- How to plan a baby shower?
- When to plan a baby shower?
- Baby shower planning checklist
- Whom should you invite?
- Planning a baby shower on a low budget
- When should you send thank-you notes?
Pregnancy means no parties (well, almost). But there is one party that you can have only during pregnancy. Yes, a baby shower is a time when the mother is showered with love, attention, good wishes and gifts.
There will be friends and family around, jokes and laughs and foods and drinks. But for that, you need a perfect plan in place.
Whether you are hosting the baby shower for yourself or somebody else,
MomJunction is here to help you in planning a baby shower.
How To Plan A Baby Shower?
Below are the areas you need to plan. It will help you have a well-organized and fabulous party:
1. Choose a date and time that suits the mom
Ask the guest-of-honor (mum-to-be) to select a date and time for the baby shower. If you are planning a surprise party, try to find out her intentions indirectly.
She should be able to enjoy and be comfortable during the party. And she would also have enough time after the baby shower to sort out her gifts and prepare a list of things to purchase before the baby arrives.
2. Decide whom to invite
Prepare a guest list with people you want to invite, their addresses, and contact numbers. Guests may include expecting mom’s extended family, friends, and coworkers. You may want to expand or shrink your list depending on your budget.
3. Set your budget
Once you decide the guestlist, estimate the likely costs you would incur on the venue, food, drinks, return gifts, etc. You can choose a venue that suits your budget.
4. Select a venue
Your venue will depend on the number of guests, season, and of course the budget. Also, you may ask the mom if she wants a venue nearer to her home. Here are a few venue options:
i. Backyard: If the guests are just a few, then you can use your garden/ backyard or living room for the party. It can be intimate and pleasant and the mum-to-be feels at home.
ii. Restaurant: If the guest list is long, then you might have to reserve a space in a restaurant. The advantage of choosing a restaurant is that the decorations, menu, and activities will be taken care of by them. You just have to entertain your guests.
iii. Parks/ gardens: For summer or fall, an open-air venue such as a park or garden can be a beautiful place to organize the event.
5. Send the invites
Once the date, time and venue are fixed, you may prepare the invites. Send the invites online or call the guests over the phone. If practical, you may make handmade invitation cards for a special few. Send out the invites in advance, around a month before the baby shower, for the guests to plan their engagements, shop for gifts, and make other arrangements.
6. Come up with a theme
This is not a must but if you want one, you can choose a theme that suits the tastes of the mum-to-be. You can keep it simple or lavish depending on your budget. The advantage of having a theme is that it makes your other things, such as decorations, invites, food, and games, easy.
And the decision on the theme should be made before the invites are sent because your guests need to know about it.
7. Design your decorations
You can do it yourself if you are good at it or take somebody’s help. If you are holding the event in a restaurant, then talk to the managers there and share your ideas. This needs to be implemented at least a day in advance.
8. Plan the food and drinks
Ask if the mother wants to have any specific dishes to be included in the menu. Even as you cater to her cravings, make sure your guests are not disappointed with the food. You may also decide whether or not to have alcoholic drinks.
9. Have an agenda for a well-organized party
Having an agenda helps you manage your party well without any chaos or confusion. You will most likely have games, food, and drinks in your baby shower.
i. Games: You need to keep your guests entertained. Let the games be simple and lively. Games such as ‘diaper changing’ and ‘don’t drop the baby’ can be super fun. For more ideas on baby shower games, read here.
ii. Food: Once the guests arrive, you can welcome them with drinks. And once they settle down, you can start the activities. You may begin with the starters while the activities are on, and go to the main menu later.
10. Buy the goodies
You may want to buy some thank-you gifts for the guests as a token of appreciation for attending the baby shower. You may talk to the mom-to-be on the gifts you want to give the guests. Choose those which are useful, and be remembered for a long time to come. Purchase them one week before and keep them packed with the names written on all the goody bags.
When To Plan A Baby Shower?
Baby showers usually happen anytime around eight weeks before the mom’s due date (seventh month), which is neither too late nor long before the baby arrives.
You should also consider the climate because extreme cold or heavy rains could ruin the party.
The idea is to make the expectant mom comfortable enough to enjoy the baby shower instead of getting anxious about her health.
In some cultures, people hesitate to buy anything for the baby before their birth, so parents do not accept any gift before the baby is born. In such cases, the baby shower may be organized after the baby is born.
So, plan your baby shower in sync with the preferences of the parents-to-be.
