What to Expect When You're Planning a Baby Shower: A Comprehensive Guide
Planning

Prepping for the arrival of a bundle of joy? Here's everything you need to know about planning a baby shower the parents-to-be are sure to love.

Baby Shower

Few events bring as much joy, laughter, and anticipation as a baby shower. 

This is an ideal time to pamper parents-to-be with love, attention and of course, all the pint-sized necessities they'll need in the coming months. 

Are you planning a baby shower for someone you love? If so, you'll soon find there is more to it than showing up with cake squares and a gift. Today, we're sharing a thorough guide on how to throw an awe-worthy party they're sure to remember for years to come. 

Ready to learn more? Let's get started!

What Are the Steps to Throwing a Baby Shower?

The best baby showers are those that are planned and organized from the beginning. That said, what steps should you follow when you're ready to start the process? Let's take a look at a few of the major milestones to add to your baby shower checklist.

10 Weeks Before: Basic Logistics

It helps to begin about 10 weeks ahead of time. Your first course of action should be to determine exactly who will host the shower. Are you doing it all on your own, or will others be involved?

If it's the latter, you officially have a planning committee. Get everyone together (or set up a call) to determine which party will be responsible for which tasks. For instance, the mom's parents might offer to purchase and pick up the cake, while her best friend from college handles the games. 

Together, you can work out the rest of the basic details on your baby shower checklist, including:

  • Choosing a date and time
  • Researching the best baby shower venues
  • Selecting a venue
  • Setting an event budget
  • Finalizing the guest list
  • Choosing a shower theme
  • Ordering invitations and thank you cards

To keep track of all of these details, it pays to invest in a baby shower event planner! This way, you can keep all of your receipts, invoices and important documents in one place. 

Looking for the best baby shower venues or baby shower facilities?

Great venues for baby showers include country clubs, churches, personal homes, tea rooms, outdoor gardens, or even a favorite restaurant! It helps to find one that offers a comprehensive service package, taking care of parking, A/V equipment, catering, decor and more.

Six Weeks Before: Invitations and Decorations

About a month and a half before the big day, you'll start attending to the administrative details. These include:

  • Preparing and mailing the invitations
  • Ordering decorations
  • Planning the menu

When it comes to the decorations needed for a baby shower, it's best to keep it simple and let the parents weigh in on what they prefer. Sticking with the basics is also advisable if you're wondering how to set up a food table for a baby shower. A few salty snacks, something sweet and a great punch can be all you need, but to make a great impression you can always go further with catering or a larger spread.

Four Weeks Onward: Final Details

With a month to go, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty details. A few of the steps you'll perform include:

  • Planning the shower games
  • Following up with guests who haven't RSVPd
  • Shopping for menu items
  • Picking up the cake
  • Decorating the venue

When it's all ready, you're free to sit back and enjoy the result of your hard work!

When Should You Start Planning a Baby Shower?

Now that you know the steps to plan one, when do you usually have a baby shower?

As mentioned, it's best to start about 10 weeks ahead of time. This way, you aren't surprised by last-minute needs that could derail the event. 

This also gives you plenty of time to decide who to invite to your baby shower. If you decide to keep the guest list small, a few of the steps listed above might not require as much time to plan. Still, it's always best to start early! When it's officially baby shower week, you should feel relaxed and calm, not frantic and frazzled.

Busy Googling, "Baby shower is done in which month" or "Baby shower how long before due date"? It's easy to get confused, so we'll make it easy for you. Most showers are held four to six weeks before the baby is due.

Who Is Supposed to Throw the Baby Shower?

Who plans a baby shower? Or, more specifically, who usually organizes a baby shower?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Anyone who is close to the parents-to-be can throw a baby shower for the couple. In terms of who should throw a baby shower, it's best to reserve this role for someone who knows the couple very well and can ensure the event is to their liking. 

Want to stick with the standards? The person who traditionally throws the baby shower is a friend, family member, or loved one. 

What Do You Need to Throw a Baby Shower?

You don't want to show up on the special day feeling empty-handed. Let's take a look at a few of the top things you need for a baby shower. Add these to your baby shower essentials list today!

  • Invitations
  • Decorations
  • Food and beverages
  • Notebook to write down gifts
  • Supplies for games
  • Technology for slideshow, music, etc.

These baby shower must-haves can help make your event as memorable as possible. How creative or elaborate you get is up to you!

