Checklist: How to Host the Perfect Baby Shower
Planning a baby shower can be a lot of work. Trust me. Time sneaks up on you and all of a sudden you realize that you only have a few weeks left to get everything reserved, ordered, and organized for the big event. Yikes! My baby shower was actually this past Sunday and having to make sure that everything was prepped and ready to go was–well–a lot. Luckily I consider myself a pretty organized person, and I am very blessed to some great friends that helped me with the planning and the day of so that I could enjoy. Today I’m sharing my baby shower checklist that helped me stay on schedule and have a flawless shower. If you’re planning a baby shower for a friend or family member, this checklist is sure to help you with your planning efforts. It will guide you to a smooth, fabulous, and worry-free event. 🙂
Seven Weeks in Advance
- Determine who the host(s) will be.
- Set a date and time.
- Set a budget.
- Choose a location for the shower.
- Decide whose home the party will be held in, or reserve a restaurant or party room.
- Prepare a guest list (consult with the mother-to-be), complete with full names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers (if possible).
- Determine how many people can fit in the room or home.
- Decide if the event will be catered (and if so which company/restaurant) or if you or someone else will be helping make the food and determine who will be making what.
- Ask the mother-to-be if she has a particular theme or color scheme in mind for the event.
Six Weeks in Advance
- Order invitations and prepare invitations for mailing.
- If the expecting mama has registered somewhere for baby items, make sure her registry information is included in the invitation.
Five Weeks in Advance
- Mail the invitations.
- Plan the menu.
- If catering: keep the budget in mind.
- If cooking: assign who will be making what.
- Check if any of the guests have food allergies–make sure there are options available for them.
- Order the cake.
- Check tables, tableware, and chairs to make sure you have enough of each. If there isn’t enough, look up your local rental options.
- Decide what kind of decorations and/or flowers you’ll have.
- Make a list of any props or party favors you may need.
- Think about the games that you will want to be played as well as the prizes for the winners.
- Assign a photographer or hire a professional photographer.
- Order any entertainment (if you want a band, etc.) or additional surprises.
Three Weeks in Advance
- Write out place cards, if desired.
- Order balloons and flowers if they are planned decorations.
- Are you going to have a flower crown, corsage, or something special for the mother-to-be to wear for the shower?
- Order table centerpieces.
- Order the props, prizes, or party favors that you’ll need.
- Wrap all favors and gifts.
- Have a plan for how the mother-to-be is getting to the shower. Is someone picking her up? Is she driving herself?
Two Weeks in Advance
- Re-confirm your reservation if you are hosting the shower at a restaurant or party space.
- If the party is at your home, decide which serving dishes, utensils, table linens, and napkins you’ll use.
- Clean or iron table linens if necessary.
- Re-confirm rental supplies (if needed).
- If catering: Re-confirm your order with the caterer.
- If cooking your food: Prepare a shopping list for the food and beverages you’ll need.
- Re-confirm the entertainment or create a playlist for a fun and inviting atmosphere.
One Week in Advance
- Phone anyone who has not called to RSVP and have a final headcount.
- Prepare dishes that you can freeze ahead of time for the event.
- Re-confirm with guests who’ve been asked to bring food or special items.
- Put together or re-confirm party favors.
2 Days in Advance
- Shop for perishables, ice, and other remaining supplies.
- Prepare food that can be made in advance.
- If the event is at your home:
- Put decorations into place.
- Set the table(s) and have
- Have a comfortable chair picked out, with a pillow or seat cushion, for the mom-to-be to use at the shower.
1 Day in Advance
- Finish preparing food.
- Pick up the cake and prepared foods, if you’re not cooking, or touch base with the caterer.
- Pick up flowers, or make sure they get delivered.
- If hosted in your home: Vacuum, clean guest bathroom.
- Set up extra chairs for guests.
- Set up a designated space for holding baby gifts.
The Morning of the Shower
- Pick up balloons, if you’re using them as decor. If you pick them up earlier they could deflate.
- Have all hosts congregate at the party site an hour or two ahead of time to help set up.
- Chill some refreshments to be ready at party time.
- Set out food, except items that need to stay warm or cold.
- Introduce the guests to each other.
- Take pictures.
- Play games.
- Open gifts.
- Designate someone to record who gave which gift.
- Designate someone to help give gifts for the mother-to-be to open. Bending down is now more difficult for her.
- Designate someone to collect all wrapping paper for trash.
- Designate someone to repackage all the gifts for the expecting mom to take home.
- Make sure that she is eating, is comfortable, and is happy. 🙂
After the Party
- Collect all the gifts and place them in the mother-to-be’s car or ride.
- Give flower arrangements to the mother-to-be to take home or have the other hosts make additional arrangements.
- Make sure that all guests are leaving with their party favors and coats.
- Clean up plates and cups once guests are finished.
- Gather all rented linens, tables, or chairs together if needed to be picked up or dropped off.
There’s my checklist to help you have the perfect baby shower. I hope it’s a blast!