You might be thinking the hostess has lost her mind to throw a baby shower where kids are the main guests. But think of situations where the mother-to-be has a lot of special little ones in her life that aren't really of the right age for the grown-up shower and it might make more sense. It might be a teacher or a babysitter, even a much older sister—all of whom would have special kids in their lives who want to celebrate a new baby. This is a way to allow a child to celebrate a new baby in an age-appropriate and fun manner.
Depending on the age of the children invited to the baby shower, be sure to avoid hard times of day like nap times, sports practices, etc. Your choice of time should also take into account the transportation needs of the children involved. For example, if you plan a weekday shower at three p.m., working parents might have a difficult time transporting the kids. So if you're doing this for a teacher, you may wish to hold the baby shower towards the end of a school day or just after school is out. Afternoons also work really well if done during lunchtime or just before dinner time.
Type of Food
Food will depend on the time of day that you host your shower. But fun finger foods are nearly always welcomed. The food should be kid friendly and yet a bit fancier than their lunch to signal to them it's a special day.
- Small sandwiches
- Cut up fruit and vegetables arranged on plates
- Fun candies like M & Ms and mints
Consider letting some of the older kids help with food preparation where appropriate. For example, you could make sandwiches and allow a child to help cut the sandwiches with cookie cutters. Slightly older children with some basic knife skills might also be able to help cut fruits and vegetables.
Cakes or Cupcakes
Cupcakes are the ideal baby shower cake for little kids. They don't require cutting which can save on mess and can ease the pain of the slow handing out of goodies. They can also be made in different flavors which can help address issues of food preferences. You could even have undecorated cupcakes and allow the kids to decorate the cupcakes as part of the shower by providing small candies, treats, and icing.
That said, a cake can also be appropriate for your shower. Having an extra person available to help cut the cake and hand the pieces out can really speed up the process. This can be important when you have younger children who may be more impatient about getting cake.
The baby shower is about celebrating the baby and the family, not about presents. You may wish to opt out of presents altogether. If you choose to allow gifts, consider keeping the gifts low-key and inexpensive. The Baby Book Shower often works really well for this situation and helps kids spread the love of reading. Baby books are often inexpensive presents as well.
Games for Kids
Baby shower games are known for being silly. This makes kids a perfect target. For example, a group of fourth graders would probably get a really big kick out of a dirty diaper game or the rice game. One game that kids really enjoy doing is a guessing game of the sex, weight and birth date of the baby. This can make a cute keepsake and is sure to provide laughs. You may, however, want to skip awarding gifts for prizes to avoid competitiveness.
Having the kids draw a picture of the baby and talk about it can also be fun. You might even specify drawing the child and baby together. Think of these as more of small craft projects rather than games. You might also try to tap into the wisdom of your younger guests and have them offer advice on caring for a baby. They could place these on three by five cards and decorate them with markers or stickers.
Unlike other showers, you need to be sure that the parents get the invitation to ensure your little guests arrive. Evites and other electronic invitation systems work really nicely. Plus they give you easy access to keep up with who has responded yes or no.
Childcare and Supervision
One thing that you need to plan for with a kids baby shower is extra help from adults to keep the party going and the guests in line. The mother-to-be is the guest of honor and should not be required to monitor the kids but simply enjoy her party. Recruit a few parents you know well to help you with the timing and flow of the baby shower to ensure your day goes smoothly.
Babies at Baby Showers
Having a baby as a guest at a baby shower is something that often happens, particularly when you are talking about non-mobile, babies in arms. While it is ultimately up to the mother-to-be and/or her hostess, you might feel annoyed as well. You may even question whether or not you should go to the shower.
In deciding whether you still want to go to the baby shower, consider your baby’s needs, the relationship with the new mom, how likely are you to enjoy the shower (do you know or like the other guests), other factors (how long would you be gone, would you have to pump, find child care, etc.). If you feel like you’re making a rash decision because you’re annoyed and hurt—sleep on it. But in the end, you have to be true to yourself and your baby and do what you think is right. If you go, will you sit there the whole time angry that you were asked to leave your baby at home?
If you decide not to go, simply send a baby shower gift to the party and politely excuse yourself.
Tips for Taking a Baby to a Shower
- Wear your baby in a sling to keep baby calm and close. This also minimizes contact with others who may want to touch your baby without asking.
- If your baby cries, immediately excuse yourself to where the baby can’t be heard, even if this means you have to go outside.
- If someone is trying to focus on your baby, distract them by diverting the conversation.
Overall, having kids attend a baby shower, either in a group of just one or two, can be a very positive experience. With some prior planning, it can be a lot of fun for all involved.