How Does An Open House Baby Shower Work? - Mama of Five (2023)

Baby showers are a great way to celebrate the upcoming birth of a baby and a way for expectant parents to relax and have fun ahead of the new arrival.

When it comes to organizing a baby shower the expectant mom, or parents, may want to arrange it themselves or it may be left to a friend or a family member.

The themes and styles of baby showers are numerous, with lots of different ideas to suit each mom and baby.

Contents hide

1 The Benefits of an Open-House Baby Shower

2 Baby Shower Host

3 Hosting a Baby Shower

4 Location

5 Guests

(Video) MY MOM IS PREGNANT🤰🏾| Ep. 4 Seraph Ruins her Mom's Baby Shower 😱

6 Timings

8 Food and Drink

9 Decorations

10 Games

11 Gifts

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One of the first things that you will want to consider is whether you want to have an open-house baby shower rather than a traditional structured shower with a guest list, games, and an order of events.

The Benefits of an Open-House Baby Shower

Organizers of baby showers are taking a more modern approach to celebrations by hosting an open-house event that enjoys the following benefits:

  • A larger number of people can be invited
  • Family members not usually invited (husband, partner, father, etc) can attend
  • Celebration for both parents with both sets of friends and family attending
  • Focus on gifts is not essential
  • A more relaxed party
  • No requirements to be involved in games
  • A relaxed buffet/snack table rather than a formal sit-down meal
  • Less pressure on the host to keep a check on proceedings

Baby Shower Host

If you have decided that an open-house baby shower the next step is to decide who will be hosting the baby shower. Many moms-to-be like to host their baby shower so that they can take control, make the shower exactly how they want it to be, and take the pressure off friends and family.

For others, the thought of hosting their baby shower is too stressful when there are lots of jobs to be done preparing for the baby’s arrival.

For most moms, however, the job of the baby shower is left to friends and family to organize and it is frowned upon to expect a mom to host their shower.

If you are an expecting mother and have not had an offer of a baby shower so far you can bring up the subject to your friends and family and decide on the best way forward.


You could get involved as much or as little as you like.

How Does An Open House Baby Shower Work? - Mama of Five (1)

Hosting a Baby Shower

The host of the baby shower will want to take the below steps to organize the best open-house baby shower for the mom-to-be.


While the nature of an open house baby shower is for people to come and go in a more relaxed setting, it does not necessarily need to take place in the house of the mom-to-be.

The mom may want it to be in the home so she is more comfortable and can easily take a break or a nap, but it could take place outside of the home.

You could host in your own home or the home of a family member or friend or you can hire a party venue for several hours.

How Does An Open House Baby Shower Work? - Mama of Five (2)


Before you think about sending out invitations it is important to work closely with the mom-to-be to see how many guests she feels comfortable with.

Baby showers are often held in the last trimester just a few weeks ahead of when the baby is due. This is a great idea for many as it allows for mom to relax and unwind so to have a little bit of fun before baby arrives.

It can also, however, be a very tiring time for mom so shimmy want fewer guests or only those who she feels very comfortable with if it is a particularly difficult pregnancy.

Work on your guest list together and come up with a number that is accommodating for both the host and the mom-to-be.

Be mindful of children who may need to come along with adult guests and cater for this if need be.


Most baby showers are held at weekends when more people are off work and school and can easily find the time to attend your event.

This is something to keep in mind when looking at your guest list as some may work weekends or have family obligations at weekends.

For these reasons having an open-house celebration is beneficial as people can drop in for a short period amidst their usual weekend schedule.

Setting a flexible time for people to come will mean that you may have guests at your event for a longer period of time in total but it may not be as overwhelming as having everyone attend at the same time.

How Does An Open House Baby Shower Work? - Mama of Five (3)


When it comes to hosting an open-house baby shower you will begin to see a trend in the general lack of formality compared to a traditional time-constrained event.

Invitations to an open house can be formal in that you still design and write invitations to be sent to guests or you can simply send out an email, Facebook message, or a text.

How Does An Open House Baby Shower Work? - Mama of Five (4)



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If there is a big guest list and you do not want too many people to be in the house at the same time you can send out groups of invitations to your guests.

For example, you may want to invite a group from mom’s place of work so they can arrive at a certain time and then family and close friends an hour or so later.

Your invitation to an open-house baby shower should indicate that your guests are free to come as they please between a certain time and that it will be flexible with no set activities or time that food will be served.

If you state that the party is an open house they are likely to understand that there is no commitment to stay for the whole period of time.

