How to Host a Baby Shower

Responsibilties and How Tos of Baby Shower Hosting

If you've never hosted a baby shower, this can seem like an overwhelming task. But, with a little preparation, you can easily plan a wonderful celebration that honors the mom-to-be as well as the newest addition to her family.

1. Set a Budget

The first step to hosting a baby shower is setting a budget for the event. The person who hosts the baby shower traditionally accepts responsibility for all of the costs associated with having the party. However, it is common for other friends and family members to pitch in and help the host by bringing food, drinks, party favors, or prizes for the shower.

If you're on a limited budget, do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. In most cases, you'll find that everyone is excited about the arrival of the new baby and wants to help put together a great party.

2. Develop a Guest List

For a general baby shower, you should invite immediate female family members from both sides of the expectant mother's family and her close friends. However, it's becoming more common for expectant moms to have multiple baby showers so that they can enjoy socializing with smaller groups. For example, the mom-to-be might have one shower for family, one for friends, and one for work colleagues.

To avoid any misunderstandings, plan the guest list with the mom-to-be. If the shower is a surprise event, consult with the expectant mom's significant other or a close friend to learn who should be invited.

3. Choose a Time and Location

When selecting a date, be sure to consider the baby's due date. Plan your party at least four to eight weeks before or after the due date. The best time to have a baby shower is usually on a weekend, unless it's a work-related baby shower. Most baby showers last two to three hours, to allow plenty of opportunities for enjoying food, playing games, opening gifts, and general socializing.

The best location for your shower depends on how large the event is. Smaller showers could be held at your home, but larger showers might require renting a venue or heading out to a local park for a festive outdoor event.

4. Send the Invitations

If possible, you should invite baby shower guests four to six weeks in advance. Ask them to RSVP to the event to aid in your planning.

Printable baby shower invitations can easily be customized and are a very budget-friendly way to invite guests to your event. The Printable Baby has a large selection of printable baby shower invitations, including boy, girl, and gender-neutral designs. 

Include a map and directions in your invitations. A few suggestions regarding local accommodations are also a good idea for guests who are traveling from out of town to attend the baby shower.

5. Plan the Menu

The best baby shower foods are those that are easy to eat and not too messy. When in doubt, small sandwiches and fruit or vegetable trays are a safe option. You'll also want to have a festive dessert available for the celebration, such as cupcakes decorated with tiny rattles or cookies in the shape of a baby onesie.

Offer several choices of beverages. Wine, beer, soda, tea, and coffee are all acceptable if they match the sensibilities of your guests, the food, and the time of year.

6. Select the Decorations

Baby shower decorations usually revolve around a theme or a central color. In many cases, showers use the same theme or color scheme the mom-to-be has planned for baby's nursery so that leftover items can be used in the nursery decor. 

If you're on a tight budget, look for items you already own that can be incorporated into the party decor. For example, a little red wagon, a cute teddy bear, and a stack of vintage children's books could easily be used to decorate a baby shower with a retro feel. If the party is not a surprise, you can also ask the mom-to-be if you can display some of the nursery décor – for example, use baby’s quilt as a wall hanging during the shower.

7. Decide What Games to Play

To help break the ice, plan two to four baby shower games. If you do not know of any games, our Baby Shower Games article has several ideas. The games should go quickly and the winners of each game should receive a small prize for their efforts. Excellent prizes include scented candles, gourmet food items, or gift certificates to a local coffeehouse or bakery.

8. Choose Party Favors

After your guests have played fun games, eaten great food, and socialized with the expectant mother as she opens her gifts, present each guest with a small token of your appreciation. Party favors let guests know that their attendance at the shower has been appreciated.

Party favors do not necessarily need to be expensive. For a simple favor, you could fill empty baby food jars or small mason jars with Hershey's kisses, jelly beans, or other candies and add a label made with one of the printable background papers from Baby Tidings.

A Celebration to Remember

Throughout the party planning process, remember that a baby shower should celebrate the beginning of a new life and the creation of a family. By hosting a baby shower, you are giving the most precious of gifts to your mother-to-be: your friendship, time, and love.

Written by: The Printable Baby Team