How To Plan A Baby Shower - The Ultimate Checklist
There are very few celebrations that are more exciting than a baby shower. If you are reading this post, chances are that you’re in charge of hosting a shower and need some help. As the host of a baby shower, you’ll want to make sure that every detail has been meticulously planned and stays true to the momma to be’s personal style and taste.
When planning, you’ll need to make sure you consider her favorite colors, decor style and hobbies. If she already has a nursery set up and ready to go, you might also be able to pull some inspiration by walking through and taking notes of what’s included, so you can guarantee she’ll love her shower.
The first thing to remember when planning a successful baby shower, you have to stay organized from the very beginning and making sure you have enough time to thoroughly plan and make sure that everything comes to life. Take a minute to grab a notebook, an iPad or a journal and start making your checklist and taking notes about what you read in this post. Let’s jump in.
Baby Shower Checklist
Planning a baby shower can be stressful, from sending out invitations, buying or creating decor, to ordering the cake. Our step by step guide will help coach you through the baby shower planning process with ease. The rest of the post is broken out into a ten-week timeline. Don’t stress if some of the items spill over into other weeks or you need to shorten up the timeline, just make sure to pace yourself and keep yourself on track so you can have the best shot at pulling off the greatest shower ever!
9-10 Weeks Before The Baby Shower
Select a date and time - The very first thing you must do as a baby shower host is figuring out a day and time the event will be taking place. Find a few minutes to sit down with the guest of honor (or discuss on the phone) some days and times that work well for her.
Most baby showers are held when the expectant mom is about six to seven months pregnant. This ensures that she’s well into her pregnancy and things are going well and not big enough yet to be super uncomfortable. This time frame will also give her plenty of time to organize the gifts received, make a list of all outstanding items she needs before the baby arrives and get out thank you notes before she delivers.
Determine the guest list and budget - After you have a date and time, the next step is to figure out who should be attending the shower and how much you have to spend on the event. Take some time to discuss with the mother-to-be who should be attending in addition to getting contact information for each of them. Email addresses, home addresses, and cell phone numbers should be enough to effectively reach everyone.
Next, you should come up with the budget. Keep in mind that the budget should be enough to select a venue, food services and any gifts/favors that will be provided during the event.
Select a venue - After you have your baby shower budget in place, it’s now time to select a venue. Most, smaller baby showers happen in the home of the host, which is free. When this becomes problematic is when you have a group larger than 15 or so people. If this is the case, you’ll want to look at other venues like hotel conference rooms, or private dining rooms in a restaurant. One nice thing about using a non-home venue is that the setup, catering, and cleanup is typically provided by the staff, so it can take aa level of stress off of the host.
Choose a theme - Picking a baby shower theme can be kind of difficult, but keep in mind that the theme of the event needs to reflect the personality and interests of the momma to be. You should also keep in mind that the theme of the shower should reflect whether she is having a boy or a girl. Here is a pretty great resource providing almost 200 theme ideas if you’re struggling to get started.
5-6 Weeks Before The Baby Shower
Prepare and send invitations - You should plan on getting invitations into your guest hands no later than 5 weeks before the event. That way they have plenty of time to save the date, RSVP, shop for a gift and find help with kids (if necessary). If the shower is more casual, a text or email invitation is perfectly acceptable. If it’s more formal, you’ll want a physical invite. When selecting your invitations, make sure to choose a fun invitation that will give the guest a sneak peek into what the event is going to be all about.
Plan the menu and decor - After invitations, you’ll need to start spending time nailing down the menu and the decor. If you’re going to be purchasing decorations that are perishable, you might want to wait until you get closer to the event. In the case of flowers, you'll want to get those the day before.
To finalize the menu, make sure that you’re very conscious of the guest of honor’s tastes. If she’s to the point when she’s craving specific foods, make sure that you’re catering to her needs. You might also consider serving smaller portions to make it easier for guests to manage the different foods they might want to try.
