Baby Booties.

Baby Booties. Credit: iStock

GO DIGITAL Save paper by using an online site like to create and distribute invitations to guests. If the parents-to-be have a nursery theme or color scheme in mind, use that as your color guide for evites and decorations.

MAKE DECORATIONS MEMORABLE Avoid unnecessary baby shower "flair." What is the purpose of a party favor shaped like a Binky, anyway? Instead, inject a little personality with napkins or seat placements that feature baby pictures of Mom and Dad.

TRY A FESTIVE POTLUCK Share catering duties -- and expenses -- by turning the event into a potluck. Encourage everyone to bring easy-to-make dishes, complete with recipes, so your busy new mom has a collection of options for sleepless nights. You also may want to create a decorative sign-up sheet where guests can offer to bring those dishes after the baby arrives.

GO GREEN Encourage parents on the guest list to bring laundered, gently used baby clothes and gear that their children have outgrown. Pay it forward by sharing unused gear, board books and other items. Just be careful with larger items such as cribs and car seats, which frequently turn up on recall lists.

-- McClatchy-Tribune