Hold the Surprise Baby Shower: 4 Ways to Make It Work

Jeanne Sager

Suprise! Flickr photo by dawnzy58
I didn't want a surprise baby shower.

I couldn't throw it myself, but I could do second best. Call me anal (it's OK, my friends do), I prefer being aware of my surroundings.

But I've thrown surprise showers before -- I have to admit, they're a lot more fun that way.

They just require a lot more planning. A few things to think about before you plan a surprise shower:

1. How are you going to get the presents home? For tiny creatures, babies require some pretty big packages -- the swing, the crib, and the pack and play aren't going to fit in mommy-to-be's Honda Accord. And she can't exactly carry it up with a belly out to here.

2. What's mom's medical condition? The real science is still out on whether stress can induce labor, so don't expect her to go into contractions just because you scream, "Surprise!" But she may be told to remain off her feet as much as possible -- which means it would best to plan it at home. Or she may be expected to go "early," so you may need to change the date.

3. Is her family a bit of a mess? Nothing can cause drama like forgetting to invite Auntie Harriet, or inviting her mom AND her stepmom to the same shower. You might want to check with her for a thorough guide to who not to seat together and who absolutely must get a personal invite.

4. What's her personality? Is she shy and going to melt into a puddle of tears if she walks into a door of jumping crazy people screaming, "Surprise"? Is she Type A and will be cranky that she wasn't able to make some of these decisions? Is she just plain emotional because her hormones are going nuts and you need to remember that, yes, you're doing something nice for her, but her life is a little bit nutty right now?

Do you know when your shower will be?

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