When to Have a Baby Shower – How Far Ahead Should You Plan?

Nothing says, “Welcome Baby!” quite like a baby shower. Family and friends come together in person, virlastually, or a combination of both, to celebrate the arrival of a new little one. It is an excellent opportunity to shower the parents-to-be with support and love as they grow their family. But it can get confusing as to when it’s the ideal time to host a baby shower, and we’ve designed our online baby shower plans to solve this.

In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about deciding osetn the timing of your baby shower and what the “gathering” should look like. Any expectant mom has a lot weighing on her mind, and the logistics of her own shower don’t need to be one of them.

When to Have a Baby Shower?

That’s the question. Where to even get started in planning your baby shower? And who pays? Read on for some things to think about when scheduling your baby shower. You’ll be sending out that shower invitation in no time! We’ve also got you covered on a modern guide to baby shower etiquette.

We will examine all the considerations you need to make and weigh out before you have a baby shower – including setting a date, go with the usual baby shower traditions or having a virtual baby shower, having your shower early or late in the pregnancy, and more.”

If you’re reading this and you’re on a super tight deadline, check out our last minute baby shower guide.

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webbabyshower safari having a baby shower party and gathering

Setting a Date for When a Baby Shower Should Be Held

Traditionally, baby showers are held in the third trimester of pregnancy. The beginning of the third trimester, from 28 to 32 weeks, is a great time for a baby shower! This is a solid start to planning a baby shower.

Mom-to-be is still comfortable and mobile enough to enjoy herself but still weeks away from labor. She’s also far enough along in the pregnancy to be getting excited about the very real and near prospect of holding her newborn. Sannice1979 shared some truth on thebump.com that:

“You want to be able to enjoy it as well as have the energy to deal with everything afterwards.”

Dads are often getting more enthusiastic at this point, as well. The physical reminder of a baby bump that squirms and kicks helps them connect with their unborn child in new ways.

This is also a great time for parents to receive and open their gifts from the registry. Little onesies will need to be washed and put away in time for the baby, who may choose to arrive earlier than the “due date.”

Larger items, such as cribs and car seats, can also be put together and installed without waiting until the last minute. Having a shower earlier on in the third trimester allows mom and dad to return duplicate items, as well as pick up things they still need, while they are still able to get around easily. No one really wants to think about those things when the mom-to-be is in labor!

This is the time that most mothers will hold a baby shower. However, there are many reasons that a traditional shower might not be the best route you choose. Read on to learn more about all the options available to you. This includes different types of baby showers, and different options for timing. For example, mom-to-be might really want a shower based around a certain season like spring or winter. At the end of the day, it’s your shower you’re having, and you need to plan it your way.

webbabyshower third trimester mom think about something like registry, party, family gathering and guests

When Should You Have an Online Baby Shower?

A virtual shower has the huge added benefit of flexibility; it can be held at roughly the same time in pregnancy as a traditional shower or weeks earlier if you’d prefer. Rather than setting one specific date and hoping that guests are free, guests from all over the globe can participate over a few days or even weeks. This allows for maximum participation at the gathering, and even more love showered on the parents-to-be.

Almost 60% of our customers are expecting mothers, so that means 40% are friends, grandmothers, or aunts. And guess what? They tend to start this baby shower planning process much earlier. (Something to do with free time!) That’s why our base plan is 6 months, and our premium plan is a whole 12 months!

Extra consideration and care for an online shower should be taken when planning any live events, such as video calls or chats. If guests are joining from vastly different time zones, try to choose a time that would be within waking hours for everyone.

A virtual baby shower also has the advantage of being held over a longer period of time. Guests can drop in and leave messages, gifts, or words of encouragement and health in the weeks and months leading up to the live shower. This allows people much more time to operate on their own schedule. As any host knows, if their guests are happy, then everyone is happy.

As for planning the live event, guests will understand if they need to wake up a little early or stay up a little late to make the party, but they may not be so happy about a chat scheduled for 2 AM. The priority consideration should go to the parents-to-be, as they need all the rest they can get before the baby arrives. Mom’s energy may also be starting to wane, so allowing her much-needed rest is super important.

