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