In many households, men and women alike are now changing diapers, giving baths, and spending bleary-eyed hours with a baby who just won’t sleep. So why should Mom get all the pampering before baby arrives? Celebrate both parents by trading in some of the more cutesy games, pastel color scheme, and dainty foods for a universally fun couples shower featuring books and music for baby.
The Library Theme
Gift-giving is easiest and most enjoyable when you provide your guests with a theme. For a co-ed celebration, consider building the baby-to-be’s library. This is a popular idea with parents, and (pardon the stereotyping) can be much more interesting for men than oohing and aahing over onesies and monogrammed blankets. In the party invites, ask guests to bring a children’s book or two—their childhood favorite or a new classics—and instruct them to inscribe the title page with a personal note for baby.
How to Gift Music
It’s also be fun to extend the definition of “library” to include music, providing baby with the sounds that will soothe him or her to sleep in the early days and inspire dance parties later on. Here’s how you can pass on your favorite tunes.
- Purchase a favorite CD. This is the easiest approach and gives your friends something permanent to hold onto. The parents-to-be can always copy the CD in digital format if they want it for playback on a mobile device.
- Make a mix. Burn a CD with a variety of great songs; as above, let them decide what format they prefer to keep it in.
- Make a playlist. Write a list of songs and artists that you feel are essential for young ears, whether it’s classical lullabies, kid-friendly beats, or just plain great music. Give an iTunes gift card along with the list so your friends can purchase the songs.
Games and Activities
Unlike those girls-only parties that feature games like “guess Mom’s weight” and baby shower bingo, a couples shower tends to revolve around good food, drink, and conversation. Lucky you! But that doesn’t mean you have to banish all silliness. These no-fuss ideas are good for laughs:
Baby Name Suggestion Box
Cover a shoe box with pretty paper, cut a slit in the top, and place it by the front door with a note pad and pen. Ask guests to contribute baby name suggestions (the more creative, the better) as they arrive. They can wander over during the party and make entries, too, if a brain wave strikes. Later, have the soon-to-be-parents read the names aloud in between opening gifts to help keep sated guests from dozing. You can even offer a prize for Mom and Dad’s favorite choice.
Make up a quiz to fit the theme of the party, inspired by your favorite children’s books: Where did Christopher Robin live? How did Captain Hook get his hook? Where was Knufflebunny hiding? Add in music trivia, too, making the questions as hard or easy or ridiculous as you like. Have prizes for the highest scores in each category.
Somewhere between Super Bowl party food and the delicate, tea-party style fare of the classic baby shower is the ideal co-ed shower menu. You want crowd-pleasing foods that are hearty but not too heavy, not too fussy. How about pizza? It’s easy to tailor your offerings to suit a range of tastes, and to scale the menu for any size crowd. And appetizers and sides with this casual menu practically make themselves.
A fun way to honor both parents is to have two cakes: a Mom’s cake and a Dad’s cake. Use their favorite flavors to guide you, or try these: