and told there would be no "mass unwrapping." We set the gifts out on a display table for all to coo over, but without having to sit through two hours of unwrapping.
  • Opt-In Games - We had plenty of baby-themed games, but all were selected because they could be set out somewhere and guests could choose to play if they wanted to play and completely ignore if they weren't interested.

The Games
As stated above, all games were opt-in, meaning that they were set up so that people who wanted to play could play, but be easily ignored by non-players. Turns out, this was a fairly competitive group, so once we announced a winner for one game, people were ready to start on the next one.
  • How Many Candies
    Large baby bottle shaped bank filled with candies. Guess how many are in it.

  • Baby Word Scramble
    I chose 20 baby-related words and "scrambled" the letters. Here's a hint: if you pick your own words, alphabetize the letters in the words, even BELOTT is hard to figure out.
  • Baby Face
    I took head shots of mom and dad a week before the party and made sure they both were looking straight at the camera. I used Photoshop to crop the pictures so that they fit on an 8 x 10 and that their heads were the same size. I added "cut" lines to cut slices for each of their foreheads, eyes, noses, mouths, and chins. I printed the pictures on card stock, cut the slices, and laid them out on a table for guests to "construct" a possible baby face. Warning: the resulting faces can be creepy!


  • Cute as a Button
    I used a paper punch to punch out a bunch of card stock buttons. (I wanted bottles, but couldn't find a paper punch on short notice.) I "hid" them around the apartment in very obvious places such as on tables, in picture frames, in plants, etc. Guests were told to collect the buttons and the guest with the most buttons won.
  • Sooooo Big
    Guests cut a length of ribbon as long as they think the mom-to-be is around. Note: I used yarn because I had pink and yellow on hand. Ribbon would have been much cuter.
  • Beer BottlesI bought six baby bottles and filled them with six different beers. Guests had to guess what the different beers were.
    Tip: Let guests know what the six beers are. We didn't and our winner only got two right. Also, provide Dixie cups to drink out of or all your guests will have to drink out of the same baby bottles. Eewww.
  • Play-Doh BabyI bought "party-sized" Play-Doh. It comes in a big bag with a bunch of small containers of Play-Doh. Guests were told to build a baby using one container. Mommy and Daddy chose their favorite baby for the winner.
  • Who's Watching the Baby?
    When guests arrived, they were given a small baby doll. They were told that they could either hold on to it, put it down, or pass it on to someone else. Any babies put down could be scooped up by other guests. Guest with the most babies wins.

  • Baby Chug
    I bought several of the cheapest baby bottles I could find. We filled them each with 3 oz of beer. Guests attempted to be the first ones to empty their baby bottles. Not allowed to remove the nipple in any way. Tip: Baby bottles empty slowly, even when you're trying. Could easily have gone with 2 ounces. For non-drinkers, you can use apple juice instead of beer.

  • Pin the Sperm on the Uterus
    I wanted a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey that wouldn't send guests scurrying to other rooms. No one wants to be blindfolded or spun around. I finally came up with this alternative. My awesome husband assembled a construction paper uterus and construction paper and ribbon sperm. Guests were told to write their name on a sperm and stick it onto the uterus (so their name didn't show). Once all the sperm had been "placed," Mommy was blindfolded and spun (just once) and had to stick an egg on to the uterus. Closest sperm to the newly placed egg won.


All in all, it was really a fun, fun day. We did play lots of fun baby-related games, but mostly what people did was hang out, drink some beer, eat some food, and talk with friends. The baby games, those were just fun on the side.

I hope all of your parties are also a fun-for-all. And in case you want more tips on how to create the games or especially that super fun uterus, here's the whole post again in PDF form:

The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck (The PDF)



UPDATE:
By popular request, here is the anonymized invitation that was sent to guests:


People have also asked where I found the baby dolls. The ones pictured were found at Walmart.

81 comments:

Lo824 said...

I love all of your ideas!! Where did you find the baby dolls? Jeanine0323@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Glad to know that someone else did a co-ed baby shower. I am planning one for my sister right now. Love the baby bottle chug and the baby face games. Definitely will be trying one of those!

Megan said...

i LOVEEEE this post!! my SIL is due in january and we want to throw her a super fun shower! thanks!!

Kacie said...

Yay! The best baby shower I've ever been to was co-ed -- the games were MUCH more fun with all of our super-competitive guy friends around! I like your ideas a lot! :)

BlueBird said...

@Lo824 They have those dolls at Target.

Melanie Ortiz said...

I have to add one! AlthOugh I kinda wanted to keep it to me lol! Buy the tiny plastic babies at hobby lobby n take an ice tray n put just a tiny bit of water n each! Place a baby in each with the water n freeze! Remove cover babies with more water to fill! You have ice cubes with babies! Wait best part is you give them to guest n they all place then n there mouth and can not bite the ice! Only suck them! First person to give birth wins!!!! This is so much fun!!!

Anonymous said...

