how to plan a baby shower

With the excitement of a new baby on the way, you want to plan the perfect baby shower for the mom or parents-to-be. When planning a baby shower, there are a lot of things to consider like what theme will you choose, what food will be served, what games will be played, and so much more! In this post, we’ll cover the important questions you may have and provide a baby shower checklist so you can throw the most memorable baby shower yet. Before we dive into planning details and specifics, let’s answer a few common etiquette questions.


Traditionally, a best friend or family member (grandma, cousin, sister, sister-in-law, etc.) will be put in charge of organizing and planning a baby shower. The etiquette on this isn’t set in stone though and sometimes close coworkers or a group of friends will take on the responsibility of baby shower planning instead.


The short answer is, any time! Baby shower etiquette doesn’t state a hardline rule. Some mothers prefer to have showers months in advance and others prefer to wait until the last minute. We recommend coordinating with the mother on her due date and picking a baby shower date that ensures everything will go as planned before the baby comes. A good rule of thumb is six to eight weeks in advance, when the mom is in her third trimester, has a great baby bump for photos, and is getting really excited for the baby that’s almost here!


Generally, when planning a baby shower you always consult with the mother or parents-to-be on the guest list. Typically just close friends and family members attend and the average baby shower size is 20 guests. Your venue size will often determine the number of guests you invite.

If you’re hosting at someone’s house, take inventory of the space to see what comfortable seating arrangements and mingling layouts would look like. Similarly, if you’re looking to do a baby shower at a restaurant or other venue, make sure you ask about capacity. Of course, if you’re hosting a virtual shower, the number of invitees doesn’t impact the cost, which is a plus!

When it comes to the budget, baby showers can range from very conservative to extremely lavish. Depending on your guest list and your plans, consider anything from $100 to $1,000. Your planned budget will drive many of the decisions you make regarding how to plan a baby shower.

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Jungle Edge

Jungle Edge by Amy Kross


Organizing a baby shower is more work than you might think! From coordinating dates to ordering invites, mailing invites, and setting up decorations, we will keep you on schedule with our below baby shower checklist:

3 Months in Advance

Gameplan With the Mom or Couple

At this time, you want to coordinate with the mom or parents-to-be and finalize a date, time, and location to host the event. You’ll also want to work with them to finalize the guest list. Finally, advise the mom or couple to set up a baby registry and to share details with you before invitations are printed. If you’re doing a virtual shower, consider where you’ll host. Plan to be physically next to her on the day of the virtual event so you can ensure it runs smoothly and there are no technical difficulties. The guest list can be larger if it’s virtual.

2 Months in Advance

Collaborate On a Theme

Sit down with the guest(s) of honor and figure out what kind of shower they want to have. Minted has invitation designs perfect for a jungle/safari theme, woodland theme, elephant theme, twinkle twinkle little star theme, and so much more! We have a full guide to types of baby showers and theme ideas if you are looking for inspiration. Then consider what sort of games might compliment the theme and what supplies will be necessary to pull all of it off.

You can also use Minted’s new baby shower signs to broadcast your theme! Even if you’re having a virtual shower, you can decorate the space and request that attendees use fun virtual backgrounds that tie in with the theme. Last but not least, look at your budget to understand what ideas may need to be scrapped.

Finalize Party Details & Order Invites

Personalize your invites to share the party specifics. Key information to include in your baby shower invitations includes the name of the mother-to-be or the couple, the date and time of the shower, location of the shower, a baby registry link, and when to RSVP. Finalize your invite list and start to collect mailing addresses from friends, coworkers, and family members. Consider downloading Minted’s mobile app to collect addresses easily and seamlessly print them on your envelopes for free.

Baby shower signs

1 Month in Advance

Send Invites

By now you’ve received your custom Minted baby shower invitations in the mail. Put all of your invites in the mail right away so guests have enough time to get back to you. Make sure you have a system ready to record RSVP responses so you’ll have an accurate running guest list count.

Create a Shopping List

Now is the time to review the items that will need to be purchased for the party. Based on the theme of your party, make a list of the decor you’ll need (balloon arch, bouquets of flowers, you name it). Depending on what menu you’ve decided on, make a list of food and drink items as well. Also consider all of the decorative plates, cups, napkins, and cupcake toppers you may need). Don’t forget dessert too! If you’re working with a caterer, use this time to review the menu and make sure things are good to go. A crucial part of baby shower planning is the games, so make sure you have a list of everything you need to pull the games off without a hitch (including prizes for the winners). Finally, if you’re planning to distribute shower favors, include a list of items you’ll need in order to create your DIY favors.

Pretty Picado

Pretty Picado by Jessie Steury

Baby Color Block Baby Shower Invitations
Baby Shower Invitations

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Week of Party

Finalize RSVPs

By now you’ve heard back from most of your guests and it’s time to get an understanding of the guest list. Check in with any guests you haven’t heard back from and answer any unresolved questions guests may have. You should have a pretty good idea of what attendance will look like at this time, so it is safe to say you can go shopping for the items you need for the shower.

Complete Shopping

Head to the store with your shopping list of decor, snacks, drinks, and prizes that need to be purchased for the event. Plan to purchase slightly more food and drinks than you anticipate you need in case a few guests show up who didn’t RSVP or people are hungrier than you expect. If there are any foods or drinks you can prepare ahead of time, it’s also a good idea to do that. It will save you time and stress the day of the shower.

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Day Of Party

Set Up Decorations and Stage Venue

Arrive at the venue early to help create the party atmosphere. Get to work setting up signage outside, blowing up balloons, setting up the food/dessert table, and arranging seating. If the mom-to-be is already there, make sure she doesn’t lift a finger and is comfortable while you set the stage for the events to come. We recommend talking through the planned agenda with the mom-to-be or the couple so they have a good understanding of the progression of the party before guests start to arrive. This will also help you identify if any last-minute items still need to be purchased.

Welcome Guests As they Arrive

During the baby shower, one of your jobs as a host is to act as M.C. of the party to greet guests and facilitate the timing and flow of activities. You can ask another friend or family member to help make sure guests feel welcome and introduce them to others they may not know. It’s important guests know where to leave their present, where they can get a drink, and when games will be starting.

Host the Games

Playing games is a big part of any baby shower, and it is the host’s job to explain how each game works and to act as the judge/referee to ensure there are clear winners. You will pass out paper and pencils if needed, keep a scoreboard, play music, and do all the fun things that come along with a healthy, friendly competition.

Take Photos & Keep Track of Gifts

It’s important to document the shower with photos, which can be done by distributing a few disposable cameras and asking guests to take photos during the shower. We also recommend designating one friend to go around and take photos frequently throughout the event.

When it comes time to unwrap gifts, the mother-to-be will be focused on selecting gifts, unwrapping presents, and engaging with the guests. Designate a guest to serve as notetaker to write down who gifted each gift, so the mom or couple can later have an easy time composing thank you cards.

Week After the Party

Send Thank You Cards

While not the responsibility of the host (but rather the mom-to-be), it is best practice to send thank you notes to every guest that brought a gift. Make sure you provide the mom with the notes on who gifted what within a day or two of the party concluding so she has all the information she needs. You can also provide the guest(s) of honor with a list of all the guest addresses (which you have from sending the invites out). Minted has a suite of baby shower thank you cards that will help show guests your gratitude.

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Baby horoscope by peetie design

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