Check on the gift registry - Take a few minutes to check in with the soon to be mom to get an update on her gift registry. You’ll want to make sure that it is locked down before guests start to receive their invitations so they can start shopping and buying gifts. You should probably drop a hint that one of our knot baby gowns should be on that registry.
4 Weeks Before The Baby Shower
Come up with an agenda - Four weeks left to go and now is the time to start putting together the agenda for the event. Agendas are important to keep the event on track and to make sure you’re able to get everything done that you planned. Most modern showers include games, gift opening, eating lots of food and drinking lots of drinks.
The most important thing to remember when organizing a baby shower is to have activities that create a fun flow that keeps guests entertained, excited and engaged. Start out by giving guests around 10-15 minutes to arrive and offer refreshments to those who are waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. Once everyone has arrived, you can start the activities. If you are looking for some great activity ideas, here’s a great post with 20 activity ideas that you might consider.
Order the baby shower cake or cupcakes - Now is the time to figure out if you’re going to have a cake, cupcakes, or both and get them ordered. Make sure that whatever you choose, that they fit the overall theme of the shower.
Order baby shower favors - Along the same lines as above, make sure to spend enough time to pick out shower favors/gifts that match the theme of the event.
Reserve party rental supplies if needed - If you’re going to be hosting the event at your home, you might need to reserve some party supplies. Some of the more common supplies are popcorn machines, snow cone machines, cotton candy machines, etc.
Assign someone to be the photographer - One of the easier things to do is to assign one of the attendees to be the dedicated photographer. If they have a professional camera that can take great photos, that’s a plus, but most cameras on phones these days are pretty impressive, so that will also work fine.
2 Weeks Before The Baby Shower
Follow up with any guests who haven’t RSVP’d - This one is pretty straightforward. A few weeks before the event, you’ll want to send out an email or text message following up with those who haven’t reserved a spot on the list.
Pick up shower favors - It’s always a good idea to try and pick up the shower favors at least a few weeks before the event. This is one of the things that you don’t want to come down to the wire since your guests are going to be leaving with these as a way to remember the baby shower.
Assign someone to pick up the mother-to-be - Along the same lines as assigning someone to be the photographer, you’ll want to assign someone to pick up the momma-to-be and bring her to the event. Remember, we want this to be stress-free and fun, so give her a ride!
Confirm event reservation - If you are going to be holding the event at a location, not in a home, you’ll want to make sure to call the event space at least two weeks before to confirm your reservation.
1 Week Before Before The Baby Shower
Shop for food - A week before the event is a great time to shop for food items that can be bought in advance and are not perishable.
Decide and delegate who will record gifts - Someone other than the host needs to be in charge of keeping a list of all of the gifts given at the event and who gave them so the momma doesn’t have to stress about it.
2-3 Days Before The Baby Shower
Finish any outstanding shopping - Take some time to finish shopping for items that are on the menu and stock up on serving supplies like utensils, napkins, cups, plates, etc.
Pick up food - Make sure that all food is picked up 1-2 days before the event and that it is stored properly to ensure freshness.
Clean up around the house - If you are hosting at your home, you’ll want to make sure to reserve some time to clean up around the house. You might also consider hiring a home cleaning service to help you whip your house into shape.
1 Day Before The Baby Shower
Pick up the cake or any other desserts - As mentioned above, make sure they are stored properly to ensure freshness.
Set up the event space - It doesn’t matter if the event is in a home, backyard or event space, you’ll want to make sure to set up a day before to eliminate any stress the day of the event.
Day Of The Baby Shower
Designate a place for the gifts - Make a place where attendees will set their gifts so they aren’t lying all over the play.
Assemble food and drinks - Make sure that all of the food and drinks are set up and ready to go so guests can start snacking as soon as they arrive.
Enjoy yourselves - Take a minute to breathe, relax and enjoy yourselves. You’ve earned it!