How to throw a baby shower, while parenting your own child

Throwing a baby shower is work enough, but when you’re a parent? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Here are some tips for how to throw a baby shower in the best way possible. Or at least survive it in one piece.

1. Wake up 2-3 hours early, as this will still not be enough time. It’s a certainty that someone will poop his pants right as you’re packing 11 bags of decorations into the car. Hopefully, it’s your child, because you’re wearing a dress.

2. Don’t go to a fabric store to “be inspired.” If you’re not one to whom “inspiration” comes organically, it’s not going to come to you while standing in the middle of the value fabric aisle with your 2-year-old alternating between screaming, “I neeee-duh get OUT!” and “NO!” to any and every costumer who touches a piece of merchandise.

3. Don’t over plan. If you want to be ahead of the game, putting a quiche crust in the oven while you are simultaneously applying makeup, changing a diaper, and juggling flame torches might cause you more hassle than it’s worth.

4.  Don’t attempt to prepare a menu item for the first time the day of the shower. I have to blowtorch 16 crème brulées individually?! F that.

5. Don’t worry about your gift presentation. During the two painstaking hours of gift opening, everyone will be too busy fantasizing about standing in line at the DMV to notice your birthday dinosaurs and wedding bells wrapping paper combo. But, don’t let your cherub manhandle the present prior to wrapping. Nothing says: “This gift is awesome” like a thick coating of your kid’s grimy fingerprints all over it.

6.  Don’t read Go the Fuck to Sleep out loud if you think it will offend the Grandmas-to-be. Actually, read it anyway, because then everyone will think you’re that sassy, progressive host. Just don’t leave it out for your kid to discover the day before. “Daddee- weeee-duh Tiger book!” Oh, Junior, I hate to break it to you, but this book is not about tigers…

7. Don’t underestimate the power of delegation. Force your own mother to make 36 bows from scratch, and then take full credit for how cute they are.

8. Have some idea of whom and how many guests to expect so you’re not constantly sneaking off to the powder room to load the Evite on your phone. And consider nametags, so you aren’t playing the all-too-familiar game of, “Oh, hey Chrissy…ty…teeene…” “How’s Gabe…riel…riella… How’s your daughter?”

9.  Laugh at others people’s dumb questions:

  • Guest to guest: – When are you due? – Oh, I’m not pregnant.
  • Grandma to guest: – Didn’t you just have a baby? – Um, no.
  • Idiot host to mother-to-be: – Is that all? Who’s that gift from again?

10. As for shower games: Don’t play any. Just. DON’T.

About the writer

Erin Petron Gosser is the Social Butterfly Mom, who scoffs at people who say that your social life is over after kids. By day, a French speaking, cloth diapering, baker extraordinaire in both real and pretend kitchens. By night, a cabaret rapper, below average triathlete, and club hopper (book club, that is). 

From Around the Web


Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Thanks for reading, Phil! Being the Social Butterfly Mom, I encourage social events, but some “traditions” need tweaking. 😉

Phil @ baby shower parties 2 years ago

I found your list highly amusing and a great take on holding a baby shower if this doesn’t turn of mums to be hosting their own party nothing will.

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Exactly, Ashlee. For a hot second, I contemplated preparing the crème brulees. Then, I thought about what a crankypants I’d be and decided against it.

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

I received the Bob jogging stroller from a group of friends for my shower. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used it! And hopefully, how many LB’s it helped me drop!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Dear God, woman! That is impressive!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago


Kylie 2 years ago

Really, it’s the only important thing to include at a baby shower, right?

Ashlee 2 years ago

Don’t attempt to prepare a menu item for the first time the day of the shower. <– AMEN. Things go horribly, horribly wrong when this occurs.

Mommy4 2 years ago

Lol-this is great! I had to host a baby shower when I was 8.5 months pregnant with my 4th child and the other three under the age of six. I’m still scarred from the experience.

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Thanks for reading, Kristen. I’ve played that one and experienced some awkward aftermath. Did no one WAYYYY over guess your size? At the shower where I participated in that game, the mother of the mom-to-be gave…um…shall we say a “healthy” guess. It did not end well. ;p

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Thanks Pam! Good food and one frilly drink are all you need! I’m sure you will be the hostess with the mostest. 😉
(Computer just corrected “mostest” to “moistest.” Ewww…)

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

You are not alone, JD Bailey! My mom was all nervous about the bows, but here’s the trick: show her how you’re going to do it. If you’re like me, it will look terrible and she’ll take pity on you and do it herself. Score! Is that how it worked with tu madre as well?
Solo matron of honor while working and being mommy of a little one? AHHHH!!!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Thanks Darcy! Um, I’m pretty sure that I was the idiot host on that one. There was a lot of tissue paper, ok?! Fail.

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Thanks for reading, Kathy! Your shower would be one that I’d like to attend. The above shower that I was describing was <2 hrs. Boo yah.

