how to plan a baby shower

How to plan a Baby Shower – The Ultimate Guide

Being an expectant mama is one of the most exciting times of your life, so why not celebrate with a Baby Shower! And the very first thing you need to master is how to plan a Baby Shower!

Baby Showers are a fairly modern celebration, although the arrival of a new baby has been celebrated in many different ways throughout history.

Today’s Baby Showers are an opportunity for friends and family to “shower” the parents-to-be with baby gifts to help them prepare for their new arrival. And of course, it is also a great opportunity for a fun party to celebrate your imminent arrival! Packed with games, food, fun, and laughter, a Baby Shower is really one of the highlights of many women’s pregnancies. Plus you get thoroughly spoilt for an afternoon. What’s not to love!

So, you have announced your pregnancy, and you may have had a Gender Reveal party. Now it’s time to work out how to plan a Baby Shower.

So put your feet up and read on for our top tips and tricks for how to plan a Baby Shower.

How to plan a Baby Shower

1. Find a host

planning a baby shower

Oftentimes, a good friend or relative of the mom-to-be will be the ones hosting and planning a Baby Shower. It could be your sister, Mom, cousin, or one of your best friends. Throwing a Baby Shower for someone is quite an honor so hopefully, someone offers to take on the role. Sometimes a group of friends or colleagues get together to do the planning and this can work really well. Not only does it share out the work, but it gets everyone involved.

As the pregnant Mama, this means you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the party!

If you’d like to take on the planning of the baby shower yourself, that is fine too. Just make sure you get help from friends so you’re not overwhelmed with too much to do! Perhaps ask a friend to be in charge of the games or another aspect of the day so that you share the planning.

2.      Pick a date

planning a baby shower

When is the best time to have a Baby Shower is a question lots of Moms-to-be ask!

When planning a Baby Shower, make sure to decide on a date that’s in your third trimester. Usually between the beginning to the middle, from week 28 -32 is a good time. This way you’re well along in the pregnancy but aren’t too close to the due date. So no need to worry about going into labor at the shower!

Planning the Baby Shower for this time will also make sure the Mom-to-be will have time to organize the gifts after the Shower. Plus you can purchase anything else you might need before the baby arrives.

Remember to plan ahead so you and the host can coordinate schedules, avoid conflicts with other events, and give guests ample notice. There’s nothing worse than planning a big event and then half the guests have other commitments!

And don’t stress if your Baby Shower doesn’t fall in the Summer. After all, there are heaps of great Baby Shower themes for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Plus you could even go for a specific theme like Easter, Halloween or Christmas.

3.      Work out the budget and Guestlist

planning a baby shower

Now is the time to have a careful think about how much you want to spend on the Baby Shower.

You can have a wonderful Baby Shower on a budget and likewise have a wonderful expensive Baby Shower. Plus everything in between!

Your baby shower budget may determine how many people you can invite (and vice versa).

Once you’ve made a list of everyone you’d like to invite, come up with a budget. A budget will guide your choices of food, décor, cake, and more. If your budget is very limited, think about where you can save. There are plenty of great DIY Baby Shower options. Plus it can be easy to make big savings on venue choices.

Remember, whatever your budget, with great planning, you can put on a wonderful Baby Shower.

4.      Choose a Baby Shower Venue

hosting a baby shower

Traditionally, Baby Showers are held at the house of the host. And this is a great option if the budget is limited or if you are keen on a more private setting.

Where to have your Baby Shower is a personal choice. And in recent times we have seen the introduction of Drive-By Baby Showers and even Virtual Baby Showers which is certainly unique!

However, it’s not uncommon for Baby Showers to celebrated over brunch or lunch at cafes and restaurants. And the benefit of planning a Baby Shower at a restaurant is that the preparation, food, and clean-up is all taken care of. This means that all of your guests (and you!) get to enjoy the day and worry about the mess or if there’s enough to eat.

When deciding on a venue, consider your budget, the time of year, and the number of guests.

Planning a Baby Shower in a backyard or living room is intimate, comfortable, and free! However, if the guest list is on the larger side or if you have a bigger budget to play with, you could consider booking space at a local hotel or your favorite restaurant.

baby shower styling

Celebrating in a park or beach is also a great option if the Shower is in the summer or early fall. Just remember to plan a backup location in case of rain and to check in with your local parks department to see if you need a permit.

5. Pick a Baby Shower theme

Okay, here’s the fun part: picking a theme!

Having a theme for your Baby Shower is a good idea because it helps tie everything together. In addition, it looks adorable to have a cute theme running through the decor, food, drinks, and games. Plus there are so many gorgeous Baby Shower themes to choose from. And remember you can use a theme whether you are having a traditional Baby Shower, a Drive-By Baby Shower or a Virtual Baby Shower.

