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How to Throw a Baby Shower: A Step by Step Guide

Your best friend is having her first baby and you’re hosting the baby shower. No need to worry, the key to a successful shower is advanced planning. Use our step-by-step guide as a checklist for all your baby shower planning needs.

Pick the date

Most baby showers today are not a surprise for the expecting mom, so the first step is to coordinate with her to select the perfect date. Typically, baby showers are planned for weeks 32 to 35 of the pregnancy. If you’re considering a venue such as a restaurant, it’s best to have three or four potential dates in case your first choice is booked. Once the date is selected, let the planning begin.

Nine weeks before shower

Depending on your schedule, you may choose to start planning as early as 12 weeks before the shower, but on average, a nine-week planning schedule is sufficient.

First, address the budget. If you’re co-hosting the baby shower with others, this is the time to get together and decide how much you can afford. The budget will determine the venue, menu and theme.

Consider adding the following to your checklist:

  • Book the venue if renting a space
  • Collaborate with the expecting mom to set a guest list
  • Choose a theme
  • Arrange meetings with a caterer and cake designer (if hiring these services)

Six weeks before shower

Now that you know the budget, venue and theme, the details can come together. The baby shower theme provides direction for the invitation design, decorations, cake design, party favors and even some of the games.

A party pack eliminates a lot of guesswork. If you’re looking for a cute gender neutral theme, consider the Ba Ba Baby Ultimate Party Pack that includes service for eight (plates, luncheon napkins, hot/cold cups and cutlery) as well as a table cover, balloons, balloon weights, curling ribbon, streamers, a banner and hanging cut-outs in a coordinating theme.


If ordering invitations, be sure to place the order as soon as possible. Once the invitations arrive, address and mail them four to five weeks before the shower date. Include an R.S.V.P. date that’s 10 to 14 days before the party.

Tip: When you order invitations, don’t forget coordinating Thank You notes.

Four weeks before shower

It’s time to order any additional supplies, decorations or extra seating, if needed. Line up any party help, asking shower guests that are close friends or family if they’d be willing to serve cake, assist with the presents or manage games.

Prepare everything needed for games; take advantage of baby shower game kits to cut down on prep work. Plan at least one extra game as a backup, and be sure to incorporate all ages into the fun. Shop for prizes at this time as well.


One week before shower

Finish putting together the party favors, and follow up with anyone who hasn’t returned an R.S.V.P. Create a “shower day” list that includes everything you’ll need to bring to the shower and any detail you don’t want to forget. This list may include things like:

  • Ask Aunt Karen to take pictures as presents are opened
  • Remember bags for transporting presents after the shower
  • Pack extra double-sided tape for fixing decorations

Day before shower

On the baby shower’s eve, double check your lists and supplies, and arrange to pick up the cake and any last-minute food items. Check any deliveries scheduled for the day of the shower, and don’t forget to also check in with the mom-to-be. Reassure her the shower will be spectacular and that you have it all under control.

When the day of the baby shower arrives, you’ll be ready. Take a deep breath, smile and have a wonderful time

The History Of Swag

The word ‘Swag’ has had a variety of meanings from a pirates ‘booty’ to now buzz-inspiring event gift bags.
Swag Bags, the goodie bags of the corporate world, are the talk of celeb-events such as the Grammys and the Oscars. Ever-Increasing in fame, price, and taxes(As of 2006), the famed and highly anticipated gifts are always something to talk about.


What’s Typically in a Swag Bag?


Swag Bags usually contain promotional and event-accenting items. The gifts and decorative bags alike should be coordinated with the event. Company Swag Bags are filled with new and, typically, next-season products that feed off of celebrity fame, which both benefits the vendors and the celebrities. Not all the items are new and hip, though, this years Grammy Award Swag Bags contained items as basic as Purell Hand Sanitizer and Carmex Lip Balm but as lavish as a $14,584 train ride through western Canada.


What’s their purpose?


Companies and party hosts use swag bags as incentive to attend (What’s the fun of a party no one shows up to?), opportunities to show off new products (Vendors too!), and a favor for being invited. Gifts, generally, have company logos on them, and vendors almost always make it obvious! It’s the perfect way to advertise new products and make your guests feel special.


