Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Baby Shower | LoveToKnow (2023)

If you're planning a baby shower for a friend or family member, you're in for an exciting and complex experience. From the invitations to the games, there are lots of essential elements to consider. Having a plan and a timeline for when to do each task will help make your shower run smoothly, and keep the entire experience stress-free for you and the mom-to-be.

Ten Weeks Before the Shower

To have a really well-planned shower, you'll need about ten weeks of time to get things in order. You can do things faster if you need to, but it may add to your stress level. Starting about two and a half months before the big date, you'll need to do the following tasks.

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Set a Date and Time

Ideally, the baby shower will take place at least one month before the mom-to-be's due date, and you may want to allow as much as two months. This gives the mom-to-be time to pick up the remaining items on her registry and get everything in order before the little one arrives. There are several other factors to consider when setting the date:

  • Avoid holiday weekends, since many people have other plans.
  • Talk to some of the most important guests, including the family of the future parents and any special friends. Choose a date that they can make it.
  • Consider the needs of out-of-town guests who will have to travel to the event.

You'll also need to set a time for the shower. This may be a start time only, or you may prefer to also include the time the party will end. Allow time for guests to arrive, play games, eat and drink, and watch the mom-to-be open her gifts. Most showers take at least two or three hours.

Establish a Budget

Your budget will dictate all the other choices you'll need to make in planning the shower, so it's something you should figure out right away. You can spend as little or as much as you want to, and other people may want to contribute to the budget as well. You'll need to divide the available funds among several expenses, including the following:

  • Invitations
  • Food and drink
  • Favors
  • Decorations
  • Games and prizes
  • Any rentals

Pick a Location for the Party

You can host a shower almost anywhere, although baby shower etiquette dictates it shouldn't be in the home of the parents-to-be. You can host the shower in your home, which is an easy, affordable choice. You could also rent a space at a local park, or make a deal with a restaurant to use a back room. There's no wrong answer, as long as the space will fit the number of people you plan to invite.

Work Out a Guest List

Talk to the mom-to-be about who she'd like to have at the shower. Showers can range from small, family-only affairs to huge parties for 100 or more. Your budget, and the social life of the guest of honor, will help you figure out who to invite. Consider some of these options:

  • Host a coworker-only baby shower for a mom you work with. This is a great option for moms who work in large offices and are close to their office mates.
  • Have a co-ed baby shower, and invite the dad as well. This is becoming more common, and many moms-to-be enjoy sharing the spotlight with their partners.
  • The guest of honor may prefer a family-only baby shower if she doesn't need a lot of items or wants to keep the gathering intimate.

It's also important to discuss whether children should come to the shower. Ask what the guest of honor prefers, and go with that choice. Once you've determined who will be going, ask the guest of honor or her family for a list of names and addresses. You'll need this information to send out invitations in a few weeks.

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Eight Weeks Before the Shower

Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Baby Shower | LoveToKnow (2)

At about eight weeks before the party, there are a few other tasks that need your attention.

Choose Invitations

Eight weeks before the shower is a good time to decide on invitations, since you may need to wait for them to be printed. You'll have lots of options when it comes to the wording for your baby shower invitation and the style of invitation you choose. These are a few of your options:

  • An evite is a modern choice for a very informal baby shower. You can create the invitation online, which will save you money on paper and postage.
  • A free printable baby shower invitation is another affordable option. In this case, you'll only need to pay printing costs and postage.
  • You can save money on designer baby shower invitations and matching thank you cards that you can print yourself at home from a DIY site like The Printable Baby.
  • You can also buy custom printed invitations from sites like Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, and Pear Tree Greetings.

If you need help downloading the stork baby shower invitation, check out these helpful tips.

Pick a Theme

You don't have to have a pick a theme for the shower, but having one can make choosing decorations and deciding on food a bit easier. There are lots of baby shower themes to consider, from children's book showers to diaper showers.

Six Weeks Before the Shower

As the shower approaches, there are a few more items to tackle. Make sure you remember the following.

