Baby Shower To Do Checklist
Putting together a successful baby shower requires some planning. Hopefully you have a few months before the event so you can make sure you have plenty of time to plan and enjoy the event with your guests of honor and their guests.
Getting Started: The Who, Where and When
One of the first things you want to do if you've volunteered to throw a baby shower is to get two main pieces of information from the expectant parents: a day and time for the shower and a guest list. With those two pieces of information, you can put together a budget and start planning.
Knowing the date and time will help you to plan out a checklist leading up to the event. If the shower is a few months away, then you should be able to get an idea of what the weather may be like and book an appropriate venue.
Predicting what the weather may be like can help you to decide on an indoor or outdoor shower, and it may also help you to choose a venue such as a cafe with an outdoor patio for a spring shower or a restaurant with a private room with a fireplace for a cozy winter shower.
If you realize the expectant parents have chosen a date that might interfere with another event or a special hoilday, like Mother's Day or Memorial Day, then you may ask them to reconsider so that they can make it easier for guests to attend and not have to choose between two special events. Planning on or around a special event may also make it challenging to find and book an appropriate venue.
The expectant parents may already have a good idea of what the guest list will look like, so they may be able to help you choose a day and time that will work for most guests. If most of the guests have a traditional weekday job, then a weekend shower may work best. If their guests are all co-workers who happen to work on the weekends, then an evening shower may work best. So let them figure out some dates and time, then you should consider which may work best with your schedule.
A ballpark number of the amount of guests you will be expecting can help you to plan out a budget and start brainstorming some venue options. If it's a family affair, then it may be easy to have a family member host the event. But if the expectant parents are planning on inviting family, friends and co-workers, then you may need to find a bigger venue.
Hosting a shower for a dozen close friends is different than hosting a shower for three dozen people you may not know very well. So once you get a drafted guest list, you can start checking out places to host the shower.
Related Article: Where to Host a Baby Shower
The What and the Why
With the date, time and guest list squared away, you can turn your attention to your budget. A baby shower budget will help you decide ahead of time what you want to spend. A budget will also force you to prioritize some parts of the shower over others because it's easy to get carried away without a budget.
Related Article: Creating a Baby Shower Budget
Now with a budget drafted out, you can start thinking about a theme and invitations. There are lots of baby shower themes to choose from, but you may want to consult your expectant parents before finalizing anything.
Just because you love the color pink and princesses doesn't mean that the mom-to-be does. So choose a few of your favorite themes and run them by the guests of honor before running out and buying decorations. Or if you know the mom-to-be really well and are sure that she would love the baby shower theme you chose, then run with it.
Another consideration to make is if the mom-to-be will be having other baby showers, in which case, you may inquire about the themes of the other showers so that you don't duplicate themes. And if you want to includes games and activites, then you may want to ask the other hosts what they have planned if you don't want to duplicate their games and activities too. Although there are still some activities that would still be fun and maybe even great, for the parents-to-be, like advice cards or a diaper raffle.
If you are not having a traditional baby shower, let's say it's for a second or third child and you want to throw a sprinkle or a diaper shower, then you should make sure you share with your guests what to expect. So knowing what type of shower you are throwing is essential for creating invitations that reflect the theme of the shower.
Once you have the who, what, where, when and why covered, then you can work on the details. Besides the budget, the main aspects of planning and hosting the baby shower include:
- Food and Drinks
- Games and Activities
Two to Three Months before the shower
- Consult with the expectant parents and select a day and time
- Request a guestlist from the mom- and dad-to-be with updated mailing addresses or email addresses if you are sending an e-vite instead
- Develop a budget
- Choose a location and secure a venue
- Choose a baby shower theme
Six weeks before the Shower
- Prepare and send out the invitations
- Plan the menu
One Month before the shower
- Plan baby shower games and activities
- Shop for decorations, prizes, party favors, game elements (paper, pencils, etc...) and party ware
One Week before the Shower
- Check RSVPs for a final guest count
- Check that you have appropriate serving dishes and utensils on hand, if hosting
- Check that you have enough tables and seating for guests, if hosting
- Follow up with RSVP stragglers
- Put together prize and party favors
- Prepare shopping list if you are cooking
Three Days before the shower
- Clean the house, if hosting
Day before the Shower
- Assemble materials for games and activities
- Wrap prizes for the games and activities
- Prep as much as the menu as possible
- Set up tables and chairs, if possible
Day of the Shower
- Finish last-minute cleaning, if hosting
- Prepare the rest of the menu, if cooking
- Get gift tracker ready
- Set out boxes and trash bag for gifts and gift-wrapping
- Set out beverages