A baby shower is for friends and relatives to come together with mum-to-be (guest of honour) to celebrate the expected birth of a child. Planning a baby shower is typically left to close friends or family members of the mum-to-be.
Baby showers are celebrated with fun games, themes, gift-giving, and most importantly, making memories. They help the parents-to-be get a head start on items such as nappies, baby clothes, and other essential items.
If you are hosting a baby shower, you can relax because there are plenty of ways to help everyone share their joy with the guest of honour. As host, you will be responsible for organising the budget, location, theme, guest-list, menu, invitations, and food and beverages.
You’ll also be in charge of keeping guests entertained with a variety of games and activities. Don’t feel too pressured to come up with games that have never been done before. It’s all about personalising activities that fit the guest of honour and you can design any game to feel unique.
Learn how to plan a brilliant baby shower for mum-to-be and her soon to arrive beautiful baby.
Planning a baby shower: your checklist
#1: Set a realistic budget
Speak to the guest of honour about what type of baby shower they want. This will help you understand how much budget you will need. The day should be all about the guest of honour. You might find that they want something low-key, rather than a Kardashian type extravagant party experience.
If you are worried about being able to afford the baby shower, be honest with the guest of honour. A baby shower shouldn’t bankrupt the person organising it. Talk things through with mum-to-be so you can align on the theme and budgets.
#2: Location, location, location
The location you choose will be determined by two things. Firstly, the type of baby shower the guest of honour wants and secondly, the number of guests. Having a baby shower in someone’s home is better suited for a smaller guest list. If there are lots of people coming then you might want to think about a larger venue.
Hotels and restaurants can provide dedicated spaces for baby showers and you can kill two birds with one stone by leaving the catering to the venue.
Top Tip: think about the weather. Throwing a baby shower in the summer allows you to consider outdoor settings. This opens up possibilities for picnics and garden gatherings (have a backup plan in case it rains!).
#3: Choose a theme
It’s quite common for a baby shower to have a theme.
Themes are brilliant fun but can quickly become quite expensive. Think about the types of costs involved in a theme and if your guests can all afford to participate. There are thousands of themes to choose from and you can find inspiration all over the internet on all the different styles.
Here’s a list of our most loved fun shower themes to get you started.
#4: If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in (guest list)
Speak to the guest of honour and collate the guest list. It’s much easier organising a baby shower via email so try to get the email addresses for each attendee. Most people have email but you might have to make a few calls to get their email address.
Be careful if you choose to organise a baby shower via WhatsApp or other messenger apps (Facebook etc.). It’s very easy for someone to make a mistake and accidentally reply to the guest of honour with details that might ruin a surprise! Emailing out venue details, menu details, and RSVPs is also a lot easier by email.
#5: Set the menu
Make sure the menu fits in with the guest of honours tastes and your theme. When you’re planning a baby shower people need to eat. There may be certain types of foods that mum-to-be finds revolting at the moment. Do your best to make sure none of these appear on the day.
You will also need to find out if any of the guests have food allergies or specific dietary requirements. These should be factored into your planning. You won’t be popular if your vegetarian guests turn up to a ‘Wild West’ themed baby shower with only 16lb ribeye and steak on the menu! Yee har!
Baby showers and alcohol don’t work well together. Why would you organise a gathering full of alcohol for a guest of honour that can’t indulge? That said, some mums-to-be are totally at ease with wine, prosecco, and even champagne being available. If in doubt double-check with the guest of honour.
Top Tip: tapas style mini-portions can work very well if you need to consider a broad range of tastes.
#6: Invitations when planning a baby shower
It’s always nice to send out formal invites in the post but in today’s digital world sending invites via email is perfectly acceptable.
If you’re comfortable using online tools and want to design a formal (or fun meme) invite, then head over to Canva and set-up a free account. Canva is a free graphic design tool and helps you to make custom invites. You can then download your creation to your PC and attached it to an email – simple.
Try to send the invites out at least eight weeks before the date of the baby shower. This will give guests plenty of time to look for babysitters, shop for a theme item, and source a lovely gift.
Make sure you set an RSVP date that provides you with enough time to agree the menu, especially if you’re getting someone else to do the catering.
Planning a baby shower: the big day
When the big day arrives try to relax.
You’ve done everything you can. Now is the time to focus on you and your guests having fun, showering the guest of honour with love and affection, and celebrating the new addition coming to the family.
#7: Upon arrival
When your guests first arrive, have them sign the baby shower guest book. The guest of honour will appreciate this at a much later date to remember their special day. Additionally, you can set up advice cards or a message wall. This will allow your guests to write down words of wisdom or wishes for the baby and parents.
#8: Games and entertainment
Think about setting aside time for guests to play fun baby shower games that are interactive. Try to plan out activities that keep your guests entertained. Between team games, trivia games, and printable baby shower games, you can mix and match activities.
Throughout all of your planning, do keep in mind that everyone is different. Some guests may enjoy large group games while others might prefer a short and simple baby shower activity. Do your best to look after all the guests and make sure everyone is included. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
#9: Special guests
When you are organising a guest list it’s always a good idea to identify any special guests and find out if they would be interested in saying a few words at the baby shower.
The guest of honour, dad-to-be, or grandparents may wish to give brief speeches. If your special guests want to share their sentiments make sure you plan this in. When people are public speaking it often works well to do these whilst your guests are eating, or just after you’ve all eaten.
#10: Saying goodbye
The day has been a huge success. The guest of honour and all the guests have had an unforgettable day. Well done you, but there is one last thing to cover off.
Don’t forget to send your guests off with a cute baby shower party bag. This is your opportunity to give your guests something thoughtful and leave them with a wonderful memory of the day. The party bag doesn’t have to be expensive and items that often work very well are things like old group photos of friends or pictures of the guest of honour as a baby.
Top Tip: try to get hold of a polaroid camera. Take enough pictures throughout the day to place one polaroid photo into each party bag. This is a lovely way to provide your guests with a real reminder of a wonderful special day.