Another neat but gross idea is, melt 4 or 5 chocolate candy bars and put them each in a diaper, and guests guess what the candy bar is. It will look gross and it's funny to watch people sniff the diapers...

Dannee Keever said...

This was hilarious and an awesome idea! Wish I had friends that would be up for something like this.If we have another baby, I am definately going to highly suggest they take a peak at your site.

Anonymous said...

I had a co-ed shower 13 years ago, it was a blast. The guys played games and everything. Another hilarious one for a couples shower (u can you tube this one too) is the game where someone (girl) holds a roll of toilet paper between her knees or legs. And a guy takes a (clean, cheap..lol) plunger, puts it between his legs and walks up to the woman and tries to get the plunger handle in the hole of the toilet paper. sounds easy...its not. Do 2 couples at a time. More fun.

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea. I love the idea if not sitting around unwrapping gifts How did you make the suggestion of unwrapped gifts without coming across rude?

Anonymous said...

We did a coed Luau since the couple was moving to HI from FT Bragg, NC. It was a hit! We did an obstacle course with the men starting off blind folded by the end having to wrap diapers. It helped it was their first baby and i already had 2. I wish I would of thought about the unwrapped gifts as I find it tacky to unwrap presents in a group anyhow.

Anonymous said...

What a great selection of games! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Another good one is smearing peanut butter on a balloon, and then put a diaper over it. They have to use only 1 wipe to see how much they can get off.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Where did you find the baby dolls? Jcrews2104@yahoo.com. Many thanks!

hellhot said...

shoot, I can't figure out how to make a sperm for the uterus game!

Rita Hernandez said...

where did you buy the baby dolls rxh5567@lausd.net
Thanks,

Rita Hernandez said...

where did you buy the baby dolls rxh5567@lausd.net
Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Target has the baby dolls.

Anonymous said...

wow great baby shower games can u please send me directions on how to make the uterus thank cp..

jessica said...

I know the little ribbon is Rick rack ribbon.. and I would just use cardstock for the round top.

Anonymous said...

Where at in target or online? I can't find them anywhere!!

Elizabeth1490@msn.com

Anonymous said...

I have found that same doll at Walmart, too

Anonymous said...

Walmart has the dolls they are only a $1 some Wal marts don't carry them. The Walmart in my town ordered them for me.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! DO you mind emailing me how your worded yoru invitation to include all the non-sucky ideas to let people know it was going to be a fun shower? My email is jenny@catcon.com. Thanks!

MommaMac said...

You can also put plastic babys in an ice cube and see who can melt the ice in the fastest time. They can not chew, or crush the ice, just let it melt. Who ever pulls the baby out first, wins of course.

Anonymous said...

I cannot find the dolls anywhere. The cheap ones anyway....

Anonymous said...

Similar idea I did at a baby shower I threw, pin the sperm on the belly. I printed a large size picture of the mommy to be and made the sperm using the daddy to be's face with a tail attached. It was hilarious, no one even came close

Scrapper said...

Can anyone tell me the brand of dolls?

Anonymous said...

What did you give as prizes for winning the games?

STAR said...

I'm having a babyshower in April and I'm a very hands on mommy 2 be you ideas are incredible...now I don't have to use the same old babyshower ideas!!!!

I wish u were MY sister lol

scrappychica said...

Holy Cow this is hilarious! I absolutely LOVE it! I am totally following your blog no!

scrappychica said...

I am totally following your blog NOW!

Shay said...

Can I please get the wording for the shower also???

Anonymous said...

I'm planning a fund raiser for the crisis nursery... This is perfect!!! Thanks do much.

Anonymous said...

Hi - i love your blog and am using your ideas to plan a shower for a friend. I'm trying to locate a template for the invitation - I particularly like the 'anonymized' one you've shown above. Any suggestions on where I could locate a template similar to it online? Thanks, Amanda

Anonymous said...

this is great. Im throwing my first baby shower for my bestie and that last thing i want is the party to suck. Thanks for the ideas. I will definitely be using some of them :)

Clark said...

I am due in May and will be showing this site to my MIL tomm. she is throwing my shower for me b/c I have no family close to me and I hope she sees why I don't want any children there.

Anonymous said...

I also do a Basket full of Baby items & cram it full. Then have one table come up at a time, they then get 20 seconds to look over the basket. Then they go back to their table & write down as many as they can remember. The winner with the most correct items wins. I usually have around 30 different items in there. Its a big hit at all my showers :-)

Rachael LoRusso said...

I love the idea of unwrapped gifts, but how does the mom know who each gift came from for thank you cards?

Alix Ann said...

Really love the idea of suggesting people bring unwrapped gifts. If you don't mind, how did you word that on your invites? alix(dot)ebbert(at)gmail(dot)com

Yvonne Compuesto said...

I've been trying for HOURS to find the baby dolls &
no results!! I went online to Walmart and googled
"plastic baby dolls" with no luck. The baby shower is scheduled for next Saturday! Can anyone help me??!
PLEASE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Did you have prizes for the game winners or party favors?

Katie Newton said...

