Baby showers are one of the things every pregnant woman looks forward to. Anyone in an expectant mom’s life can plan her a baby shower, all you need is the perfect guide of how to plan a baby shower. With the right guide, you can successfully make the day as special and memorable as it should be. Just like in every occasion, careful and basic steps need to be made as the day marks a very important memory for the expectant mum and her bundle of joy.
Whether as a friend, relative, or spouse, with this article as a perfect guide, you don’t need to worry about how to plan a baby shower and throw a festive celebration. We have listed basic step-by-step guides for you to follow below.
1. Pick a date and time:
this is the very first thing you should consider before making any other plans, as other things are heavily dependent on this. As the planner, you are to consult the date and time from the guest of honor. As much as you would like to make the whole arrangement a surprise, you can’t just peep into the mom to be’s schedule and drive her down to a venue for her own baby shower. It is just like dressing up a bride and driving her to her own wedding without any prior information. You will definitely get the surprise reaction you desire, but lose out a total appreciation.
There is no way you would know what they wanted and deliver fully. You won’t be able to satisfy them. The ceremony was actually meant not just to surprise the expectant mum but to create a beautiful memory and help her have a nice time before she goes into the delivery room. Hence, baby showers are mostly held when the expectant mom is about seven months pregnant. By then, she’s well into her pregnancy but still very much comfortable.
She needs her strength and full health to fully enjoy the ceremony, organize her gifts. Only the guest of honor can give a perfect timing for the ceremony, endeavor to consult her.
2. Determine the guest list and budget:
Again, you need to get this detail from the mother to be. There are lists of persons she would definitely want to be at her baby shower. She might want it to be more intimate and choose to invite less than twenty people or make it official and invite over 50 people including people from her workplace. It is her call to make. These are details you won’t be able to figure out when planning a surprise baby shower. By this point, we should come to the general understanding that there is nothing like a surprise baby shower. The baby shower is not a surprise event.
After you have gotten the guest list from the mother to be, it is your duty as the planner to create the budget especially if you are funding it yourself. Definitely, the larger the number of guests, the higher your budget. You cannot operate on a budget of $100 for 30 people. It won’t turn out perfectly well. You need to have a minimum budget for every number. Well, all of your planning depends on your budget, so make sure your budget and the guest list are avaliable even before you move to the next stage.
3. Choose a venue:
the next basic step is to choose a venue. You can make this decision with or without involving the mother to be. If you are still aching to bring a surprise into this, this is where your surprise antics can work well. The number and caliber of people on the guest list will help you determine if you should pick an intimate or public venue. If the guests are mostly relatives and friends and happen to be also fewer in number, a private venue in your backyard, living room or bedroom can do.
A larger space will be needed for a less intimate and larger number of guests. Also, in choosing venues, you should consider convenience. You need a venue that will not only contain the total number of your guests but also keep them comfortable and make it convenient for you to organize everything.
Mindy Weiss suggests that an outdoor or rented venue makes it easy for the host and guests to relax and enjoy the event knowing that the setup, catering, and cleanup will be done by the staff of the hotel or restaurant. Hence there is less hassle to put things in order.
4. Send invitations:
now you have your guest list, it is easy to write an invitation letter and customize it for everyone. For a casual shower, you could use a mail invite. Just create a simple letter notifying them of the time, venue, date, and send. You can make the letter appear special by doing a designed template. For a formal shower that involves some official guests, it is advised that you use a paper invite. The paper invite is more official and valued. You could print decorated paper cards that are colorful and well designed. The guests should receive their invite six weeks before the day of the ceremony to help them plan, arrange their schedule, and shop for gifts.
5. Plan the menu and décor:
in this plan, you will have to consult the guest of honor for her preferences (except you are already familiar with it) also keep your eyes focused on the budget. You don’t want to prepare a meal that is too fancy or heavy and expensive. Showers are mostly held at noon, if you will be hosting yours at noon, Below are a list of meals you can choose your menu from;
• Fruit salad
• Biscuits, cakes or deserts
• Juices: apple, orange
• Mini omelets
• Fried chicken
If you’ll be hosting it towards evening time, you will need to consider preparing heavier meals. But you don’t need the meals to be too heavy. Serve miniature portions to make it easier for the guests to manage the food and take part in the event. If you serve very heavy foods, it can be a distraction or end up as waste.
These preparations are basic and should be done three weeks before the shower. If you’ll be hiring catering services, then you’ll need to inform them in time. Purchase only decorations that are not perishable this early, other perishable decorations can be gotten as the day draws near.
