BABY SHOWER 101

baby shower invitation

"Moon and the Stars" baby shower invitations

Baby showers bring people together, celebrate a new life, and create memories that can last a lifetime. If this is your first time hosting one, congratulations! It’s a great honor - and it’s also a lot of work! Check out a few pointers and frequently asked questions about how to plan a baby shower that everyone will remember.

Who should host a baby shower?

Traditionally, the host or hostess would not be a member of the immediate family, or even a friend close enough to be considered family. In the olden days, people worried that having the family host would make it look like the event was all about the gifts.

These days, people are a lot more low-key about such things, and the host or hostess of a baby shower can be anyone at all.

Where should you host a baby shower?

Many baby showers these days are hosted at restaurants. This has become pretty popular because it goes smoothly and takes a little less planning - though it may require a bigger budget, too.

Depending on the size of the party, it may make sense to arrange for a set menu for all the guests. If that’s the way you decide to go, you can print up a menu to be displayed at each place setting, just so everyone knows what’s coming up. The design should match the invitation if possible - that way everything feels cohesive, especially since you may not have control over the restaurant’s decor in the same way as you would if you were hosting the shower in a home.

You may want to leave a space on the invitation where guests can list any allergies. And when you’re choosing the restaurant itself, keep in mind that certain cuisines are more pregnancy-friendly than others (for example, sushi bistros or steakhouses are out; spicy food may appeal to some expectant moms, or it may be an absolute no-go). The easiest way to get it right is to just ask the mama-to-be what she’s into these days and go from there.

Hosting a baby shower at home?

This is the traditional baby shower venue that most of us picture, and there’s a reason for that. It can be a bit more work than hosting at a resort or restaurant, but it also allows for a bit more freedom and creativity. You get to be in charge of all the decorations, you can decide where everything gets set up, and you’ll have plenty of space for games. It can also be a little more inclusive, as many parents of small children may feel more comfortable attending, or more able to stay for the whole thing.

Of course, it’s also more work for the party-planner - but if you’re prepared, it’s no problem.

Make a checklist

You’ve totally got this, but it’ll all be a lot less stressful if you make a checklist. Here are a few of the things you’ll want to tackle:

Theme? Check

Everything feels a little smoother when there’s a theme to tie it all together. Check in with the mom-to-be and see if there’s anything she’s been craving or thinking about, ask about her favorite colors, favorite movies, etc. If the couple knows the gender of their baby, do they want a traditional pink or blue color-scheme? If the baby’s gender is a secret, consider a theme based around the baby’s astrological sign or due date.

Invitations? Check.

You’ll want to create a special invitation that matches the theme - or if you haven’t picked a theme yet, no worries. Just pick out a custom-designed invite that’s pretty - and that you know the mom-to-be will love.

Decorations? Check.

Again, it’s all about the theme. Banners are a must, and centerpieces are always a good touch if you’ve got the space in your venue.

Refreshments? Check.

Yep, you guessed it - tie these into the theme, and make sure you check with the mama-to-be about any dietary restrictions or cravings she’s experiencing.

Games and activities? Check.

One things that makes a baby shower unique from other parties is that the games are kinda mandatory. They can be silly or more competitive - check out our suggestions for activities here.

Cake? Check and check and check.

If you’re throwing a gender reveal baby shower, the cake might be extra-important, but even if the baby’s gender is already known, everybody loves cake, so make sure you deliver.

How long should a baby shower last?

There are no rules, of course, but most people would say that the ideal duration for a baby shower - or any party, really - is about 2-3 hours. Including an end time on your invitation is always a good idea, too.

Keep a schedule in mind and try to make sure that everything moves along in a timely fashion. You’ll want to allow 30-45 minutes for everyone to arrive, mingle, and help themselves to refreshments (and maybe a cocktail or two). Then you’ll want to allow the next 45 minutes to an hour on games or activities (need some ideas for what to play? Check out our recommendations for fun baby shower games). After all the winners have received their prizes and everyone’s having fun, it’s time to settle in for cake and presents. This part, as anyone who’s ever been a baby shower knows, can drag a little. The first couple of onesies are adorable, and then it gets to be a bit much. It helps if everyone’s arranged in a circle so that gifts can be passed around - this will keep the guests interested. And as host/hostess, it’s your job to make sure that everybody’s got a beverage in hand.

If you’re incorporating a gender reveal into the shower, this should happen toward the end. But the exact timing depends on how you’re planning to do the reveal (need some ideas? Check out our tips on how to throw a gender reveal party here). If it’s a cake, you’ll need time afterward for enjoying it. If you’re using gender reveal confetti or balloons, that can happen almost at the very end - it’s an exciting way to end the party on a high note (and to let everyone know it’s time to head home).