So while a virtual shower still takes planning and consideration, it offers you the extra flexibility you need to hold the gathering or event your way.

Get Ready For Something New: Special Circumstances or Baby Shower Length

There are always cases where traditional guidelines do not apply. If that applies to you, feel free to bend the guidelines to make the parents-to-be comfortable. Family and friends are there to support you, not judge. If they know your situation, they are probably even expecting some deviation from the norm like how long the baby shower should last.

  • Twins or multiples Moms of multiples often enter into labor and deliver early, either because their medical professional recommends it or because the babies simply run out of womb room and are ready to see the world! Rather than a few weeks into the third trimester, we think that having an earlier baby shower, such as toward the end of the second trimester, for twins or multiples is entirely normal.
webbabyshower baby in good health
  • Pregnancy complicationsIf mom has experienced some complications that necessitate bed rest or limited activity, this should impact the baby shower plans. It may mean having an earlier baby shower to accommodate an earlier delivery or just simply limiting the number of guests or activities at the shower such as party games like celebrity baby names or even gift giving from the registry. Whatever the case, the most important thing is to keep mother and baby safe and in the best health.
  • Family gatherings If the timing of your baby shower falls close to a holiday gathering or other family event, consider having the shower while guests from out-of-town are together. This can help create a kind of hybrid virtual and in-person shower, where two groups get together in person and join virtually to create a mega shower. Guests will be glad to celebrate the new baby earlier or later than traditionally expected if it means that they can be together.
  • Religious or cultural practices Some religions and cultures wait to celebrate a new baby until after he or she is born. This may also just be the preference of the parents-to-be. If this is the case for the expectant couple, guests should respect their traditions and beliefs. Instead, shower the parents and baby with love and gifts from the registry after the delivery. This has the added benefit of having the baby in attendance as the guest of honor. This may also be a reason for a multiple baby shower; for example, two different showers for each parents’ culture.
  • Scheduling Conflicts Sometimes, when it comes down to it, a mother’s schedule simply doesn’t permit the traditional timing of a baby shower. Whether it be work, something personal, other plans, or really the vast amount of reasons we might be busy, you simply don’t have enough time to fit your baby shower into that traditional window. There’s no shame in this, because it’s their baby shower after all. Every mother deserves a baby shower to celebrate this time in their life, and in the end, it’s all about what works best for them.

Don’t be ashamed to hold an early or late shower based on your scheduling conflicts.

  • Guests Conflict Building on the last idea, sometimes there’s those special guests and close friends who have very real scheduling conflicts as well. If you have to hold a shower at a non-traditional time because one of your guests really can’t make it, that’s totally fine as well! After all, a shower is only as good as the people who can make it, and you want to be sure that the VIP guests are there.

Maybe some of your guests would need to plan weeks ahead to come from out of town, maybe they simply have other obligations. Whatever the case, we think that having a “traditional” shower shouldn’t stand in the way of having the kind of shower that the expectant mother deserves. 

To Have a Baby Shower Before or After?

There is no “right time” to hold your baby shower. The best date and time to plan this joyous event is ultimately a personal decision – when it feels like the right time to celebrate with you! Keep reading for reasons parents-to-be may decide to hold a baby shower early in the pregnancy, or weeks before going into labor, or why some wait until after delivery when the baby can join the party too. 

Possible Reasons to Have a Baby Shower Early

Although many expectant parents opt to have their baby showers early on in the third trimester, there are several reasons why holding a shower even earlier than the “traditional” timeframe may be beneficial for you. For example, in the second trimester, you’re usually past the morning sickness stage and aren’t feeling overly tired. 