6. Come up with an agenda/ baby shower timeline:
this is where you plan the main activity of the baby shower and give it life. Your baby shower timeline should include a series of fun games, eating, dancing, drinking, and gift opening. You need to organize these activities to create a fun flow so that guests remain entertained and engaged. You don’t want to leave any idle time in between; the guests can easily get bored by the idleness.
Upon their arrival, give them 15-20 minutes to settle down, while you offer them drinks as they come through the door. Serve food while gifts are being opened, followed by dessert and coffee. Once they have settled down, you can get into your baby shower agenda. Don’t try to rush any activity, allow the guest of honor and the invited guests to have a nice time. Once you notice any activity is overstretched or becoming a bore, you should not hesitate to scrap it out.
There are a lot of baby shower ideas you can try out. If you are a creative person, I am sure you have a few ideas in your head already. Remember, your focus is to be on the guest of honor as well as the guests, because of her condition. Don’t overload the ceremony with activities that are going to require her to move around so much. You can have a chair decorated for her to sit in and feel comfortable. Once you notice signs of fatigue, round off the activities, she needs as much strength as she can garner.
7. Pick baby shower favors:
This is not a must but a way of saying thank you to your guests for honoring the invitation and helping them keep a share of the memories of what you all shared on that special day. Hence, it doesn’t have to be too much, it could be a customized hand towel, head wrap, towel, or bangles.
If your budget can’t make customized take-home souvenirs, chocolates can do. You could give each guest a bag of chocolates or candy. Remember, it doesn’t have to be too expensive or complex, what is most necessary is the fact that is memorable.
To make your baby shower interesting and remarkable, you only need proper planning, budgeting, and organization. Every other thing will fall in place. You don’t need to make it too loud, fancy, elaborate, or expensive, the top things you need in place is creativity, fun-filled games, and organization. With all this in place, you can be sure that your baby shower will be a remarkable success. This is a basic guide to planning a baby shower for a loved one, you can add your twists to it and do your thing.
You could also try baby sprinkles for subsequent births, it is an alternative option for baby showers that is not too serious or official. It is usually held on a small scale celebration; only close relatives are invited. The guest list is smaller and there is no need for big preparations.
Baby sprinkles just like baby showers are usually held at the end of the pregnancy. This ceremony doesn’t usually include gifts, hence there’s no need to indicate that in the invitation letter.
It is assumed that the mother to be should have most of what she needs from her previous childbirths, so buying her new gifts might be quite unnecessary. Except the expected baby is of a different sex from her formal child. Guests can still choose to bring whatever gifts of their kind, from canned baby food to diapers and just well wishes. Decoration ideas should also be very simple and it should hold at the guest of honors house.
You can choose to fix a time and an agenda of events for the occasion, the agenda should be very simple and less stressful. There is no need for too much paparazzi or entertainment, except the mother to be, requests for it, lest the event should be simple.
A simple menu should be planned and a souvenir isn’t in any way necessary, since you are not expecting any gifts. In a case where you plan for the guests to have a brief activity or entertainment, you can play games like
Another excellent alternative for parents who already have their first baby; Sip & see: this is an informal celebration that is held after the baby’s birth and the mother is up to the company. it is also a less rowdy celebration and is more of a family thing.
Sip and see came about from some native cultures, to introduce the new baby to other members of the family and vice versa. In Africa, this ceremony is replaced by a naming ceremony which is usually held after eight days of the baby’s birth. The ceremony is quite optional and open to as many as the family wishes. On this day, the baby’s name is announced to the family, friends, and well-wishers. A blessing is made by the family clergyman and the guests all have the opportunity to see the baby.
The sip and see celebration is one of merry and blessings. It can be either loud or quiet, you could choose to make your guest list intimate or simple. The ceremony is just one similar to the naming ceremony. A perfect alternative for a baby shower. You could decide to have this ceremony after a baby shower. What is necessary is planning and budgeting.
How to Deal with a Drop in Your Teen’s Grades
Dealing with a drop in your Teen’s grade is usually one of the challenges faced by parents. When there is a poor grade, complaining and worrying are bound to occur at a certain point as a parent. Poor performance in school is usually caused by several factors; some may be caused by the parents. A drop in grade is usually a predicament faced by many teens during high school.
Notwithstanding, it is very paramount to decipher these three things,
• The cause of the Low grades
• Why the low grades and
• How to tal
Here I’ll be sharing the steps to take when your college kid’s grades are slipping.
