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10 Tips for Throwing The Best Baby Shower

Published June 19, 2007        by Kim

Insure that the Mommy-To-Be and guests have the time of their life at your baby shower! Like most things in life, it all comes down to preparation and organization to make sure that things flow smoothly on the shower day. Enlist the help of a couple friends if you ever feel overwhelmed by the planning process. Just follow these 10 simple steps to make sure that you shower is the best it can be!

1)     Put together the guest list. Do you want to invite both sides of the family plus friends and co-workers or will they be throwing their own baby showers? Contact a few of her friends and call her office to see if they are planning anything. If not, ask your contact to put together a list of potential invitees. Once you’ve gathered and assembled the list, make sure that you have up to date addresses and phone numbers for everyone. Also, give the list to the honoree to make sure that she doesn’t have anyone else she’d like to add (or take off) of the list.

2)     Choose a shower date. Normally showers are thrown on a Saturday or Sunday one to two months prior to the baby’s due date. It is also recommended that you contact the mom-to-be relatively early in the planning process to make sure that the date is good for her too. Once you have a few dates in mind, contact the out-of-town family members and the central shower guests to find a date that works best for all of them.

3)     Set a budget range. The cost of a baby shower can add up quickly when you account for the location rental fees, food and drink, decorations and gifts. If you have a large guest list, you may want to consider enlisting a couple of co-hosts so that you can split the shower costs amongst a small group of people.

4)     Choose a shower location. Based on the guest list, you should be able to get a rough idea of just how many guests can be expected at the baby shower. If you are on a budget, try to find a home (either yours or friends or family) that can accommodate the number of guests. Another low cost option is to throw the shower at a neighborhood recreation center or local church. Often times, neighborhood residents and church members can use the facilities for a nominal fee or even for free. You could also consider a restaurant with a banquet room, but remember this will cost a bit more money.

5)     Choose a shower theme.  Does the mom-to-be know if she is having a boy or a girl? Do you know if she has a motif picked out for the nursery? What is Mom’s style? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself when deciding on the baby shower theme. If Mom knows the baby’s gender, you could simply use a pink or blue color scheme. But if you know she is having a boy and she is decorating the nursery in a Winnie-the-Pooh theme, you might throw a shower that has a Pooh bear theme by incorporating that with Pooh themed dinnerware and balloons.

6)     Finalize the guest list, order and mail out the invitations. Invitations need to be mailed out 3 to 4 weeks prior to the shower date. When choosing invitations, be sure to select something to match the baby shower theme that you’ve chosen. Order enough invitations to cover the guest list plus a few extra to cover any unexpected additions to the list. The invitations should include the Mom’s name, shower date and time, location of shower including the specific address (include a map), name of person(s) who is throwing the shower along with their phone number, RSVP date (should be at least 7 days prior to the shower), shower theme and baby registry information (if Mom is registered somewhere). If you aren’t comfortable including the registry information, you can always mention it when people call to say they are attending. If you haven’t heard from everyone on the guest list, you should call them about a week before the shower to see if they are planning to attend.

7)     Choose the menu. Depending on the shower location, you may have several options here. If you decide to use a restaurant, you will need to coordinate the food selection through them. If you are having it in a home or church where you can bring in your own food and drink, you can either make all of the food yourself, have the event catered or buy prepared food from somewhere like Sam’s Club or Costco. They have great cakes at reasonable prices too and we suggest that you order the cake a few weeks prior to the shower date.

8]    Buy shower decorations and baby shower favors. Balloons, streamers, plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths and utensils should be purchased a few weeks prior to the shower. Of course, these items should fit-in with the shower theme. Be sure to coordinate with friends and family to make sure that you will have enough tables and chairs to accommodate all the guests if it is being thrown in a home. You can always rent a few tables and chairs if necessary. You can also buy baby shower centerpieces to put on each table or one central centerpiece to put on the food table.

9)     Choose the baby shower games and buy game prizes. Again, you have a couple of options. You can buy shower game kits online at Baby Gifts & Gift Baskets or you can use do-it-yourself games that cost little money. Be sure to have enough writing paper and writing utensils on-hand. When buying prizes, make sure that you wrap them all and buy a few extra in case you have ties on some of the games.

10)Prepare for the day of the baby shower. Clean up the party area and house if you are throwing a home shower. Set up tables and chairs. Print out name tags and seating assignments if necessary. Prepare the food and get the platters ready. Decorate the location with balloons, streamers and other party gear. Set aside a special table or area for the baby shower gifts that guests bring. Be sure to have lots of film for the digital cameras and batteries for the video cameras on hand.

If you’ve followed these 10 easy steps, you should be all set for a successful shower. The most important baby shower tip is to relax and have fun!