Do you mind telling me where you found your cheap bottles?! I don't want to spend a lot, but this is such a fun idea!

Thanks, katieclairenewt@gmail.com

Holly Telles said...

they have bottles at dollar tree.

Anonymous said...

Do you remember how many czndies were in the bottle? I have the same one, but I don't have a scale and don't feel like counting!!

Anonymous said...

just add up the servings in each bag to get a total

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! First thing I've found to actually make me EXCITED to throw my sister her baby shower...

Toothless Grin said...

Looks like loads of fun

brenda j said...

Thank you for the great ideas, my daughter is like me she don't like opening gifts in front of people. I'm throwing her a baby shower soon and I love all of the ideas you have. We also love the fact that its coed. The guys helped make the baby so they should be a part of the baby shower. Another great idea is a diaper raffle whoever brings a thing of diapers gets their name entered in to win a prize. Plus it helps the expectant parent out alot. Also split the guests into teams and let them construct a baby or diaper cake with items on hand. But before they do so each team sneers questions to win their items that would be needed in building their baby cake.

Unknown said...

where'd you find the big bottle?

Lauren Fuentes said...

Is there a edit-able version of the (wonderful!) baby shower invitation?

Lauren said...

Great ideas!!! We did a betting pool for ours, had everyone guessing when the baby was going to be born and the hair colour. Was perfect because my husband is really into sports betting pools too. We used an online one, www.bellybets.com, but there are a bunch of printout ones too!

Desa Stephenson (drstephenson23@gmail.com) said...

I've seen the big bottles at Michael's in the baby shower section ;-)

Abigail Wangler said...

Hi! How many m&m's were in your bottle at the baby shower? My sister and I are having a little whose right war over how many are in there. Mine is 602, she seems to think there are more than a thousand in there because she thinks they are minis. If you could help settle this debate, we'd be really excited! Thank you :)

Claire said...

I just hosted a baby shower, and I made up a game that ended up being a hit! I gathered a list of the awkward/rude things people say to pregnant women (are you sure it's not twins? You look like you're about to pop! Was it planned??) and asked everyone to write a sassy response for our mom-to-be for each of the comments. My favorite: "Who's the father?" "Watch Maury this week and you'll find out with me!"

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Victoria said...

A game my family always plays uses clothes pins instead of baby dolls (cheaper). Decorate by painting them pink/blue. Hot glue any small baby shower decoration from dollar store. Each person gets one and pins it on their clothing. Don't cross your arms,legs,ankles,fingers or eyes!If you catch someone at it, you collect their pin (or pins if they already took from someone else). If you lose all your pins you can start again and try to catch up.person with the most pins wins a prize at the end of the night.

Cara said...

Do you have a link to the shower invitation? Where did you guys get them from?

Teresa Donner said...

I need to know where to get the invites we are doing a shower for my daughter on the 1st of Sept. would love to use your invites.
Thanks,
Teresa Donner

apillo said...

I love all of your ideas,! I am cohosting my cousins baby shower and we are using your Who's watching the baby game. But instead of using babypy dolls (what in the world would I do with 40+ dolls) I am going to make thesehttp://phar-ma.com/diaper-babies/#comment-1218
They are babies made from a diaper, washcloth and a sock! This way mom has something she can use afterward! And its cheaper!

Colleen said...

The diaper babies are so cute apillo! Great idea in addition to the who's watching the baby game.

romina chandler said...

It looks like a fun-filled baby shower! The games ideas were pretty hilarious and surely was filled with laughter...

Cheers xxxx
Easyday

Cuttysark said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your Fun Baby Shower Games. Great games and by the looks of the photos, it seems everyone had a nice time.

Valerie Anderson said...

Thanks! this is such a great list of baby shower games... I also created my own list of baby shower games and I hope you may find this useful as well.

All the best to you and your blog.
Val

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Jenni said...

How did you plan food/drinks with regrets only RSVP?

Suzanne Pfonne said...

My mom's friend had a baby shower and as guests arrived they were asked to pick a diaper out of a hat (the diapers were small felt cut-outs). They pinned the diaper on their shirt and at the end everyone checked to see who had the "dirty diaper" (colored on with brown marker). And that person won a prize.

I think having the guests mail a baby or childhood picture of their own and playing a matching game would be neat. Whichever guest matches the most pictures would get a prize.

I also wrote a MadLib for a friend's party and the guests filled it out and we read them at the end.

One game I wanted to try but haven't yet, is baby food (or candy bars) in a diaper and guests have to guess what they are.

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Eve Armytage said...

Thank you so much for sharing.

Eve armytage

B. Paige Gilchrist-Poteat said...

Amazing!! I think I'm going to try your idea! Thank you for sharing. I hope I can pull it off for my showing in June!

Kisha Horan said...

Where did you get the invitations?

Jemima Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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There are manu website who famous for best baby gifts.
Thanks for sharing such anice post.

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Amanda Casteel said...

I love the invitations. Where did you find them? If there is a link could you email it to me at acasteel84@gmail.com. thank you.

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