Your Guide to the Perfect Baby Shower

Jess-Miller-Sunglasses
Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
February 1, 2023

Planning a baby shower can be so much fun! Celebrating the upcoming arrival of your new baby is a highlight in pregnancy. You get to catch up with loved ones, hear advice, laugh and bond. All in celebration and anticipation of that growing bump.

Are you a mama-to-be looking for inspiration for your own baby shower? Or maybe someone who is throwing a baby shower for an expectant loved one? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m so glad you’re here!

With this guide, you’ll know all of the details for the ultimate shower. You’ll also be filled with inspiration to throw a fun and memorable baby shower that will shower that new baby with endless love.

baby shower new pin image

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I’m going to share with you some of the details and fun from my own baby shower, and answer questions that you may have in the planning process.

You’ll learn the answers to questions like,

  • Who should throw your baby shower?
  • When to have your baby shower?
  • What is baby shower invitation etiquette?
  • What are the best baby shower theme ideas?
  • How should I decorate for my baby shower?
  • What games should I play at my baby shower?
  • What do I need to know for the day of my baby shower?
  • And more!

Let’s dive into planning your ultimate baby shower right away 🙂

Planning Your Baby Shower

What month to have a baby shower? When should a baby shower be held?

There is a wide range of when mamas like to have their showers based on personal preference, scheduling and personality. But in general, most have their baby showers some time during the third trimester. More specifically, around 30-32 weeks, which is the end of the 7th month of pregnancy.

This time frame is often used because you are still feeling relatively comfortable, but your bump is really showing, which makes for fun pictures and games. It gives enough time to organize and set-up the gifts you receive in your nursery. Additionally, you will also have time to buy any remaining items you may need that you don’t receive.

When would it make sense to have an earlier baby shower?

Some mamas prefer to have their showers earlier than this for scheduling reasons or if there is traveling involved. Flying after a certain point in pregnancy is not advised, and sitting in a car for long periods will get more and more uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses as well.

When should pregnant women stop flying?

In general, plane travel is restricted after 36 weeks, and for safety, many providers recommend only completely necessary air travel in the third trimester at all. So, if flying to your shower’s destination is in the cards, a second trimester shower may be best for you.

When should I plan my baby shower?

Even though the baby shower most likely won’t be held until the 3rd trimester, you definitely want to get a head start on planning it early in your second trimester.

Wondering when to prepare and plan what in each week of pregnancy? Enroll in our Bump Smart Pregnancy Email Series. Each week of pregnancy you’ll receive an email with specific ways to prepare, relevant articles and more fun content tailored to your due date.

Who is supposed to throw a baby shower?

While some mamas do host their own showers, traditionally someone will throw your baby shower for you. It could be a family member or close female friend. If no one offers to throw your shower, don’t be shy about asking a loved one if they’d be on board for hosting your shower.

Even though someone else is officially hosting your shower, the expectant mothers is often still very involved in the planning process. If your hostess is wanting to be more hands off, you may be able to do a lot of decision making and planning, but she would send the invitations and handle RSVPs. You can definitely find a balance in your unique situation.

What do I need to help plan for my baby shower?

Guest List and Addresses

If someone else is throwing your baby shower, there are some tasks that you will definitely need to help with. You should help choose a venue and compile a guest list with addresses. At the very least, these are two tasks you’ll want to be involved with.

Registry

Next, you’ll want to make sure you create a complete and organized registry before invitations are sent out. This way, you can put registry information in your invitations.

Using MyRegistry.com will allow you to easily sync registries you create at multiple retailers into one master registry. This way you have just one registry link to send along with your invites.

Venue and Date

Usually, the mama-to-be should be involved with choosing a venue, which we’ll discuss in more detail below. The date is something that the expectant mother should definitely be a part of choosing. It’s important to find a date the works for everyone and should probably be coordinated with important guests like aunts and grandparents-to-be as well.

Food/Theme/Décor

From there, you may want to be involved with choosing things like food, theme, decorations and more. Find information on these topics below, and also by following us on Pinterest.

Do fathers go to the baby shower?

Traditionally, baby showers tend to be girls-only events, but Jack and Jill style baby showers are becoming more and more common. I just attended a super fun baby shower that was an evening events and included men and women as guests. The bottom line is that you should do whatever feels right to you!

Daddy diaper party

Some fathers actually have their own party to celebrate becoming a dad separate from the mom’s baby shower. These are often known as Daddy Diaper Parties. All of his guests are encouraged to bring a big box of diapers.