Why Would Anyone Give Them Away At A Party Or Prom?


Swag Bags make the entire experience more memorable. They enhance the quality of the event, and give you something to hold on to and cherish. Our Prom Swag Bags contain a variety of items including a Frame for your couples photo.


Top Six Swag Bag Themes


Just like not all Swag Bags are created equal, not all events are either. There’s enough to go around with our ever-expansive collection of Themed Swag Bags. Here’s the top six themes where you can give swag:




Lights, Camera, Action!

For your Hollywood party, we have many different styled swag bags to make your party planning experience a easier one. Make your guests feel like celebrities with our Hooray For Hollywood Swag Bag; complete with a V.I.P Pass and a Director’s Clapboard.






Be ready to make your guests’ night complete with this High Roller Swag Bag, a part of our vast collection of Casino themed party favors.






Make your Paris Party the party of the year with our Swag Bags and party expertise! Show off your swag with favors like this Paris Swag Bag.





The Roaring 20’s can make your event a roaring party! Don’t miss out on an important piece for your 1920’s Prom with this 1920’s Prom Swag Bag.





Rope in your guests for a Western Themed Party! The Western Swag Bag Deluxe will make it a wild ride they can take home with them, and will never forget!




Mardi Gras

Decorate your event like a scene from Bourbon Street with our Mardi Gras props and scenes.  We have some magnificent Swag to take the fun home such as our Masked Elegance Swag Bag.




From different eras, to the famous settings, we have swag bags to match a broad stretch of themes, and the favors to personalize even more! If you can’t decide, we have planners to help you put your thoughts on paper.

When to Throw a Baby Shower

One of the hardest parts to planning a baby shower is choosing a date. It can be tricky finding an ideal date that works for everyone involved, and timing the shower just right so the mommy-to-be still feels good. Determining when to throw a baby shower always involves several different considerations.



Mom knows best

The easiest way to pick a date for the baby shower is to ask the expecting mom. Most baby showers happen before the baby is born, but if the mom-to-be prefers to hold the shower after the baby arrives, it’s best to honor her wishes. Expecting moms who have been restricted to bed rest or are dealing with other complications may need to postpone the festivities. If you’re waiting until after the birth, have a New Baby or Welcome to the World shower and indulge in personalized decorations with the baby’s name.

Before the birth  which week?

The average pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks. However, it’s not uncommon for some women to deliver early or even late. It is common for an expecting mom to feel uncomfortable and not herself during the last week or two of the pregnancy. When picking the date for the baby shower, always take the mom’s physical comfort into account. Consider scheduling the shower between weeks 32 through 35.

Some women prefer their shower as late as weeks 36 and 37, which is why it’s essential to consult the mom-to-be. Having the shower later may also allow you to have a gender specific party if the expecting parents have learned the baby’s gender and want to share that news. A gender-specific baby shower makes decorating easier with tons of baby blue boy décor choices or swirls of sweet pink items. 6.28-stork-and-baby

First-time mom

The first-time mom may need a bit more help when picking the date for her baby shower. Look for advice from moms who’ve been there. Expectant moms on various baby sites offer their opinions regarding the optimum week for a great party. Some prefer an earlier shower, about week 32 or 33, simply because they have more energy and feel better overall before the final weeks of pregnancy. Hosting an earlier shower also allows a new mom-to-be the opportunity to see what she’ll still need before the baby arrives, and it gives her time to finish washing and organizing all the cute clothes and gifts she received.

Narrowing down when to throw a baby shower can feel daunting. We are always here to help. Our Party Experts have planned many successful showers. Simply fill out the online form and hit submit, and we’ll help you with all of your questions, from picking the best date to choosing a memorable theme.


How to Plan a Baby Shower on a Budget

Expenses for hosting a baby shower can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on the number of guests, venue, menu, decorations and party favors. However, you can throw an amazing and unforgettable baby shower and not empty your bank account.

Consider these six tips for planning a baby shower on a budget.


