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baby booties & blanketsBaby showers are fun for everyone - from the expectant parents and grandparents to close family and friends - who all want to share in the anticipation and joy of a new arrival!

If you're the one whose been chosen to host the happy event here are some tips on invitations, party themes and decorations, food and drinks to serve, along with great ideas for baby shower party games - men included!

Baby shower theme & decoration ideas

Gone are the days when baby shower themes were simply pink or blue!

Nowadays, you can let your imagination run wild with themes ranging from Mickey Mouse and Dr. Seuss to "shake, rattle and roll" or a "birds and the bees" theme, and beyond.

The baby shower theme you choose can be specially targeted to an expectant boy or girl, or gender neutral. Here are only a few suggestions that can help you decide on a theme, or as a launching pad for your own unique baby shower idea:

Boy baby shower themes: nautical, sports, safari adventure, zoo animals, circus theme, honey bear, dinosaurs, wild west, Mexican fiesta, little prince, fireman, superheroes, down on the farm, little cowboy.

Pink roses and baby's breath form a centerpiece
for a "Pretty in Pink" baby shower theme.

Girl baby shower themes: tea party, pretty in pink, under the sea, enchanted garden, royal princess, rainbows and unicorns, pink lemonade, twinkle twinkle little star, festival of flowers, paper dolls, tutu cute ballerina.

Gender neutral baby shower themes: pickles and ice cream, bedtime stories, under the sea, Noah's ark, panda bear, lullabies, nature, animals, shake rattle and roll, rock a bye baby, cute as a button.

Of course, you can mix and match all the above as you see fit. For example, we know many boys who love bedtime stories and an equal number of girls who LOVE dinosaurs!

Once you have the theme set, go ahead and begin thinking about invitation and decoration ideas. Purchase them at the party store, or or cut costs by doing it yourself with a home computer and printer with free downloadable baby shower decorations.

For the invitations, remember to include the date, time, location and RSVP details. And be sure to let everyone know that "mums the word" if it's a surprise baby shower.

also see -> baby shower themes

Baby showers can include the guys!

It's the 21st century: Time to include the guys!

While showers seem to have started as an American tradition, they are now popular all over the world.

Traditional showers were just for women and the men were left out. Most modern dads are much more involved with taking care of their babies and raising their children, so many showers now include couples baby showers.

Co-ed baby shower activities

One great shower game gets the men involved by racing to see who can dress or diaper a doll the fastest.

For another hilarious game, have the guys stuff pillows in their shirts to mimic a pregnant belly. Then ask them to bend over to tie their shoes!

Just try and imagine the scenes and you'll understand how much laughter these create. You'll find plenty of other games and tips for planning co-ed showers online (see our web resources section, below).

Sweet baby shower traditions

Cute party favors are ready for a boy's
"Honey Bear" baby shower theme.

Baby shower games may be silly but add lots of fun to the party.

Enjoying the food that's been readied by the hostess and sharing of tips and happy stories about life with a new baby are just the appetizers for the gifts opened by the expectant mom and dad.

A few friends help with the bigger packages. One writes down the parents-to-be's comments while another keeps track of gifts for the thank you cards. Ribbons and bows are attached to a paper plate to make the famous "shower hat," worn after the gifts are all opened and admired.

Cake is served, the goodbyes are said, and then everyone goes back home to wait for pictures... and word that the new baby has arrived!

Before they go, send your guests home with party favors that fit your theme, such as small jars of honey wrapped in a blue a ribbon for a boy's "honey bear" theme, or miniature floral bouquets made from artificial flowers for a cute girl's floral theme. Use your imagination and the party favor can be one of the highlights of sweet and memorable baby shower.

Baby shower gift ideas are easy

It's true. Giving baby shower gifts is just as much fun as shopping for them! Just remember that, sometimes, the thoughtful gift is the most practical one. That goes especially for first-time moms.

The No. 1 baby shower gift given most often? Diapers, of course (new moms just can't use enough of them), followed by car seats, baby rockers, and blankets.

A gift of a few outfits in neutral colors for the new baby is always safe and appreciated, or try chipping in for a big gift like a crib, high chair, stroller or video camera.

Many expectant parents make gift giving simple by registering at a local store. You can check the registry online to see what they need and pick a baby gift that fits your budget.

Have fun!

also see --> surprise party ideas

More about baby shower party ideas around the Web:

The Web is a wishing well of great ideas for baby shower themes, invitations, decorations, shower games and gift ideas. Tips for clever, useful centerpieces like cakes made from clean disposable diapers or huge baby bottles filled with little gifts for the baby are easy to find if you know where to look ...

Fun Baby Shower Ideas - All the help you need planning and throwing a great baby shower from the invitations and decorations to the food, games, favors ... and a checklist to keep the planning smooth. Include the link as a gift to the mom-to-be because along with great shower info, it's a mom's world has just about anything mom related she'll ever need to find...

Party Games-Baby Shower Games - This is a page of so many games, you could throw a dozen showers and still have some left over. Games for showers that are co-ed are included. There are many games here that you won't see anywhere else so take your time reading through the list.

Mommy Party - This site is very different - they do have listings of games, good planning and theme ideas and more, but they also offer a service that lets you throw an online baby shower for a relatively inexpensive fee. If the mom-to-be is far away from home, this may be the ideal solution. It seems to get a lot of use from military wives.

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