Sometimes, the size of diapers the guest should bring should coordinate with the first letter of their first or last name or by some other determining factor. This way, the parents-to-be have a stockpile of diapers in a variety of sizes.

If we hadn’t moved to a new home so close before N’s due date, this is something we would have definitely done! Patrick actually really liked the idea of celebrating with his closest guy friends. It may be worth mentioning this idea to your partner.

My baby shower experience

I personally chose to have a more traditional shower that included a daytime lunch with only the women in my life. At the end, my husband, Patrick, and some of my male family members stopped by to say hi and check out the event. This felt like a nice balance for me.

When my husband’s close friends came to meet Nora in her first month of life, and they asked what we needed, he always said diapers and even what size. We were able to build a pretty good stockpile by doing this J

Where should I have my baby shower?

Consider your budget

When you are deciding where to have your shower, you may first want to consider your budget. What do you want to spend on the event? Do you have someone helping out or treating for the event? If that is the case, it is important to get their opinion and price point in mind as well.

Think about the time of year and weather

Next, you’ll want to think about the weather and time of year. Is an outdoor event possible? Will your outdoor venue be able to make accommodations should it rain? Will your event be accessible in the event of snow?

How many people will be attending your baby shower?

You’ll need a space that can accommodate everyone that you hope to invite. This is why creating your guest list, having a budget in mind, and choosing a venue are all the essential first steps in planning your baby shower. One can’t really be decided without the others, so it’s an important place to start.

Baby shower venue ideas

  • Mama-to-be’s house
  • Family member or hostess’ house
  • Restaurant
  • Hotel event room
  • Hotel Suite
  • Outdoor park with pavilion
  • Church event room
  • Community Center
  • Library Event Space

Baby Shower Invitations

What is the proper etiquette for baby shower invitations?

Event information

Baby shower invitations should include the event’s date, time, and location. You may choose to include the baby’s gender if it has been announced so that guests can choose gender-specific gifts if they’d like. Incorporating the theme on the invitation is also a great idea.

Registry information

Be sure to included information about the expecting mother’s registry. This may be a written out link to a registry, or just the name of the site where they are registered and the name. Most registry sites, including MyRegistry.com, have a search function for guests to find registries.

Whose address should RSVPs go to? What about the return address?

Use the hostess’ address for RSVPs and for the return address. The hostess will be keeping track of RSVPs and sending out invitations so it makes sense to use her address for these.

How far in advance do you send out baby shower invitations?

I recommend getting invites out about 8-10 weeks in advance of the baby shower so that guests can plan. Invitations are one of the first things to get done when planning, the details can be worked out closer to the event.

When should I order baby shower invitations?

Ordering custom baby shower invitations adds such a lovely and detailed touch to your event. You can also include easy to mail-back RSVPs and consider getting pre-addressed envelopes to save time.

Most invitations take 10-14 days to be delivered to you, so you should plan accordingly. You or your hostess should order invitations 2-3 weeks before you’re aiming to send them out.

Baby Shower Party and Theme Ideas

A great place to start with planning for the décor and games for your shower, or the shower you’re hosting, is with a theme. You might do something very specific or have a more general boy/girl theme. My baby shower had a more open “girly” theme, and it was super fun and pretty.

Use your nursery theme or colors for the baby shower

One idea I LOVE that my good friend just did, was use her nursery theme for her baby shower. Her theme is Peter Pan, which is full of sweet quotes. By doing this, she had beautiful details and decorations at her baby shower which will then be used to decorate the nursery.

baby shower

I wish I had thought of this! It also meant that she could splurge a bit more on high quality decorations for the baby shower because she knew they’d get continued use and love.

Baby Shower Girl

For a girl baby shower it is popular to use pinks, whites and golds. You can tie in girly details like florals and tulle.

Some great theme ideas I’m loving for girl baby showers:

  • Florals/Garden
  • Shabby Chic
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Fairies
  • Tea Party
  • Mermaids
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Ballerinas

Baby Shower Boy

Whites, blues, and golds seem to be most popular for baby boy showers. Here are some theme ideas for celebrating the upcoming arrival of a baby boy:

  • Nautical
  • Elephants
  • Airplanes
  • Safari
  • Mustache
  • Woodland
  • Adventure
  • Bowtie

Gender neutral baby shower theme ideas

The above lists are meant to inspire theme ideas for you, but remember that ANY theme can be adapted for a girl or boy shower.

