A complete guide to planning the perfect baby shower
Step-by-step instructions for a successful celebration
There is a lot to consider when planning a baby shower. To ensure satisfied guests and a delighted parent-to-be, the key to throwing a successful soirée is considerate personalization every step of the way. Follow our simple guide, covering everything from where to begin and who to invite, to what to serve and how to plan games, so you can get it just right.
A guide to planning the perfect baby shower
1. Where to begin when planning a baby shower
2. When to schedule it and what to include on the invitation
3. Who to invite, where to have it, and how to set a budget
4. How to decorate and what to serve
5. How to plan games and activities
6. How to organize gifts and party favors
Where to begin when planning a baby shower
Every baby shower must start with your parent-to-be. Ask them how much they want to be involved with the planning process and find out if there are any “must-haves” or “must-avoids”. For example, they may insist on having a vegan menu and no diaper related games whatsoever. Getting this out of the way will help you understand what’s most important and avoid a major faux pas. A couple other factors to consider before getting started:
Is this their first baby?
Typically, the all-out baby shower is reserved for the arrival of the first baby. This gives expectant parents a little leg up on the all-at-once-expense of caring for a newborn. If this is the second or third, consider throwing a baby sprinkle.
What’s a Baby Sprinkle?
A baby sprinkle is a toned down version of a baby shower. As the parents likely already have much of the required gear for infant care, smaller items, clothing, and toys would still be well received. Plus, it's still a great excuse to gather with loved ones and the impending arrival of a new baby.
Will there be other baby showers?
Often expectant parents have a few different groups of people eager to throw them a shower, whether its family, friends, or workmates. Check to see what else is planned so that you can slot yours in to best suit the parent-to-be. This will help in terms of the gift registry, guest list, and dates.
Would they prefer to celebrate after the baby is born?
There are several reasons a parent-to-be might want to celebrate the baby after the birth. This could be an easy way for everyone to meet the little one and allow for more personalization of gifts and décor. Maybe mum could also indulge in a few of the many things avoided during the pregnancy!
Sip and See
A trendy option for new parents is a casual morning or afternoon tea, two to three hours long that allows friends and family to come to meet the little one and enjoy a few nibbles and refreshments.
When to schedule it and what to include on the invitation
The ideal time to hold a pre-birth baby shower is late in the second trimester or early in the third, when there is still plenty of time to take inventory of what baby needs before the due date and the expectant mother is feeling good and comfortable. Typically, late morning or mid-afternoon on a weekend is when a baby shower is scheduled. However, this will depend on your guest list, venue, and budget.
• Pick a date and time that suits the parent-to-be and be specific about start and end times.
• Include information about the venue, parking, gift requirements and any other pertinent information.
• Have an “RSVP by” date, ask about dietary requirements, and keep track of numbers.
Who to invite, where to have it, and how to set a budget
Putting a baby shower guest list together will help to determine the size of venue required and help determine a budget for food and decorations. The parent-to-be’s unique personal style is important in making these choices.
• Ask the expectant parent who they want to include and if they would like a co-ed celebration.
• If the weather permits, an outdoor venue offers a relaxed atmosphere that can allow for more people, lower cost casual dining, and less decorating.
• If the parent-to-be wishes to host, make sure all the work of cooking, cleaning, decorating and organizing is done via happy helpers or caterers. This would ensure that they are relaxed in their own home.
• If guests are able and willing to pitch in to keep enjoyment high and costs low, consider a potluck-style baby shower (where everyone brings a dish).
• If it’s a small group, a fabulous brunch or lunch venue would suit perfectly.
How to decorate and what to serve
Baby shower decorations can be so much fun! Just make sure you choose a theme the parent-to-be likes and let their style and your baby shower budget lead the way.
• Elegant and formal means paper invitations. Relaxed and casual means e-vites or a Facebook event will do.
• Would they prefer neutral colors, or something cutesy pink or royal blue? Something in between? There are some beautiful modern themes trending right now, including nature focused décor and rich colors.
• Choose food that suits the style and theme, and cater to any special dietary needs of your guests.
• Typically, a baby shower serves nibbles instead of a large meal. Finger food can be both elegant and casual - as well as filling!
How to plan games and activities
Baby shower games tend to split opinion pretty evenly - some people love ‘em, some people hate ‘em. Your parent-to-be will have an opinion on this, and they'll likely know what their nearest and dearest think on the subject. As per the rest, take their lead and remember:
• If there is a large group, keep the games quick and simple.
• Try to include one sentimental activity like guessing baby photos or advice for the parent-to-be to refer to.
How to organize gifts
The expectant parents should let you know if they have any preferences when it comes to gifts. This is very important and should be mentioned on the invitation.
• A baby shower gift registry is the ideal way to help guests contribute something truly helpful for the parents to be. Parents can select items of varying costs across specific stores, avoiding double ups and confusion. Make sure the gift registry link is on the invitation and accessible to all attendees.
• Some parents prefer a sustainable gift option, where everything given must be second-hand.
• One current trend is to bring a book you read as a child with a personal note inside.
• Whatever preference, try not to discourage personal gifts on the registry.
• Don’t forget to keep a record of gifts so the new parents can send thank you notes.
Party favors can be fun and fabulous, but don’t stress too much if the budget doesn’t allow for it. A few cute trending ideas include:
• Small plants
• Bath bombs
• Hand cream
• Jars of jam or honey
Now you’re ready to throw an incredible baby shower and your parents-to-be will certainly appreciate all the love and effort poured into this event. Enjoy!