Baby showers can be fun. They can also be taxing, long, crowded, and quite expensive — no things a parent-to-be needs in their life!
Fortunately, there are many other fun and interesting ways to mark the occasion that suits all budgets, circumstances, and patience levels — check out these 16 tradition-busting baby shower ideas…
1. Virtual Baby Shower
Virtual baby showers may have been a necessity in recent times, but an online celebration definitely has its advantages.
The basic (free) features of Zoom allow up to 100 participants a 40-minute video call, but that may be overkill for your baby shower!
The bottom line is that you can host all of your beloved family and friends without the headache of catering and travel arrangements.
Send out your e-invitations in plenty of time so you can open gifts on camera and plan fun games like matching the baby name to the celebrity or guessing the price of baby items!
2. Baby Sprinkle
A low-key version of a baby shower — a baby “sprinkle” — is perfect if you just don’t have the time, budget, or patience for a full-blown traditional baby shower.
As the name suggests, sprinkles are more laid back in terms of the guest list, games, and gifts (think diapers and baby wipes over strollers and bassinets).
This type of casual get-together can still have a theme and cute decorations, but things can be toned down a little to take some of the pressure off.
3. Nursery Decorating Party
If decorating the nursery is one of the sore points on your endless to-do list, a baby shower is a lovely excuse to finally get it done and have some fun with loved ones in the process.
If partners of the mom-to-be are reading this, why not rope guests into giving the nursery a surprise makeover for when she gets back from a day of pampering?
The real party can then start for mom and hard-working guests with cake, finger foods, and games!
4. Open-House Baby Shower
If you and your partner are of the opinion “the more the merrier” when it comes to social gatherings (no judgment here if you’re not!), then an open-house baby shower may be right up your street.
This embraces a wider net of guests such as partners, husbands, both sets of grandparents-to-be, etc.
More people means that the theme, food, decorations, and games needn’t be so strict — a simple finger-food-style buffet will suffice, and consider hosting a diaper raffle for a more grown-up spin on the affair.
5. Formal Dinner Party
This can be a great way for second and third-time moms to celebrate. Since it’s likely you may already have a lot of the baby items gifted in a traditional shower, why not host a fancy adult dinner party with friends instead?
Better still, do away with cooking/cleaning up all together by booking a table at your favorite restaurant.
Let the venue know what you’re planning ahead of time so they could arrange tasteful party favors or a showstopping dessert!
6. Private Family Celebration
In the run-up to your due date, the idea of a traditional large-scale baby shower can sometimes sound tiring and needlessly overcomplicated. Take things down a notch with an intimate family celebration.
Event planner Nancy Park is certainly in favor of close connections over huge parties:
“Small gatherings with more thoughtful activities gives you the time to pamper mama and properly celebrate her friendships/relationships.”
7. Blessingway Baby Shower
Taking inspiration from a traditional Navajo ceremony, a “Blessingway” is a female-only gathering involving the mother-to-be’s closest supporters (sister, mother, aunt, best friend, doula, etc.).
The women sit in a circle and celebrate her passage into motherhood by reciting positive birth stories and affirmations to banish fears and instill strength and confidence.
Doula and founder of Belly Belly Kelly Winder also suggests including activities such as gentle massage or henna body art on the belly or hands.
8. Girl’s Night Out
The strains and stresses of being pregnant can make you forget what it was like to have fun, and if a traditional shower feels more like an obligation than a joy, allow yourself to blow away the cobwebs the way you used to pre-pregnancy with a girly night out!
You could make a whole day of it with an afternoon spa treatment before heading for a restaurant meal and cinema trip before it’s back to your place for a grown-up sleepover with snacks, games, and your favorite films.
9. Push Party
This more grown-up, sophisticated spin on a baby shower is an adult social gathering often held much nearer to the baby’s arrival (or shortly after) and is where mom can receive “push presents” to celebrate the birth and exciting new chapter.
Unlike a baby shower that focuses on giving gifts for the baby, a push party centers around pampering the expectant mom.
Beyoncé famously threw a next-level push party in Beverly Hills themed around Mother Africa with traditional African dress, decorations, henna belly tattoos, a pool, and more, so you’d be in cool company!
Celebrated after the baby’s birth, a Sip-and-See is essentially a gathering of friends and family to meet your new bundle of joy…simultaneously.
As overwhelming as this might sound, this can be hugely appealing to a brand-new mother/parent since it allows everyone at the same time to come and see the baby instead of scheduling individual visits for the next 2-3 months!
Bring drinks, baby presents, and plenty of “aaawws!”
11. Housecleaning Party
In preparation for a baby’s arrival, anything that can take a little load off a pregnant woman’s mind is welcome, so an offer of cleaning her house from top to bottom sounds almost as sexy as the baby’s conception!
You could get guests to pair off and deep clean specific areas of the home with cute cards detailing cleaning steps/info on which sprays to use.
You could maybe set up a treasure hunt of fun prizes to find in each room too, like gift cards/vouchers.
12. Jack and Jill Baby Shower
This co-ed-style baby shower is perfect for those who don’t want to leave the men out of the party or for close friends with two babies on the way around the same time (a boy and a girl).
Honoring two sets of families (four if you count the grandparents-to-be!) can add to the joy of the celebration as you share in each other’s excitements, worries, and hopes — with cake!
Mom Alexis from Bless Our Littles offers some great advice on throwing one here.
A WebBabyShower lets you step up your virtual baby shower game in an awesome and memorable way. For a one-time fee, you can build your own baby shower website to share with an unlimited number of guests around the world.
As part of the service, you’ll have access to 40+ games and quizzes, built-in video calls, photo and story-sharing features, and other personalization features including a mobile app for guests to stay updated!
14. Drop-Off-Meal Shower
Instead of asking guests to bring baby presents, go one better and request a drop-off meal shower.
Each friend or family member simply drops by with a hearty prepared frozen meal and canned goods to keep the cupboards and freezer well stocked for the hectic postpartum period.
This simple but sweet gesture gives mom and dad/partner one less thing to worry about as they get acclimatized to parental life, and nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal.
15. Bless-Others Gathering
If you have a lot of the baby items you need, why not use your celebration as an opportunity to donate to families in need, shelters, and other charities?
Ask that guests bring along items like blankets, clean diapers, wipes, etc. that could be donated to pregnancy centers and foster family charities or clothing, toiletries, pads/tampons, etc. that could be donated to local women’s refuge shelters.
Perhaps guests could collectively make something together for donation such as a large blanket or a hat and scarf set?
16. Quilting Bee
The cool thing about a quilting bee (gathering together to make a baby quilt block by block) is that it can be done in person or online.
For the online version, start a group chat with fellow guests about colors/ideas before assigning each person to a block, and at the end, every block will be sent to one person to join them together and surprise the mom-to-be with her special gift!
If quilting isn’t really your thing in the friendship group, why not consider a CAL or KAL (a crochet-along or knit-along) with each guest working up a cute granny square in baby-appropriate pastel colors?
There are loads of different ways to celebrate mom and baby and as you can see, none of them need to stick to the rules of a traditional baby shower.
Having a fun distraction in the wake of the baby’s impending arrival with the people that matter the most to you should be placed above the theme, decorations, food, and everything else.
Hopefully, one of the alternative ideas above has inspired you to shake things up for your baby shower!
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.