A few months ago we welcomed a new little guy into the Ladyland family, Bella’s baby Dylan. Obviously we held a baby shower (any excuse for a party). And managed to get through about eight tonnes of cake and a whole lot of prosecco. So I thought I’d share some of the details in case you’ve got a mate who’s about to pop and you’ve been put in charge of proceedings.
So here’s how to host a baby shower, Ladyland style…
MAKE IT ALL ABOUT MUM
Hold the episiotomy horror stories. No one wants to hear of their impending incontinence while they’re plump and emotional. Keep it all about the mum-to-be and a ban on any stories that start with “after I gave birth, I ….”
A great way to make it personal is to include the dad as well (he might be there if it’s a co-ed affair). Play a baby version of the old hen-do staple Mr and Mrs. Ask the dad a bunch of questions about mum and her pregnancy and get the mum to guess his answers. Even better if you can video his responses to play on the day.
Where was the baby conceived?
What has her craziest pregnancy request been so far?
What do you hope your baby gets from you partner?
Best comedy name for the baby?
Would you rather your baby became a porn star or BNP leader… that sort of thing…
Add in a bit at the end for him to write something lovely (warning, this might make her cry).
THE DAY THREE JAR
The day your baby is born you feel like a mother warrior goddess with the most perfect baby the world has ever seen. Then three days later, the post-partum pregnancy hormones subside and you can be a leaky, emotional wreck, in a body you don’t recognise… and you realise your baby looks like a squashed potato.
… so this is for day 3.
Get a fancy jar and get everyone to fill it with notes of encouragement. Give her some advice on breastfeeding, sleeping, healing, anything. Or if you don’t have kids yet, just tell her why you love her, it will make her day.
Much like a penis straw at a hen-do, the boob cupcake should be a staple at any baby shower. Here’s my recipe for fabulous boob cakes. And because even immature baked good should be ethnically diverse, there’s a chocolate and vanilla version.
110g/4oz butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
110g/4oz caster sugar
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g/4oz self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 180C/and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale (you may need to soften the butter in the microwave a smidge). Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour and a little milk until the mixture is smooth and batter-like. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top. Test by sticking a skewer into one of the cakes and see if it comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack.
CREAM CHEESE ICING
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g Philadelphia cream cheese, cold
Pink boobies: Red gel food colouring
Brown boobies: cocoa powder
- Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric mixer on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed (if it doesn’t come together add some more melty butter or a dash on milk).
- Add the cold cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
- Now add either a tiny bit of red colouring to make it a pink boob, or a few teaspoons of cocoa powder for a brown boob.
- Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. Do not overbeat, if it starts to look floppy, stop beating it (good advice for life non?).
- When the cake is completely cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting between the layers and around the whole cake… and eat the rest with a spoon in your pyjamas.
I’ve made these a few times with varying ingredients for the nipples.
For strawberry nipples: strawberries and red or orange jelly tots
For chocolate nipples: Large milk chocolate buttons, black jelly tots
- Slice a strawberry into thin circular slices. Try to find the roundest one in the punnet.
- Get a packet of Jelly Tots, pour them into a glass with some red food dye. Swish them around a bit then leave them on a sheet of paper towel to dry out.
- Pop the jelly tot on top of the strawberry slice. You could use a bit of the frosting to stick it on if need be.
- Stick the chocolate chip to the button with a dab of icing. Voila! Boobies!
TAKE THE PREGNANCY TEST
Having a kid is the perfect themefor a pub quiz. There’s so much general knowledge to draw from. Everything from the science of childbirth to naming the members of Paw Patrol. Make sure you mix up the teams so you have parents and non-parents on each team.
You can download the quiz I made here… questions include:
By the time a mother gives birth her uterus would have expanded to how many times it’s original size? Answer… 500!!!?
What is the weight of the largest recorded baby ever?
Which of these options IS a character from In The Night Garden
A: Pacca Macka
B: Acca Dacca
C: Macca Pacca
D: Daisy Boo
Who has given birth to the latest baby in the Kardashian dynasty?
GRANNY KNOWS BEST
This is a great one to involve the family of the parents-to-be. Even better if they are there on the day. Plus it gives everyone an insight into that the new parents have to look forward to.
Ask both grannies (or dads, sister’s brothers) for some funny stories about the mum-and-dad-to-be when they were kids. “My child once… got a raisin stuck in their nose / wanted to be an estate agent / got so drunk I had to pick them up from a Tescos car park….” etc.
Then take these statements and read them out to the guests who have to guess which parent-to-be committed these acts. Cue laughter and embarrassing anecdotes. A great way for Granny to feel a part of the day as well.
You’ll need lots of cake. Get people to bring something along and you won’t go hungry. And fizz… get some of that too.
Good luck! If you try any of these ideas, let us know how it all went!
Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child