Food and Drink

Almost all baby showers will involve food and drink for guests and the same goes for when you host an open-house celebration.

Instead of organizing a sit-down meal or a set time that a buffet is served, for example, you can simply leave a table of food for guests to eat from as and when they arrive and feel hungry. You may need a little planning when it comes to what types of food to serve as you need to keep food cool if it is a warm day and if keep hot food warm by using heating equipment.

You can choose food that is easy to top up as the day progresses with plenty of snacks and easy-to-eat food.

A well-stocked drinks fridge can allow guests to help themselves when they arrive or you can leave out a table of pre-poured glasses of champagne or wine, for example.

How Does An Open House Baby Shower Work? - Mama of Five (5)


An open-house shower will require some decoration but, again, having a less formal baby shower allows for some relaxation on the way your venue looks.

There are lots of companies that will come and set up your shower for you will balloons and banners or you can arrange for delivery of ready-made decorations to quickly put up before your guests arrive.

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The great thing about hosting an open-house event is that there is less pressure to stick to a strict party plan, with games at set times, for example. For many people, the thought of playing games and baby showers fills them with dread and is something that baby shower hosts are moving away from.

Instead of games, you can think of creative activities, such as crafts that can be used as keepsakes for mom and baby.

By setting up a crafting table your guests can choose whether to take part or not and once you have left all of the materials and instructions out you can take a step back and enjoy the party along with your guests. As the shower will be open to male family members you can think of an activity for them to get involved with too.

If children and toddlers are invited to your baby shower be sure to arrange activities and a craft table for them to keep occupied too!

How Does An Open House Baby Shower Work? - Mama of Five (7)


Traditionally, gifts for both baby and mom are brought to a baby shower by each guest, sometimes from a gift registry set up by both parents ahead of the shower. You can still do this with an open-house baby shower or you can follow the relaxed approach and just let your guests choose what to give as a gift.

If it is your second baby you may want to be more specific about what not to buy as many of the items you used for your first child will be passed on to your second child.

One benefit of having an open-house shower is that your guests can just pop in to say hello and see you open your gift without the need to stay for the whole party.

You may also enjoy:

  • Baby Shower Themes For Baby Girls

  • How Big Is An Average Baby Shower?

  • No OneisGoing toThrow Me …


What is open house baby shower? ›


This shower we threw for my little sister, and her soon-to-arrive daughter, was an open house. This means friends and family could drop in any time during the designated time slot to wish the new mom-to-be good luck and shower her with advice and gifts.

How does a come and go baby shower work? ›

Drop by showers, or come and go baby showers, are a sweet and safe way to show the parents-to-be your love and support. The host can assign time slots when guests can drop-in to visit the expectant mother and drop off their gift without worrying about a big crowd. Bump on over between 2-4 PM to toast the parents to be!

How do you word an open house for a baby shower? ›

Open house might be understood by some, but saying "Drop In" will clarify it better. Suggestions include saying, "Join us at the drop-in baby shower of..." and "Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Drop in at any time," or just put "Drop In" or "Open House" at the bottom.

What are the rules of a baby shower? ›

7 Unspoken Baby Shower Etiquette Rules Everyone Should Follow
  • Everybody's welcome. Getty Images. ...
  • Every baby gets celebrated. Getty Images. ...
  • Little ones are welcome if the invite says so. Getty Images. ...
  • Watch what you say and do. Getty Images. ...
  • Careful with the foods and booze. ...
  • Say a genuine thank you. ...
  • Don't skip the sip and see.
29 Jan 2018

How long should an open house baby shower last? ›

The typical amount of time for a baby shower to last is about two hours. That gives your guests plenty of time to eat or snack, chat with the mom-to-be, play games (if you're offering games), and watch the mom-to-be open her gifts.

Who is supposed to pay for a baby shower? ›

The hostess traditionally pays for the baby shower and its associated costs. However, the hostess can divide up the responsibility and costs by asking a few close family members or friends to co-host. This helps to reduce the overall expense and alleviates some of the financial obligation of hosting a baby shower.

Do you open gifts at a open house baby shower? ›

As much as guests would love for the mom-to-be to open their gifts, proper etiquette is respecting her wishes and not asking her to open the presents during the shower. Once one gift is opened, a chain reaction will start and everyone will want theirs opened too.

How many guests should be at a baby shower? ›

Traditionally, baby showers are intimate events, with the average number of attendees being about 20 and definitely fewer than 50. After you figure out who you want to invite, you'll have a baseline guest list.

