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Fun and Unexpected Baby Shower Themes

For nearly three quarters of a century, baby showers have helped new mothers celebrate the wonders of pregnancy and childbirth. While baby showers of the past invoked practical, economic motifs, today’s showers feature much more elaborate themes. You plan a fun, unexpected baby shower that is sure to delight the expectant parents and their guests.

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A Novel Idea

If the guest of honor has a particular fondness for a specific classic children’s book, you can design the theme around it. For example, classic tales such as "Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes," "Winnie the Pooh" or "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" can provide the foundation for a gender-neutral baby shower. The books' soft, muted colors and timeless characters are befitting of an intimate, sophisticated baby shower. For a baby shower theme with a more vivid palette, choose a Dr. Seuss theme, such as "The Cat in the Hat" — the characters Thing 1 and Thing 2 work especially well for twin-themed showers — or Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." No matter which literary direction you choose, have your guests sign notes to your future bundle of joy in a hard-back copy of the book as a keepsake.

Sunny Side Up

Baby showers are typically held in mid- to late afternoon or early evening, with guests being served lunch or dinner. For an unexpected twist, consider hosting a "Hello, Baby!" breakfast baby shower with traditional breakfast foods, such as fresh juices and fruits, an omelet bar or pastries. Use bright-yellow decorations, table cloths and streamers to that celebrate the baby's anticipated arrival and to promote a sunshine-happy morning. Sunflowers can adorn the tables, and yellow plastic utensils and tablecloths can add to the shower’s cheerful mood.

What's Old Is New Again

Does your mama-to-be share a love of old-timey fabrics and furniture? Consider turning back time by hosting a vintage-themed baby shower. Whether she’s a fan of the Roaring '20s or the swinging '60s, you can scour antique stores or garage sales — or ask your older relatives — for vintage-looking baby items, such as baby bottles, dinnerware, jars, toys and clothing, as well as tablecloths and other décor to match the theme. Design or order vintage-looking invitations and play games reminiscent of the era, such as stork bingo. Research and serve foods that were common to the era. Because preparing a baby shower of this magnitude can be pricey, it’s best reserved for smaller, more intimate celebrations.

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Blue or Pink?

If you’d like to kick the traditional baby shower up a notch, consider turning it into a gender-reveal party. This works especially well if you're an expectant mother who would prefer to be hands-on when it comes to planning your shower. Otherwise, you'll need to entrust a close confidant to handle the top secret information about your baby's gender. Either way, you can go traditional with the theme colors. Consider using a mix of blues and pinks for the décor, or jazz it up with brighter, primary colors such as reds, yellows and blues. Once guests arrive at the party, set up a voting station where they can write their name on a slip and place it either in a “boy” or “girl” jar. Count the votes before revealing your baby's gender. Then award prizes to a few names pulled from the correct jar. At a gender-reveal shower, you’ll also need to decide how you want to share the news with your shower guests. For example, you could have either pink or blue frosting baked into the cake or fill a large box with either pink or blue helium balloons.

Image via Barry Austin/Photodisc/Getty Images

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