WAYS TO DEAL WITH A DROP IN YOUR TEEN’S GRADES
The first step to take is trying to visualize what might prompt the kid’s failure. Relocating to another apartment may make you change your teen’s school. A change in school might result in drop in grades. This is usually because the new school may have more brilliant students than the old school. Other causes of a drop in grade might be inadequate sleep, busy social life, too many house chores, spending so much time in school activities, etc. All of these could result in laziness, a lack of motivation, or distraction.
If the drop in grade is so sudden then quick action must be taken. It’s very important to analyze your child’s grades from time to time to see if there is a spontaneous or a slow drop in grade.
2.TRY TO FIND OUT THE ACTUAL CAUSE
Several years ago, I was working as Home Tutor. While I was doing my work, I encountered John who used to be a great mathematician in Primary school. When he entered high school, I noticed he started failing mathematics woefully. The painful part is that the parents of the boy never had the time to have one-on-one communication with him.
As a counselor, I spoke with him and he opened to me that all he wishes for, is to change school and I asked why? After much persuasion, I discovered that the hatred he had for his teacher in mathematic never allowed him to put his best in school.
Getting to know what’s actually wrong with the kid might be quite difficult because the child may seem perfect in everything that he does. He might be a person who doesn’t like asking questions in class.
It could take you a while to get the right answers. The best is to find a quiet time with the child and speak with him.
ALSO, READ The Dangers of Overscheduling Your Child
3.SPEAK TO THE SCHOOL
A fluctuation in the kid’s grade should not make you be a regular visitor to the school authority. A fluctuation may occur because there were so many people in competition at that particular time. The child’s grade may drop from Grade A to B. if the grades are sustained over a long time, then you’ll need to visit the teacher rather gun blazing or apportioning blames…
One good thing about teachers is that they are able to provide valuable insight of everything that is happening at school as regards the child. Talking to the teacher may provide a valuable solution.
4. GET A HOME TUTOR
Getting a home tutor is very important in a child’s academics. Many parents usually deploy this approach whether their child is performing very well or not, they see it as a necessity.
Get one if you feel you’re too busy, to give your kids academic attention, it would help a long way.
5.When there is an underlying issue
Other underlying issues may be bullying from other kids, emotional upset, depression, or anxiety. all of these are usually very difficult to communicate with parents and even teachers too.
A child that is diagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) may not perform very well in class. If after complaining to the school and you see no result, then visiting the doctor or a psychologist would be the best option.
6. MOTIVATE THEM DAILY
You might actually say, “is daily motivation really necessary? Yes, it is. Motivation is one of the Skeleton keys to Unlock good grades. it’s very annoying to see your child having this lackadaisical attitude towards their education, without any thought of the future. Motivating them is the best thing you can actually give in as parents, if you really care for your kids.
You can strategically give them these right tips on how to get back on their feet.
• Always give them the reasons to work hard.
A child’s good future is a better reward for parents. This is what they will always be thankful for. It is only left for you to make it or mar it. Make them see the reason to work hard to produce better results, not only in their academics but in other aspects of their lives.
• Make sure to tell them that hard work pays and it’s only the strong that will scale through.
• Always encourage them to do better in their study. If you can be there for them, do it diligently.
• Don’t ever be harsh on them. In this case, use good words and speak in a calm manner. Being harsh will only add more pain to your child, and they might see that all you care about is their performance and not their own happiness.
• Tell them to report to you whatever difficulties, they are facing in their school. This will give them room to open up to you and ask questions, they couldn’t ask their teachers. You need to be available for them too or create time for this.
• Encourage them to enter any educational competition or club. This will help them see other kids like them, doing what they are doing. It creates room for good achievements and good performance.
• Create family learning time. This is not actually easy to do, but it helps in motivating kids. When they see you reading, they will love to read too. It brings the family together and makes kids feel free to ask anything they don’t understand.
• Give them a puzzle to solve. There are a lot of puzzles you can give your kids like kids Sudoku 9*9, kids word search puzzle, kid hangman game, mosaics, pictures crossword game, shape puzzle, dot-to-dot puzzle, and many more.
These are the easiest ways to help kids master a lot of things within and outside their field. And this helps to improve their grades in school.
Reward here is promising them that “ if you come out the first position, or you get a good average point, I will do _______ for you”. Over 60% would do their best if they have been promised by the guardians. Always fulfill your promise and take them to somewhere that can add more value to them.