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Yes, Emily! It will. If you are anything like me, you will end up with a master list which details each micro list.
And btw, raccoons are terrible shower guests. “Who dipped her finger in the cake?! Ugh. Rocky. Again.”

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

Am I weird for liking baby shower games? I like that one where everyone cuts a string to what they guess to be the circumference of the mom-to-be’s belly. It was most fun when I was the object of the guessing game. No? Just me? Alrighty then. lol (Thanks for making me laugh!)

Pam @ Whatevs… 2 years ago

Erin, This is awesome. I was on the fence about throwing a shower for a friend… I needed some inspiration:)

JD Bailey 2 years ago

Ha! #7: "Force your own mother to make 36 bows from scratch, and then take full credit for how cute they are." So I'm not the only one whose mom is a bow-maker and I happily take credit for their beauty? 😉

JD Bailey 2 years ago

Ha! #7: "Force your own mother to make 36 bows from scratch, and then take full credit for how cute they are." So I'm not the only one whose mom is a bow-maker and I happily take credit for their beauty? 😉

I was the matron of honor for my bff's wedding. I was her only attendant. And I had an infant and was working full-time while I was planning everything. Talk about stress! Yeeeeks! But it all worked out. Somehow!

Grace | Yummy Baby Gifts 2 years ago

Ask and you shall receive:


FREE Priority Mail Shipping for all Scary Mommy readers when you spend $50! Expires Oct 31, 2013

PS – no shipping carrier ships for free.

Darcy Perdu 2 years ago

Ha! Love the host at gift-unwrapping time — “is that all? who gave that?” That’s a classic! Love your list of Baby Shower tips — so funny!

Kathy Radigan 2 years ago

Great tips!! I was just at a baby shower a few weeks ago, and there were games!!! Not a good idea!!!! I have always been of the mind to serve good foods, and keep the pace going. Great post!

Emily 2 years ago

Oh, Erin! I am in the throes of a shower as I type this. Yikes! You so nailed it here. Somehow I end up three children pawing as soon as I try to write my to-do list. And then like a raccoon seeing something shiny, I get distracted. It’ll all come together, right?! Right?!

SocialButterflyMom 2 years ago

You too! Thanks again for reading.

SocialButterflyMom 2 years ago

Um, Bellinis and cake pops? Where do I sign up, HD? I can muster a really good (grimy) baby gift in minutes!

SocialButterflyMom 2 years ago

Thanks Jen! Sorry you didn’t enjoy your own shower. People underestimate that it’s hard work to lean over your chair for a gift, and then attempt to balance it on your lap next to your bountiful belly while you open it. A “display” shower sounds heavenly!

Debbie 2 years ago

Thanks for explanation and when it comes to name tags, yes they are a pain. You have a great day.

SocialButterflyMom 2 years ago

You will be a great host, Meredith! Throwing a good F bomb in for good measure always lightens the mood. But then, so do Jager bombs.

SocialButterflyMom 2 years ago

Thanks for reading, Shannan! I will be the sad mom. Don’t believe me when I tell you my eyes are red and swollen from allergies! But do believe me when I say that parties are always a welcome distraction. :)

Shannan 2 years ago

I think the idea of a shower for a new empty nester sound awesome – I bet those are some ladies who are seriously ready to party (or feeling sad and thus also in need of fun festivities). You could really be on to something here…. :) Great post!

HD 2 years ago

This cracked me up! I’ve only planned one shower, and my neurotic side went wild. Luckily it went off without a hitch. Bellini’s and cake pops, catered food from a local eatery and a nice small group of crazy people to fuss over the mommy-to-be. My kind of party. Well it was, until I saw the post about the party that offered mini massages, foot rubs and spray tans. That’s flat out awesome.

Jen@Outsmarted Mommy 2 years ago

I feel safe confessing this here…I didn’t even enjoy my OWN shower so I barely make it through others, although at least I can have some wine at theirs. I like the social aspect of it but the sitting through every darn gift of bibs and onesies is just too much for anyone if you ask me. I recently went to a “display” shower where you just showed up with your unwrapped gift stuck a tag on it and that was that. The rest of the shower consisted of eating, drinking and pampering. That’s right they brought in people to do “mini” massages, foot rubs, and spray tans. Clearly this host was some type of genius. Great post!

Meredith 2 years ago

I am dying over #6! And panic-puking b/c I have to throw a shower this weekend, so this is bit too real–HELP!!!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

You know, Lauren, we’re currently teaching my son the PSA: “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Wearing clothes to the grocery store is an important lesson. Getting to the store and not forgetting anything (on your grocery list OR one of your kids) just might be more stressful than throwing a baby shower. 😉

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

L.A.- thanks for reading. My two moms-to-be were rock stars. Either they had a great time, or they’re really good liars!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Jessica- where have you been all my attending-bridal-and-baby-showers life?! It takes a truly time efficient individual to master that gift assembly, er, disassembling line. Are you for hire? 😉

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Grace- thanks for your comments. If you have free shipping, then I’m sure people would be super interested in what you have to offer. In recent years, though, I’ve been doing most of my shopping in store. Shipping is such an unnecessary cost. ;p

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Ariana- I know. Sorry! Maybe it’s just my friends, but we’re kind of over games. You know what’s fun and good middle ground? A mad lib about the parents-to-be. Guests can choose to participate, it’s funny, and then there’s a keepsake from the baby bash.

