Here is a great alternative to a traditional baby shower or play date – a freezer meal and laundry party! Here are some tips on how to throw the best one ever!
Thank you to Dreft and Big Honcho Media for sponsoring this post!
Did you have a baby shower for your second, third, etc. baby?
My mom threw me one with Oliver, and even though he was my second baby so I had most of the essentials, it was still fun. I think every baby is worth celebrating!
With that said, you may not necessarily want a traditional baby shower with the cheesy games, baby equipment for gifts, etc. So, I thought I’d share a baby shower alternative that I think is PERFECT for anyone – whether it’s their first-time baby or second-time baby.
In addition, I also thought it was a fun idea for a mom’s day or a play date. Just make a few adjustments, and you can invite all your friend’s over for it! So even if you aren’t throwing a baby shower, don’t stop reading – a freezer meal group/laundry group is a great way to just get together with some friends, too!.
I got the idea back when I was pregnant with Jack – just a few days before he was born, I went to a freezer meal preparation day with some women from church. One of the ladies purchased all the items ahead of time and then we got together and made everything. It was a lot of fun, and I loved having all the meals in the freezer after Jack was born.
So, the idea behind a “laundry and freezer meals” party is just to help prepare a new mom to bring her bundle of joy home. Everyone needs to eat and to have freshly laundered clothes for their babe, so that’s why it’s perfect for anyone. If you are just doing this with your friends, it’s a fun way to get together and make the everyday tasks that come with being a mother a little bit easier!
In lieu of a gift, ask everyone to contribute a certain amount toward the materials for the freezer meals and the laundry detergent. If you are doing this not as a baby shower, just figure out how much all the materials (such as the Ziploc bags, disposable pans, the food, etc.) will cost and divvy that up among the people who are coming.
I got together with a few ladies to throw a little party for a mom-to-be that I know. She is recently pregnant and super sick, so we thought it would be fun to make her some freezer meals and wash/fold some baby clothes. I wish she could have been there, but we thought it was a fun way to get together and do some service for someone else.
If you are doing it in lieu of a baby shower, you can definitely have the mom-to-be there! Even though this mom wasn’t there, I still decided to make it into a party.
I set up the counter with a bright pink table cloth, we purchased some Simply Blueberry Lemonade juice, some different breakfast pastries and baked goods, and I also made a yummy fruit dip. Everyone really enjoyed the simplicity of the treats. I also put the goodie bags (which I’ll talk more about at the end) which made for fun decor as well.
We then prepared freezer meals and did some baby laundry together. Here are some more details on both of these activities:
Materials For the Freezer Meals:
Tips for Successful Freezer Meal Groups/Parties:
- Decide on the meals about a week before you have the party and plan them around the current sales if possible.
- Buy your meat in bulk from Costco or from Zaycon Fresh. Zaycon has the best and highest quality chicken and ground beef, and the prices are amazing (often you can get the chicken for 1.69 a pound.) They are only sold in 40-pound increments, but you can easily share with a group – get all your freezer meal pals in on it!
- Sign up for Freez-Easy. You can find a lot of freezer meals on Pinterest, but I love the Freez-Easy method. The freezer meal plans are designed to help you create 8-10 freezer meals in less than an hour using the Freez-Easy method. You can buy past meal plans on the site, or you can sign up for the subscription. I think if you plan on having a freezer meal group frequently, signing up for a membership is the way to go so you have lots of new recipes each month!
- Take turns buying the food.
- Go to the store ahead of time to get an estimate on the cost. I would do this about a week ahead of time. Let people know in advance how much it will be so they can bring the money for their portion with them.
- Create an assembly line – it makes it go much easier!
- Make freezer meals with similar ingredients (this is what Freez-Easy is based on). It will go a lot faster if you only have to cook one kind of meat!
- Know what you shouldn’t freeze. This is a great reference list (though I don’t agree with the no cheese thing. We freeze cheese all the time – in bags or in meals!)
- When you are trying to find people, ask in church groups, your kid’s classes at school, etc. You really never know who might be interested!
- Read instructions – I messed up and cooked all the ground beef at once. One of the meals we were going to make required raw ground beef (it was a meat loaf.) We improvised though and ended up just making more taco soup. YUM!
- Write the name of the meal, instructions for cooking/defrosting, and when it was made on Ziploc bag or tin foil. You don’t want to have it pushed to the back of the freezer, discover it later on, and have no idea what it is or when it was made!
For the Laundry:
- Dreft Laundry Detergent
- Dreft Blissfuls
- Laundry Basket or Hamper
- Baby clothes!
After eating some food, we got out a bunch of baby clothes to wash and fold. I think this is an important thing to do, whether you are getting the clothes out of storage or they are brand new from the store.
I really like Dreft Laundry Detergent. It’s so gentle on the skin of a newborn baby, and it works great for getting stains out. So even if you are washing old clothes, it’s great for helping refresh them and make them ready for a new baby. It’s the #1 choice of Pediatricians and Dermatologists, which is definitely not an easy position to get. It’s been around for a long time as well (over 80 years!) so you know it’s withstood the test of time. It has a light fragrance that makes clothes smell like sweet little babies all day long!
Dreft Stage 2 (which is called Active Baby) is great for when baby starts to move. Oliver just started moving, so we love it for that. It easily helps remove 99% of food stains, grass, and dirt. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend time with my baby than trying to get out stains!
The best thing about Dreft is that it really is so gentle on a baby’s skin. Infant skin (especially newborns) is so delicate. You just have to be so careful with what you put on it, and I can back Dreft 100% for being gentle with babies because it’s hypoallergenic.
To be honest, you can really use Dreft products on all laundry! No need to do a separate load of clothes just for the baby. I also love the Dreft Blissfuls, which help bring the delightful baby fresh scent into clothes longer. They are perfect for throwing in with older kids and adults clothes as well!
We all had a lot of fun visiting as we folded baby clothes. Some of the ladies in attendance haven’t had babies for a little while, so it was fun to hear them oo and ah over how tiny all the clothes were. It really helped remind me to just savor every moment with my precious little ones. They certainly grow much too fast!
Here are a few baby shower game or activity ideas:
- Name the Stain – this might be a little gross, but you put different kinds of stains on a piece of fabric or an old baby onesie. Whoever correctly identifies the most wins a prize
- Laundry Folding Competition – who has the most experience with folding baby outfits? Find out with this fast paced game!
- How Do You Get it Out? – This is a fun game for teams. On strips of paper, write down a certain kind of stain. On other strips of paper, write how you would get that stain out. Teams compete against each other to see who can correctly match everything first!
- Everyone can bring their favorite easy recipe or freezer meal and you can put together a book of easy recipes for the mom-to-be.
- Guess the Baby Food – Bring a variety of baby food jars (remove the labels first) and everyone has to try and guess what kind of baby food it is!
I prepared a little gift bag for everyone to take home – it was filled with Dreft Laundry Detergent and Dreft Blissfuls. Everyone was thrilled – you know you’re a mom when you get excited about a bag full of laundry products 🙂
Overall, it was a really fun party! As I’ve mentioned, you can really adapt this to whatever your needs are – a baby shower alternative, a play date, etc. The sky is the limit!
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.