New Baby Shower Trends
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Born Winners1 of 14
By Julie Fishman
Yawn-filled showers of the past have finally received a much-needed refresh. Creative baby bashes with coed attendees, cash-only registries and mini-meals are a hit with hip moms-to-be everywhere. With the help of top-notch event planners, designers and all-around baby buffs, we've collected our favorite new fads to inspire your next baby-on-the-way bash.
Guys & Dolls2 of 14
With more guys than ever partaking in wedding planning, there's "a carry-over now to men participating in baby showers," says Nancy Lee, president of MyRegistry.com. Coed showers featuring beer-filled baby bottles and man-friendly foods are on the rise. Men can get into the action with games like Dirty Diaper Hoops, where they compete to see who can toss the most rolled-up Pampers through a hoop, notes Shannon Guyton, an editor at TheBump.com.
Going Green3 of 14
Eco-conscious moms-to-be, like Sheryl Crow, are serving local, organic foods at their showers and requesting "green gifts with simpler packaging," says Lee. Organic clothing from Under the Nile and homemade baby food tools like The Béaba Babycook are popular presents at green gatherings. "People want to be less wasteful," Lee explains, "and we just didn't see that a couple years ago."
Into The Woods4 of 14
Whereas bears and ducks used to dominate baby decor, today's animals of choice are woodland creatures, like owls, hedgehogs and moose. Kelly McLeskey-Dolata, owner of A Savvy Event, recently planned an owl-themed shower in Sonoma, Calif., with vintage birdhouses, moss-covered signs and "Hootie's Library," a table filled with owl-centric children's books.
Itty-Bitty Bites5 of 14
Instead of a sit-down meal, hip hosts are favoring brunch buffets with mini-foods. "Moms are really excited about brunch," reports Guyton, because they can "modernize the menu" with creative dishes like tiny French toast squares over shots of maple syrup and mac and cheese lollipops. Food stylist Mary Lallande of Jay's Catering says anything on a stick, including pies, are a hit because they impress without a mess.
Wistful Drinking6 of 14
Alcohol-free "mocktails" and fresh juices in glass baby bottles are clever ways to wash down the petite provisions, says Guyton. Old-fashioned A&W or Boylan sodas are also popular—and double as decor—at vintage-themed showers, where modish mason jars often serve as cups. For especially nostalgic adults, Lallande prepares warm cookies served aside shot glasses of cold milk.
Back for More7 of 14
Instead of full-on showers, veteran moms are holding smaller "sprinkles." "It's not just about the first baby anymore," says Lee, explaining that more and more moms are registering for their second child, a totally taboo move just a few years back. Also on the rise with practiced parents are "See and Sip" parties, where a month or two after the birth, "people drop by like an open house to see the baby and sip on Champagne," says McLeskey-Dolata.
No Girls Allowed8 of 14
Often called "man showers" or "daddy diaper parties," guys-only gatherings are "something we've really seen take off," says Guyton. "It's another rite of passage," she adds, much like a bachelor party before a wedding. In lieu of gifts, man shower guests are asked to bring a package of diapers. While most of these shindigs are low-key beer and barbecue afternoons, reality TV star Scott Disick flew his best boys to Miami Beach, Fla., for an epic bash before the birth of his son, Mason, in 2009.
On The Money9 of 14
"About 50 percent of our families now register for cash," reports Lee, proving that gift etiquette is changing. Moms who'd rather not put a $1,000 Bugaboo stroller on their registry like that a cash fund allows people to contribute toward big-ticket items without doling out serious dough. Second- and third-time moms find registering for cash practical: They can avoid a "house full of duplicates."
Game Changer10 of 14
Gone are the days of "Guess How Big Around" and "Pass the Dirty Diaper"—thank goodness! Celebrity-based games, like matching the famous parent to the child and guessing the celebrity based on their baby picture, are fun new ways to "get people interacting and talking," says Guyton. Graphic designer Katie Richards reports that stylish moms love her Mad Libs twist on traditional advice cards.
Breathing Easy11 of 14
Since many modern moms-to-be will juggle kids and career in the months ahead, pampered showers are picking up pace, says Guyton. Held at a spa or a home that's been transformed by candles, music and cucumber water, these events often include a manicurist and masseuse on hand. Guests are encouraged to bring relaxing gifts for mom, like bath salts or body lotion. Comfy slippers are a favorite parting gift.
Jack or Jill?12 of 14
Gender reveal showers, where Mom and Dad "share the excitement of learning their baby's sex," are at an all-time high, says Guyton. Parents ask their doctor to write the baby's sex on a piece of paper in a sealed envelope and give to the baker, who then makes a cake that's neutral on the outside and either pink or blue on the inside. Guests make predictions before the reveal, and then when Mom and Dad cut into the cake, they find out if they're having a boy or girl. The pins pictured here by designer Bettijo B. Hirschi are a stylish way to make the activity visual.
Over-the-Top Pop13 of 14
While cakes and cupcakes are the gender reveal go-to's, party planners are getting more creative. According to Guyton, two alternate balloon reveals are becoming big. In the first, a box containing pink or blue balloons is opened, sending the secret up to the sky for "an amazing visual." In the other, a single balloon is popped, and pink or blue confetti "rains down on guests."
Once Upon A Time14 of 14
Lallande's clients have recently been requesting storybook showers themed around a specific time-honored tale. "From Dr. Seuss to Curious George, moms-to-be are looking for a little nostalgia," she says. Designing for book-based gatherings allows for a ton of creativity: "The colors and characters are fun to incorporate, especially into the desserts," says Lallande. Shower attendees are asked to bring their favorite childhood classic to start a library for the bouncing bundle of joy.
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