Below are some ideas for baby shower themes that feel more gender neutral:

  • Teddy Bears
  • Whales
  • You are my sunshine
  • Bees
  • Snowflakes
  • Underwater/Sea
  • Rubber Ducks
  • Elephants
  • Stars and Moon

Use a book or classic theme

As I was doing some browsing to help write this article, and create an amazing baby shower board on Pinterest, I am absolutely LOVING all of the creative ideas out there. Especially the idea of using a Disney, children’s classic or well-loved picture book for inspiration.

I mentioned above that I recently attended a shower with a Peter Pan theme that was totally adorable. N’s nursery features some vintage Winnie the Pooh prints, and that could have made a great baby shower theme as well.

Here are some books and classic themes you might love:

  • Peter Pan
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Rainbow Fish
  • Goodnight Moon
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (or any Eric Carle)
  • Seuss
  • Mickey or Minnie Mouse
  • Up

You might also love the idea of a more open-ended story book theme. In this case you could feature a variety of children’s books and pull food or décor ideas for the party from various books.

Baby Shower Decorating Ideas

The nursery theme and decorations

When decorating for the shower you want to keep things vibrant and fun. Incorporating the nursery theme in your décor might make you more willing to splurge on fantastic pieces to feature.

Photo Boards

I love when showers use tasteful baby pictures and photo boards to help decorate the space. My lovely hostess secretly made photo boards with baby pictures of my husband and I. I also put together a photo board featuring pictures from our maternity shoot. Below, you’ll read about a game idea that features baby pictures of all of your guests, this also works in the décor.

baby shower

Fresh Flowers, Balloons, Banners

Nothing makes a space feel party ready like beautiful bunches of fresh flowers that match your baby shower’s colors. You can also include balloons in corners and on table edges to add height and increase the color theme in the room.

Fun banners welcoming the mama-to-be, or guests are also a nice touch. If baby’s name has already been announced a shared, Baby’s first initial or name can also be incorporated into banners and decorations.

Table Cloths, Cutlery and Food

The food you serve and paper products can all work into the décor too! Make sure these details are in step with your overall color scheme or theme. It will really help tie everything together.

Think pink lemonade for a girly shower, colorful or themed fruit plates can add to the whimsy too.

Baby Shower Games and Activities

1. Guess Mom and Dad-to-be’s belly size

Before the event, the hostess will have mom and dad measure belly sizes. Have a station near the guest book where guest’s write down their guesses about the belly sizes. Winners receive a small favor or prize.

2. “Match the Baby Picture to the Guest”

Before the shower, the hostess should ask guests to email a baby pictures. Create a board of guest’s baby pictures that are numbered. Have a worksheet for each guess where they guess who each is. This is a fun game that is sure to spark conversation and laughs.

3. Who did it? Mom or Dad

Have Mom and Dad make a list of things that they have accomplished or done in their lives. Consider making it a list of things from their childhood (met someone famous, broke 5 bones, moved 4 times, etc.) Have the list on a worksheet for guests to guess who it was. The winner receives a small favor or prize.

4. Blindfolded diaper changing

Create a diaper changing station with baby dolls or stuffed animals and blindfolds. Time people as they change diapers or see how accurate they are blindfolded. This can be especially fun if dad is at the shower 😉

5. Notes of advice

Have pieces of paper for guests to write advice or encouragement on. Seal them in a pretty, decorated mason jar for mom to go to during tough moments with her newborn.

6. Words of encouragement or giggles on diapers

Similar to the above activity. Have a basket or display of size one diapers and sharpies. Ask guests to write a note on diapers. Meant to be used as encouragement or laughs during late night diaper changes.

7. Guess the due date and birth details

Create slips of paper or cards for guests to record guesses

8. Create a time capsule

Have guests write short notes or letters to baby and seal them in a mason jar for baby to open in a certain amount of years.

9. “Don’t Say Baby”

Guests pin safety pins or close pins to their shirts. They start with 5 clothes pins. Anytime they say baby they put it in a jar. At the end of the shower, the person with the most clothes pins left wins.

10. Share, how do I know the mom-to-be?

At a smaller shower, or where people don’t know each other. Go around in a circle before opening gifts and have each person share how they know the mom-to-be. This is a nice ice breaker and “get to know you” activity

Baby Shower Guest Book

A guest book is something that you may forget, but can be a really great addition to your baby shower. Consider creating an interactive guest book that will be a keepsake for your home or baby’s nursery.