Gender Neutral Baby Shower Themes

So, if you don’t yet know the gender of your Baby, you will want to plan a Gender Neutral theme. And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean boring. In fact, some of the prettiest and most stylish themes are Gender Neutral.

best gender neutral baby showers

Here are some of our favorite Gender Neutral Baby Shower themes:

And these pretty Gender Neutral themes can also work for girls and boys too, especially if you want to avoid a pink or blue theme!

But if you already know your Baby’s gender, then you will want to check out our favorite ideas for girls and boys.

Baby Shower Themes for Boys

best baby shower boys

Here are some of our favorite themes for a Baby Boy.

Baby Shower Themes For Girls

best baby shower themes for girls

Or if your new arrival is a girl, then these are our prettiest girly themes…

Fall Baby Shower Themes

fall baby shower themes

Sometimes you might want to tailor your theme to the time of year. For example, if you are planning a Fall Baby Shower, there are some great themes that work particularly well in the Fall.

These include:

Halloween Baby Shower Themes

halloween baby shower themes

And we know a Halloween Baby Shower isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But if you love Halloween, it can be super fun to use this unusual theme!

Winter Baby Shower Themes

winter baby shower ideas

If you are planning a Baby Shower in the winter months, why not embrace the season and go with one of these Winter themes.

Summer Baby Shower Themes

summer baby shower themes

Undoubtedly, summer is one of the most popular months for Baby Shower. And for good reason! Here are our favorite Summer Baby Shower themes.

Spring Baby Shower Themes

Spring Baby Shower Ideas

And if Spring is your Baby Shower season, then these are our top tips for a Spring Baby Shower.

6. Set up a Baby Regsitry

Most of your Baby Shower guests will want to bring you a gift and a card. And to make sure you don’t end up with things you don’t need, it’s always a good idea to create a Baby Registry.

A Baby Registry is a list of items you would like to be given at your Baby Shower. Then your guests can browse and select items to buy for you, ticking them off so others can see what’s left.

Ideally, you include a variety of items on your Baby Registry that you will need for your little one. Oftentimes, things can range from large items like car seats or prams to small items like change mats and blankets.

You could pick your favourite shop, or create a universal register. A universal register is when you use a registry website so you can choose items from a few different websites.

And make sure to have a good price range on your Baby Registry so that guests can choose a gift within their budget.

7. Send the Baby Shower invites

So now you have got your theme in hand, and have set up your Registry, you are ready to invite your Guests!

Ideally, Invites should be sent out about a month to six weeks before the Baby Shower. Not only will this give Guests plenty of time to mark their calendar, but also find a gift, and book a babysitter if need be.

If your Baby Shower is on the casual side, an email invitation is perfectly fine. However, if you’re hosting something a little more formal (or if you’re just feeling fancy!), opt for a paper invite. Check out our Free Baby Shower Invite Downloads here or our printed versions here.

kraft baby shower invites

8. Stick to your budget

Planning a baby shower can quickly become costly. Keep in mind that there’s no reason to break the bank and be realistic about what you can afford. After setting your budget, it can be tempting to splurge and spend a little extra (I know, baby shower décor is so cute) but remember what your priorities are. To save on your budget, consider:

  • Downloading our FREE Baby Shower Games!
  • Host the shower at your (or a relative’s) home and ask everyone to pitch in with drinks and a platter of food
  • Bake your own cake or ask a friend to make one as a gift
  • Go out for a light lunch instead and ask guests to pay their own way

9. Create a Baby Shower menu

baby shower party food

Finger food and sweet treats are perfect if you’re planning a Baby Shower in the mid-morning or late afternoon. Think a veggie platter, cheese plate, and fruits mixed with some delicious cupcakes and brownies. Another good inclusion is mini desserts in a cup.

However, if you’re planning a party over lunch, make sure your guests will have a little more to choose from. Or consider ordering in from your favorite restaurant or getting the party catered if your budget allows.

If you are following a Theme, then try to include the theme in the food. For example A Mama To Bee theme works great with honey cake as a main feature of the dessert table.

And for drinks, remember the Mama-to-be is alcohol-free! So try out some of these fun Baby Shower punches to serve to your guests.

10. Organize a cake

pink baby shower cake

A beautiful on-theme cake is often the centerpiece of any Baby Shower. If baking is your thing, this is your time to show off your skills! It can be fun to create your own Baby Shower cake. Often a DIY cake is the tastiest anyway!

Otherwise, ask a talented friend to bake the cake or hand the job over to experts for something super special. 

And there are so many pretty themed cakes you can choose from. From girl-themed cakes to adorable boy cakes, try to make sure your cake takes the center state of your theme.

11. Plan some Baby Shower Games

baby shower games

Baby Shower Games are a quintessential part of Baby Showers. Games add an element of fun and can be a great icebreaker for guests who don’t know each other well.

Oftentimes, with a Baby Shower, you are bringing together people who may not always know each other. For example, your Mom may not know all of your work colleagues well. And even if she does, making conversation for a few hours can be daunting for some and a challenge for most of us. So some fun Baby Shower games are a great way to help them settle into the party mood.

