It’s so exciting to plan a baby shower for yourself or for someone you know. There’s a new baby on the way, and you can get together with family and friends to celebrate!
However, if you’re hosting, there are some things you should know first—there’s more to planning a baby shower than just choosing a location and sending invitations. And, if you are unsure about hosting the party on your own, you can always add some co-hosts to help out. In fact, close friends and family may consider it a great personal honor to help plan the event.
You should also consider whether the mother wants to have more than one baby shower—”72% of Babylist users have more than one shower”, and we see the same thing. To have a fun celebration that includes everyone, and to effectively manage multiple events, you can host a hybrid baby shower. These allow you to have a baby shower for your close friends and family, and one for your other social groups like co-workers.
There’s also the question of whether or not the baby shower will be co-ed. A baby shower for just women can be pretty different from a co-ed party, so you’ll need time to plan for this. The decorations, theme, and games could change depending on the guest list.
There is also the object of timing. Depending on when you host the event, you can include different things. A popular thing to do is combine a gender reveal with a baby shower, and some parents even prefer to wait until the baby’s birth to have the party.
Last, if your guest list includes many people that are long-distance, try a virtual baby shower.
And remember, when you use WebBabyShower, you can easily host multiple parties for as many groups as you’d like!
Why Do You Need a Baby Shower Checklist?
There are many differences with baby showers, including in-person, hybrid, online, small gatherings, and large events. A baby shower checklist can do a few things to improve your party planning.
First, it gives you a place to write down everything that needs to get done. Next, and in turn, it helps you stay organized.
When you use a checklist, you’ll know what needs to happen and when you need to complete each task. You can look at your list at any time and find out what jobs you should do that day or week. This process works for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events, but the checklist is also beneficial for hybrid ones.
If your event is strictly virtual, check out our checklist for virtual baby showers for some extra pointers to having your dream baby celebration.
Third, having a baby shower checklist can bring you peace of mind. Since you’re keeping everything structured with your list, you can refer to it whenever you like!
How to Plan a Baby Shower: A Simple Checklist
Checklists are to make your life easier, not more complicated. So, we’ve created a simple list to follow that will help you get everything done on time.
Remember, it’s essential to keep dates in mind for events—such as the day you need to confirm the guest list, call about the cake, etc. Having due dates for tasks makes a big job more manageable.
You should accomplish these tasks before the baby shower at certain times, listed below.
Six Weeks Before the Shower
Decide on the Budget
Baby showers can be expensive. And personalized cakes, booking a venue, and an extensive guest list can make things cost even more.
All of this is best accomplished with a budget.
Remember that you can have more than one baby shower, which can help if you have a lot of friends and family—something that can also affect the cost.
This detailed guide can help you plan a baby shower on a budget.
Create a Guest List
Next, take the time to create the guest list. You need to decide how many people you’ll invite, and you can choose to make the party a small event or have a larger gathering.
Write down all the people you would like to have in attendance, including close family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. From there, narrow it down depending on whether you want a large or small baby shower.
There are many ways to expand the guest list if some of the people you invite can’t attend in person. A great way is hosting a virtual baby shower to include everyone.
Speaking of—don’t forget to decide on a host for the event! You can ask a best friend, mother or mother-in-law, or a sibling. Check out our tips for choosing a great host here.
Select a Theme
You should decide your theme right away because it affects many things like food, invites, decorations, and possibly the games. To make planning easy, read our article about the best baby shower themes for the year.
Decide on the Venue
Many people decide to host baby showers in someone’s home. But, if you choose to go a different route, you’ll need a venue.
Outdoor celebrations are especially popular in spring and summer, and another fun idea is a restaurant.
No matter what you decide, you will need to book the venue in advance, so there’s plenty of time to secure it. For ideas, check out the best places to have a baby shower.
Throw a Virtual Baby Shower so Everyone Can Celebrate!
• Free Trial – 7 Day Refund for any reason
• Only 1 Minute Setup!
• 40+ Custom Themes & Matching Invites
• Use Any Online Registry
• Send Unlimited Invites and Updates
• Baby Shower Games with Scoreboards, Give Prizes!
Five Weeks Before the Shower
Start Sending Baby Shower Invitations
Get organized using our invitation system, which lets you choose from many ideas, designs, and themes to find something that will be perfect for your event!
After you decide on a final guest list, five weeks out is a great time to send your invites, and you can use these invitation wording ideas to make them extra punchy to stand out. Digital invites can save you tons of time and money, too. And a Save the Date/RSVP invite is perfect for getting a guest count in advance.
WebBabyShower tracks your invites so you can see who has opened it and who still needs to read it, which lets you get ahead of planning for attendees. We also help you send as many invites as you want to ensure that hosting multiple events is easy.
Deciding on the Food
If you have the baby shower in person, you need to plan what food you’ll serve. A cake or cupcakes is usually a good place to start. From there, you can decide if you want to include appetizers or main course food.
However, before you plan, know your budget and ask guests about food allergies. Then determine who will be responsible for cooking the food—or buying it, if you prefer.
