If you’ve ever been to a baby shower, there are certain games I can pretty much guarantee you’ve played. Some, like taking a partygoers’ diaper pins away whenever you hear them say the word “baby” (roughly every 43 seconds) gets tedious faster than you can say gender reveal, while others make you wish you never RSVP’ed “yes” to the party (diapers full of melted-chocolate-poo, I’m looking at you).
The worst part is that these games aren’t really doing anything to prepare the mom-to-be. I suppose being able to guess the contents of a baby food jar without a label is good clean fun, but wouldn’t it be nice if the games could somehow send your friend off into motherhood a little more prepared than she was before?
Below are seven new baby shower games that show a new mama what she really needs to know.
Game #1: Pacifier Pass
Guests pass around a pacifier that’s been dropped on the floor. The first mom who can’t come up with a method to clean it other than involving soap and water is out.
Game #2: The Amazing Symptom Race
Guests are given slips of paper containing random, vague symptoms (lethargic, gassy, OMG WON’T STOP CRYING, etc.) and compete to see who can diagnose the baby’s fake mystery illness via WebMD the fastest—because no baby in the history of procreation has ever fallen ill on a weekday afternoon when the pediatrician’s office is open.
Game #3: NO TOUCH DiaperING
While pretending to be in a public restroom, moms compete to see who can diaper a doll the fastest. Players are disqualified if they put the doll down, inhale through their noses, or touch any surfaces, anywhere, for any reason.
Game #4: Grocery Juggling
While holding a doll that’s filled with lukewarm Jell-O and leaking in about 18 places, guests are challenged to carry poorly-packed plastic grocery bags the length of a driveway. The woman to carry the most bags without crushing the bread or breaking the eggs or cursing loudly enough for the neighbors to hear wins.
Game #5: Laundry Mission Impossible
Best played as a frustrating drinking game, guests are asked to fold impossibly tiny baby clothes and keep them neatly stacked in one drawer. Chug one mimosa each time one of the carefully finessed piles of snap-studded cotton falls over, which is always.
GAME #6: Some Like It Hot Potato
With everyone seated in a circle, one person plays the role of the mom-to-be’s significant other and suggests some “sexy time.” As quickly as possible, guests take turns making excuses why they can’t have sex right now, thus lobbing the sexual hand grenade to the next player. The game continues until the “husband” falls asleep on the couch, and everyone else retreats to the bedroom to watch some Netflix.
GAME #7: My (Shower) Water Broke!
In this game, the guest of honor is required to sneak off at some point during the party and take a shower. As soon as her absence is noticed, all the guests must run to the bathroom door, yelling random complaints and questions from the hallway. If mom-to-be can finish her shower before her guests break in and start peeking at her around the curtain, she wins a… well, she wins a shower, which is a way bigger prize than she currently realizes.
See? Instead of using baby shower games as a way to pass the time between decorating bibs and eating slices of baby-shaped cake (SO CREEPY!!!), we can send new moms off with tons of useful new parenting information—even if she wishes most of it weren’t true.
This post was a collaboration with Robyn Welling. To read more from Robyn, visit Hollow Tree Ventures.
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