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How to Plan a Baby Shower: The Checklist Every Host Needs

Home decorated for a teddy bear-themed baby shower.

Picture this: Your bestie/sibling/cousin/child has a little one on the way, and you’ve been honored with the labor of love of planning and hosting their baby shower! This is one of the most exciting milestones of their life, so you know you want to plan a celebration they’ll cherish the memory of forever. From the planning timeline to the etiquette you and your guests need to know to budget tips, our baby shower planning guide has all the advice you need!

How to Plan a Baby Shower

1. Choose a Baby Shower Theme

Not only is choosing a baby shower theme one of the most fun parts of the party planning process, but it also sets the tone for everything else to come. Woodland and celestial continue to be popular baby shower trends, while safari animals, florals, rainbows, unicorns and dinosaurs are also top choices for this sweet celebration. Disney’s Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh are also favorites on the shower scene!

A collage of woodland creature baby shower decor and a matching invitation.
A collage of celestial baby shower decor and matching invitation.
Collage of floral baby shower and matching invitation.

Collage of rainbow baby shower decor and matching invitation.
Collage of Winnie the Pooh baby shower decor and matching invitation.

2. Book Your Venue

While baby showers are often held at someone’s private home, many people turn to other venues for showers. Restaurants, country clubs, hotels and event venues are popular choices if you have a larger budget, while local parks, beaches or churches can be fantastic budget-friendly locations. Remember—the more popular the venue, the earlier you need to reserve the space. When deciding upon the venue, make sure to ask them about outside food, decorations, set-up time, parking and anything else you have questions about so there aren’t any surprises on the big day.

3. Create and Send Baby Shower Invitations

Once you know where and when you’re hosting the baby shower, it’s time to invite family and friends to join you in celebrating the parent(s)-to-be! The best time to send out baby shower invitations is 6–8 weeks before the event, and Evite offers hundreds of cute baby shower invitation templates with instant RSVP tracking, the ability to add up to 3 registries or a baby fund right to the event details, and text or email delivery. You can also upload your own design to create a one-of-a-kind invite!

Some of our favorite baby shower invitations to consider:

A celestial invitation with baby animals on it next to an invitation with a teddy bear on it.
Sweet Lullaby and Beary Cute

A pretty floral invitation next to an invitation with various baby woodland creatures.
Delicate Florals in Yellow and Watercolor Woodland Border

4. Order Food, Beverages and Dessert

No party is complete without yummy bites, delicious drinks and an epic cake! If you’re holding the baby shower at a restaurant, you’ll likely work with them to create a special set menu for the celebration, but if you’re having the party elsewhere, it’s up to you to decide what menu works best. If you’re throwing an outdoor party, have chafing dishes on hand to keep the hot foods hot and plenty of ice for the bevvies. It’s best to keep things simple since you’ll have many other activities planned for the party.

5. Plan Baby Shower Games and Activities

What’s a baby shower without some baby shower games? Fun baby shower activities are basically a requirement, and honestly, who doesn’t love getting to play a silly little game at a party? There are endless activities to do at a baby shower, but we highly recommend checking out our top 10 baby shower games and activities for yours (trust us—these made the list for a reason)!

Collage of different baby shower activities and games.

6. Purchase Baby Shower Decorations and Party Supplies

You don’t need to go OTT here—unless you want to! Let your party theme determine what theme/colors you want for your decor and supplies (psst…your party invitation can help inspire you), and run with that. Balloons, a banner, plates, cutlery, napkins, cups and a tablecloth are perfect places to start. You can also add hurricane candle holders, flowers/greenery, a sweet photo backdrop and other props (like these classic “BABY” blocks) for some extra pizzazz.

7. Purchase Baby Shower Favors for Guests

Party favors aren’t required for a baby shower, but they are a heartfelt way to say “Thank you!” to your guests for being a part of your shower. Some top baby shower favors ideas include:

8. Keep a Running List of Who Gave Which Gift

Help the guest(s) of honor out by helping them keep track of the gifts they receive so they’ll know who to thank later. Either purchase a small notebook or take notes on your iPad/laptop that lists 1. Who gave the gift and 2. What the gift is. Share your notes with the guest(s) of honor afterward so they’ll be ready to start sending out their thank you cards!

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All of the products we feature are hand-selected by our editors! You see only what we love and what we think you'll love too. If you buy something through links on our site, Evite may earn a commission. Prices are subject to change.

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What makes Evite Signup Sheets different from Signup Genius?

Developed hand-in-hand with community organizers, PTA presidents, parents, and teachers, Evite's sign-up sheets are designed to make organizing volunteers a breeze. Here are a few ways Signup Sheets are different than Signup Genius:

  • 100% Free: Signup sheets are free to use
  • Ad-Free: No popup ads ever! Our sign-up sheets remain clutter-free, keeping your volunteers focused on signing up.
  • No Extra Login Required: Seamlessly use your Evite account to create and manage sign-up sheets, keeping all your events in one convenient location.
  • Automatic Reminders and Notifications: Stay on top of your event with automated reminders and notifications for you and your participants. Perfect for busy parents, teachers, and anyone juggling multiple commitments.
  • Customization Options: Tailor sign-up sheets to your specific event, whether it's a school fundraiser, potluck, volunteer opportunity, or team activity. Add custom tasks, time slots, and requirements for smooth coordination.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Our intuitive interface makes creating and sharing sign-up sheets simple for everyone, regardless of tech experience.
  • Real-Time Updates: Get instant notifications whenever someone signs up or makes a change, so you always know where things stand.