(Video) The Ultimate guide planning a Baby Shower

Send Out Invitations

It's time to send out the invitations. This gives guests a chance to block off the date on their calendars and send their regrets if they are unable to attend.

Shop for or Make Favors

Most baby showers include a small gift for each of the guests who attend. You don't have to spend a fortune on baby shower favors. There are lots of ideas, from edible gifts, to candles and potpourri. You can buy the favors or make them yourself.

Decide on a Menu

Baby shower food can vary significantly depending on the type of event you're hosting. This is a good time to decide on a few menu ideas, so you can make sure you have all the ingredients you need, or order the items from specific shops. Consider these options:

  • You may want to pick food that coordinates with your theme.
  • If you're hosting the shower in your home, making the food yourself can be enjoyable and affordable. Find fun recipes to find dishes that will be a hit.
  • For a more casual gathering, a baby shower buffet is a great idea. This lets guests serve themselves at their leisure and makes the event easier for the host.
  • If you're hosting the shower at a restaurant, pick a few items off the menu that you know will delight your guests.

Don't forget to consider what guests will be drinking. In general, most showers don't include alcohol, since the mom-to-be can't drink. However, a great punch is always a hit.

Plan or Order the Cake

A cake is another important element at any baby shower. You can make a cake, in which case you have plenty of time to pick a design. View pictures of easy baby shower cakes and simple baby shower cupcake ideas to help you get inspired.

If you'll be ordering the cake from a bakery, you'll need to get that order in right away. Bakeries can get very busy during certain times of the year, so planning and ordering your cake now is a wise move. Get inspired with pictures of baby shower cakes, and if you find one you like, take the picture with you to the bakery. They can often emulate your favorite design. The same goes for unique and complex baby shower cupcakes.

Four Weeks Before the Shower

Now that the shower is only a month away, you'll have a few additional tasks to handle.

Buy or Make Decorations

Baby shower decorations can take your party from ordinary to extraordinary. Often, your theme will dictate the decorations you choose, or you may want to decorate based on gender. Try some of these ideas:

  • Save money and get creative by making some baby shower decorations. You don't have to be a master crafter to tackle these projects.
  • Use baby shower signs to draw attention to the party. These can include yard signs, door signs, and banners.
  • Choose gender-specific decorations if the mom-to-be is sharing the baby's gender. There are great ideas for girl baby shower decorations, as well as sweet baby boy shower decorations.
  • Don't forget to purchase or make table decorations for the shower. This should include any paper products guests will need for eating and drinking.
Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Baby Shower | LoveToKnow (5)
(Video) HOW TO: PLAN + HOST A BABY SHOWER | TIPS + CHECK LIST | BABY SHOWER IDEAS

Decide on and Prepare Games

Games are another important element of any shower. They can help break the ice and make guests feel comfortable and engaged in the party. There are lots of great baby shower games to choose from, including diaper games, mad libs, and free printable games.

Don't forget to pick up a few prizes for the winners of these games.

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The Week Before the Shower

During the week before the shower, you'll mostly be getting last-minute things in order. Remember these tasks.

Clean up the Party Space

If you'll be hosting the shower, you can start cleaning your home during the final week of preparation. If you're having it at a park, stop by the day before to make sure all trash is picked up from the party area.

Shop and Cook for the Shower

This is the time to prepare the foods you'll be having at your event. If you're doing the cooking, it helps to spread the grocery shopping and dish preparation out during the week before the actual event. Make a list of everything you need to do and tackle things in the order they need to happen.

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Plan the Order of Events

It helps to have a plan for the day of the shower. Consider doing things in this order:

  1. Guests arrive and have hors d'oeuvres or punch.
  2. After everyone is there, play one or two games.
  3. Take a break to eat a meal and/or have the cake.
  4. Play another game.
  5. Have the mom-to-be open the gifts.
  6. Pass out party favors and say good-bye to guests.

Confirm the Guest List

If you haven't heard from some of the people on the guest list, this is a good time to track down their RSVPs. This will help you figure out how much seating and food you'll need for the event.

