A Detailed Timeline for Planning a Stress-Free Baby Shower

A Detailed Timeline for Planning a Stress-Free Baby Shower

I always get excited when a friend or family member is welcoming a new baby.  I truly enjoy hosting baby showers and have had the honor of hosting more than 5 baby showers for family friends.  When it comes to setting the timeline for a baby shower, the primary consideration is the baby’s due date.

The baby starts running the show even before they are born. Moms due date should be the primary consideration when choosing a date for a baby shower

When Should You Start Planning a Baby Shower?

I start planning a baby shower when the mom-to-be is about 4 or 5 months pregnant. I like to work with the mom-to-be to select a date for the shower that is around her seventh month of pregnancy. This gives me about 2 months to plan for the baby shower.   

There is a lot that goes in to hosting a baby shower. Making sure the mom to be is comfortable and has a great time is the priority. Use this timeline as a guide to make sure you are on track to throwing an amazing baby shower.  

Getting Started with Baby Shower Planning

Choose a Date for the Baby Shower

When the Mom-to-Be is around 4 or 5 months pregnant, talk to the mom and find out what dates work best to host a baby shower. Hosting the shower when mom-to-be is around seven months pregnant is a great idea. This gives the expectant parents enough time to organize the gifts they receive at the shower before the baby arrives.

Eight Weeks before the Baby Shower:  Set the Mood with a Baby Shower Theme and Venue

Select a Baby Shower Theme

Choosing a theme is important because in a few weeks you will need to send invitations. It is helpful to have a theme in mind before choosing invites. If mom to be has a theme in mind Perfect! You are all set. If mom to be is indecisive go on Pinterest and pin a few ideas for her to choose from.

Reserve the Baby Shower Venue (Even if it is your home)

Now that you know the number of guests who will be invited to the shower you can start planning the details of the venue.  Tasks to be completed at this point depend on they type of venue you select.

If you decide to have the baby shower at a banquet hall, event space, or restaurant, you will need to reserve the space.   Now is the time to go over the details of the venue.  Determine how long you will be allowed to use the space, what will be provided, and if there are any limitations you should be aware of. Ask for a contract and review it carefully before signing and living a deposit.

If you will be hosting the event outdoors in a park or at a pool.  Now is a good time to obtain any permits. Review the permits, and determine any limitations. For example, some parks do not allow anything to be served in glass containers.

Outdoor baby Shower with Tent and Tables. Consider items you may need to rent.

If you are hosting the event at your home, you may need to rent tables and chairs.  During peak seasons, some rental companies run out of equipment. It is a good idea to reserve well in advance.

Six Weeks before the Baby Shower:   Engage any Baby Shower Helpers and Select Baby Shower Invitations

Baby Shower Volunteers: It takes a Village

Babies bring so much joy to a family and loved ones may want to help put together this special event. I hosted my sister’s baby shower in a community room. I needed to figure out food, plates, knifes, décor, entertainment etc.  Fortunately, a few of her friends and some of our family reached out to me and said they wanted to help!

Some people were specific about how they wanted to help.  My God sister volunteered to take care of the cake. A few of her friends asked how they could pitch in, I delegated water, soda, juice, and games to that crowd.  My grandmother insisted on chipping in for the cost of the community room. I had cousins that arrived early to help decorate the community room and cleaned up after the shower was done.

Depending on how large the guests list is, you may want to have volunteers help with addressing invitations.

Baby Shower Invites: Paper or Digital

If you have been following this timeline, by now you have everything you need to order invitations. The date, time and theme have been selected.  You also have an estimated number of guests who will be invited.  If you are ordering invitations from an online site, now is a good time to place the order.  I recommend having guest RSVP about two or three weeks before the baby shower.

In recent years, digital invites have become more common for baby showers.  If you decide to use digital you may still need to mail a few paper invitations.

Ask the guest of honor for a detailed guest list with contact info for the guests she will be inviting.

Four Weeks before the Baby Shower: Come up with a Menu and Start Shopping for Decorations

Plan the Baby Shower Menu

When you check in with mom-to-be ask her how she is feeling and if she is having any cravings or food aversions.  Try to include anything she is craving, and steer clear of any food aversions.  For food that is being catered, now is a good time to place the order.

If family and friends are cooking for the shower, now is a good time to put together a list of what people plan to bring.  Review the list and decide if you need to make or purchase additional items.

Shop for Baby Shower Decorations

Diaper Cake
Dr. Seuss theme Diaper Cake

Whether you plan to hit the aisles of your local party store or order decorations online, now is the time to get started. Using your Pinterest board as inspiration, start stocking up on baby shower décor.  Keep the receipts so that you can return unused items.

Two Weeks Before the Baby Shower:  Choose Baby Shower Treats and Entertainment

Baby Shower Sweets

Stripped THing 1 and THing 2 Cake
Dr. Seuss Cake for Twin Baby Shower

I have a sweet tooth and this part of planning a baby shower is one of my favorites! As long as you include the expectant mom’s favorites you can’t go wrong here. Place an order for a cake, or cupcakes that fit with the baby shower’s theme. Feel free to pick out other treats such as chocolate candy, lollipops, and cookies.

Baby Shower Entertainment

 I forbid the measure my bump with a string game at my baby shower. I had no interest in anyone wrapping a string around my bump trying to guess my girth. On that note, ask the guest of honor if there are any games that she does not want included at the baby shower At my shower we played baby shower bingo, had a photo booth, and played a game where guests tried to guess the price of baby items such as diapers, bottles etc. It went over pretty well.  Choose what games you will play and start gathering any materials you will need to make it happen.

One Week Before the Baby Shower:  Make a List and Check it Twice!

Make a list of contacts for anything that needs to be delivered or picked up on the day of the shower.  Write it down on a sheet of paper and take a picture of it with your phone. This way on the day of the shower you will have all the information you need. Follow-up with anyone who volunteered and make sure they are still up for the task.

Day of the Shower

Smile!  Time for the main event.  If possible, delegate pickups to family members and friends so that you can focus on getting the venue in order. All your preparation paid off and today will be stress free. Every thing may not go EXACTLY has planned, but as long as you stay calm the guest of honor won’t notice.

Related Questions

Who Normally plans a baby Shower?

A baby shower is normally planned by close family and friends.  Grandparents, Aunts, or Godparents of the baby on the way typically plan the baby shower.

How long should a Baby Shower last?

A baby shower should last about 3 hours. This gives guests enough time to mingle, nibble on food, play a few games and have cake.

Mimi D.

Mimi D is the creator of Dream Plan Smile. An NYC native, she is a wife and mom with a passion for crafting. She holds a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Project Management. In her current role as a working wife and mom, she is getting a crash course in budgeting, planning, & organization.

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