Have guests add their thumb prints as leaves on a tree, create a flower or mermaid using pre-cut pieces, or signing colorful circles to be added to scene as balloons.

baby shower

What food should I serve at a baby shower?

This will depend largely on the time of day you decide for your shower. Brunch, lunch, or early afternoon events seem to be popular. You’ll want to decide if it will be a sit down event or a more casual event with food available to graze.

Tea sandwiches, fruit, and cold salads are a nice go-to for any lunch or afternoon event. For a brunch, mini-quiches are perfect. You could have a pancakes or French toast bar at a brunch as well.

Label your food with cute name cards

Putting the name of each dish and any dietary details on the card is thoughtful and useful details for guests to know exactly what they’re eating.

Fun and Pretty Drink Station

Having a fun drink station with mimosas, flavored lemonade or tea is a nice touch. You can have fresh fruit for people to add to their mimosas or to flavor their lemonade or water. A large, clear drink dispenser is a super pretty detail to add to any baby shower.

baby shower

The Day of the Baby Shower

What should I wear to my baby shower?

Your baby shower is a time in your pregnancy where you want to feel beautiful and celebrate the amazing changes your body is going through to grow a baby. Treat yourself to a beautiful maternity dress that will flatter your bump and keep you comfortable.

The morning of my shower, I went and had a prenatal massage that a friend had given to me as a gift. I then got my nails done and went home relaxed and ready to put on my baby shower outfit.

How should I record all of my gifts?

During your shower, it’s important to record gifts as you open them so that you’ll be able to easily send thank you notes to your guests. Usually, the hostess will do this, or you or the hostess should delegate the task to a trusted guest.

I recently attended a shower where the mama-to-be asked her close friend to handle this task ahead of time. The friend brought a beautiful notebook and matching colored pens along to complete the task and then included the notebook and pens as a gift. I thought this was such a great idea!

Make sure the person recording gifts is very detailed. It may be beneficial to delegate this task to someone who has recently had a baby or has young kids. This is because they will be familiar with the jargon, brands and baby things that are popular today.

Timeline and checklist for planning a Baby Shower

12 weeks before the baby shower:

  • If no one has offered, ask a friend or family to host your shower, or decide officially to host your own (which is more and more common!)
  • Decide on a budget for your shower with the hostess
  • Pick a date for your shower
  • Decide on a venue and book the venue (if applicable)
  • Order baby shower invitations
  • Get started on your baby registry if you haven’t already

8-10 weeks before the baby shower:

  • Finalize guest list
  • Complete your baby registry
  • Send out invitations

4-6 weeks before the baby shower:

2-3 weeks before the baby shower:

  • Order the cake and any other catered food
  • Organize and create any baby shower games
  • Create centerpieces and baby shower favors if applicable
  • Create any homemade decorations you may have planned
  • Have the hostess contact any guests that haven’t yet RSVP ed

The week of the baby shower:

  • Shop for utensils, tablecloths, and any other paper products needed for the party
  • Finish party details, games, decorations, favors etc.
  • Assign a gift recorder for during the party
  • Assign someone to take photographs at the party
  • Have a plan for helping the expectant mama transport gifts back to her home if applicable
  • Shop for any food and ingredients that you can ahead of time if applicable

2-3 Days before the baby shower:

  • Shop for perishables, ice, last minute items
  • Create or have a plan for a comfortable chair or place of honor for the mother-to-be to sit to open gifts
  • If it’s in your or the mother-to-be’s home: clean, organize and prepare the space for the party

One day before and/or the morning of the baby shower:

  • Pick up the cake, balloons, fresh flowers etc.
  • Set-up and decorate the party space
  • Have a blast celebrating the mama to be!

Don’t forget these details

Before the baby shower, there are a few other key details you don’t want to forget

  • Party favors and game prizes
  • Have someone take lots of pictures
  • Create a comfy and pretty ‘throne’ for gift opening
  • Plan where gifts should be placed
  • A seating or table chart for a more formal event

Have a memorable and fun baby shower

With this guide, you’ll know that your baby shower will be absolutely perfect. From the decorations, to food to activities it will be a blast.

Planning your baby shower is one of the first of many big milestones to prepare before baby arrives. Get help with planning sheets, guides and checklists for this and all things baby in the Nesting Planner.

Treat yourself to peace of mind and less stress throughout your pregnancy 🙂

Are you excited for your baby shower? I hope you have a blast! Tell me all about your theme and party ideas below, I love to hear from readers <3

Thanks for reading! If you found this article helpful, please share it on Pinterest and Facebook

baby shower new pin image

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