Opt for a free venue

Renting space can be expensive. To keep within budget, host the shower at someone’s home or another space that doesn’t charge rental fees. Weather permitting, an outdoor party in a covered pavilion at a park can be an excellent option. You may need to reserve the space with the local park district to ensure it will be all yours for the time that it’s needed.

Host a potluck buffet

Any time you’re hosting a party, food is one of the biggest expenses. Instead of hiring a caterer, consider hosting a potluck buffet where guests bring a dish to share. For many family baby showers, this works exceptionally well and guests often enjoy being a part of the planning. If Aunt Jane makes the most amazing spinach dip, ask her to bring that, and don’t forget to ask your friend Christie to make her delicious vegetable casserole.

Shop the clearance aisle for decorations

The clearance section for party decor often contains some of the cutest and most affordable items. Look for deals on basic decorations, such as table covers and banners. Often you’ll even find discounts on full decoration packages. The money you save can then be used for one special focal piece.

Farmers market flowers

Fresh flowers add a beautiful touch to party decor but can bust your budget if you order from a florist. Farmers markets often have several local vendors offering a beautiful array of fresh-cut flowers, and the prices are generally lower than buying retail.

DIY party favors

Take the time to create DIY party favors when hosting a baby shower. It’s budget-friendly and a great way to create something memorable. Consider a mini favor box decorated with sweet ribbon and a baby bottle. Fill it with mints or an artisan chocolates from a local confectionery.


Double-duty centerpiece

A tiered display of elegantly decorated cupcakes can double as a gorgeous table centerpiece as well as the main sweet treat of the shower. This idea also works easily with a beautiful (or whimsical) baby shower cake decorated to coordinate with the party’s theme.

5 Easy Steps to Planning a Baby Shower

Take the mystery out of planning a baby shower with five easy steps that cover all the essentials for a successful event.

Step 1: Set the Date

The first step in planning a baby shower is setting the date. Today, most expecting moms know about their shower, and it’s best to coordinate with the guest of honor when selecting the date. Scheduling a baby shower in the last week or two of the pregnancy runs the risk that the expecting mom will feel overly pregnant, uncomfortable and tired. Any time between week 32 and week 35 typically works.

Step 2: Pick the Venue

Venues for baby showers depend on the budget and number of guests invited, and are easier to select once you know the guest list numbers. Event sites can range from a private home, local restaurant or banquet room to a pavilion at a public park. During warmer months, outdoor baby showers offer a fun change of pace, especially if the guest list includes couples and/or children.

Step 3: Theme and Decor

A theme ties together every aspect of the baby shower. If you know the sex of the baby, ask the mom-to-be if she’d prefer a boy or girl inspired theme. Think outside the box and opt for whimsical decorations combining classic pink with a fun wild safari style. Mix and match pink animal print decorations such as pink zebra striped plates with pink elephant hanging decor. Accent the pink with rich, chocolate brown crepe paper streamers and chocolate brown cutlery.


Step 4: Menu Planning

The menu will be dictated by budget and/or the food preferences of the expecting mom. If serving brunch or lunch, be sure to specify that on the invitation. When hosting the shower at a restaurant, you’ll have to schedule a time with its event planner to discuss menu options, including beverages and/or alcohol availability. With a brunch, mimosas can be an elegant treat.

For showers held in a private home, keep menu items party-friendly, avoiding dishes that are difficult or messy to eat. Great baby shower menu items include small sandwiches, delicious salads, cold pasta dishes and elegant sides such as asparagus spears wrapped in phyllo dough. Be sure to include vegetarian options and at least one dish that’s gluten-free.

The cake will be the shower’s showpiece. Create a special table just for the cake or cupcake tower. If serving bite-size treats, they can also be placed on this table. When serving cupcakes, have cupcake boxes available for guests to take extras home after the party.

Step 5: Games

Traditional games include Baby Bingo, Guess Mommy’s Belly Size and Don’t Say Baby (also known as the clothespin game). Pre-made games are available and can save prep time. Always plan games all ages can enjoy and avoid those that may be offensive to some guests. For example, not everyone finds melted chocolate bars in diapers a cute game (guessing which candy bar it was before melting).

Plan two or three games, include prizes for the winners, and always have a backup ready.


