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How Can I Host a Baby Shower for a Co-worker?

Baby showers are no longer just for close friends and family. Often, coworkers will host a shower for an expectant mother (or father). There are a few things to keep in mind, however, if youíre planning a shower at the office.

First of all, showers at the office arenít just for the expectant mother. If you choose to have one for a father-to-be, you can have the guests bring gifts for the father such as books about fathering or picture frames for his desk, or DVDís or CDís. Showers for the father would also be a wonderful time to have a theme that specifically detailed what type of gift guests might bring such as baby books for the baby, or many times everyone will chip-in to get a bigger item such as a stroller, high chair or a big Baby Gift Basket such as the Baby Einstein Gift Basket.

If you are planning a shower for a co-worker, itís perfectly acceptable to enlist a few co-workers to help plan: one to get out the word, one to gather contributions and purchase a gift (if youíre planning on getting one bigger item from the group), and one to plan the refreshments. Youíll have to decide when to do it to ensure you wonít exclude anyone due to scheduling. Luncheons are a great time to have an office shower, either at the office or at a restaurant. If you choose to hold the shower at the office, itís a good idea to get approval from the management first. To keep it simple, you can ask everyone to bring a dish to pass instead of one or two people trying to organize all the food in the middle of the workday. If you do it at a restaurant, youíll probably want to stipulate that everyone is responsible for paying for their own meal (except, of course, the guest of honor).

Youíll also have to make sure the guest of honor is available. If the shower is not a surprise, this shouldnít be a problem. If it is a surprise, check with the guest of honorís supervisor, assistant and others that work closely with him or her to make sure they donít have other things scheduled that day.

Above all, keep it simple. Office showers are generally shorter than regular showers and you probably wonít have time for games or activities. However, you can celebrate the upcoming birth and have great camaraderie in a short amount of time as well. The important thing is to help the expectant parents feel special on their special day (even if it is just a short break from the workday).

I had a great workplace shower when I was expecting my first child. Since I was a teacher, one of my co-workers planned it for immediately after school hours, sent the invitation out on email and asked everyone to bring a dish to pass. It worked out great because there was very little preparation needed the day of the shower. Everyone just came in the room and set their dish to pass on the table. It was a rare occasion for everyone to visit for ďnon-work-relatedĒ reasons. Although the shower was short, only about one hour, everyone had a great time visiting and eating!


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