The Day of the Shower

On the day of the shower, you'll be pretty busy handling last-minute tasks. You'll need to do the following.

Pick up the Cake or Food

If you ordered the cake or any party food, it's time to pick those items up. You can assign this task to a trusted friend if you are able.

Decorate the Party Space

Put out your decorations to make the party space special. Don't forget to include a table for gifts, as well as a space for eating. You'll need seating for everyone who plans to come.

Fun and Stress-Free

Planning a baby shower doesn't have to be complex if you stay organized. Simply do the tasks you need to when they need to be done, and you'll have a fun and stress-free party that will honor the mom-to-be. Now, learn about the new tradition of bringing a book with your gift and get examples of baby shower book messages so you can leave a meaningful note the child will be able to read later on.

© 2022 LoveToKnow Media. All rights reserved.

FAQs

What are the most important parts of planning a baby shower? ›

The Ultimate Checklist For Planning A Baby Shower
  • Set a budget & date.
  • Find a relaxing venue.
  • Prepare a guest list.
  • Choose a fun theme.
  • Send out invitations.
  • Plan the menu & drinks.
  • Order a scrumptious cake.
  • Think about games & goody bags.
15 Sept 2021

What are the rules of a baby shower? ›

A typical baby shower includes playing games, watching the mother-to-be open gifts, eating, and drinking. However, games aren't a must. Some baby shower hosts and hostesses are foregoing the typical games in favor of other activities. Ask the expecting mother what she thinks about games and what she would like to do!

How do you host a successful baby shower? ›

11 Things You Should Know Before Hosting a Baby Shower
  1. Schedule carefully when choosing the day of the shower. ...
  2. Send out invitations three to four weeks before the event. ...
  3. Consider going paperless. ...
  4. Choosing a simple color scheme makes decorating a breeze. ...
  5. Take inventory before going shopping.
24 Jul 2017

How do you plan a baby shower 2022? ›

Baby Shower Checklist for Hosts
  1. Who Will Host the Event. Deciding who will host isn't always an easy decision. ...
  2. Decide on the Budget. Baby showers can be expensive. ...
  3. Choose the Date. ...
  4. Set Up a Great Theme. ...
  5. Create a Guest List. ...
  6. Decide on the Venue. ...
  7. Start Sending Baby Shower Invitations. ...
  8. Deciding on the Food.
15 Nov 2022

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.

Who usually organizes a 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.

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.

How many weeks do you throw a baby shower? ›

When and Where to Have a Baby Shower? Early on in planning the baby shower, remember that when you hold the celebration is just as important as where to have it. Usually, showers are held later in pregnancy, often around four to six weeks before the due date, but always check with the expectant family first.

How many guests is normal for a baby shower? ›

How Many People Should Attend a Baby Shower. Every baby shower is different, but most ladies agree that 15 to 30 is the perfect number of ladies at a typical baby shower or about 30-40 for a coed. These numbers change depending on the size of the family, number of friends, and even work colleagues involved.

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.

Who throws and pays for a baby shower? ›

Who Traditionally Pays 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.

How much do you give for a baby shower 2022? ›

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.

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.

How do you plan a party checklist? ›

The ultimate party planning checklist template
  1. Choose a theme. ...
  2. Determine your budget. ...
  3. Choose a few date and time options for the event. ...
  4. Book an event venue. ...
  5. Arrange entertainment. ...
  6. Make a guest list. ...
  7. Order supplies if you're making your own decor.

What do first time parents get for baby shower? ›

Baby Arrival Gift Set

Diapers, wipes, shampoo, body wash, face and body lotion, hand sanitizer spray, all-purpose balm and diaper rash cream are neatly assorted in this wooden box of goodies that any parent will be thankful to have on hand.