Awesome Baby Shower Ideas Everyone Will Love

Take the baby shower to the next level with three awesome baby shower ideas for themes that capture the imagination and are sure to thrill the expecting mom and her guests.
Hungry Caterpillar
More than 30 years ago, author Eric Carle released his children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar about the charming little caterpillar who eats his way through a variety of foods before venturing into his cocoon and waking up as a beautiful butterfly. The book’s artwork is distinctive and unforgettable, making it the ideal inspiration for a baby shower theme.
Start with a cute caterpillar hanging decoration created from paper ball lanterns. You’ll need three yellow, two lime green and one red for the head. Alternate the yellow and green for the body and add a face to resemble Carle’s original caterpillar using cutouts from craft paper. These colors then become your palette for the rest of the shower décor and tableware color scheme.
For the food table, be sure to include several of the goodies the hungry caterpillar ate. Create a fruit salad with strawberries, plum pieces, mandarin orange slices and watermelon. If serving pinwheels or mini sandwiches, be sure to create one version with salami and Swiss cheese and offer a small dish of pickles. On the sweets table include a display of colorful lollipops, mini cherry tarts (to represent the cherry pie), cupcakes and a chocolate cake to complete the theme.

‘B’ is for Baby
Go over-the-top with a boy’s baby shower and the theme “B is for Baby” (as well as “boy” and “blue”). A blue block centerpiece that spells “baby” is a good place to start with this theme. Use at least two different shades of blue, a lighter and darker hue, to create an attractive look and accent the blues with white, cream or even silver. Blue twisting danglers or blue poms make pretty hanging decorations, while table décor can include decorative jars filled with blue candies, blue floral blooms and tea lights floating in blue tinted water.

For the food table, keep the theme going by serving menu items that start with the letter “b” such as:

  • Broccoli salad
  • Bite-size chicken salad puffs
  • Balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Bite-size bacon quiches
  • Biscotti
  • Berry fruit cup (include blueberries)
  • Brownie bites

Cirque du Bebe
Create a completely amazing and awesome baby shower for someone special with a “Cirque du Bebe” theme. Hostess With the Mostess features a two-part blog post that is filled with hundreds of ideas for you to recreate your version of this theme that is sure to wow the mommy-to-be and her guests.
To create a DIY “Cirque du Bebe” theme, choose your color scheme: orange with hot pink, orange with Bermuda blue or orange with Bermuda blue and mimosa yellow. Add patterns such as zebra stripes or giraffe or cheetah prints for an exotic cirque/circus aspect.
When deciding which baby shower theme to go with, remember that the most awesome baby shower ideas are the ones that reflect the expecting mom’s personality and give her a special party she’ll treasure forever.

3 Tasty and Affordable Baby Shower Food Ideas on a Budget

A party isn’t a party without some great food or treats. When planning a baby shower, the meal and dessert can be a huge expense, especially if the guest list is long. If you’re watching your costs, check out these three inexpensive but delicious budget baby shower food ideas that are sure to please every guest as well as the mom-to-be.


Quiche, a versatile and savory dish, has been the star of many baby shower buffet tables. Caterers and restaurants serve it, and any home cook can make quiche and stick to a budget. A basic quiche is simply a custard made from eggs and milk and then poured into a pie crust. Because eggs and milk are a fantastic blank canvas, you can create a variety of flavor combinations that include cheddar, tomato and bacon, mushroom and asparagus, or even a rainbow quiche filled with colorful, nutritious vegetables.

Budget-friendly quiche requires only a few ingredients and a bottom-layer crust. If you’re a master of the homemade pastry crust, make your own or save time by purchasing refrigerated crusts. Tubes of crescent roll dough can be rolled flat and used as crust for quiche as well.
Bake the quiche(s) the day before and warm before serving. Instead of eight larger slices, cut each quiche into 16 slim slices and serve on a beautiful crystal cut tray for a gorgeous presentation.

Strawberry angel cake kabobs

It’s nice to offer an alternative to the decorated baby shower cake. A simple dessert kabob is easy to make, budget-friendly and tastes amazing when it features fresh strawberries and chunks of angel food. Simply slice strawberries lengthwise in half and alternate on a bamboo skewer with 1.5- to 2-inch pieces of the cake. Serve with individual cups of chocolate and/or vanilla dipping sauce.

