When you have stepchildren, adding a new member to the family can be met with mixed emotions. Depending on their ages, your stepkids may be excited, but may also feel worried that with a new baby you and their dad won’t love them as much.
You can make your pregnancy a time for reassurance by including them in any important milestones. One celebration you can involve your stepkids in is the baby shower. This will remind them that the role of an older sibling is an important one and that a new baby is something to look forward to.
7 Tips for Getting Your Stepkids Involved in Your Baby Shower
Here are seven ways you can make your baby shower a family friendly event:
#1. Choose The Right Time and Day
Plan your baby shower at a child friendly time, to ensure your stepkids can attend. For example, if you only have your stepdaughter on alternate weekends, schedule your party for when she is with you.
Be conscious of any nap times so they will be well rested and in a good mood. You may like to keep the baby shower short and sweet, up to two hours is reasonable for most little ones (and pregnant moms!) However, if you would like to continue the celebration you could also have a separate, adults-only dinner.
#2. Let Them Help with the Baby Shower Decorations
Your stepkids can be involved in the planning process and have some input in the types of decorations you choose. They may have a favorite character, color, or animal, and you can complement their suggestions with other baby shower decorations.
It may take longer to set up your event with little ones helping, but it will be worth it to see them excited about their new sibling.
#3. Make it a Family Shower
The stepfamily dynamic is different, and when there is a pregnancy involved, it can be about the family coming together as one. It is becoming more common to have a “couple shower” or a “family shower” rather than a girls’ only day, and this works well when you have stepkids.
Plan an open event where guests can bring partners and their children. This doesn’t have to be a traditional baby shower; set up as a party in your backyard with a bouncy castle, a casual lunch, or picnic at the park can be fun ways to celebrate.
If guests are bringing their young children, make sure there is entertainment and toys so the parents can relax.
#4. Have Child Friendly Games
When choosing your baby shower games, look for ideas that are fun for both adults and children. As this isn’t a kid’s birthday party, anything you do still needs to be appealing to your adult guests.
Younger stepchildren that aren’t old enough to participate in games can be given a special job. This could be handing out objects such as balloons or saying “ready, set, go!”
When opening presents, try to involve your stepkids in the process. For example, if you receive a baby towel you could say, “Look at this lovely towel, we can use it when you help me bathe your little sister.”
This approach should help to limit any jealous feelings. You may also consider letting them choose a gift for the new baby that can be opened at the baby shower.
#5. Impress Your Guests With Yummy Snacks
Any event needs food, and your baby shower is no exception. There may be a few food restrictions for pregnant mamas to consider, and you should also make sure there is something yummy for the kids.
If your stepkids enjoy cooking, they can help with the preparation. You could have a mix of finger foods such as mini quiches, cupcakes, and chips. Be sure to include their favorite snacks, and find options that are simple and easy to serve.
Fruit juice or chocolate milkshakes will be appreciated by young guests. Don’t forget to offer something delicious to the pregnant moms who can’t drink alcohol. If you really want to spoil them, a refreshing mocktail will put a smile on their faces!
#6. Celebrate With a Gender Reveal
For those who want to incorporate a gender reveal into their baby shower, you can have your partner and stepchildren involved in the surprise. Make this something you do together as a family and film their reactions for everlasting memories.
Whether it is popping a balloon filled with pink or blue confetti or biting into a delicious cake filled with colored cream, your stepkids can be center stage with you and your partner.
#7. Give Everyone a Goodie Bag
Who doesn’t love a goodie bag? Ask your stepkids to help hand out bags that feature keepsakes and goodies from the baby shower. They will be able to keep these at Dad’s house, or take them back to their Mom’s as a memento of the day.
Pair your goodie bags with personalized baby shower accessories that include the names of all your family members. This could be a water bottle, backdrop, candles or even chocolate. This will reinforce the idea to your stepkids that the new baby will be a joyful addition to the family… for ALL of you.
A New Baby is a Blessing for the Whole Family
When you add a new baby to a stepfamily, it is a time of celebration but it can also cause anxiety for existing children. The baby shower is one occasion where you can share the excitement with your stepkids and make them feel part of the journey.
Their roles as big brother and sister will be important ones, and it makes sense that they should feel valued even before the new baby is born. Saying goodbye to the traditional girls-only baby shower and replacing it with a family affair, can be a fun way to bond with your partner, stepchildren, and the baby in your belly!
P.S. If you’re seeking ideas for announcing your growing family, here are 17 clever ideas for pregnancy announcements with siblings!