What drinks do you serve at a baby shower? ›

17 Festive, Non-Alcoholic Drinks For A Baby Shower
  • 01 of 17. Ginger-Orange Mocktails. Jennifer Davick. ...
  • 02 of 17. Sparkling Cherry Limeade. ...
  • 03 of 17. Lemon-Basil Spritzer. ...
  • 04 of 17. Classic Sweet Tea. ...
  • 05 of 17. Strawberry-Mint Tea. ...
  • 06 of 17. Lemonade Iced Tea. ...
  • 07 of 17. Bourbon-Peach Iced Tea. ...
  • 08 of 17. Berry Splash.

What sandwiches are good for a baby shower? ›

Baby shower sandwiches
  • Mexican Chicken Pinwheels. ...
  • Taco Pinwheels. ...
  • Pizza Rolls. ...
  • Tortilla Ham & Cheese Pinwheels {Potluck Sunday} ...
  • Mini Pinwheel Sandwiches. ...
  • Texas Sushi Pinwheels Recipe: Appetizers In Under 10 Minutes. ...
  • 23 Pinwheel Snacks That Taste As Good As They Look. ...
  • Southwest Chicken Tortilla Pinwheels.

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 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.

What makes a baby shower special? ›

A baby shower is one of the most traditional ways in which your loved ones come together to express their joy at your pregnancy. It's a time for friends and family to share time with the expectant parents and to “shower” them with gifts, love, and good wishes before the birth.

Do fathers attend baby showers? ›

Yes! Men's attendance at baby showers is not something that's seen as taboo anymore. As men are more involved in raising their children than they may have been in past generations, they may want to enjoy baby showers. Coed baby showers are a natural progression.

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.

What time do most baby showers start? ›

What Time of Day Should a Baby Shower Start? Baby showers are usually held in the daytime, starting anywhere from 11 AM to 2 PM, with 1-2 PM being the most common.

Why is baby shower done in 7th month? ›

In some families the ceremony is held when the mother-to-be completes her seventh month of pregnancy. It is believed that after the seventh month, the baby and mother are in a safe phase. In some families it is celebrated at the end of the eighth month.

Can a mother throw a baby shower for her daughter? ›

Because gifts are central to showers, having a member of the honoree's (or husband's) immediate family host appeared self-serving. Today it is appropriate for anyone to host a baby shower, as long as there's a legitimate reason.

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.

Should you do seating chart for baby shower? ›

OUR TOP TIP: If hosting a baby shower at a venue, pull together a quick seating plan/ name tags, so everyone knows where to sit. Arrange for the mum to be at the head of the table or in-between tables (if there is more than one table) , so everyone can see and easily speak to the guest of honour.

What should I serve at a 2pm baby shower? ›

Food to Serve for an Afternoon Baby Shower
  • Light Snacks. Cheese and crackers platter. Light snacks should include a variety of foods that are easy for guests to consume. ...
  • Heavy Snacks or Light Meals. Sandwich platter. ...
  • Beverages. Iced tea. ...
  • Dessert. Cupcakes.

Do you open gifts at baby shower? ›

Baby Registries: The gift of giving

Guests have taken a lot of care in selecting their gifts, and part of the fun is watching the mom-to-be open presents. Proper etiquette suggests that gifts be opened toward the end of the shower to avoid the impression that presents are the primary purpose of the party.

Who plans and pays for a baby shower? ›

Who Traditionally Pays 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.

How far in advance should you plan a baby shower? ›

Three–Four Months Before Baby's Arrival

It's totally up to you whether your baby shower is before or after your baby arrives, the proximity to baby's arrival date, or if you have a shower at all. You may have started your registry already, in which case, good for you for getting on that early!

What week should you plan a baby shower? ›

When should you plan 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 alcohol do you serve at a baby shower? ›

"Light alcoholic beverages are best, like wine, spritzers, Champagne, and mimosas," says Ehsaei. "Hard liquor generally should not be served at baby showers to prevent guests from overindulging." And if you're a guest, expect to sip, not shotgun.

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.

How many guests should you have 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.

What is the average cost of 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.

How many games do you play at a baby shower? ›

A typical baby shower lasts about 3 hours, so you can expect to play about 5 games at most. You will want to have enough games to keep everyone occupied but not so many that you are rushing people through each game.

Who throws the 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.

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