Petite hummus sandwiches

Recipes that offer versatility also allow for more budget-conscious ingredient selection. You can serve spectacular food at a baby shower and not bust the budget. Petite, crustless sandwiches look elegant when arranged on a silver tray covered with a pretty white paper doily.

Create the petite sandwiches by removing the crusts from slices of bread and cutting each piece into halves, lengthwise. Spread a thin layer of roasted red pepper hummus on each bread piece and top with fresh spinach leaves and thinly sliced cucumber. Place the piece of bread (already spread with hummus) on top of the cucumber to create a petite sandwich bursting with fresh flavor.
Baby shower food ideas on a budget can be as simple as a stunning vegetable platter display. The bright, colorful vegetables are healthy, delicious and look fabulous on any food table. To save money, skip pre-made trays from the grocery store and make your own by buying bulk veggies and arranging them on pretty serving trays.

5 Fun Couples Baby Shower Ideas

Modern baby showers are not just for the ladies. A couple’s baby shower includes the dad-to-be and other male guests to create a fun-filled, pre-baby party event. When coordinating this fun twist on the traditional baby shower, consider these five themes that go beyond the ordinary pink and blue decor.


Backyard barbecue

When hosting a co-ed baby shower, step outside the box and have a relaxing, backyard barbecue instead of a formal event at a restaurant. Grill favorite meats, as well as veggie kabobs, and offer an array of cold salads, fresh fruit, chips and dips. Cover the food table with a red gingham plastic table cover and use it as the inspiration for other decorations such as red and white balloons, natural burlap ribbons and a personalized banner that reads “David and Carrie’s Backyard Baby Shower.”
Famous couples costume party

A themed co-ed baby shower can be a lot of fun, especially when it’s a costume party. Invite guests to come dressed as famous couples from movies, literature, pop culture and history. The possibilities are endless and include fun duos such as Han and Leia, Homer and Marge or even Dwight and Angela from “The Office.” Be sure to specify on the invitations that it’s a costume party baby shower so everyone gets in on the fun. Include a traditional baby shower game but with a couples twist. Have the expecting mom and dad hug belly to belly and ask guests try and guess their combined girth.
Game night

A game night with friends is a great way to relax and have a few laughs. When hosting a co-ed baby shower, make it a Game Night theme and enjoy an evening of friends, games and fun. Depending on how many couples are invited, set up game stations with different board games at each, or plan to play team games like Loaded Questions, Say Anything, Balderdash and Battle of the Sexes. Keep the décor board-game themed with awesome cardboard game signs and a Just Visiting/Jail Monopoly board standee that can be used as a unique photo prop.


For the expecting couple with outgoing friends, plan a co-ed baby shower with a karaoke theme. Focus the décor around a musical theme with music note balloons, hanging decorations and even a piano keyboard table runner. Plan to play a few rounds of “Name that Song,” spotlighting titles that feature the word “baby.”
Casually co-ed

You don’t need a specific theme for a baby shower. For a couples baby shower, go with “casually co-ed” and plan a get-together for the expecting parents and several of their male and female friends. Decorations can still have a baby theme, but opt for something beyond pastel pinks and blues. Consider a fun baby animal print theme in giraffe or zebra accented by yellow, green or even red. Instead of quiche on the buffet table, offer hearty sandwiches, cold salads and pastas, plus a variety of chips and finger foods.

Great Co-ed Baby Shower Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy

Baby showers have evolved and no longer are they for women only. Celebrate both expecting parents with a fun co-ed baby shower, inviting both the ladies and the gents to this special event. Check out four great co-ed baby shower ideas sure to delight the mommy- and daddy-to-be and their guests.

