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In the past, baby showers were purely an American thing, but in recent years they have found their way across the pond to the US. Many mothers-to-be nowadays have baby showers organised either by themselves or by mothers, sisters or best friends. So whether you're about to become a mum or trying to do something nice for somebody who is, read on and find out how to organise the perfect baby shower for yourself or for someone else.

The guest list is the first concern. Make sure all the invitees are close to the mother, as you don't want awkwardness! Keeping a baby shower small and intimate is usually the preferred method, so that it stays cosy. However, if you feel you need to invite a large number of people, make sure you ask them to RSVP as the number attending could make a big difference in terms of space, snacks, and favours.

Topical invitations are a must, with plenty of lovely examples available to buy. A hand-made invitation adds a bit of panache, but isn't required if you haven't got the time. If you do want to make a hand-made version, nip into your nearest stationery shop and buy some coloured card. You'll be able to come up with plenty of fun designs that won't take long to put together.

Snacks are next, and you'll want to carry on the baby-theme throughout. In other circumstances, you might worry about overdoing it, but a baby shower is one occasion where 'the more, the merrier' applies entirely. Don't worry about the baby theme becoming overwhelming; cheesiness is part of the fun.

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If you're good at baking, then baking cupcakes and cakes is an excellent idea. If you're no master baker, buy some pre-made fairy cakes and cute, baby-themed cookie cutters. Roll some royal icing out and cut shapes out of it with the cookie cutters. Footprints are adorable, and if you cut out gingerbread men you can use edible icing pens to draw nappies on them.

Make sure you have some activities, too. Making babies out of salt dough, playing a baby trivia game, and even starting a pool about when the baby will be born and how much he or she will weigh are all popular options. Structure the day,

but be flexible about it; know what will happen and in which order, but don't try to impose a rigid schedule as that will only hamper the fun.

Finally, giving the guests a party favour is a lovely way to thank them for their presence. A prettily wrapped packet of baby-shaped biscuits works, or something equally small and homely. Looks count for everything here; a baby-themed ribbon can transform any present into something that's on-topic and adorable.

Baby showers are a fairly recent development in British society, but with these hints and tips your baby shower can be a complete success. Enjoy!

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