Is it OK to have an open house baby shower? ›

The Benefits of an Open-House Baby Shower

A larger number of people can be invited. Family members not usually invited (husband, partner, father, etc) can attend. Celebration for both parents with both sets of friends and family attending. Focus on gifts is not essential.

Who should host a first baby shower? ›

Most baby showers should be hosted by a sister, mother, mother-in-law, or close friend. Baby showers were traditionally thrown by family members who weren't close with the parents-to-be, to avoid the assumption that close family members wanted to collect gifts for themselves.

What do you do first at a baby shower? ›

Open Gifts

First, you can have guests send their gifts to the expectant mom ahead of time. Then, during the shower, she'll open all the goodies for everyone to see.

Who should not host a baby shower? ›

It is considered inappropriate for you or your spouse to throw the baby shower. It is considered rude to ask someone to throw you a baby shower. Typically a close friend or one of the grandmas-to-be will throw a baby shower. It is acceptable to have a sister or other family member throw the baby shower.

Do you give gifts to guests at a baby shower? ›

Usually the guests don't expect favors, they come to the baby shower to celebrate the new coming baby with the mother and father-to-be. But really, it can add some charm and happiness to the baby shower. Guests will feel special to receive favors and prizes.

How long can a baby stay in the shower? ›

About 5-10 minutes is long enough for a newborn bath. This is especially important if your baby has dry or sensitive skin. A 'top and tail' bath is when you use cotton wool and warm water for your baby's eyes and face, and a washcloth for their hands and bottom.

How many games should be played at a baby shower? ›

Usually, two to four games are enough for a baby shower—especially if you have a lot of guests. Plus, you need to save time for eating and opening gifts.

At what week should you throw a baby shower? ›

Baby showers are typically held four to six weeks before the baby's due date—late enough that the pregnancy is well along, but likely early enough to avoid the baby arriving beforehand and disrupting the party plans. However, some people prefer to have a shower after the delivery.

What is the average cost for a baby shower? ›

The average baby shower budget should be about $400, but you should roughly plan out what the shower will look like before setting this amount. Naturally, the costs will increase as the budget does; this is typically true for virtual baby showers.

Who is responsible for throwing baby shower? ›

Typically, a close friend or family member will throw your shower, but coworkers or another loved one can all host the party. While every baby shower is unique, the host usually takes care of organizing everything — so you can sit back and enjoy being celebrated.

How much money should you spend on a baby shower? ›

We recommend a budget of $50 to $150 depending on how close you are to the expecting parents. When choosing the gift, it will always go a long way if you opt for buying something unique and/or highly useful. This will show a higher level of appreciation.

Do you bring a gift to an open house? ›

If you are invited to a housewarming party or open house, you should bring something suitable for the new residence.

What is a good open house gift? ›

Popular Open House Categories
  • Pencils.
  • Pens.
  • Notepads.
  • Keychains.
  • All Purpose Clips.
  • Fans.
  • Magnets.
  • Paper Bags.

Is it rude to go to a baby shower without a gift? ›

Though a gift is expected if a guest attends, guests should only be invited to help celebrate the upcoming arrival, not for the gift they bring. If a guest is invited to a shower but can't attend, there is no obligation to send a gift, though they certainly may if they want to.

Should I serve alcohol at a baby shower? ›

It's not uncommon for light alcoholic beverages to be served at a baby shower. After all, often guests at a baby shower may be meeting one another for the first time, and a little alcohol can help people open up. But a baby shower drink is not a reason to over-indulge.

How many dishes should you have at a baby shower? ›

Keep a pared-down guest list. On average, guests eat around 5 pieces of food at baby showers. The more people you invite, the costlier the event will be.

Is 40 people a lot for a baby shower? ›

Invite Everyone

For a lot of people, 40 is plenty for a baby shower. However, if you find that you have more people than that to invite, that's great! You can easily host multiple baby showers, especially if you're having a virtual event.

How do you keep guests entertained at a baby shower? ›

3 Ways to Keep Guests Entertained at a Baby Shower
  1. Personalized Onesies. Stock your baby's closet with some personalized onesies! ...
  2. Handmade Books. If creating your own design is a little too crafty for your group, consider opting for coloring sheets instead (we won't judge if you go outside the lines). ...
  3. Name Coloring Sheet.
29 Jan 2018

What comes after baby shower? ›

A Sip & See is a party held after the birth of a baby to introduce the little one to friends and family members. It's usually a more casual event than the baby shower (with new parents often hosting it themselves), and it can be a fun way to celebrate a child's arrival.

