Budget planning for a baby
Your bestie is having a baby and you want to give her a great send off before the big day, right? But you’ve looked at the cost of invitations, gifts, venues, food and drink, and aren’t sure you can give her the day she deserves? Well, we’ve got some great tips for throwing a baby shower to remember - without breaking the bank.
We live in a digital age so why not send e-invites? They’re cost effective, if not completely free, and reduce our impact on the environment. Don’t fuss about a save-the-date card either – as long as you give guests enough notice, they’ll make themselves available.
There’s a bunch of great websites, some with customisable features, so your invitations still get that personalised touch. Some of our favourites are:
Tip: The shower date should be close to the due date, but not so close that the mum-to-be may be having contractions as she's opening gifts – anytime in the last trimester should work well. And always ask who should be invited. It could be the only shower for the mother, or one of many.
Food and Drink
Skip the caterers and head to the supermarket for cheaper ingredients. Even if you have no cooking experience at all, a nice spread of finger sandwiches, cheese, fruit, and crackers shouldn’t be a problem. Some of the guests may bring their own young children so informal food is often easier to deal with and creates a more relaxed atmosphere.
A pot-luck meal is also a great way save money and to reduce the burden on the person who is arranging the shower. Just ask each of your guests to bring a plate – some sweet, some savoury.
Tip: Desserts are a must for baby showers so enlist family and friends to help with this part. If you know someone close to the mother who makes a perfect pavlova, or cracking cupcakes, ask them if they’d like to bake for the shower. It could even be their gift, rather than buying something for the mum-to-be.
Having a few party games arranged for guests to play gives structure to the party and helps everyone integrate and get to know each other. The best part is they don’t have to cost a cent. Some free baby shower games include:
• How big is mummy’s tummy? – Guests take it in turns to guess the circumference of the mother’s tummy. All you need is a tape measure, and maybe an extra cupcake for the winning guess.
• Guess the birth date.
• Guess the sex (If you don’t already know).
• Wishes for baby: Use this free printable and make a copy for every guest to fill out. It’s a beautiful thing for the mum to take home and read with her partner.
• Don't say baby: As you greet each guest, give each a milk-bottle pin or nappy pin to wear on thier shirt. Once all your guests have arrived, tell everyone that they can't say 'baby' for the duration of the shower. If anyone hears someone else saying the forbidden word, he or she can steal the rule breaker's pin. At the end of the game, the person with the most pins wins.
Tip: Games should be simple, easy to understand and should involve all guests. Giving prizes to the winners adds extra excitement.
Many baby showers are held in expensive hotels or even spas, but they don’t need to be to get a feeling of opulence. You could book a private room in a fancy restaurant or café (many will offer these for free if you’re ordering their food and drink), or just host at your own home - as long as you can accommodate all of the guests! If the weather is good, you could even head to a park and find a beautiful spot to put down a few blankets and hang up some bunting.
Tip: The location should be someplace convenient for the mother as well. A home or facility without air conditioning in summer when she's 7 months pregnant will not be comfortable for her. Select a spot that has ample room, close bathrooms, and few stairs.
One of the highlights of the day is the giving of gifts to the expecting mother. As with most things about a baby shower, gifts don’t need to be elaborate or expensive – they just need to show you care. The most appropriate gifts are those that will either pamper the mother or be useful when the baby arrives. Things like picture frames, baby books, nappies, wash cloths, bibs, and onesies are relatively cheap but will be well received. Remember that your time may well be the best gift you can give when the baby is born, so don’t worry if you can’t afford something right now – you could make a voucher for babysitting, tidying the house, walking the baby, or doing some laundry for the mother to redeem at a later date.
Tip: If she hasn’t done so already, the mum-to-be may be signing up for a baby registry. It's the perfect way to keep everyone abreast of what she really needs. Many stores offer both in-store and on-line registries so you can shop whichever way suits you best and you can be sure you’ve bought something that will be used and loved.
There are really no rules when it comes to throwing a baby shower. All that really matters is that friends and family gather to celebrate the mother – she’s in for a tough few months, so showing her your love before the big day will go a long way to reassuring her that she has a support network in place should she need it later on.
You deserve to be looked after
As a Plunket family, we'd like to offer you special deals from BNZ with our Plunket Baby Bundle Offer.