Baby showers have been around as long as babies, but this new version loaded with style is made for the modern woman.
Girls' Night In: Baby Shower
Credit: Lee Harrelson

Ditch the traditional shower games and get the party started with some blue or pink cocktails. This baby celebration is a night of fun for all the girls to live it up. It's a time that the expectant mother can relax, enjoy some great food, and focus on her friends for a change.

Make sure the mom-to-be has a nice comfortable place to sit during the shower, keep her glass full of a festive non-alcoholic drink, and let her be the head of the buffet line. This may just be the last time she's the center of attention for a while.

If gifts are in the plan, have a basket or a designated spot for guests to place gifts as they arrive. Appoint someone to write down the new mom's gifts and the guest they are from. The real gift for many new families is the gift of food. Make a Dinner Calendar (see "The Extras" below) available for guests to sign up to take dinner to the family once the baby has arrived.

The Bar
The baby theme even flows over into the bar with pink and blue drinks. Remember to label drinks clearly so the mother-to-be can easily find her "mocktail" choices. Make virgin lemonade by just using the same frozen concentrate used for the Pink Lemonade Cocktails. Sparkling water with limes is also a fun non-alcoholic choice. Offer an array of ribbons to tie around glass stems so no sipping slip-ups dampen the fun.

For the Blue Moon Cocktail, run the blender for the girls or have the recipe out so they can whir their own beverage. Pitchers of all the other drinks can be on the bar with ice for serving.

The Food
Set out some salted nuts for nibbling on the bar. Place out several small platters of nearly addictive Dates and Parmesan for easy snacking before dinner. All the guests can enjoy a buffet of salads for a satisfying supper. For hostess extra points, remember to serve only pregnancy-friendly foods and keep an eye out for the off-limits ingredients.

The Extras
To make a Dinner Calendar, print off three months of a blank calendar, starting with the baby's due date. Have the girls sign up to bring a dinner to the family every other night.

Remind the cook what night is hers by making reminder magnets for guests to take home and sticking on the fridge. Print out labels on magnetic paper, or make the magnets at home. To do it yourself, buy business card-sized magnets that are sticky on one side at any office supply or craft store. Type in the mom's name, address, and phone number, then print the cards on 2.5" X 2.5" (Avery Standard 3111) labels and stick the reminder to the magnet. Let each girl fill in the date for her night. The mom-to-be will take home the calendar to keep up with her parade of meals that will make her life easier.

The Party Plan

2 Days Before

  • Set up glasses, blender, and cocktail napkins on bar.
  • Slice cheese for Dates and Parmesan.

The Day Before:

  • Make honey limeade.
  • Make spicy chicken salad (do not stuff in cabbage leaves).
  • Bake bread bowls and cook bacon for tomato salad.

2–4 Hours Before

  • Arrange platters of Dates and Parmesan.
  • Make dressing for Orange-Pecan Mixed Green Salad.
  • Make Tropical Fruit Salad.

1 Hour Before:

  • Arrange ingredients for Blue Moon Cocktails on the bar.
  • Stir together lemonade cocktails and virgin lemonade.
  • Wrap chicken salad in cabbage leaves.

Rebecca Lang is a well-known cooking instructor, author, and food writer. She teaches Girls' Night In classes around the country and lives in Athens, Georgia.