Who Attends the Baby Shower?

In years past, it was customary for only the mother-to-be to attend her baby shower. Now, however, there are more co-ed showers than ever before. 

Wondering who should be invited to a baby shower? The following people should be included in your baby shower invite list:

  • Close friends
  • Family members
  • Colleagues from work

It's imperative to run your prospective guest list by the mom-to-be to make sure she's OK with it. She might have people she'd like you to add or remove. This is especially the case if you're inviting coworkers to the baby shower.

Are there family members on the mom and dad's side who don't get along? In that case, you might need to consider hosting a baby shower for each side of the family to keep the peace.

Do Fathers Attend Baby Showers?

Are dads supposed to go to baby showers? Put simply, they can if they'd like to.

As detailed, fathers are increasingly present at their baby's shower, and this is a trend worth embracing. If the father-to-be wants to be present at the events, this decision is his to make. 

However, if the event is co-ed, you'll need to word your invitations as such. You might also need to tweak your party games, menu, and shower theme to incorporate the preferences of both parties.

How Many People Do You Invite to a Baby Shower?

Baby showers can be as wide-scale or intimate as the parents would like them to be. When you're wondering how many people to invite to a baby shower, let the venue be your guide.

How many people will it hold? Is it a small spot with just enough tables for 10 people or are you holding it outside, where space is plentiful? The average number of guests at a baby shower is around 20. Adding too many more people to the list will affect your budget, location, menu and more.

What Food is Served at a Baby Shower?

What food should you have at a baby shower?

Stick to the basics and you can't go wrong. While it might sound fun to create an elaborate tasting menu for your guests, remember the reason you're throwing the party in the first place.

Stick with easy-to-grab finger foods and baby shower refreshments so guests can walk around and socialize while they nibble. A few of our favorite food options for baby shower hosts include:

  • Fruit salad
  • Vegetable tray
  • Chips and dip
  • Mini slider burgers
  • Meatballs
  • Pinwheel sandwiches
  • Festive punch

Check out this list of baby shower party menu ideas to get started! 

How Many Games Should You Play at a Baby Shower?

No matter how well you plan it, there will likely come a point in your baby shower where conversation the quiets. To keep everyone engaged and having a great time, party games are a great idea!

Here's a list of 19 fun baby shower games that everyone will actually want to play. However, you might not have time to squeeze all 19 in!

That said, how many baby shower games should you have?

Take a look at the order of baby shower events you have planned, along with your venue timeline.

If you only have one hour, one or two games should be enough. If you don't have a set timeframe and guests can mingle as long as they want, you can add a few more. In any case, it's best to stick to between three and five games, top.

This topic brings up another important question: How long should a baby shower be?

While there's no absolute baby shower schedule to follow, most start wrapping up after two to three hours. If yours will be on the longer side, you can create and distribute a baby shower itinerary for guests, so everyone knows what to expect when they arrive.

What Are Alternatives to Games at a Baby Shower?

If the parents aren't on board or the motivation isn't there, what can you do instead of baby shower games? Thankfully, there are plenty of activities to try that don't require sniffing a diaper full of chocolate or guessing items in a diaper bag.

A few of our favorite creative baby shower activities include:

  • Asking guests to bring books, instead of cards
  • Creating a "Well Wishes" jar for everyone to leave words of advice
  • Creating a piece of art for the baby's room using guests' fingerprints
  • Using a solid white onesie as a guestbook

If you look, you'll find there are plenty of things to do at a baby shower besides games! We also love this idea of asking everyone to pitch in and help create the baby's first alphabet book!

What Usually Happens at a Baby Shower?

You can learn all about baby showers, but you might not be prepared for what will occur when you actually plan and attend one! What happens at a baby shower and what should you expect?

The answer is simpler than you think!

The purpose of a baby shower is to help the expectant parents feel cherished and ready for their bundle of joy. They should leave feeling hopeful for the future and armed with lots of baby gear, including plenty of diapers and wipes! Whether you follow baby shower traditions or plan something totally unique, as long as it reflects the love they have for each other and their baby, it's sure to be a success.

Planning a Baby Shower? We'd Love to Help

Are you planning a baby shower for someone you love? If so, we'd love to make the event as special as possible.

We operate a wide range of formal event spaces, spread across multiple locations around West Michigan. Feel free to take a look at some of our breathtaking venues to learn more about each one. Then, contact us today to schedule the shower of a lifetime.