How to Shower a City Baby: Tips for Planning a Baby Shower in the Big City

Your guide to arranging a hassle-free event!


When it comes to feting a big city mom-to-be, there’s lots more to consider than just diaper cakes and baby buggies. Here are some tips to help you throw the perfect baby shower for your city-dwelling BFF.

Painting pottery

Susan Blosser Schwartz

Selecting the Perfect Venue.
City folk typically reside in cramped apartments with little to no room for entertaining. So if you plan to include more than a handful of guests, you’ll likely need to think outside the apartment when deciding where to hold the shower. Restaurants with private party rooms are always a good bet, as are tea houses, which often specialize in hosting bridal and baby showers. Activity-based parties are another great idea, such as pottery painting. If the event will take place during the warmer spring or summer months, consider hosting it at a local park or outdoor plaza (be sure to check with the parks department to see if you need a special permit).

Take advantage of the city environs and opt for a rooftop loft with sweeping city views, or perhaps a private space in a museum or art gallery where you can soak up some culture as you celebrate the arrival of your friend’s bundle of joy. For the ultimate shower indulgence, bring everyone together at a day spa, where each guest can partake in the treatment(s) of her choice and the group can relax and mingle in the spa’s lounge area with mocktails and nibbles.

Décor and Food.
Embrace the urban setting with food and décor that celebrates the city in which the urban mini will reside. Think yellow cab cookies for NYC, mini cheesesteak sandwiches for Philadelphia, bite-size lobster rolls for Boston, cowgirl hats as centerpieces in Dallas, bright tropical colors for Miami or a beach theme for Los Angeles.

If you’re having the shower in a loft space or apartment where you’re able to bring in outside food, compile a buffet of the city’s tastiest treats. In New York City, that could include Junior’s cheesecake, Katz’s pastrami, pastries from Veniero’s, sandwiches from Peanut Butter & Company, dumplings from Chinatown, pizza from Lombardi’s, and bialys from Kossar’s (come to think of it, this sounds like a pregnant woman’s dream meal!). If the shower will be a larger affair, borrow a common big city wedding idea and name each table after a famous street or landmark in the mom-to-be’s hometown.

City babies require just as much “stuff” as their suburban counterparts, but on a smaller scale. Ideally, you’ll select items from the mom-to-be’s gift registry, but if she isn’t registered or hasn’t completed her registry, then focus on items that can fit into small city apartments and are practical for zipping around town. Chief among these is an umbrella stroller, which not only stores easily in any apartment, but which also folds up for travel on city subways and buses. Portable high chairs, as well as those that fold up and can be tucked away in a corner, are perfect for city tots, as are collapsible baby bath tubs and storage bins. City parents also love items that serve more than one purpose, such as the Stokke Steps Bouncer, or that fold flat for travel, such as the bloom Coco Go Organic Lounger. Whatever you do, please, please do not purchase the four-foot-tall gigantic plush giraffe! Unless of course you’re going to a Kardashian baby shower, in which case please bring me with you.

It’s the Little Things.
As appreciative as she’ll be for the event itself and the mountain of gifts showered upon her, it’s a safe bet that the guest of honor will love you to the moon and back if you arrange a ride to and from the shower for her and her belly. Hailing a cab, or trying to catch a subway or bus home from the shower simply won’t do, so be sure to find a friend or relative with a car or reserve a car service to ferry the mom-to-be and her gifts. Who knows, she may just return the favor by naming the baby after you!