Usually 3-4 games are enough. Many more and you risk your guests getting a little “gamed out”!

There are some classic Baby Shower games that you will often see at Baby Showers. Card-based ames like Baby Bingo, Who Knows Mommy Best and Find the Guest are good fun and easy to play.

If you don’t mind a bit of mess, “Spoon Feeding” and “What’s In The Diaper” are hilarious games which gets everyone laughing!

But if Baby Shower games really aren’t your thing, then there are heaps of alternative activities you can do. For example, making a Baby Time Capsule, or writing messages to the Baby, or advice for the Parents to be are all sweet keepsakes.

And of course, good games need good prizes. Small, favor-type gifts are fun to use as Baby Shower prizes. If you can, tie them into your theme.

12. Organize a music playlist

Uplifting music helps create a good atmosphere. So make sure you put some thought into the Baby Shower music.

But don’t worry about it too much, use our Baby Shower songs playlist to inspire you!

13. Plan your outfit

what to wear to baby shower

As the Mama to be you will be the belle of the ball. And of course you want to look your best!

But remember, by the time your Baby Shower comes around you will be 7-8 months pregnant. So try to balance style with comfort!

When planning what to wear for your Baby Shower, ask yourself if you’ve checked the three T’s?

  • Time of year. Summer is the season for florals and prints in bright colors, winter is more muted and may be slightly more fitted.
  • Theme. Is there one? Matching the color scheme isn’t a must but can be super cute!
  • Tone. More casual? Dress down with a gorgeous top and accessories and a simple pair of trousers or a skirt. Formal? A versatile jacket with a colored blouse. Cocktail? Glam it up with long, flowing, or fancy dresses.

A jacket is always a great idea because of those pregnancy hormones that mean your body heat can fluctuate fast!

What about shoes? We all love shoes. But right now, your feet probably don’t love your fave stilettos. Be comfortable (flats can be super chic and pretty).

We have picked 8 of our favorite Baby Shower dresses to help inspire your outfit planning!

14. Make a schedule

It’s important to have a rough plan of the party. This way you will make sure you have enough time for all the various elements. And it will also help keep the party flowing and the guests enterained.

A loose schedule looks something like this…

3pm – Guests arrive. Welcome drink and greetings.

3.20pm – Icebreaker game (get Guests chatting to each other)

3.40pm – Open Gifts and play Baby Bingo during gift opening

4.10pm – Food served

4.50pm – Diaper Raffle game / Who Know’s Mommy Best Game

5.20pm – Cake

6pm – Give out party favors and Guests depart

Of course, you don’t have to stick rigidly to your schedule. But it does help keep the party moving and makes sure you don’t miss out on anything you had planned to include!

15. Plan your thank yous

It’s a really nice touch to thank your guests for their gifts and cards promptly, once the Baby Shower is finished.

It can be a lovely idea to send handwritten thank you cards with a short note inside, thanking them for their beautiful gift. Or if you would rather, an email can also work.

You can even continue your theme into the Thank Yous for one last Baby Shower flourish!

If you want more ideas on what to write in a Baby Shower Thank You card, read this post for some great quotes and ideas.

Can I have a Baby Shower for my 2nd baby?

Yes absolutely!

Second babies deserve to be celebrated as much as the first, so if you are keen for a second Baby Shower, then go for it! I even had a Baby Shower for my third!

Sometimes, Baby Sprinkles are held by couples expecting their second (or third/fourth) child and who already had a Baby Shower with their firstborn. A Baby Sprinkle is a more low key affair, with only a handful of guests. As many parents have all they need saved from their first Baby, a Baby Registry is not usually created for a Baby Sprinkle.

Can I host my own Baby Shower?

Yes of course, it is absolutely fine to host your own Baby Shower. Baby Shower etiquette states that a Baby Shower can be thrown by a friend, family member or the couple themsleves.

If you want a particularly lavish affair or have some specific ideas about what your Baby Shower should look like, then this is often the best option!

Is it OK to ask for gifts?

Yes! Guests are always excited to buy Baby gifts! And if you create a Baby Registry with a range of items on it at various price points, then everyone can choose something that suits their budget.

What is a Sip and See party?

Essentially, they are fun, low-key get-togethers that new parents hold once the baby is born. The purpose is to introduce their new baby to friends and family.

Sip and see parties are popular because they offer the perfect opportunity for everyone to meet the baby all at the same time. And for the new parents to avoid the hassle of entertaining multiple guests separately every time they come over.

Final thoughts

Planning a Baby Shower is one of the most fun events to organize. The themes are adorable, there is excitement in the air and it’s a magical time. Whatever your budget, whatever your theme, make your Baby Shower a party to remember. Believe me, you will look back on it in years to come as the very beginning of the wonderful miracle you call your children.

About Author

Author Image

Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mom of three. She started Darling Celebrations back in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating the special events in life.

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