Planning a baby shower for a loved one is a joy, but it can be a stressful joy. There are a lot of things that need to be planned, prepped, and decided as the excitement of a baby shower grows. To keep the baby shower planning process as stress-free as possible, it’s crucial to have a checklist to refer to throughout the months of party prep. Here’s a baby shower planning checklist to consult the next time you’re planning a baby shower.
Before you start any planning, talk to the mom-to-be (and any other crucial family members) about an ideal day and time for the baby shower. You’ll want to make sure you pick a day and time that works for everyone before you start any planning. Plus, the time of year can impact things like the party theme and gifts!
Just as important as the party date is the party location. Decide on (and secure) a baby shower location well in advance to make sure you and your loved ones have a place to celebrate. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be a traditional venue; it can be as simple as securing your aunt’s home as the party location.
Once you have the necessary date, time, and location info, you’ll want to send the invitations. In an article by Rachel Gillman for Parents.com suggests that invitations are sent six weeks before the shower; this way, everyone has plenty of time to plan for the big day. When it comes to paper invites or email invites, Gillman notes that the vibe of the day should inform that choice, “for a casual shower, an email invitation is perfectly fine. If you’re hosting a more formal shower, go with a paper invite.”
Parents-to-be can be very specific about certain things—some parents want only gender-neutral gifts while others want to be showered with pretty pink throws or onesies decorated with trucks and motorcycles. Additionally, some parents aren’t quite ready to share the baby’s name—and may not know it themselves! While others want monogrammed backpacks from day one. Make sure you know what the parents-to-be want, so you can help guide shower attendees when they inevitably ask you what to buy. You can also use this information to decide on a theme for the shower.
In an article for The Everymom, Kathy Sisson shares some popular baby shower themes that are currently trending. These include: an “adventure awaits” theme, a “mama to bee” theme with plenty of bee- and honey-themed decor and treats, a neutral-leaning “botanical baby” theme, and an Italian “ciao baby” theme. Truly, the theme options are endless and can also be inspired by the parents (do they love dogs? Try a dog-themed shower!) or the location (is the shower happening at the beach? Go with a nautical vibe).
Just because your planning the party doesn’t mean you don’t have to get the mama-to-be a shower gift. Give yourself some time to brainstorm some thoughtful baby gifts for the shower.
Games are common at baby showers. Why? They help break the ice between groups of people that likely don’t know each other. When it comes to baby shower games, there are plenty to choose from. The Bump suggests simple games like “who knows Mommy best,” which is a trivia game about the mom-to-be, in addition to a baby photo guessing game, which requires all guests to bring their baby photo to the party and tasks the group with guessing who is who. You can also have guests try to guess the name of the bundle of joy or have guests write down their advice for the parents-to-be to read in the weeks to come.
A party isn’t a party without food and drinks, right? Take time to plan a thoughtful menu (potentially one that even fits in with the party’s theme) of items that you know the mom-to-be loves. The biggest decision you’ll need to make ahead of time revolves around who’s cooking. Is it an all-in family affair where family members will be making big-batch meals for the day? Or are you going to hire a caterer to take care of the meals? It’s up to you (and the planning team), but it’s an important decision to make with lots of notice—especially if you expect loved ones to do the cooking.
Planning a baby shower may feel like an overwhelming task, but if you plan out what you need to know and do ahead of time, you’ll be all ready to have a special day for your loved one. Then, you’ll just have to decide which of your dresses for women you’ll wear to the celebration.