What is the most popular baby shower theme? ›

Nursery rhymes are a classic go-to for baby shower themes, and expecting parents are all about this one lately. Moons and stars with white, gold and even touches of blue make for a serene, sophisticated look.

Do you serve cake at baby shower? ›


As with any party, there should be a yummy cake on offer to mark the occasion. As stated, it might be an extra special gender reveal cake, with a pink or blue sponge to wow the crowd. Or with boy/girl specific decorations like our Blue Baby Shoe cake.

Why can't you cross your legs at a baby shower? ›

Your blood pressure will rise

For the baby, there is a chance of the child being born earlier, placental abruption (which affects the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the baby), and delivery by C-section. That is why you may be told not to cross your legs when you are having your baby shower.

Should the father attend the baby shower? ›

While traditional baby showers consist of women only, co-ed baby showers are becoming more and more common. However, if you're looking to throw a traditional baby shower and still have the dad-to-be attend, this is completely acceptable and appropriate as most dad-to-be's will want to thank guests before they leave.

What do you wear to host a baby shower? ›

For an outdoor shower something light like a maxi or mini dress is a comfortable and safe option. If a dress isn't your forte, a lightweight linen suit is a chic look. For something indoors you can always wear layers and experiment more with heavier materials like a knit or a leather jacket.

Can my baby be in the bathroom while I shower? ›

If there isn't room inside the bathroom, you can place the activity center or play yard right by the open bathroom door. Some parents let their baby play in the bathroom while they shower – if you do, make sure to completely babyproof the bathroom first.

Is 2 hours long enough for baby shower? ›

Two to three hours will give guests enough time to get to know each other better and have fun with the mother-to-be.

What does open house shower mean? ›

An Open House bridal shower, as the name implies, is an event that is open for guests to attend during a certain time-frame. This is sometimes called a Come-and-Go, or a Drive-by shower. The area you're from, and personal opinion, will influence what you think of this type of party.

What Does Open house Mean on an invitation? ›

a party or reception during which anyone who wishes may visit to share in a celebration, meet a special guest, etc.

How does an open shower work? ›

Open showers, also called doorless showers, are just that. They do not have a door or enclosure. They are not confined by walls, doors, or curtains. Due to the lack of enclosure, open showers make the bathroom look and feel larger than it is.

How long does an open shower need to be? ›

How Big Should a Doorless Shower Be? A doorless shower layout requires a larger footprint than a standard tub or shower stall. Building codes may specify that a standard shower stall must be a minimum of 36 inches by 36 inches while the average doorless shower is about seven feet by four feet with many much larger.

How long is an open house party? ›

5 hours

What do you buy for an open house gift? ›

Popular Open House Categories
  • Pencils.
  • Pens.
  • Notepads.
  • Keychains.
  • All Purpose Clips.
  • Fans.
  • Magnets.
  • Paper Bags.

What kind of food do you serve at an open house? ›

There are things like cheese dip, meatballs, pasta salad, stuffed mushrooms, and potato salad that just don't go well in this environment. The best open house food ideas will: Incorporate some level of variety. You can have multiple flavors of cookies, brownies, or pretzels.

What do you serve at an open house party? ›

One of the best things about an open house party is that you aren't expected to feed everyone a full meal.
Food and Drinks
  • Variety of chips and dips.
  • Cold cuts and bread with condiments.
  • Vegetable platters.
  • Nuts and fruits.
  • Sushi platters.
  • Soft drinks.
  • Tea and coffee.
10 Mar 2022

How many people is too much for a house party? ›

A key factor in the success of your house party depends on who's attending. The first thing to consider is how big you want your gathering to be; for smaller ones, perhaps opt for a group of around 15 – 20 guests; for larger ones, and depending on the size of your abode, around 40 – 50 attendees should suffice.

Should you play music at an open house? ›

Having some soft, soothing music playing at an open house does help with the sale,” says Michelle Galli, a listing agent with Century 21 M&M in Los Banos, CA. “It gives the prospect a calm, relaxing feeling … so they can picture themselves in the home in serenity.”

Who should not throw a baby shower? ›

It is considered inappropriate for you or your spouse to throw the baby shower. It is considered rude to ask someone to throw you a baby shower. Typically a close friend or one of the grandmas-to-be will throw a baby shower. It is acceptable to have a sister or other family member throw the baby shower.


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