How to Have a Traditional Mexican Baby Shower

In all honesty, there is no traditional Mexican baby shower! The only difference between a traditional American baby shower and a traditional Mexican baby shower is that the Mexican celebration is more. More people, more food, more party. More fun!

What we think of as a traditional Mexican baby shower is actually an all-out family party celebrating the birth of a new addition to the family. So, friends and family are invited, including the male members of the family. There is also real food, not just snacks or finger food. And like most Latino celebrations, the party lasts late into the night. It's a joyous occasion and a great excuse for a fiesta. So, let's see what you can include if you're planning a Mexican baby shower:

First of all, who to invite? The Latino culture is very focused on family, so all family members and close friends are fair game. Remember, we said more. Your invitations set the mood for the party, so let it reflect the fact. Word the invitations in Spanish, if you can, and choose invitations and thank-you cards in festive, vibrant colors rather than pastels. Expect a more “open-house” feel to your baby shower, people will be coming and going out of your venue.

Which brings us to decorating the place. How will you make it look muy fabuloso? An easy, and impressive, way to decorate the room is to use the traditional 'papel picado' that is available for order online. Otherwise, it's easy to cut out from squares of tissue paper. Just think of your paper snowflakes when you were a kid, and you're off to a great start. Colorful, extra-large paper flowers are another vital part of setting the Mexican scene. These are really simple to make and there are many websites out there that teach you to do it. Fresh flowers are terrific, too. Calla lilies are a traditional choice, since this is a rich part of the Mexican cultural history. Any flowers with a tropical feel, like colorful gerberas and daisies, hibiscus, or marigolds make a happy mix. A colorful sombrero in the middle of each table can be dressed up with flowers and colorful flaglets, while a large pinata hanging in the middle of the room will definitely be an eye-catching centerpiece and a great ending to the party when it's filled with baby must-haves, like pacifiers, baby rattles, travel-sized baby toiletries, and other small baby items along with the usual candies and confetti.

Now for the most important part of any Mexican celebration – the food! A nacho bar is a terrific and easy way to serve a lot of people. You can add a make-your-own taco bar as well, with sides of burritos and enchiladas. An easy snack of taquitos, salsa, and guacamole would be appreciated by everybody. Limonada and pretty Aguas Frescas (whole fruit juices served with crushed ice) would quench anybody's thirst. Dessert could be a choice of heladas (ice-cream and sherbet to non-Spanish speakers) and the ubiquitous flan.

Music is food for the soul, and no Mexican baby shower would be complete without it. There are many songs to choose, from traditional Mexican music to Latin lounge or Spanish songs. If your budget can take it, there's nothing like a mariachi band strolling around and playing favorite requests and dance music.

The recuerdos (favors) can be anything that conjures up the sultry climate of Mexico: a pretty fan, a sombrero, a small bottle of dulce de leche, or even a bottle of salsa can be prettied up with a ribbon that has the party date printed on it.

There are not too many games played at a Mexican baby shower, mostly because it's usually a couple’s shower and there are also children that are invited. Some fun games, if they are really asked for, would be very simple and would allow guests of all ages and sexes to play. For example, a Spanish baby name game, where everyone tries to come up with a list of Spanish baby names is very easy. Or, a more active game is one that calls for carrying a baby doll on the back wrapped up in a shawl in the traditional way. Once people figure out how to keep the baby on their backs, they must run an obstacle course and bring the baby to the next guest in line.

So, while it seems like a lot more work, a Mexican baby shower is definitely a lot more fun!