Besides, you don’t need to wait for them to come out well before rewarding them, you can do it occasionally just to say thank you for their support and obedience towards learning and life.
8. LEARN TO VALUE MISTAKES
Being angry that your child failed should not make you grow annoyed excessively. You should know that failure always a road to success. No man succeeds without experiencing any form of failure.
Don’t go overboard, shouting or smacking them for the drop in their grades rather find ways to make them accept responsibility to do well.
A WORD FROM RELATIONSHIPS SEEDS
A drop in grades is actually not something we should panic about, but something that needs our time to figure out what is actually the ‘cause’. Kids react to everything that happens within and outside their environment. That’s why they are kids.
Mental health professionals believe that when a child is emotionally down or meltdown, there must be something that triggers this reaction. Kids need time, care, love, attention, patience, and more for you to understand them.
You need to do your own part and so the teachers too. Always communicate with them and do the best for them.
ALSO, READ How To Tell If Your Teenager Is Having Sex
When do Babies Start to Walk?
When do babies start to walk? is a frequently asked question by most new parents around the world. Most times when we come across a baby crawling and cruising we tend to wonder when he/she will take the first step?
A child’s first year is full of events but the most anticipated one might be walking. Hence the question, “When will my baby start to walk.?”
When Should Babies Start to Walk?
Research has shown that babies usually take their first step between the 9th and 16th month. Not all babies start walking in the 9th month. Your first child might have walked when he was 10-months and probably you’re scared that the second is in its 13th month, but still crawling. The truth here is that every child reaches its milestone at a different time. There are several factors that may make a baby walk early or not. Of all, for your baby to start walking he/she must have contracted enough muscles.
The stages of walking
An old adage says, “for you to stand you must sit, for you to walk you must stand, and for you to run you must start walking.” This shows that life itself is in different stages. For a baby to start walking, he must have gone through and mastered other developmental milestones. These include:
For a baby to start walking, he must learn how to sit properly. Within the periods of the 6th month, your baby should start hacking the puzzle to sit upright, using the muscle in his trunk.
Around this time, the 6th month, you can start teaching your child how to sit. When trying to teach the baby how to sit, ensure you’re close enough to prevent falling.
Pulling to Stand
Pulling to stand varies among toddlers still; some may start this around the 10th month. The leg actually needs lots of energy for a pull to stand to occur because 70% of our body mass is fixed on the hip, so the legs need lots of energy to lift the torso.
This is when the child starts playing around the house with any furniture he/she sees. The time varies too for kids.
Holding your baby’s hands while walking would help to improve the coordination and balancing of the child. It also adds fun to the walking process. when your child starts holding your hand for him to walk, just know that he would start walking alone soon.
This is the final stage of completing the puzzle on how to walk. Usually, it starts with trying to move one leg forward and balancing the other leg. Here, the child may be falling too while trying to walk, but it’s all part of the process.
Why Do Babies Walk at Different Times?
One thing you should know is that babies also have emotions too. Some babies usually have this I can do it attitude; to them, the act of walking is a risk they are taking, and have to overcome. You can even perceive it, ranging from the way they interact with you, even as small as they are.
They don’t care if they fall. That’s why you’ll see some children fall as many times as possible when trying to walk. The beautiful part is that they see walking as one of the several fun things they do.
Not all babies have this type of personality, some also have the mentality of wait and see, an unintentional delay caused by fear of trying. These types are usually very cautious. This factor may be the reason why your child is delaying to walk.
Aside from this, there are other things too, which can affect the time it takes for babies to start walking.
• Birth Order:
Research has shown that babies tend to walk faster when they have older siblings around. So they may want to imitate what he/she is doing. It may be very difficult for your first child to start walking at 12months, but if you have other children let’s say from age 3-7, you’ll see your child become smarter. That’s why you see most children become smarter when they have older ones around to play with. That’s why it’s very important (and highly advised) for your child, even in the 8th month, to start school.
The bigger the size, the more difficult for the baby walking. This is because the baby would need to expend more energy to stand upright compared to one with a small stature.
Even when you look at fat people, you’ll notice that they may experience difficulty in walking or running at old age.
• Recurrent Ear Infections: If a child emerges in the 16th month and he’s not walking, then an investigation must be done concerning his health. Perhaps if he has experienced any ear infection. “An ear infection can throw off a baby’s balance and delay walking,” says Dr. Jensen.
