If you are not the shower hostess, choose the hostess and point her this way or print all the information for her. The goal is to help the new parents welcome their new baby with friendship and love. Another goal is to do it stress-free, so the hostess get to enjoy this celebration too!
We've all hosted a party at some time that left us worn out and exhausted by the time it arrived, and swearing we'd never take on a project like that again. Don't repeat those mistakes by planning ahead.
Start by planning, and following the steps in this planner. Follow the steps, and you'll end up with a baby shower the new mom will never forget and an event you'll be proud to have hosted.
- Set a reasonable budget. It's not necessary to put a strain on your wallet when planning a baby shower. If necessary, see if you can get a few others to pitch in.
- Send out guest invitations around six weeks in advance of the party. This gives everyone adequate notice, and gives them plenty of time to find a gift.
- You might have to call or text those who haven't responded by the RSVP date. Having an accurate headcount is essential. If you reach out to those who haven't responded by the RSVP date, give them a few days to answer. If they haven't by then and you have the correct contact info, assume they aren't coming.
A Plan for a Baby Shower
Setting a Budget for the Baby Shower
A baby shower isn't a contest, it's an act of caring and joy.
Figure out what type of shower you want to have for the new mom, then the budget you have for it. Based on that budget, you can decide where you'll be having the shower, the menu, decorations, favors, and more.
If you have a smaller group, your home or someone else's may be a good option. Hall rental and food are usually the two things that cost the most. Having the baby shower at home saves a lot! You don't want to squeeze a hundred people into a small home just to save money, but if guests can be seated comfortably and you have room for serving food a home party tends to provide a more intimate setting.
If you do have a large shower, enlist other friends or family of the mom-to-be to help out. If the cost is prohibitive even with co-hosts, your other option is to prune the guest list. Baby showers, no matter what the size, are fun ways to let the new mom know you care about her and her new arrival.
Once you have an idea of the location and the number of guests, print the following checklists out to use as budget guides. The first checklist is for the supplies that you'll need for the shower itself; it doesn't include invitations or the cost of the hall if you decide to hold the shower in a rental. Use the number of guests to figure out the cost.
To get an idea of the food costs, use the following menu planner and base the cost of the food on the number of guests.
Total the two lists together, along with the cost of invitations and location rental (if the shower isn't being held at someone's home). This is your working budget.
Setting the Date of the Shower
The baby shower is usually sometime around four to six weeks before the mother's due date. Some baby showers are held after the baby is born; it's a matter of personal choice.
Try to choose a Saturday or Sunday between four to six weeks before the baby is due to have the shower. Check with out of town guests and “must be there” guests to try to find a date to accommodate them.
If you're having the shower at a restaurant or hall, you'll need to start looking for a location early. The sooner you can settle on a date, the better chance you have at getting the date you want at an outside venue. If you are having the baby shower at someone's home, you are much more flexible- but do not wait too long to choose a date.
Create the Baby Shower Guest List
You'll get an idea of how many people will be invited to the baby shower once you create a guest list. This is a must in planning; it determines everything from how much space you need to how much food you'll need to provide.
The best way to create your guest list is to ask the parents-to-be. They have all the addresses and phone numbers you'll need, and you'll be sure to include the friends and family they want to share this celebration with.
Create out a baby shower guest list to keep yourself organized. Besides the usual name, address, and phone number you can keep track of RSVPs on this list. Some people may need a phone call or text from you to confirm if they are coming. Even the best of us can be forgetful in regards to RSVPs. This will give you the most accurate count.
Choosing the Baby Shower Theme
Baby showers are fun, and the theme is where you can let your creativity shine! You can choose as simple or as elaborate a theme as you like, it's all up to you.
Keeping your budget in mind, use your creativity and the suggestions on our Baby Shower Themes article to have a shower the mom-to-be will love. Have fun with it!
Sending Baby Shower Invitations
Eight weeks before the baby shower, you should have the final guest list. When you are shopping for invitations, remember to match your theme and have all the important information included (date, time, directions, etc.) You should send out the invitations about six weeks before the baby shower date.
Refer to your baby shower guest list once the invitations have been sent out to keep track of RSVPs. Once the RSVP date arrives, call any guests who haven't responded to find out if they are able to make it. You need the most accurate count you can get to order supplies and plan for food.
Planning the Baby Shower Menu
The menu planning for a baby shower is very flexible. You can go with appetizers, a buffet, or a full sit down meal depending on the time of day and the type of shower you're having.
If you're having the shower at a restaurant, the restaurant personnel will work with you on creating the menu. Choose what type of meal you'd like (buffet or sit-down meal) and work with them to plan the menu to fit your budget.
If you're hosting the baby shower at someone's home you can either make the food yourself or have the shower catered. If you decide to have the event catered, your caterer will give you a menu to choose from. Work with them to create a menu to fit your budget and the type of shower you're having.
You should decide if you will be making the cake or if you'll order it. Use your theme as a guide to design the cake. If you order from a baker, let them know what the theme is (or better yet, take in a plate or napkin with the design on it).
Baby Shower Decorating and Supplies
Once you have your theme set and your guest list, it's time to buy the decorations and supplies. Centerpieces, streamers, balloons…. the possibilities are endless!
Where you're having the shower (rental hall or at someone's home) will determine how much you'll need to buy. Check with the restaurant to see what type, if any, of decorations are allowed. If the shower is in someone's home, you'll also need plates, cups, napkins, and utensils. It's easy to match decorations with a theme with the wide variety of designs available for baby showers.
Baby Shower Games
To guarantee a fun baby shower, include games (and prizes)! From printable games to “get-out-of-your-chair” fames, we have a great selection to choose from.
Some of the games require next to nothing, while others need special items so make sure you plan ahead. Assemble everything you'll need to do whichever games you choose and make sure you have enough prizes! Get ideas in our Baby Shower Games article, where you'll find fun games to keep your guests enjoying every minute of the shower!
It's Baby Shower Time!
The big day is finally here and you're going to have a great time! Use these last few tips to stay on track, and most of all, have fun!
Once guests start arriving, try to make them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. Some may not know anyone else, so introductions are important to break the ice. Offer each guest a drink. If you are providing appetizers, this is the time to make them available.
Present opening, food, and games are all things you'll have to schedule. Obviously, you can't do any of these things until after all guests have arrived! Give all of your guests a 20-30 minute window to arrive; once this has passed, start dishing out the food! This will ensure that your guests don't get cranky from having to wait too long for food. Plus, any late guests will have extra time to arrive while everyone else eats.
After you're done eating, it's time to play some games! Try not to overload your guests with games; one to three games is ideal. Make sure everyone knows how the games work and what the rules are. Feel free to introduce any prizes as well! Once games have wrapped up, it's time for presents.
Have your guest of honor sit or stand in a spot where all of the guests can see them. Either yourself or someone else can pass them the gifts, one at a time. Everyone can enjoy the celebration of your guest of honor opening their gifts!
Once present opening is done, give guests some more time. They can either choose to leave, or stay a little longer and chat. It's a good idea to let your guests know what time the party is ending, so they can make a point to leave by then. Have a respectful but firm way to get guests to leave, in case you have anyone who wants to stay longer than the party lasts.
You've worked hard, and the mom-to-be is sure to love her shower! Now go have fun!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©karen roach/Shutterstock.com.