Planning a Baby Shower
So your best friend, sister or favorite cousin has made a big announcement: She's having a baby! In your enthusiasm, you blurt out that you'll host her baby shower. She's beaming with happiness. But now that the excitement has died down, you gotta get busy on planning the event! But where do you begin?
Need a quick run down of what needs to get done? Take a look at our baby shower checklist to help get your tasks in order and your timeline figured out. Your to do list is going to be a bit different than this one, but taking a look at this checklist can help you to formulate your own personalized checklist of tasks.
Creating a budget may not be the most thrilling part of planning a baby shower, but you should give your budget some consideration. At least consider the maximum amount you're willing to spend and don't forget to include the price of your baby shower gift too.
With so many adorable invitations, decorations and party favors available, it's easy to get carried away. I mean, really, are your guests going to even notice those handmade candle holders in the guest bathroom that you got custom-made from Etsy just for the party?
By establishing a budget, you can reel back on any unnecessary extravagances so that you can keep the most important (and most special!) elements of the shower a priority.
Related Article: How to Save Money on a Baby Shower
Where you decide to host the baby shower can be a very small or very big part of your overall budget, and so the location of the shower should be one of the first things you figure out. It's actually really hard to plan anything else before figuring out where it's going to be.
When nailing down a location, there are a few factors you should consider before booking a venue, such as the number of attendees, convenience of the location, cost of the venue, also is the event going to be kid-friendly or is it co-ed, and whether you want an outdoor or indoor baby shower, and much more.
It is a really good idea to run the location idea past the parents-to-be so they could give you some input too. And that's even more important if they're inviting guests that you don't know personally because there might be time or location restraints you don't know about.
Deciding on a theme for the baby shower is probably the most fun part of planning the entire thing! There are so many baby shower themes to choose from, you can opt for the classic pink or blue theme or go with a casual Baby-Q party, Or choose a theme that will knock the socks off your soon-to-be mommy by being a reflection of some of her favorite things, like a book-themed party or even a Star Wars themed party.
While you may want to decide on the theme first, it's worth thinking about what theme will work best for the expectant parents especially if they're having more than one baby shower, it wouldn't be fun to find out that your theme is the same theme as another baby shower they're having. Along with getting the thumbs-up from the parents, there are a few other things you may want to keep in mind before finalizing the theme.Related article: List of Baby Shower Theme Ideas
Baby showers are known for their silly games, so once you have a place and theme set, then you should start thinking of some games or activities that you'd like to include in the shower. There are the traditional baby shower games that are fun and may be expected, and there some newer creative games that your guests may not have played before.
Knowing your the location and time of your baby shower will help you in deciding on what games to play. If you have an outdoor area available, then some outdoor baby shower games might be fun if the weather is expected to be nice. If it's a baby shower being hosted at a restaurant, then you may be pretty limited on the games that you'll be able to play.
If it's more like an open house event, then it may be hard to play a game that requires the majority of guests to be present. An open-house style of baby shower can include some baby shower activities, which are often more low-key and less restricted by time and space.
Aside from games for the guests, there are lots of baby showers that offer activities for the guests to take part in, such as creating an alphabet book for the new baby or guessing the actual due date and weight. These types of activities can be a good alternative if you want to skip the regular baby shower games and let guests choose to participate or not.
It's a good idea to think of what games and activities you may want to plan before you send out the invites in case you need to provide any information about activities that guests may need to prepare for, for example, a diaper raffle or a "Name that Baby" game.
Once details of the baby shower are set, then you can get busy with sending out the invites! There are lots of ways to send an invite nowadays. There are tons of pre-made invites where you can just fill-in the event information for guests, which is a pretty typical way to send invites. There are also places online that will let you create personalized invitations to mail out - or if you're short on time, some online places will mail out the invites for you.
If you're feeling crafty, then you can make your own invites - although that might get old if you're inviting a lot of guests, but if you have a dozen or so guests, then it might be fun to craft your own invites. If you're feeling especially uncrafty and are short on time and money, then consider sending an email invitation, commonly referred to as an e-vite, to guests. If most of your guests are on Facebook, then you can even make a Facebook event and invite guests that way.
However you decide to invite the guests, just make sure you get them the information in a timely manner so they can mark their calendars.
Baby Shower Menu
The menu for the baby shower should be the next consideration. Depending on the time of day, guests may expect to be provided with some food and beverages.
If it's during lunch, then they may expect a full meal, if it's more of a late morning or late afternoon event, then finger foods and a simpler menu may work. If you are only providing a light meal, then you may want to include that in the invitation so that people know what to expect.
When crafting your baby shower menu, you should consider any dietary restrictions people may have. If you know a lot of the guests, then you may have an idea of any special foods you may need to include, if you don't know a lot of the guests, you can ask the mom-to-be if she's aware of any special dietary restrictions or you can just make sure there are options for vegetarians, vegans, and some gluten-free snacks.
Parents-to-be often create a registry or two where they add items that they will need for their new baby. The expectant parent usually adds a variety of items in a range of prices from bibs to cribs.
If this is their first child, then more than likely there will be some bigger ticket items like strollers and carseats, but for a baby sprinkle or a shower for a second or third child, there may just be some necessities, like diapers and wipes as they probably still have their bigger ticket items from their first child.
While it can be considered tacky to include where the parents-to-be are registered, it's becoming more and more common. By listing the baby registry information on the invite, you are saving guests the hassle of trying to hunt down where to buy the parents a gift. As you are the host, it's entirely up to you whether you want to include registry information or not.