Set Up the Decorations
A baby shower is always more fun with decorations! First, if you’re hosting an in-person event, choose the space you’ll decorate and think about how you want to set up the room. Try to get a few larger decorations like a banner and a table centerpiece. From there, you can fill in the rest of the room with balloons, table decor, candles, and lights.
If you’re hosting a baby shower online, your personal and unique WebBabyShower website allows you to choose a theme that you like, as well as add details like the date, time, and venue. You or guests can also upload photos to the guest book.
We always make it a point to create themes that look great and make your job as the host easy, and we make things as customizable as we can so the website is perfect to your vision.
Four Weeks Before the Shower
Send Reminders for RSVPs
Four weeks out is the time to check on your invitations and begin communicating with those you’ve invited. Find out how many people have responded to the RSVPs and who you still need to talk to. Then, send out a friendly reminder to anyone you have not been able to contact, asking them to RSVP as soon as possible.
During this time, you should also keep your guests informed about any details of the party. Communication is a big part of a baby shower checklist!
As you are talking with those you’ve invited, this is a good time to (politely) ask them to look up the gift registry. Remind guests that buying something now gives them plenty of time to order and have it arrive in the mail or send it to the mom-to-be. This is made extra simple by adding the gift registry link to your WebBabyShower website so guests can find it easily.
Order Your Baby Shower Cake
If you are ordering a cake rather than baking one, now is the time.
For a more elaborate cake, order at least four weeks in advance. If the cake is simpler and from a grocery store, you may not have to order quite this early.
Three Weeks Before the Shower
Get all your decorations and supplies ordered, or run by the store to pick them up. Keep everything somewhere safe where it won’t get damaged, and where you’ll have easy access to it.
Examples of things you may need to purchase:
- Table decor
- Food (non-perishable)
- Cups, silverware, plates, napkins
- Party favors
This is also the last chance for guests to RSVP. Since three weeks away is pretty close to the party date, kindly explain to any guests you haven’t heard from that they need to let you know within a couple of days if they will attend.
That way, you have time to buy everything and plan for the correct number of people.
Two Weeks Before the Shower
Gather the Baby Shower Decorations
Gather any remaining decorations you’ll need for the party two weeks before. Keep everything in one place where you can easily find them.
Plan for Games
Plan out the games you want to play at the baby shower. You should aim for at least a couple of games and maybe have a few backups, as well. WebBabyShower has lots of game suggestions if you need to plan quickly.
You’ll also need to order prizes for the games.
And to get your guests extra excited, you can take photos of the prizes and put them on your website. This is also an excellent time to remind guests that this week is the latest they can RSVP.
Prepare Baby Shower Gifts and Favors
If you are going to have a party where people show up in person, it’s time to wrap all the prizes and party favors. You can easily do this by sticking with gift bags and tissue paper for everything. Or, if the presents are large and you aren’t sure how to wrap them, a big bow could work as well.
Next, you should reconfirm with everyone about dates and times—remind guests of the time and day of the baby shower and what they need to bring with them. Also, catch up with anyone who will be part of the event or who is bringing something for it, such as caterers or venue coordinators.
If you have reservations, check that everything is accurate and confirm times. A quick email or call should work.
Make sure you know the mom-to-be’s arrival time and how she will be getting to the party. Is someone driving her there? Are you picking her up? Know all of this in advance and try to get guests to arrive shortly before the mom. That way, she will walk in and see all of the guests ready to greet her!
Last, if you will be cooking or baking anything for the day, write out your list of ingredients now and start shopping. Gather everything that you’ll need, including decorations for cakes or desserts, like candy or frosting.
Week Leading Up to the Shower
This is the last chance to reconfirm everything with guests. Ensure they know when and where to arrive, how long the party will last, and any other important details. You can also take the time to add any finishing touches to the decorations and go over the plans you have for the day.
Run through the schedule and confirm that everything makes sense.
Then, it’s time for a final guest headcount. Confirm how many guests will be there, and—if you have an itinerary for the day—send it out to the guests to let them know what to expect.
If you’re looking for itinerary ideas, our planning template can help make things a lot easier. We know that putting together an event for people takes work, and a template can simplify the process.
Extra Tips to Plan for Baby Shower Success
When planning a baby shower, the best thing to do is be organized—and the easiest way to stay organized and on track is with a baby shower checklist.
One great idea to help divide the work and make things more fun is bringing in a co-host. Ask someone to host the baby shower with you so you can share the tasks and decisions.
The next tip is to focus on connection—especially if your baby shower is virtual. It’s essential to get people talking and having fun together. Baby showers are about celebrating and enjoying time with family and friends, so make sure that’s the real focus of the day!
The last thing to remember is that it’s all right to break baby shower “rules.” Just because something is expected doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. Find a party itinerary that works for you, the guests, and the mom-to-be. Don’t worry too much about etiquette.
A Baby Shower Checklist Can Help You Throw a Great Party
At first, planning a baby shower can seem pretty overwhelming. But, when you break the tasks down into a week-by-week approach, you can simplify things a lot. Especially when you use the tips offered in this article—a checklist makes organizing your event easy.
The mom-to-be and guests will have tons of fun with what you’ve planned. Enjoy making memories and celebrating such a fun event!