Choose Evite Signup Sheets for the easiest, most streamlined way to get volunteers and signups for your next event!

What is a signup sheet?

Signup sheets are the perfect way to streamline scheduling, volunteer recruitment, class parties, snack duty, potluck organization, parent-teacher conferences and more! You can think of them as your digital assistant for coordinating events and tasks and ensuring that your event is a success.

Evite SignUp Sheets offers parents, teachers and event planners customizable online forms that organizers and volunteers can access and update effortlessly. Volunteers can choose their preferred time slots, sign up for tasks or indicate what they'll bring to the event. It only takes organizers a few minutes to create a signup sheet and send it out with a shareable link, so they can get the word out via text, email or social media—whichever way they prefer! 

Long story short, signup sheets save everyone involved tons of time, avoid scheduling headaches and ensure everything runs smoothly before and during the event.

How do I create a signup sheet?

Creating a signup sheet has never been easier than with Evite! Here’s how to create a sheet that’s sure to make your event an absolute success:

  1. Go to Evite SignUp Sheets and choose the template that best fits your needs. Evite offers multiple signup sheet templates perfect for every occasion, including:some text
    • Signup sheets for standalone events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a class party, potluck or end-of-season party.
    • Signup sheets for recurring or multi-day events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a meal train, post-game snack duty or during appreciation week.
    • Signup sheets for single or multiple day events (with time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing concession stand volunteers, fundraisers and parent-teacher conferences.
  1. After selecting your sheet template, create a title for your signup sheet and add the date, the location, the time (if applicable), who the organizer is, the organizer’s phone number or email and an optional note describing the event to your volunteers. You can also change your signup sheet background and title image if you wish!
  1. Next, create slots for your signup sheet. If you aren’t logged into your account, you will need to do so at this point, but luckily, you can use your existing Evite account (no need to create yet another login!). What you’ll include here will depend on what your event needs, but you can include a list of what’s needed (along with optional descriptions), how many volunteers are needed, and dates and times.
  1. After creating your slots, you can then add a wish list from any retailer or include supply suggestions from Evite’s retailer partners. These are to help your volunteers find and purchase supplies quickly and easily.
  1. Finally, review your sheet, copy your shareable link and send it out to everyone on your list! Every time a volunteer signs up for a slot on your signup sheet, Evite will email you. We will also send reminders to you and your volunteers before your event so no one will forget about it, and we’ll even let volunteers know if you remove their slot or cancel your event sheet so you don’t have to!

What information should be included on a signup sheet?

When it comes to signup sheet information, there are some essentials to include regardless of what you’re organizing:

  1. A title for your signup sheet. Tip: Aim to keep your signup sheet title concise but clear. You want volunteers to read it and have a general understanding of what your event is about, and also make it easy for them to look for later if they need to reference your sheet again. You have the option to include a more descriptive note in a different field about your event, so save the more in-depth details for that!
  1. When and where the event is taking place. 
  1. The organizer’s name and phone number.
  1. Slots for volunteers to choose from. Once you choose the SignUp Sheets template that fits the occasion, the slots you’ll need for your sheet will be right there and ready for you to add the relevant info, such as dates, times, items to bring and tasks to complete. 

When adding your slot information, clearly define what people are signing up for, especially for a what-to-bring list or role assignments. If you want someone to bring healthy snacks for kids to enjoy after a game, specify that. You want your volunteers to feel confident in what they’re bringing and to make it easy for them to know what’s expected of them. It will save them time and stress (and you, too!). That being said, if you make your ask too specific (for example, asking for a hard-to-source item or something expensive), you may not end up with a volunteer for it. So be clear about what you expect, but also be reasonable!

Aside from providing the basic signup information, you can also add optional descriptions to both your entire signup sheet and individual slots. While not required, they can help guide your volunteers further and provide more information. You can add information about allergies, preferences and general info about the event. You can also add a wish list to make it easier for your volunteers to bring exactly what you need!

What are the benefits of using a signup sheet template?

Signup sheet templates offer a ton of advantages for both organizers and volunteers and with Evite SignUp Sheets, you'll enjoy even more benefits than other digital and paper signup sheets! Some benefits our signup sheet templates offer include:

  • A 100% free experience (no subscriptions required!).
  • Shareable links for quick and easy sharing.
  • No need to create another login—you can use your existing Evite account.
  • The option to add a wish list to help your volunteers out.
  • Automatic reminders—we’ll remind everyone on your behalf.
  • An easy-to-use experience with eye-catching guided templates.
  • Clean, modern designs with no pop-up ads.

With Evite SignUp Sheets, you can enjoy organizing and coordinating all your events with ease. Signup sheets streamline the signup process for everyone involved, ensuring that everything will go to plan on the day of your event while saving you precious time in the process.

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