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

I love that idea, Mia. Thanks for sharing! What’s really important is celebrating the couple, right? And if you provide beer (booze), then as you say, it’s fun for guests, too. Bravo to your and your mad hosting skillzzz!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Haha, Monica. You are not a horrible friend! You threw a shower, so as Julia Child says, “Never apologize when hosting/cooking for someone.” Maybe next time, you could just make it a combo baby shower/high school graduation party? 😉

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Debbie- thanks for your comments. I mention #8 because most people will know the number, but perhaps not the names of all the guests. That’s why name tags are a good idea; then you know if everyone is there or not. Sometimes, though, people feel that nametags are impersonal/dorky.
Plus, everyone was going to wear one of those bows, damn it. My mom…er…I spent too much time for them to be obstructed by nametags!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Thanks for reading, Ashley! Out of curiosity, how many rolls does it take? But serrrriously, what a waste of TP- and my precious time. Think of all the important (Facebook checking) stuff I could be doing during those 10 minutes!

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Kylie- that’s a very serious and valid concern. I would never take anyone for a jokester who asks such an important question! Mimosas = a must. Thanks for reading. :)

Social Butterfly Mom 2 years ago

Sena- thanks for reading. The games you bring up are tolerable. 😉 My moms-to-be were very straightforward: no games. And, with how long gift opening takes, games sometimes just add unnecessary time.

Lauren 2 years ago

I’m just impressed that there are moms hosting showers! I’m still working on let’s-get-out-of-the-house-with-most-of-our-clothes-on trips to the grocery store.

L.A. Say 2 years ago

Baby showers are kinda fun, when the right person is there and the mom-to-be isn’t too miserable to enjoy it.

Jessica 2 years ago

“fantasizing about standing in line at the DMV” during gift opening is spot on!! Hillarious!! Let’s face it, everyone is happy for the guest of honor, but no one wants to sit there forever (unless there is booze, but there typically isn’t (enough)). I like when a few choice people volunteer to usher the gift opening along, factory line style…one preps and hands the gift (just start undoing the tape a smidge), one takes the gift away to an undisclosed area afterwards. Others help with quickly throwing out wrapping paper/trash. And of course one to write down everything….which by the way means it is just not necessary to keep the card with the box, so stop wasting time with that!

Grace | Yummy Baby Gifts 2 years ago

Well my advice for No.5 is it’s easy to get a cool gift when you shop at our baby gift online store! You won’t have to worry about presentation when we’ve already done it for you! Our baby gifts looks like food! We take onesies, socks, bibs, etc and hand-roll them into cupcakes, ice cream, lollipops, Bon bons and even Sushi! And as for no. 10, I already got five easy games for you on my blog! :) done and done! Lol

Ariana is Still Growing 2 years ago

What?!? No shower games?!? Always cringe worthy, but in the end usually kinda fun I think. All good tips though, thanks!

Mia 2 years ago

We had a co-ed indoor/outdoor bbq party (baby shower), complete with beer. I mean really, in this day and age, men are also involved. I wanted it to be fun for the guests too. There is no requirement to have the sappy uber tea party type baby showers.

monica 2 years ago

um, I think this is AWESOME. another tip: try to host the shower for the mom-to-be before said child is going to college. ;o) (just speaking from personal experience as the mom of four and “friend” to two awesome moms whose babies are now almost one?) #horriblefriend

Debbie 2 years ago

I like the idea of the apple juice. With this list it kind of sounds like you may be a little unorganized. #8 you always know with in a few how many are coming if you do it right.
I realize you were just trying to be funny (I’m hoping anyway), but with any party you make your list of what needs to be done and work your list. Anyway that works for me.

thedoseofreality 2 years ago

Full agreement with you on the shower games. No one needs to see how many rolls of toilet paper it takes to turn the mommy-to-be into a human mummy! ;)-Ashley

Kylie 2 years ago

The last baby shower I went to, I was so frazzled from getting across town through traffic to drop my kids at my mom’s house,and then across town in yet another direction, that when I walked in (late) the first thing I asked the hostess was: “Do you have any booze?” She blinked in shock, so I said I was just joking. But I wasn’t. Not really.

Sena Lee 2 years ago

Shower games can be fun… As long as everyone wants to play. Good prizes are a must. Gives people a reason to play. And the more awkward the better. Nothing funnier than watching 3 grown women race to drink apple juice from a bottle for a $5 Walmart card. Lol. And the dirty diaper game… Melted chocolate smeared in a diaper. Worth it just for the guests reactions. :)