A word from Relationshipseeds
Lack of nutrients may also bring delay in the walking puzzle of a child. When a child lacks calcium, it causes an almost permanent impedance to walk-ability. If you notice that after 17 months, you see no visible changes, then you should seek professional help. Meet a pediatrician, a child doctor.
How To Tell If Your Teenager Is Having Sex
When puberty shows up, teenagers often make so many wrong choices. Teenage age is a very sensitive period where teens want to explore, try new things, and all that. We are living in a world of technology where you can easily get access to anything you want online. Whether it is boyfriend, phone sex, porn clips, illicit materials, and so on.
These days Teens are so smart that they can keep a secret from you without you having a clue. Here, we’ll be looking at the signs that show your child is sexually active.
SIGNS YOUR TEENAGER IS HAVING SEX
1. Ask Your Teenager
One may say why would I ask? When you keep on shying away from asking questions like that things may not end well. when you finally decide to ask her that question, choose your words carefully, if you do it a threatening way, you may not get the answers you are seeking, instead, they will tell you lies out of fear.
This approach is a 50:50 because Teens love being secretive, if you’ve never had a deep conversation or you’re not very close with your child you can never get a YES ANSWER.
2. Provocative Dressing
Like I said in the beginning, the teenage age is an exploring age. When you see that your child starts dressing provocatively, it could mean that they’ve already eaten the forbidden fruit. Apart from the girls dressing seductively, the guys may also dress exposing their chests or buying a pink lips balm.
The adolescence stage is when teens become conscious of their appearance and body image. When the girls start having s*x, it usually gives them a heightened sense of maturity, this would make them pay more attention to whatever they wear.
3. More Secretive
When you notice that your child becomes more secretive than ever, it could be a sign that they are started having sex already. You’ll notice they hide their phone whenever they are operating it, use passworded phones; they also use coded language while chatting.
Being secretive is always associated with suspicious movements, such as coming home late, become overprotective about their privacy, because they don’t want you to find out. Even when they want to go out they always find it difficult to tell you where they are going. They will never make a phone call in your presence except it’s a family member that’s calling.
4. Check for Signs of Sexual Activity
Seeing condoms or contraceptives is a sign of sexual activity. It could mean that they are planning to have it or might have done it already. When you notice it, you don’t need to start boil, all you need is a conversation with your child to know what’s up.
When you see these tools in your child’s possession, it means that they are well equipped with the knowledge on how to avoid unwanted pregnancies or prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). So you have to educate them more about unwanted pregnancy, STI, and how having sex can destroy their dreams and career.
5. Behavioral Change
When a child starts doing something evil, you’ll notice that they either become more extroverted or introverted depending on their type of personality. Sometimes, they may become more stubborn. For instance, imagine your child of 18 having an affair with someone who’s 40years of age. The child might start disrespecting you and your partner.
Also, the child may become happier than before. Always try to notice and find out the reason(s) for their new behavior.
6. Keeping Tabs On You
They become too conscious of you. If they want to know where you are going and how many hours you will be spending. Similarly, they will want to know the number of days you are going to spend.
Occasionally, when you come too early, they’d become angry or anxious because they need more time to carry out what they want.
7. Poor Grades In School
The reason why it is not good for teens to engage in sexual activities is that they are not mature enough to handle what relationship or sex is all about. Sex and relationship can take your whole emotions and can drain you mentally.
I remembered when I fell in love during my 11th grade in high school. I can boldly confess that whenever I’m reading my books, I always see the picture of the girl I’m falling for. It took me 6weeks to get over her. When I was in love with her I could barely focus very well on my academics. Also, I’m very sure that I would have failed woefully in high school if I had dated her.
When a teen starts dating at a very young age, it will be very difficult to balance emotions and priorities properly. There are lots of distractions when your child starts premarital sex.
8. Being Involved In Their Life Regularly
The key to being involved in their life is communication. As a parent, there should not be a communication gap. Make your kids open up to you. Some kids might be very difficult or have hardened hearts, but you have to try your best.
Always make them know that you are available for them if any issue arises. With this, if they are facing sort of sexual humiliation they will be able to tell you faster than when you are far away from them.
9. Know Their Friends And Partner
An African adage says “show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are”. If you do well as a parent to know the character of your child’s friend you’ll be able to know the capability of your child. For example, if the friends of your child are all womanizer or involve in illicit sex, it a sign that your child could be sexually active.
What other signs do you think can point out a sexually active child?
ALSO, READ Exploring the different sexual location
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