One of the most life-changing events is having a baby—and it's a great reason to have a celebration! If you're helping friends or close family members plan a baby shower, our guide will help you plan a party that the parents-to-be will love!
Baby shower planning tips
If you are able to partner up with someone to help co-host, including planning logistics and covering costs, we recommend doing so! Traditionally, the parents-to-be aren't involved in the planning, but these days there are no hard-and-fast rules and they often help plan, or their parents help cover costs. Chat with the soon-to-be-parents about expectations before you plan.
Next, select a date and venue and decide whether you’ll have a theme. A theme can help make the celebration feel cohesive, but it’s not required. If you choose to forgo the theme, pick a few complementary colors, which will help your party look put-together.
Before sending out invitations, consult with the expectant parents about the guest list. Will the shower include friends of both parents? Will it be kid-friendly? Make sure that the venue you have in mind, whether it’s the host’s home, a restaurant or a city park, will accommodate everyone in attendance. Ask the parents-to-be to also put together a registry.
Typically, baby showers are held four to six weeks before the baby’s due date and invitations are sent at least three weeks prior to the shower. Include information about the registry in the invitation.
Baby shower activities
- Bring a Book: Encourage guests to bring a favorite childhood book in lieu of a card to help build the baby’s library. Download and print our free printable bookplates for guests to fill out and place on the inside cover of their book. Print the bookplates on sticker sheets, or leave a glue stick or roll of double-sided tape on the table so guests can easily paste their tag in their book.*
- Well Wishes and Advice: Leave a stack of notecards and a large glass vase on a table near the entrance of the room. Instruct guests to write a wish or word of advice for the new parent and drop it in the vase.
- The Forbidden “Baby” Game: As guests arrive, give each guest a safety pin and let everyone know the word “baby” is off limits for the duration of the party. If someone accidentally lets the word “baby” slip, whoever catches them takes their pin. The guest who has collected the most pins at the end of the shower wins a prize!
- The Gift Timer: As the guest of honor is opening gifts, take an egg timer and set it for a few minutes. Whoever’s present is being opened when the timer goes off wins a prize.
- The Guessing Game: Collect baby photos of your guests before the party, assign a number to each and see who can best match the adults to their younger selves.*
- Onesie Decorating Station: Buy plain onesies in a variety of sizes and ask each guest to decorate one for the baby. Provide fabric paints or pens, fabric rubber stamps and stamping pads, and/or needle and thread for embroidering.
For more baby shower game ideas, check out our Top 5 baby shower games.
*Make sure you let guests know about this activity in the invitation.
Baby shower decorations
Create centerpieces out of baby books and stuffed animals that will have future use for the little one for both story time and play time. Or take cues from from your invitation, like using gold paper accents (including a gold “Oh Baby” on the wall) to echo our invitations.
Decorate with soft hues of pink, blue, yellow and/or green—and add little animals. Decorate each place setting with pastel-colored flowers in mini vases and let your guests take them home as party favors.
Baby shower food
Keep the theme consistent with junior-sized finger foods—think cheese and crackers, fruit, mini quiches, finger sandwiches, salad and dessert. Set out bowls of tiny snacks like pastel-colored candies, olives, assorted nuts, grapes and raspberries for nibbling throughout the party.
The best time to dish up dessert is right before the parents-to-be open presents so guests will have something to nibble on while watching.
Baby shower drinks
If you choose to serve alcohol, don’t forget to include a non-alcoholic option for the mom-to-be. If in doubt, lemonade and sparkling water are always great options.