That means you feel up to socializing with your guests at the gathering! An early baby shower also gives you plenty of time to buy the items you weren’t gifted from the registry at the shower. Plus, you’ll likely still have plenty of energy for shopping!

webbabyshower Third trimester mom with baby names in her book

For many moms, hosting a shower in the early- to mid-third trimester is simply a matter of personal preference. If that really sounds like you, it gives you an opportunity to finish setting up your gift registry before baby’s arrival. And as What to Expect suggests, you can make sure the nursery is prepared in advance by checking these to-dos off your list: Unpack shower gifts, Set up the crib and nursery, and wash the baby’s new clothes. 

A third reason for an early baby shower is that, if you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, you can have your shower well before there may be bed rest restrictions for your health. You’ll also likely avoid the risk of coinciding your shower with an early delivery.

What to Expect After Baby Arrives – Reasons for a Sip & See Baby Shower

Thinking of holding your baby shower later in your pregnancy? There are definitely some pros that come along with waiting until baby arrives. Once you welcome a baby into the world, celebrating with your family and friends is one way to keep the excitement building all the way through your pregnancy and even weeks after delivery. Plus, who doesn’t love a Sip & See shower where baby can be passed around? Just remember the hand sanitizer!

And since everyone wants to see and meet the baby, having your shower with the baby as the guest of honor enables you to make sure everybody has the opportunity to do so – all at once! That can help reduce surprise visits by guests who want to drop by later to see the baby when you just want some quiet time. 

An after-delivery shower also enables you to know more details about your new little one, such as his or her gender, weight, and length. For your shower guests, this totally takes the guesswork out of buying gifts weeks before the delivery date! 

A General Shower Timing Guide to Consider

The Spruce advises not holding the baby shower too early, or too late. If you are more than 20 weeks into your pregnancy, congratulations! And if you’re ready to have a zoom baby shower with family and friends, feel free to begin sending out party invitations. After you enter the 32-week mark, it’s perfectly acceptable to hold the shower if you are still feeling ready to party and haven’t yet made it to 38 weeks. 

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How to Know if You’re Baby Shower Ready

Thinking of holding your shower, but not sure if you’re baby shower ready? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

● First, select a date and time for your baby shower.
● If planning an early shower, the new mom-to-be has plenty of time to organize the gifts and send out thank-you notes.
● For a later shower, mom can still comfortably socialize with guests, without feeling overly tired or experiencing any pre-delivery complications.
● You’ve checked with key family and friends, and their schedules are clear for baby shower day.
● The venue you’ve selected is available. Or consider hosting an online baby shower – with us!

Number One Tip: Evaluate Your Circumstances, See What Works Best

You might have noticed a theme running throughout this article, and that theme is that this is your shower. We have outlined many reasons why parents may choose different timing for their baby showers. But at the end of the day, we think that these reasons only matter if they are relevant to you. If you have your own considerations which dictate the timing of your own shower, then those reasons are the only ones that are going to matter.

So sit down, and think of what would make the best kind of baby shower for yourself. The above considerations can guide you, but only if you put your own considerations on top. After all, this is a celebration for you!


A baby shower is a joyous occasion filled with fun, laughter, and lots of love for a growing family. Having your baby shower at the right time can help you celebrate without worry or discomfort, yet with plenty of time to get those last-minute details ready for the new baby’s impending arrival. Virtual options offer even more flexibility. Whatever you decide, you’ll be sure to be welcoming a baby to a home filled with love, laughter, and gifts thanks to your generous family and friends. Now it’s time to get celebrating!

Most Mom’s have their baby shower in their third trimester no less than 4 weeks before the due date. Long enough along for the bump to show and early enough to avoid baby’s arrival

Most baby showers are hosted and planned by a close relative or friend such as a sister, mother, grandmother or best girl friend. Always ask the parents to be though, they may want to plan it themselves!

Traditionally lunchtime is the time most people have a baby shower but it is really up to the parents to be. Some baby showers are held earlier so brunch can be served.

Amy began writing stories at an early age to entertain her classmates. She grew up to earn a nursing degree but later hung up her stethoscope and scrubs to pursue her first true passion—writing. Today, Amy has published over 200 stories, poems, and articles for both children and adults. She is also the author of two book series for children, Band Geeks, and Libby Wimbley.

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