Planning a Baby Shower – the Basics
Planning a baby shower is a perfect way to express your best wishes to the expectant parents. It can be a hard task, but it sure is worth it! Here are the shower planning basics. Some of the tips here may seem a bit trivial, but it’s always best to cover them all.
Before you start planning a baby shower, the first thing you should do is find out from the mother-to-be if there are other baby showers being planned for her by other family members or close friends. This is not uncommon. Expectant parents can have more than one baby shower planned for them. Each baby shower can have different groups of people (if the expectant parents have many friends and family, they can have all kinds of baby showers – a baby shower only for family, only for friends, only for co-workers, etc.).
Once you find this information out, you will be able to make suitable decisions and start planning. Let’s Get started with the PRE-Baby Shower Preparations:
Planning a Baby Shower GUEST LIST
The first thing you will need to put together is a guest list. If there are other baby showers being planned for the expectant parents, find out who’s on the guest list for each. You can then know who has already been invited to the other baby showers, and choose who will be invited to the baby shower you are organizing. When organizing and planning a baby shower always think of what’s best for the expectant parents. Ask them and find out what they most prefer.
For the guest list it’s best if you sit with the mother-to-be and find out who she wants to attend the shower. Does she want a small and intimate gathering or a large celebration with lots of people? It’s important to find all this out so that you can set your budget, find the right place and theme, etc.
Make a list of all the guests you are going to invite to the party. We have made this guest list template you can print out, with all the important information you will need (name, address, phone, email, etc.).
Make sure you have each guest’s up-to-date information. Keep the guest list information so that the expectant parents can use it when sending out the “thank-you’s” after the party.
Planning a Baby Shower BUDGET
Setting your budget is very important, even before you set a time and place. After figuring out who’s on the guest list, you’ll know how many people will be potentially coming, and with regard to your budget, you will be able to choose the right place, menu, decorations, etc.
If there are a lot of people on the guest list and you need to handle a more expensive setting, consider asking friends or family to become co-hosts with you. That way you’ll be able to split the cost with them. You can also consult with the expectant parents’ family and see how they can help.
Planning a Baby Shower THEME
Choosing the right theme can make all the difference! It’s not by chance that you are choosing to host a baby shower, most likely you know a lot about the mother-to-be. You know what she likes and dislikes, her character, her schedule, you know what will make her the happiest! All of this information can help you choose the right theme for the mother-to-be’s baby shower.
Traditionally, the baby shower theme is chosen by the bedding and colors of the baby room that the expecting parents have created, or if it’s a boy or girl… but of course, this isn’t a must. Once you choose your theme it will help you when planning a baby shower location, color combination, invitations, decorations, menu, cake, etc.
There are innumerable themes you can choose from; whether it be a color-theme, a cartoon character-theme, or a made-up theme. Check out our complete Planning a Baby Shower Themes Section with all the ideas you’ll need to get those creative juices flowing.
Ask yourself questions like: Is it strictly a girls event? Are kids going to be invited? Do you want a more low-key feel to the baby shower? Do you want a holiday baby shower?
Planning a baby shower with a theme can create a fun atmosphere and can be a conversation starter for guests who don’t know each other.
Planning a Baby Shower DATE and TIME
It is most common to set a date one to three months before the expected arrival (you wouldn’t want to plan the baby shower too close to the expected arrival to avoid complications with a premature delivery).
There are cultures that throw the baby shower after the baby is born (this allows everyone to meet the new arrival). If you choose to do this, take into account the hectic time the parents are going through and plan accordingly.
Most baby showers take place on the weekends (Saturday is always a popular day for parties). If it will occur in the morning, afternoon, or dinner depends on many factors – your budget (dinner parties are usually more expensive if you’re planning a baby shower at a restaurant), it depends on a few important people’s schedule, what the mother-to-be prefers, if children will be coming to the party, etc. etc.
When planning a baby shower it will usually last two hours, although this can change in regard to the dynamic between people, how fast or slow the games are played, etc. The baby shower can wind down early and on the other hand continue longer if the guests continue chatting; plan for two hours, more or less.
Planning a Baby Shower LOCATION
Baby showers can take place at the expecting parents’ house so that the mother-to-be will not need to move around too much and stay in her most comfortable surroundings. If this is the case, make sure a few people stay to help clean after the baby shower (it is most convenient that the mother-to-be not need to deal with cleaning after the party).
Often times people plan a baby shower at a friend or family member’s home. Someone close to the mother-to-be so that she will feel most comfortable. A baby shower can take place in many places – a backyard, a restaurant, at the park, a courtyard, a patio, garden clubs, dining halls, etc.
You can match your location to your theme. If you’re going for a Winnie the Pooh Picnic, how about a nice sunny day at the park? Of course you will need to take the weather into consideration.
If you’re planning a baby shower at a restaurant, you’ll need to check out restaurants much ahead of time. It’s best if you physically go and see different restaurants rather than rely on pictures from the Internet.
If you’re planning a baby shower at home take into account that you will need to supply plates, cups, napkins, cutlery and you might even need to rent a few tables and chairs.
The most important thing to take into account when planning a baby shower location, is to find a location that is BIG enough to accommodate all of your guests.
Baby Shower INVITATIONS
Sending out the perfect invitations will get people excited about the baby shower. You can design them to fit your theme, think out of the box and create 3-D invitations, or how about a secret message in a baby bottle!
We’ve created a whole separate page with loads of great Baby Shower Invitation Ideas and Printables! Check it out!
Baby Shower DECORATIONS
When planning a baby shower, decorating is fun and very important for establishing the feel of the party. There are so many ideas, and so we decided to put them all on a separate page for you to check out. Make sure to read all the coolest Baby Shower Decoration Ideas!
Planning a Baby Shower MENU
A good meal is cherished nowadays! Your baby shower menu is a very important thing to organize way before the baby shower. We have also created a complete Baby Shower Food Section with really helpful ideas to make your life easier!
Baby Shower GAMES
There are TONS of baby shower games you can play. It is a great way to introduce guests who don’t know each other, to give out prizes and most of all HAVE FUN!
Baby Shower FAVORS and PRIZES
It’s always very special to hand out favors at the baby shower. There are many ideas for favors you can make and hand out as souvenirs to the guests, or prizes to give out during the games. This is where you’ll find all the very coolest ideas for Baby Shower Favors and Prizes…
Baby Shower Thank Yous
Baby shower thank you cards are always heartwarming tokens to thank your guests with lots of love. You can attach thank you cards to the favors you give out at the party and you can send them in the mail a few days or up to a week after the baby shower. This is where you’ll find some great ideas for Baby Shower Thank Yous… You’ll also find a cool selection of Baby Shower Thank You Poems!