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I'm 34 weeks with my first baby, and after my own experiences, talking with friends, and reading posts in my DDC, here's my opinions and advice on baby showers:
1. The best time for a shower is at 30 weeks. I know it's traditional to wait longer, but sooner is better. We need to plan and shop after the shower, and if it's late, we are tired and fat. And it's stressful to not know.
2. Don't have a "surprise" shower unless it's a small, unexpected group (like work friends). We like to know and plan...
3. Themes are cute, but don't have one that limits gifts too much, please. Variety is good.
4. Get an ultra-organized type-A person to write down who gives what gift, with instructions to be very specific (not just "Mary - cute outfit")
I agree with most of those, but I have to say I loved my "surprise" shower. I knew I was having one, I just didn't know when or where. And it was easier that way. I had enough to plan and didn't need one more thing to deal with.