Food on a stick

There’s a reason so many great carnival treats are served on a stick — it’s simply a fun way to eat food. The food table at any baby shower is always an important element of the party. When hosting a co-ed baby shower the food table becomes even more important because the men typically gravitate toward the snacks. Feature a few different food-on-a-stick options, including candied bacon, fruit kabobs and mini meatball subs. Cookies & Cups has an easy recipe for meatball subs on a stick that can be served with fresh marinara dipping sauce.
Diaper games

Guests at a co-ed baby shower may feel most comfortable mingling and snacking on delicious treats. However, it can be fun to add a game or two to the festivities. Keep things simple and opt for the Diaper Game Kit. It includes three different baby shower games that can be played by an unlimited number of guests. This kit comes with everything you need for games that will leave everyone laughing and having a great time. With a co-ed baby shower, it’s best to avoid any female-focused games or crafts that may make the men feel left out.
Signature drink

If hosting a couple’s baby shower that includes alcoholic beverages, create a signature drink for the special event. You’ll need to create two versions, one with alcohol and one that is nonalcoholic for the mom-to-be and anyone else who prefers not to indulge. To create a signature drink, use one of your favorite drinks as a starting point and play around with ingredient substitutions. Another option is to personalize the bar offerings by adding customized labels to wine and beer bottles. Personalize this cute blue label, ideal if the couple knows the baby is a boy, with the words: Mike and Lisa’s Baby Shower Blast or New Baby Congrats Mike & Lisa.

Diaper raffle

Every expecting couple needs diapers— lots of diapers. Help out the guests of honor by holding a diaper raffle, an easy way to include every co-ed baby shower guest in on the fun. On the baby shower invitations announce that each guest who brings a bag of diapers to the party will be entered into a raffle to win a great prize. Typical diaper raffle prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants or movie theaters. Hold the raffle about midway through the shower and have the expecting parents pull the name of the winner from a bowl.

Modern Baby Shower Gift Ideas New Moms Love

The modern mom balances family, friends, work and more 24/7. Help her prepare for the arrival of her new baby with these great modern baby shower gift ideas she’s sure to love and appreciate.

Eco-friendly and organic items
Look for organic fabrics in hooded baby towels as well as soft nursing blankets, which any eco-conscious mom will love. Organic bubble bath, baby wash and lotions are another option. Ever better, you can create a cute gift basket by adding a set of 100 percent organic cotton washcloths.
Personalized keepsake
For the expecting mom who has plans to frame her baby’s ultrasound picture, help her out and take this idea to the next level with a keepsake photo canvas print. The ultrasound picture is professionally converted to a canvas print and finished with a wooden frame for an elegant, thoughtful gift.
Kid lid
Any expecting mom or dad with a laptop computer will be thrilled to receive a Kid Lid™, which helps protect both your laptop as well as your child. It’s a unique laptop cover that fits easily over the device’s keyboard to keep baby from banging on the keys when watching a video, and to protect it from other mishaps. And to be sure it’s safe for the little one, Kid Lids are BPA and phthalate-free.
Custom baby clothes
Wow your favorite expecting mom with a set of personalized onesies, bibs, hats or even socks. Several online retailers offer custom baby clothes personalized with a name or monogram initial. Cafe Press allows you to customize a variety of items, including gowns, diaper covers and baby blankets.
Nursery wall decals
If the sex and name of the baby is known, a custom wall decal for the nursery can be a wonderful baby shower gift. Be sure to talk with the expecting parents first and coordinate on color and style to match the nursery theme.


Bath thermometer
A floating baby bath thermometer helps keep you alert to the bath water’s temperature to ensure it’s never too warm or too cool for baby. An audible bath thermometer will sound an alert if the water’s temperature is too hot or cold. These floating thermometers are not only practical, they’re safe for baby to push through the water as a fun toy. It makes it even cuter if you can incorporate this into the baby shower theme. For example, if the shower theme is cute little turtles, opt for the bath thermometer that is turtle-shaped to coordinate with the theme.
Sleep Sheep
A Sleep Sheep attaches to the outside of a crib and provides soothing sounds to help baby relax, rest and fall asleep easier. Soothing sounds include the ocean’s surf and a human heartbeat. With volume control and timer features, this sweet little sheep will soon become a favorite of baby and her parents.
High-tech bottles
Choose from bottles that self-warm and bottles that feature a feeding system to reduce the risk of colic, gas buildup and even ear infections.