Baby on the way? Help the mommy- and daddy-to-be prepare to bring their little bundle of joy home by hosting a sweet shower in their honor.
Baby Shower Planning Tips
First things first: Traditionally, immediate relatives of the soon-to-be parents shouldn’t throw the shower; a close family friend or extended family member can play host instead. Feel free to tag-team with a few co-hosts to help cover costs and shoulder responsibilities.
Next, select a date and venue and decide whether you’ll have a theme. A theme can help make the celebration feel cohesive, but it’s not required. If you choose to forgo the theme, stick with a few complementary colors — it will go a long way toward giving your party a polished look.
Before sending out invitations, consult with the expectant mother and father about the guest list. Will the shower include friends of both parents? Will it be kid-friendly? Make sure the venue you have in mind, whether it’s the host’s home, a restaurant or a city park, will accommodate everyone in attendance.
Typically, baby showers are held four to six weeks before the baby’s due date and invitations are sent at least three weeks prior to the shower. Include information about the registry in the invitation or encourage guests to bring a favorite childhood book in lieu of a congratulatory card to help build the baby’s library. Download and print our free printable bookplates for guests to fill out and place on the inside cover of their book. Print the bookplates on sticker sheets, or leave a glue stick or roll of double-sided tape on the table so guests can easily paste their tag in their book.
For more planning tips, check out our baby shower etiquette.
Baby Shower Activities
Focus on tips, tricks and treats the mom-to-be will relish and remember for years to come.
- Well Wishes and Advice: Leave a stack of notecards and a large glass vase on a table near the entrance of the room. Instruct guests to write a wish or word of advice for the new parent and drop it in the vase.
- The Forbidden “Baby” Game: As guests arrive, give each guest a safety pin and let everyone know the word “baby” is off limits for the duration of the party. If someone accidentally lets the word “baby” slip, whoever catches them takes their pin. The guest who has collected the most pins at the end of the shower wins a prize!
- The Gift Timer: As the guest of honor is opening gifts, take an egg timer and set it for a few minutes. Whoever’s present is being opened when the timer goes off wins a prize.
- The Guessing Game: Collect baby photos of your guests before the party, assign a number to each and see who can best match the adults to their younger selves.
- Onesie Decorating Station: Buy plain onesies in a variety of sizes and ask each guest to decorate one for the baby. Provide fabric paints or pens, fabric rubber stamps and stamping pads, and/or needle and thread for embroidering.
For more baby shower game ideas, check out our Top 5 Baby Shower Games.
Baby Shower Decorations
Create centerpieces out of baby books and stuffed animals so your adorable decor will double as a supply of bedtime stories and snuggly animals for the little one long after the shower. Or take your inspiration directly from your invitation: Here, we used gold paper accents (including a gold “Oh Baby” on the wall) to echo our invitations.
Decorate with soft pinks, blues, yellows and/or greens — and add little animals galore. Decorate each place setting with pastel-colored flowers in mini vases and let your guests take them home as party favors.
Baby Shower Food
Keep the theme consistent with junior-sized finger foods — think cheese and crackers, fruit, mini quiches, finger sandwiches, salad and dessert. Set out bowls of tiny snacks like pastel-colored candies, olives, assorted nuts, grapes and raspberries for nibbling throughout the party.
The best time to dish up dessert is right before the guest of honor opens her presents. That way, guests will have something to nibble on while watching.
Baby Shower Drinks
If you choose to serve alcohol, don’t forget to include a non-alcoholic option for the mommy-to-be. Try a simple “Pretty in Pink” sparkling pink lemonade for a baby girl shower, or a “Little Boy Blue” blueberry mint lemonade for a baby boy shower.
NEXT: Check out more baby shower ideas!