Last Updated: Aug 22, 2019
When expecting a bundle of joy, the baby shower is one of the most memorable experiences for the mom-to-be. From seeing her baby shower invitations for the first time to being showered with gifts, a baby shower is a perfect opportunity to celebrate with family and friends.
As with any event, baby showers require lots of moving parts. To help you throw a successful baby shower, we thought we’d go over common dos and don’ts. With this guide, you’ll learn all about modern baby shower etiquette and can plan an unforgettable event for the expectant parents.
Who Should Host?
Baby showers are typically hosted by close family members or friends of the parents-to-be. A sister, mother, mother-in-law, or close friend is the most common baby shower hostess. Since everyone tends to have a busy schedule, it’s becoming increasingly popular for friends and family to co-host. This way, one host can be in charge of logistics like the venue, agenda, and registry, and the other can be in charge of entertainment, decorations, and food.
The mom-to-be can provide input if she wishes, but it’s best to let her relax and enjoy her celebration.
Who Should You Invite?
The guest list is an aspect of the baby shower that should always be consulted with the mom-to-be. You want to make sure all friends, co-workers and family members she wants to invite are on the guest list, so be sure to get her final stamp of approval about two weeks before the invitations go out.
If you’re planning a surprise baby shower, consult with her partner or closest friend on who you should invite. In the past, it wasn’t common for men to attend baby showers, but that notion is changing. If the dad-to-be would like to be a part of his baby’s celebration, be sure to include him and his guests.
Putting Together A Baby Shower Invitation
Before printing your baby shower invitations, double-check your spelling and grammar, as well as the time, location, date, and any other essential information. All baby shower invitations should include:
- Name of mom-to-be and host
- Location and directions
- Date and time
- Host’s phone number
- Information on how to RSVP
- Registry information
- Baby shower theme (if applicable)
- Dress code
- Age restrictions for guests
When To Send Invites
Baby shower invitations should be sent about four to six weeks before the event. If you know many of the mom’s guests will be coming from out of town, we recommend sending invites as soon as possible to give them plenty of time to make arrangements.
When And Where To Throw A Baby Shower
The typical window to throw a baby shower is between the sixth and eighth month of the mom’s pregnancy. Be sure to pick a date that works best for the parents-to-be and any important guests like grandparents and close family members. Daytime is usually the best time to host your baby shower since it will provide you plenty of daylight to play games and take pictures.
The venue possibilities are endless. Most baby showers are held at the home of the future parents, but that will all depend on how many guests you invite, your budget, and the parents’ preference. For budget-friendly options that accommodate plenty of guests, consider outdoor venues like a park or a family member’s backyard.
Does It Need A Theme Or Color Scheme?
Preferably, yes. A unique baby shower theme and color scheme will help you put together beautiful and cohesive decor. A theme and color scheme can also make your selection process for things like invitations, cake ideas, utensils, and games much more manageable.
If you won’t know the gender of the baby by the day of the event, go for gender-neutral options like jungle, safari, hot air balloon and twinkle little star-themed baby showers. Cute baby shower printables are easy to find and can help you put together a lovely party without having to spend too much.
What Food And Drinks Should You Offer At A Baby Shower?
Big meals are usually not the best for baby showers since they’re usually held during the day. Picking a few brunch options will ensure you offer something for everyone. Search a few simple recipes for snacks, finger foods, and desserts. Cute setups like a dessert table, lemonade stand or a snack bar are the perfect way to add color and detail to your shower.
What Do You Do At A Baby Shower?
With so many options and adorable decor, keeping guests entertained at a baby shower requires minimal effort. Create a schedule with a few fun stations, activities, and games where anyone can participate and enjoy.
Plan Themed Activities
Photos are a must at any event—put together a beautiful photo backdrop along with some baby-themed props and let your guests snap away. At the end of the event, the parents-to-be will have tons of photos to include in their baby’s first photobook.
If you know your guests will bring their kiddos along, put together activities like a diaper or onesie decorating stations to include them in the celebration. All you need is a few plain white onesies and non-toxic fabric paint or markers. If you’re throwing a gender-neutral baby shower, have your guests predict the baby’s gender on flashcards for a fun activity.
Play Baby Shower Games
Baby shower games are another fun and budget-friendly way to keep the party going. Plan ahead and set enough time to play three to four games throughout your event. About a month prior, put together a checklist of all the materials you’ll need and set them aside in separate boxes to make your event hosting much easier.
There is no baby shower without gifts. Towards the end of the party, have the mom-to-be take center stage to open presents.
- Proper gift registry: Registering for gifts is a perfectly acceptable and common practice. It will make your guests’ gift shopping experience super easy and allow the mom-to-be to check off some items on her list since she’ll be receiving exactly what she needs. As a courtesy, make sure she registers for gifts that fit within all budgets. Everything from diapers and baby wipes to strollers, and a car seat will make sure everyone is included.
- Are gifts obligatory? Although the point of a baby shower is for the new mom to be showered with gifts, a baby shower should be an invitation to a celebration. Gifts are welcomed but should never be required.
- Gift etiquette for guests who can’t attend: If you’re not able to participate in a baby shower, gifts are not required. You may send a gift, a package, or a card via mail if you wish for the new mom to receive it at her baby shower. You can also bring the gift with you when you meet the new bundle of joy.
- Best items to gift: When it comes to babies, you can never have enough diapers, wipes, bibs, socks, and baby bottles. So if you’re struggling to find something, rest assured that you can never go wrong with the basics.
When To Send Thank You Cards
Remind your mom-to-be to send her personalized thank you cards no later than two weeks after the baby shower. To make things a little easier, encourage her to start on her thank you cards before her shower. This will give her more time to focus on preparing for her baby’s arrival.
Hosting a baby shower and celebrating the new mom, whether she’s your sister, cousin, or close friend, can be a very rewarding experience. With this guide, you’re ready to put together an unforgettable baby shower everyone is sure to enjoy.