Baby Shower Planning Checklist
Here is a month/ week-wise checklist for you:
|Two months before the shower|
|Host||Decide who is going to host the party. Are you hosting it alone or want a co-host who can share the tasks and expenses?|
|Set your budget||It will decide the other things such as the invites, food, decorations, and venue rentals.|
|Date and time||Consult the important guests and arrive at a date that is convenient for everyone. Avoid long weekends as people might have their plans. Take into account the plans of outstation guests as they need time to travel.|
|Guest list||Prepare a guest list and send an invite to everyone with the location details and an RSVP deadline date.|
|One month before the shower|
|Theme||There are plenty of themes for a baby shower but choose the one that goes with the taste of the mum-to-be and the gender of the baby. An easier one would be to match the nursery theme.|
|Menu||Brunch or hi-tea? If it’s an evening shower, perhaps an early, light dinner would be perfect. The food should also go with the theme. If everything’s store-bought, then you don’t have to worry, but if you are making them at home, make something ahead or a day before and freeze it.|
|Invites||You’ll have to come up with the wordings for the invite. To make it simple and easy, you can go for evite, which is trending these days. Create an online invite and send an email or message it.|
|Two to three weeks before the shower|
|Shopping||Shop for decorations, disposables, party items, goodies, and of course your dress.|
|Cake||Will you be ordering it or making it at home? If you are placing an order, then do it two weeks before the date so that the baker gets sufficient time to customize it for you. If you are baking at home, you might want to decide on the design, make a list of all the ingredients, and shop for them.|
|One week before the shower|
|Finalize the guest count||Get the final guest count right because you need to order/ make your food accordingly.|
|Party favors||Wrap all your gifts and party favors.|
|Cleaning||If you are planning the baby shower at home, start cleaning up your house. If the venue is at an outdoor location, get the party space cleaned up.|
|Extra help||You will need help with cooking, bartending, and entertaining the guests. So plan and decide on who can come handy.|
|Photographer||Choose a photographer to shoot your moments.|
|One day before the shower|
|Games||Keep the games list handy and the materials readily available.|
|Food||Buy beverages, snacks, and keep the utensils, platters, and ladles ready. Cook the food that can be frozen.|
|On the big day of the baby shower|
|Cake||Pick up the cake.|
|Decoration||Start decorating the party space.|
|Baby shower and gift table||Set up the table with the cake and food and the gifts table with party favors.|
|Music||Play the background music.|
|Gift registry||Keep a notebook handy to note down the gifts the mum-to-be receives.|
Now that you have a perfect plan in place, you need to decide on the people you want to invite to the event.
Whom Should You Invite?
It should most likely be the family and friends of the expecting mother and her colleagues if she is working.
Remember not to pressurize yourself with too many guests. Invite only so many that you and the expecting mom can manage.
Planning A Baby Shower On A Low Budget
If you are hosting a baby shower on a low budget, don’t worry, you can still make it wonderful without compromising on the decors, food, or games. Here are some tips to help you:
- Venue: Instead of hosting it at a restaurant or party venue, have it at your home. Hosting at a park or public space is also a good idea. Check if you need any permits to use the space. You can save some money here.
- Invites: Don’t bother about paper invitations. Create an online invite and send it to all your guests. Get the approximate guest count of people who would attend for sure, and plan accordingly.
- Decorations: Buy the decorative items in bulk so that you can get a discount. You can also buy the party supplies from the dollar store or try out DIY ideas. You may also use the leftover supplies from your previous parties.
- Flowers: Buy the flowers from a local market and use them as your centerpieces. You can fill single, huge vases with tulips or roses.
- Seating arrangement: If you are having the party at home, you don’t have to take bulk furniture for rent. See if the available furniture is sufficient, and take minimal furniture on rent.
- Food: Avoid catering service and cook the food. Buy finger foods such as sandwiches, crackers, and fresh berries. Let your guests help themselves to a buffet lunch. You can cut costs in servicing and catering. You could also ask the friends and family to contribute to a potluck lunch to save money and yet have variety.
- Games: Have games that require minimum material such as paper, pens, or pencils. You can skip the prizes for winners.
In addition to these, you may deck up the place with your own creative skills, and cut down on the return gifts. Instead, do send the guests some beautiful thank-you notes.
When Should You Send Thank-you Notes?
You may have to write thank-you notes for several guests. So, start writing the notes a week after the baby shower. Personalize your thank-you notes for each guest and if you have the budget, attach it with a small gift. For ideas on thank-you notes, read here.
If the plan is perfect, the things will be organized and you don’t have to feel stressed out at the last minute. It doesn’t mean that everything will go as per your plan but at least you will know if you are deviating from the plan and what to do about it.
Remember, your motive for holding the baby shower party is to let the mother have sweet memories of her pregnancy.
Are you planning a baby shower? Let us know your ideas in the comment section below.