Wicker basket with gifts for baby shower party on table indoors

Weddings sometimes get a bad rap for needing extensive planning, but we’re willing to bet that the baby shower comes in second in terms of a massive to-do list!

If you’re an expecting mom, or if you’ve been asked to host or help with planning a baby shower, you may already be feeling pretty overwhelmed.

The right baby shower can bring on the same memorable vibes as a wedding: love and laughter, fun activities, and some great cake. But how do you put all of that together with the right guest list and venue?

Luckily, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate baby shower planning checklist. Read on to learn how to break your planning into manageable chunks.

Decide on the Basics

Before you go any further into your baby shower checklist, it’s important to start with a few fundamentals.

First, decide on your overall budget. If anyone is co-hosting, or if any family members are contributing to the costs, you should factor that in as well.

Next, decide on a date. Most baby showers happen between one and two months in advance of the baby’s due date, but if you’re planning to have a baby shower after the fact, you can also opt for one that’s at least two months after the baby arrives. You’ll want to consult the mom-to-be on the date, of course, but don’t forget to check in with her sisters, mom, and best friends.

After you’ve set the date, create a guest list with help from the mom-to-be. Get each guest’s name and address for the invitations, and start an RSVP list to collect responses as they come.

Last, decide on a theme, as this often factors into the major decisions you’ll be making going forward. For some people, the theme is quick and obvious, but if you’re struggling for a good one, check out an online list of suggestions.

Find a Location

You can host a baby shower almost anywhere. If someone wants to offer up their home for the event, the decision can be an easy one.

If not, you still have plenty of options. You can have a baby shower at a restaurant or catering hall, a hotel or tea parlor, or even outside at a park or beach. Make sure to book the venue at this point, if necessary.

Build a Baby Shower Gift Registry

If the mom-to-be hasn’t already created her own gift registry, you may want to help her out with it. There are plenty of items all new parents need, so help her build the perfect list!

It’s always a good idea to have the baby shower gift registry set up in advance of the sending of invitations. Guests will be looking for ideas for their presents, and even if they don’t buy something on the list, the registry is a good jumping-off point as they consider baby shower gifts.

Send Out Invitations

With the guest list, location, theme, and registry set up, you have all the information you need for the baby shower invitations.

From here, you’ll just need to decide how to approach this task!

For some, the easiest option is to use an online service that lets you send out speedy e-invites by email, or a Facebook event to help track RSVPs for easier baby shower party planning. Others send simple notes by mail that lead to a personalized website that hosts all the details.

However, the traditional invitation is a pen-and-paper invite sent through snail mail. You can buy invitations at a store or design them online for professional printing.

Whatever you decide, make sure to send them out at least four weeks before the event!

Consider Food and Decor

Now is the time to consider the event menu. Depending on the time of day, you may want to plan a full meal or a spread of simple snacks.

If you’d like easier options, consider hiring a professional caterer or creating a potluck event where each guest brings something to share. Alternatively, some hosts prepare food for the party themselves at home. Don’t forget to consider any special dietary requirements of the guests!

Regardless of the other food you choose, most baby showers include a cake or cupcakes. Work with a local shop or bakery to find the perfect ones for your party.

Don’t forget tableware, especially if you won’t be in a restaurant or catering hall. Consider opting for stylish tablecloths, napkins, or serving pieces. You may also need to get your hands on tables and chairs if the event is outdoors.

Last, with your theme in mind, start buying decorations for the party area. This might include streamers, lanterns, banners, signs, centerpieces, candles, flowers, and more.

Choose Activities and Party Favors

Part of the fun of a baby shower is the range of fun games and activities guests play as the event unfolds! From fun icebreakers to lively races to gut-busting jokes, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Make sure you have any props and special objects needed for each game!

Party favors can be rewards for the games above, or they can simply be a nice touch to thank guests for coming. From little photo frames to scented candles, inexpensive party favors are a great way for guests to remember the special event.

Consider Day-Of Extras

While these things aren’t strictly necessary, a few extra ideas can help make the big day much more satisfying.

  • A special (and comfortable) chair for the mom-to-be
  • A memory book keepsake for guests to write in
  • A professional photographer or a folder on social media for guests to share pictures
  • A designated helper to help the mom-to-be record gift-givers

These little extras can go a long way toward making the day a memorable and fun one for everyone involved.

Make the Most of This Baby Shower Planning Checklist

Every baby—and every mom-to-be—deserves the perfect celebration.

No matter when the baby arrives, the perfect shower is a great opportunity to make sure they’re welcomed into the world with plenty of love. With this baby shower planning checklist, you’ll find all of the tips you need to keep track of the organization, allowing you to plan a wonderful event guests will remember for years to come.

Want more of the helpful strategies every mom needs to know? We’ve got you covered. Check out our other blogs or more tips!